Analyzing the Tragic Queer Romance In “My Hero Academia” Manga Issue 395 – Himiko vs Ochaco

My Hero Academia manga issue 395 review
Himiko decides to save Ochaco’s life in ‘Built Upon the Joy of Others’ (Image: My Hero Academia Manga Issue 395)

My Hero Academia manga issue 395 continued to focus on the queer relationship between the villain Himiko Toga and hero Ochaco Uraraka.

While I don’t review the My Hero Academia manga on The Geekiary, I do keep up with it. The current battle had Himiko overwhelming the heroes on the battlefield and Ochaco trying to reach out to her to talk about love. Now, I’m no stranger to Talk-No Jutsu. That’s why I was kind of side-eyeing mangaka Kohei Horikoshi’s decision to have the highly anticipated fight between the two girls be about feelings.

However, with how everything turned out, I have to say that the confrontation was quite well-written. I understand certain fans not being happy. But, in my opinion, chapters 394 and 395 handled Toga vs Uraraka in a very effective manner. 

I think, after My Hero Academia manga issue 395, no one should ever doubt that Himiko and Ochaco are indeed queer characters. And as far as the Shonen genre goes, that’s quite impressive. The very popular MHA has had queer representation through transgender characters (Yawara Chatora and Kenji Hishiki), but they were minor characters compared to Himiko and Ochaco. So, kudos to Horikoshi for continuing to push the needle forward. 

Issue 395, titled ‘Built Upon the Joy of Others’, concluded the tragic queer love story between the two young girls… for now.

And hey! Before someone brings it up, I don’t consider Himiko’s fate to be another example of the unfortunate Bury Your Gays Trope. We aren’t even sure if Himiko’s actually dead or not. She might get to survive. Who knows? So, let’s put a pin in that.

Himiko’s character arc has been about not fitting in the normal world due to her need to drink other people’s blood to demonstrate her affection and love. Constantly being reminded that she was different, and “evil” due to her abilities, is what led to Himiko traveling a villainous path because at least she felt she belonged on the other side. She wanted a way to make it easier for herself to live in the world. And if that involved killing others, so be it.

However, things changed for Himiko when Ochaco became the type of hero to actually reach out to her. The confusing emotions Himiko felt for Ochaco cumulated in the two facing off against each during the current war, with Ochaco continuing to make Himiko realize that she indeed had a place in the world. That Himiko was loved.

Issue 395 opened with Himiko looking at a gravely injured and exhausted Ochaco lying on the ground in front of her after their battle. Even in such a precarious state, Ochaco was trying to bring the people her gravitational quirk touched safely down to land. Staying true to her nature, Ochaco was going to save everyone until her dying breath.

But Himiko didn’t care about the rest. All Himiko cared about was doing something to stop the girl she loved from dying in front of her.

Himiko’s line about not wanting to live in a world that didn’t have Ochaco hit hard. As someone who has been reading about these characters for years, I have to say that particular moment made me very emotional. The villains were going to make the world easier for Himiko to live in. But all of that didn’t matter because Himiko couldn’t bear living in a world without Ochaco.

Ohhh!! My heart!!!

Due to drinking other people’s blood because of hate, love, jealousy or however she had decided to justify her actions, Himiko went through major character development in the latest chapter when she decided to save Ochaco by giving away her blood. Himiko was content with sacrificing herself just for Ochaco to live because Ochaco had made her genuinely happy.

Himiko even wondered how different her life could have been if she had met Ochaco sooner. Perhaps she would have found a way to help people by giving away her blood or something? Maybe she could have been a hero, too?

Again!!! My heart!!!

My Hero Academia manga issue 395 review
Himiko and Ochaco in ‘Built Upon the Joy of Others’ (Image: My Hero Academia Manga Issue 395)

I really liked Himiko asking Ochaco what her endgame was. If the heroes won, Himiko was going to prison. Was Ochaco going to visit Himiko in prison to make blood donations? Ha!

Himiko was the type of character who lived and loved as she pleased. And the current manga chapter showcased that by having Himiko demonstrate the biggest gesture of real love she could make toward Ochaco.

So, tragic! So, good!

Now, if Himiko does survive, do I see her and Ochaco being together? Hmmm. I’m not sure. I still think Ochaco and Deku are going to be a thing. However, having said that, ending up with Deku down the line doesn’t negate the feelings Ochaco has for Himiko.

These girls are queer and I’m here for it!

Have you read My Hero Academia manga issue 395? What did you think of it?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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