MY HERO ACADEMIA: The Voice Actors Of Deku And Bakugo Talk About Which Villains Affect Their Characters Most

Voice actors Justin Briner (Deku) and Clifford Chapin (Bakugo) are here to tell us which villains helped their characters grow in My Hero Academia. Hit the jump to find out who made the cut!

Interviews Opinion

My Hero Academia is easily the biggest contender for being the Dragon Ball of this generation. With a huge cast of likable characters and a story with so much heart that it's hard to find something to dislike about it. Because of this, the franchise has celebrated worldwide success and has made phrases like "Plus Ultra" become a synonym for giving your all and never giving in.

Since its beginning, the manga created by Kohei Horikoshi has not only become one of the highest-selling series in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump but has also spawned an endless amount of alternative media. From anime to video games, it's hard not to see My Hero Academia around every corner. A couple of their biggest successes come from two films that were released in Japan titled Two Heroes and Heroes Rising

Recently, an interview was conducted with Justin Briner and Clifford Chapin (Deku and Bakugo, respectively) that discusses their roles and the upcoming western release of My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising. In the interview, the actors discuss some of the things that make their characters special and what they feel has helped them to grow.

An excerpt from the interview can be read below, but the full discussion can also be heard on the audio component in Literary Joe's Inner Child Podcast! Make sure to give it a listen, and don't forget to tell us what you think in the comments!

Literary Joe
You guys play two of the most prominent characters in anime right now. I was curious if either of your previous roles got you involved with the project Initially?

1m 27s
Justin Briner

I can't speak to any project in particular. I think what was lucky for me at the time was I was pretty fresh on the scene, and I was starting to get to work with other directors who were taking chances on me.

I believe when casting came around because I had never worked with our director Colleen before, I'd at least had some good faith and good word of mouth to back me up. I'm glad that up until then, I had been doing what they thought to be quality work, and I'm glad to be doing more of it.

1m 59s
Clifford Chapin

Similarly, I had started working at Funimation a few years before Justin. Like two or three years, not very long, but I did have the good faith that I had worked with Colleen once before. We had a good relationship between the two of us for working dynamic and understanding each other.

I don't know that there was necessarily any role that led to it more than any other, but your past work always builds you up to be ready to do your next work. That was with Mike McFarland. Colleen had directed a series called Tokyo Ravens, which I had been the lead on a few years prior.

2m 50s
Darth Lexii
For Deku and Bakugo, which villain has been the most valuable to your character's hero story arc?

2m 57s
Justin Briner

I think that for Deku's journey, the recent arc with Overhaul and how it centered so squarely around protecting someone, protecting a young girl from evil. The weight of having to protect an innocent or helpless child or something like that has never been on Deku's shoulders before. It's nice to see him living up to carrying the weight of being a hero for real.

3m 31s
Clifford Chapin

Thinking about it quickly, it might be the sludge villain from episodes one and two. If you consider it, Bakugo was always so skilled and talented, and everybody was like, you're great, you're amazing, but it wasn't until he encountered the sludge villain that he was challenged for the first time.

He couldn't get away from this thing despite his best efforts. It's the first time that Deku had a heroic moment, which might also be the first time Bakugo had to acknowledge Deku's actions. That sludge villain is the one that set all of Bakugo's character development into motion.

*This interview is edited for clarity. Darth Lexii and Comic Brooks co-host.*


The number one hero anime is back for a battle beyond anything fans have ever seen! Class 1-A visits Nabu Island where they finally get to do some real hero work. The place is so peaceful that it’s more like a vacation … until they’re attacked by a villain with an unfathomable Quirk! His power is eerily familiar, and it looks like Shigaraki had a hand in the plan. But with All Might retired and citizens’ lives on the line, there’s no time for questions. Deku and his friends are the next generation of heroes, and they’re the island’s only hope. 

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on October 27th!


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