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Fanfic / Torchbearer

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In which a Mother's prayer is answered, a child's birthright is not denied to him, and his life is forever changed as a result. Features a more confident Izuku, a slightly nicer Bakugo, and a certain No. 2 Hero taking an interest. Rated M for language, violence, and safety purposes.

Torchbearer is an AU fanfic of My Hero Academia written by btn29. The story is set in an alternate universe apart from the Canon where Izuku Midoriya does gain a Quirk and how'll he affect those around him on his journey as the World's Greatest Hero.

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Not to be confused with tabletop RPG with the same name.


Torchbearer provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Like in the canon series, Endeavor is this in here as well. However, thanks to the author's penchant for "complex three-dimensional characters", it becomes played with.
  • Adapted Out: Mineta, like most MHA fanfiction, is removed from Class 1-A. Unlike most examples of this, he drops out willingly due to the mental trauma the USJ attack had on him rather than getting expelled due to his perversion.
  • Adaptational Badass: Many of the characters are shown to be more competent here than canon:
    • While still suffering the drawbacks from gaining "One For All", Midoriya is also born with a quirk of his own called "Flame Magnet"; which allows him to have better use of "One For All" from the experience of his own Quirk.
    • Since Bakugo's pride didn't developed like it was in the beginning of the canon manga, he's much more reasonable in conversations and is much more flexible in combat.
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    • In Chapter 20, Bakugo revealed to Kirishima that he and Midoriya regularly engages in no-Quirk sparring while growing up since they can't fully practice their Quirks in public due to Quirk regulations. This allows both Bakugo and Midoriya to have some experience in combat prior to the story.
    • Kaminari is far more competent than how he was in the anime. Besides being Class President, which puts him into a more active position, he also makes it all the way to the final round of the Sports Festival and gives Bakugo a good fight.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Compared to his canon counterpart, Katsuki's personality is much more adjusted here, thanks to his friendship with Izuku while growing up.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Without the time constraints of the weekly canon manga, the author included many original events and character build-up in this fanfic.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy:
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    • Bakugo downplays this as while he's still very prideful about his abilities, he also respects those who can give a good fight.
    • Ojiro isn't, but he exploits this trope to bait Kirishima into fighting him one-on-one during the Battle Trial (by convincingly acting the role of The Dragon to Iida's Big Bad), and Kirishima buys it hook, line, and sinker.
  • Ascended Extra: Almost everyone is given more time to shine than they do in the anime or manga.
  • Calling Your Attacks: All Might points out to Izuku that this has an utilitarian purpose in the context of Heroics: since Quirk-based attacks often involve doing complex things simultaneously to get the desired effect, a good attack name serves as a mnemonic device to the Hero for helping to time such actions correctly in the heat of battle.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: While the story still focuses on Midoriya's development, the author also gives this to the other students of Class 1-A.
  • Character Depth: One of the major themes of this story. Aside from the fast-paced action story arcs of the canon manga, "Torchbearer" focuses more on the Switching P.O.V., Character Development, and interpersonal relationships of each individual character.
  • Cry into Chest:
    • Izuku gives Uraraka a shoulder to cry on after she reveals just how close he came to dying during the USJ incident and how terrified she was of it.
    • Mina cries on Kirishima's shoulder when they have a heart-to-heart about the flaws they see in themselves and what they admire about each other.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kurogiri may be a villain, but as a professional barman he will not serve alcohol to minors.
  • Groin Attack: How Uraraka disables Shoji during the Battle Training. She felt pretty bad about this.
  • Heroic BSoD: The USJ incident, in particular Izuku's near-death experience, triggers this to one degree or another in several of his classmates. Of particular note are: Bakugo, who had to step away from the infirmary for an hour to contact Izuku's mother and shed tears in private, and later breaks down in front of his own mother at home; Uraraka, who later reveals that she noticed that Izuku had stopped breathing for a brief moment while lying unconscious in her lap after he'd been injured, and was so scared of the thought of him dying that she suffered recurring nightmares about it and contacted him late at night by phone just to make sure he was okay.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The relationship between Izuku and Bakugo in this story has this vibe. Izuku is probably the only one apart from Bakugo's mother who can talk Bakugo down from his occasional bursts of over-reactive anger, and is likewise one of the few who can force him to speak more politely and apologize. Bakugo allows Izuku the sole privilege of being able to call him "Kacchan" and will not brook any unkind words said about Izuku in his presence.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Discussed by Class 1-A in regards to the first generation of heroes. Some heroes who didn't make the cut for government sanctioned heroism became more ruthless and saw the mass-murder of criminals as the ideal way to cleanse the world of evil. Katsuki also derides these types of people, viewing them as too willing to throw their hands in the air and give up when the going gets tough.
  • He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him: How Hagakure feels and reacts after eavesdropping on Todoroki revealing his terrible family circumstances to Midoriya during the Sports Festival.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Monoma copying Midoriya's Quirk during the Sports Festival tournament becomes this, as Flame Magnet isn't an intuitive Quirk to use and requires a lot of practice to use effectively. Monoma ends up burning himself.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Gender inverted, with Izuku contemplating just why Uraraka would be attracted to him of all people after they agree to date each other.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Katsuki still wins the Sports Festival.
  • Insult of Endearment: Played for Laughs as Bakugo and Izuku made this a ritual whenever they call each other by "Kacchan" and "Deku" respectively.
    Bakugo: "Oi, Deku?"
    Midoriya: "Yes Kacchan?"
    Bakugo: "Don't call me 'Kacchan'."
    Midoriya: "Don't call me 'Deku'."
    Bakugo: "Fuck you, I'll call you what I want."
    Midoriya: "Fair enough. Same here then."
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The author actually worried that Endeavor would end up being this too much. Whenever he chastises his son over something, it almost always has a solid point behind it. When it was made clear that the Nomu was weak to fire, he calls Shoto out on his refusal to use his fire during the USJ attack. To not use your powers when you don't need them? Fine. To refuse to use them in a life or death scenario where such stubbornness could result in the death of others? Unacceptable. It's telling that no matter how much Shoto hates his father, he can't deny that he's right.
  • Know When To Fold Them: Because of how brutal Izuku's injuries were during his match with Shoto, he chooses to forfeit his fight against Katsuki before it starts due to wanting to fight him when he can go all out and not have any physical handicaps.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The group of students assigned to All Might during the second USJ rescue training portion have this reaction to what happened when they went through the Downpour zone. See What Does This Button Do? below.
  • Meaningful Name: Discussed. The first recorded user of a pyrokinetic Quirk was known as Prometheus, after the Titan who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind. Momo finds this especially fitting since he also became credited as the world's first Supervillain.
  • Reality Ensues: The USJ attack is treated with much more realism and emotional consequences. Izuku almost died trying to stop the Noumu, and much of the class is either left emotionally reeling or scarred. In Mineta's case, he was so traumatized that he dropped out of the Hero course entirely.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Yu Takeyama, aka Mt. Lady, is Bakugo's cousin here on his mother's side of the family.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Every character from canon gets this throughout each chapter.
  • Saying Too Much: In order to get his friend out of his mental funk, Bakugo had planned to surprise Izuku with a fight club, and set him up on a day out with Uraraka just to get him out of the way while he enacted the plan. When Izuku visits him later to thank him for essentially setting up his first date, Bakugo wonders out loud about who could've blown the cover on the fight club plans, and ruins his own surprise.
  • Share the Male Pain: Every male member of the class, plus All Might, wince in sympathy for Shoji after hearing about Uraraka's Groin Attack on him.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Izuku and Uraraka get plenty, and it goes all the way to a Relationship Upgrade.
    • Shoto also gets a lot with Toru.
  • Slice of Life: With the amount of Character Depth that the Author implement in the fanfic, the characters also tackle with real-life events such as school, relationships, and growing up in general.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Prometheus is the first recorded Supervillain and the first known fire Quirk user. His actions resulted in there being a stigma against fire users that permeated into modern society that only really ended somewhere in All Might's generation. This is implied to have played a role in how Endeavor turned out the way he did, since some musing on his past indicates that he was bullied in high-school.
  • So Proud of You: Endeavor expresses pride in his son finally using his flames and no longer holding back. While he would have preferred that he won his battle with Izuku, he's primarily glad that Shoto isn't holding himself back anymore.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The main point of view alters to focus on a different character every now and then, giving everyone a moment in the spotlight.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: All Might's take on the League of Villains' attack on his students at the USJ incident.
  • Title Drop: How the title of every chapter is mentioned. Chapter 19 in particular is named "Title Drop."
  • Unbroken Vigil: A good part of the class stay by Izuku's bedside after he nearly killed himself during the USJ incident. The others slowly trickle away due to other commitments, but Iida, Bakugo, and Uraraka settle in for the long haul.
  • What Does This Button Do?: The second time the students visit USJ to do their rescue training properly, All Might has trouble working out what button does what in the Downpour zone controls. Cue lightning, hail, and so on, that leaves his entire group miserable.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: After All Might declares that the Nomu had committed an unforgivable act by going after his students, he realizes that his words served this function for himself. He taps into the full power of One For All, determined to end the fight as soon as possible.
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