After watching Katsuki’s impressive ball throw (for the quirk apprehension tests), Denki leans to Momo to say to her, “Whoa, 705 meters?! Are you kidding me?!”. He wears an incredulous expression as he says this. This seems to be the first time he expresses not only amazement, like many, but a slight jealousy towards Katsuki’s already impressive attributes.
As he views Katsuki (and Tenya’s) Battle Trial against Izuku and Ochako, Denki sighs, muttering “Bakugou is uber talented, I hate it.” under his breath. However, rather than admiring, he seems somewhat disdainful due to the growing obviousness of the gap between them at the time. He later adds that outside of his place as a virtuoso, Katsuki is rather intimidating.
On the bus to the USJ, the students discuss one another’s quirks and strengths. Eijiro makes the comment that Katsuki is practically the definition of ‘flashy and strong’, like a hero should be in his opinion, but Tsuyu then adds that even with his power, Katsuki will never be a popular hero due to how brash he behaves. Denki then takes it upon himself to smirk, and teases “Y’know, we basically just met you, so it’s kinda telling that we already know that your personality is ‘flaming crap’ mixed with garbage.” Even as Katsuki proceeds to inevitably yell at him, Denki continues to wear a self-satisfied smirk.
After the announcement of the Sports Festival, a crowd of students gather outside of the 1-A classroom to block the students from leaving before they can drive it into their heads that they’re no better than anyone else, even if they did already have their first encounter-and defeat of villains. Katsuki is quick to stir them up even worse with pretentious words and uncareful phrasing, before he attempts to leave the scene. Eijiro stops him before he can disappear, and asks him by he said everything he did, to which Katsuki replies, “it doesn’t matter as long as you rise to the top.” Eijiro is brought to tears by the utmost ‘manliness’ of that statement and Katsuki, who seems to have won him over, in a way. To this, Denki cringes before telling Eijiro not to let Katsuki “play you [him]”. Fumikage then states that Katsuki was indeed correct, to which Denki agrees, albeit begrudgingly, although not without adding that the situation Katsuki put their class in (making them the common enemy of the other classes) still ‘sucked’.
At the start of the Sports Festival, Katsuki is called up by Midnight to give a speech to start the event off. A few of the (1-A) students catch a glare from a female student, to which Hanta mutters that she definitely hates their class. Denki pulls an annoyed face, before commenting “Yeah, and we’ve got Bakugou to thank for everyone hating our class,”
Katsuki and Denki sit together on the stands when they’re not currently sparring. While watching Izuku’s fight against Hitoshi, in an attempt to make conversation, Denki goofily asks “He’s pulled that ‘shoulder-throw move’ on you before, huh?” Katsuki grumbles “Shut your damn face, Sparky.” at this, causing an over-exaggerated, crestfallen expression to fall upon Denki’s face. Later, during Katsuki and Ochako’s spar, Denki comments that Katsuki is near unbeatable, and the “lightning-fast” swiftness of his reflexes put Ochako at an unfair disadvantage. After Katsuki emerges victorious from the fight, and makes his way back to his seat, Denki looks at him before stating that he couldn’t believe Katsuki’s brutality towards a ‘frail’ girl like Ochako. He does, however, change his mind on this after Tsuyu points out his previous, embarrassing loss against Ibara (from 1-B), a girl.
During the Survival Training, Denki, Yuga, Kyoka and Minoru all team up against Katsuki in hopes to defeat him. However, Katsuki manages to almost effortlessly take every last one of them down, to which Denki shouts “Oh come on, man! Can you at least give us a chance?!” A while later, the students attempt to guess what their Final Exams would be like, and come to the conclusion that it’d be fighting against robots, like the Entrance Exam. Denki and Mina become excited at this, but Katsuki chides them on this, deeming them ‘morons’. Denki refutes “Hey! Who’re you calling a moron?!”, but quiets down after realizing Katsuki’s mood.
As he walks by Katsuki, who skillfully chops up vegetables for the class’s dinner, Denki comments “Look at that! It’s been a while since we’ve seen the capable side of him!”
After Katsuki is rescued from the LoV, Eraserhead harshly scolds the class, saying he would’ve expelled them all if not for his past. In an attempt to distract from this, Katsuki grabs Denki, and drags him behind a bush to somehow make him overuse his quirk in a matter of seconds, and push him into his “Whey/Dumb Mode’.
Denki follows Katsuki and Eijiro at the start of their Provisional License Exams, partially from being left behind by their other classmates, and partially as to not feel left out. Denki proceeds to ask a number of questions, which eventually annoys Katsuki, who yells at him to “SHUT UP!”
Denki then asks why he always has to be so mad. They later encounter a Shiketsu student by the name Seiji Shishikura, who grows offended by Katsuki’s volatility, and tries to attack him with his quirk, ‘Meatball’, which has the power to manipulate flesh as pleased. Eijiro pushes Katsuki out of the way, however, and takes the hit for him, rendering him immobile for the time being, as he’s then a glob of flesh.
Katsuki continues to speak against Seiji even after this, so Denki moves to grab his shoulder, and tells him not to provoke their enemy. Katsuki huffs at this, before saying that a previous explosion of his was “weak”, as to not kill anyone. Denki cringes at this, saying that Katsuki is “too hardcore”. Not long after, Katsuki is hit by Seiji. Denki yells “BAKUGOU!!” and runs to him. As he notices him, Katsuki calls for his attention and throws what turns out to be a grenade from his belt to him to use, as he seems to have known Denki wouldn’t be able to release a full-force attack due to he and Eijiro still being there, and able to be harmed. As Seiji moves to attack him, Denki throws Katsuki’s grenade at him, and monologues the purpose of Katsuki’s gauntlets/grenades, saying they’re not just a “fashion statement”, but truly have incredible use. As he talks, he realizes that Seiji made the key mistake of walking away from Eijiro and Katsuki, and gave Denki the opportunity to ‘zap’ him and only him. As he does so, he tells Seiji “Listen up. Bakugou might seem like a total jerk on the surface, but he’s trying really hard to be a pro hero. He threw that grenade at me while being attacked. That was a result of incredible judgement and planning.” Katsuki and Eijiro are freed from Seiji’s quirk, as he was then weakened, and the three go off to proceed with their exams. However, Katsuki’s terrible mouth leads to his failure in the rescue portion of the exam, which Denki later teases him about.
After Eijiro finally returns from his internship (with Fatgum and Tamaki), Katsuki is seen watching him from a couch, seemingly holding himself back from going to him. Denki walks over to him and teases about how worried Katsuki was for him, and with a softer expression, says that he shouldn’t hold himself back if he wants to go to Eijiro. This seems to be too true for Katsuki to handle, as he gets up from the couch, and leaves, letting Denki collapse upon instead. Additionally, he addresses Katsuki by ‘Kacchan’, something left untried by anyone other than Izuku. In the manga Denki slaps Katsuki after he was caught yelling at some civilians but his reaction isn't known
The heavy number of interaction between the two, and the closeness Denki has managed to cultivate with Katsuki has made itself more than clear, and brought large traction to the pairing, making it one of the most notable for either character, even if it is overshadowed by the pairings of KiriBaku and KamiJirou. Due to how commonly the two are seen with Eijiro, the ship takes even more popularity in the context of a poly ship between Katsuki, Denki and Eijiro (KiriBakuKami).
The ship has 1,314+ works on AO3.
- Both Denki and Katsuki are amongst the 5 blondes of Class 1-A.
- Denki is the second closest friend of Katsuki’s, falling just behind Eijiro.
- Denki is the second character to call Katsuki "Kacchan", something that only Izuku Midoriya did.
- Bakusquad refers to the ship between the two, Eijiro Kirishima, Hanta Sero and Mina Ashido
- KiriBakuKami refers to the ship between the two and Eijiro Kirishima