Ochaco was the first new person Izuku interacted with when he first came to U.A. High. He met her for the first time when they were both about to take the entrance exam to get into U.A. While lost in thought, Deku accidentally trips on his shoelace and begins to fall as he heads towards the auditorium. Luckily, Ochako uses her quirk to catch him, saying that it would be a bad omen for him to fall. After Ochaco leaves, Deku gets excited that he just talked to a girl, even though he hadn't actually said anything during their exchange.
Just before the test Deku sees Ochako internally preparing for the exam. He wants to thank her for catching him, but Iida talks him out of it. At the end of the exam, a giant, rampaging robot threatens the students. It is meant to be a very dangerous obstacle the students are supposed to avoid during the exam. It isn't worth any points and all of the students are told they won't get anything for destroying it. All of the students run away except Deku, who sees Ochaco helplessly on the ground about to be crushed by the robot.
Even though Deku is absolutely terrified and has no idea how to use his quirk, he heroically leaps into the air and sends a full powered smash at the robot, completely destroying it and saving Ochako. In doing so, Deku broke both his legs and his right arm. He aimlessly begins to fall to the ground, and Ochako is there to catch him again.
Afterwards, Deku feels like he's pathetic, like he completely screwed up and didn't do what he needed to do in order to become a hero. However, in a video message from All Might regarding his admission to UA, he plays a tape of Ochaco going up to the teachers and asking if she could give Deku some of her points. Ochako really appreciates that he saved her life and feels bad about Deku not earning any points during the exam. Present Mic tells her that there's no need because they both were awarded a large amount of rescue points for their heroic efforts. They both were admitted to UA for their acts of bravery.
Izuku begins to develop a great friendship and camaraderie with Ochako at UA. At first, it's hard for Deku to talk to her and he gets flustered around her a lot (like when she changed into her skin-tight hero suit for the first time). He doesn't exclusively get embarrassed about or feel attraction towards Ochako. There are other girls as well. However, whenever he has one of these moments, Ochaco is almost always present or involved in some way. Over time, Deku gets more comfortable interacting with Ochaco without getting flustered. Their discussions are generally very bright and friendly.
Ochako turns his once demeaning nickname "Deku" into a positive identity for him, when she said it gave her a "never gives up" vibe. This is because in Japanese, Deku really just refers to "the ability to do something." Bakugo uses this in a negative way to mean "useless, unable to do anything." Whereas Ochako sees this in a positive way, like "You can do it!". Deku gets flustered at Ochako's words and instinctively agrees to call himself Deku. However, later we see that he really takes her perspective to heart, and fully commits to making it his official hero identity.
During the sports festival arc in season 2, Ochako notes that Deku and Mei Hatsume are getting along well. She gets a bit jealous of Hatsume during the cavalry battle after seeing Hatsume getting praised by Deku instead of her. However, just before she gets jealous, internally Izuku was actually praising Ochaco for cleverly using her quirk to make everyone but herself weightless.
After they move on to the sports festival tournament, Ochako has a fight coming up against Bakugo. Deku wants to help Ochako because he cares about her as a friend, so he comes up with a plan for how she could win the fight using her quirk. Ochako politely declines saying that in order to win, she can't be so dependent on others. She says it in a way that's very positive, endearing, and friendly. It shows that Ochako and Deku are strong and determined equals.
In the final moments of her fight with Bakugo, she's determined that she wants to win just like Deku did. While Bakugo and Uraraka had a good fight, her defeat was mentally and emotionally difficult. After the match, Bakugo asked Deku if he suggested Ochako her plan to win the fight. Deku told the truth, that Ochako had come up with her plan on her own, that the merit of her strategy was hers alone. Deku considers her a very capable person of devising strategic plans on her own.
Afterwards, Deku goes to see Ochako, and surprisingly it seems like she's taking it pretty well. Deku really cares about her and asks her if she's okay. She says that she's totally fine and that she's taking it well, but really she feels sad and upset inside about what happened. Just before Deku is about to leave to face off against Todoroki, she very cheerfully wishes him good luck. This shows that she sometimes puts the emotions and feelings of others before herself. After Deku leaves the room, she receives a call from her parents and she begins to cry about her defeat. Just after leaving the room, Deku overhears her crying, and he wipes some tears from his face, feeling bad about what she must be experiencing. He really cares about her and wants the best for her.
After the hero killer stain fight, Ochako is on the phone with Deku to check that everything's alright. She says that her heart was thumping like crazy when she heard what happened. Gunhead remarks about this, and asks if she's talking about love. Ochako blushes and denies this. Meanwhile, Deku is shaking at how good it feels to talk to a girl on the phone.
During the final exam arc, Aoyama asked Ochako if she likes Deku. She blushed and lost her focus on the dangerous situation she was in. It is from this point onward that she starts to realize that her heart is feeling stirred up when thinking about Deku. At the end of the season when she was standing next to Deku at the mall, she recalled back to the moment where Aoyama asked her if she likes him, and she immediately ran away from Deku, flustered. After regaining her composure, she re-assures herself that everything's totally fine, in a comedic/exaggerated way. She refuses to acknowledge that she wanted to spend all day shopping with Deku or anything like that, but it's implied that, in her heart, she really wanted to spend time with him.
During the forest training camp arc, Ochaco and Tsuyu engage in a fight with Toga. After Ochako pins Toga to the ground, she has a lot to say about her feelings for Deku:
"Ochako... You're a lovely one too. You've got the same scent as me. There's someone you're crushing on. And you're thinking you wanna be just like him. I can tell. One maiden to another. Of course you wanna be like the one you love. It's natural. So you end up decking yourself out to look like him. But after enough time, even that's not enough. You literally want to become him. There's no helping it. So what's your type? I love tattered guys reeking of blood. That's why I always carve people up in the end. Right, Ochaco? It's fun, right? A good romance is so much fun!"
When Deku and Ochako see each other after her encounter with Toga, Deku tells Ochako that she looks hurt. She doesn't want him to worry about her, so she says that she's okay. However, she also expresses the same towards Deku, that he also looks hurt. They both look after each other.
Just before the hero provisional license exam arc, Ochaco sees Deku standing in front of Hatsume's shop. As soon as Deku approaches the room, the door explodes open, and Hatsume is launched out of the room right on top of Deku. Ochako witnesses Hatsume's entire body pressed up against Deku, her boobs resting on his chest and she looks up at his face. Ochako looks very disturbed, and is horrified at the sight of Hatsume's boobs touching Deku. Later, Hatsume tries to get a feel for Deku's body for his new costume upgrade. She feels him up everywhere and describes that he's more ripped than he looks at first glance. Ochaco is very disturbed by this.
On one of the nights before the provisional license exam, Ochaco is sitting in the dorm with the other girls and she tells them that her heart has been stirred up lately. Mina blurts out to everyone that's it's because she's in love. Ochako accidentally makes herself float out of embarrassment in front of her friends while simultaneously trying to deny that this is the case. She spins upside down in mid-air, heels literally over her head, and stares out the window in love-struck awe at Deku training outside.
Deku has an encounter with Toga during the hero provisional license exam. Using the blood that she acquired from Ochako, she impersonates her, making herself look and sound exactly like her, costume and everything. Deku catches Toga (who has the physical form of Ochaco) as she's falling. Just as disguised Toga is about to betray Deku and try to take him out of the contest, Deku sees right through Toga's disguise and says that the real Ochaco would have used her quirk if she were falling. Toga then transforms back into the form of Camie using her blood, so she can hold her cover. When Toga (disguised as Camie) sees Ochaco again, she tells her that Deku trusts her a lot.
After that round of the exam is over, Mineta and Kaminari interrogate Deku about the fact that they saw Camie (who was naked at one point) with him behind a rock and wanted to know everything about it. Ochako witnesses this commotion and feels awful about it. She felt fine before the exam, but doesn't know why she's feeling so bad now. When the next round starts, she sees Deku grow a bright smile and assure a mock civilian that everything is going to be okay. As he's running off, saving the civilian, she's awestruck looking at him. She doesn't know why exactly. She knows that she thinks that Deku is really awesome, and her feelings are getting the best of her. However, she also feels that in order to really try as hard as he does to be the best she can be, she needs to keep her feelings for him under control.
Ochako's feelings later resurface for Deku in the joint training arc when she thinks about Deku spending time with Hatsume. They are on the same team as each other during the joint training. And when Deku's black whip quirk takes over and starts destroying everything, Ochako jumps in and hugs Deku as he's painfully spinning around in mid air so she can calm him down. Later, when Deku wakes up from his trance, Ochako asks if Deku's okay, and Deku starts worrying that Ochako's injured. After the joint training, Mina teases Ochako about how passionately she was hugging Deku. Ochako gets very red and says that she got ahead of herself, but she also said that she didn't want to not act and regret it later. Deku gets very red in response to this.
On Christmas, the whole class participates in a random gift exchange in the dorms. By coincidence, Ochako receives an All Might keychain from Deku. And Deku receives a bag of Mochi chips from Ochako. Deku looks ecstatic and is sweating profusely. Ochako smiles and blushes.
In chapter 253, the class 1A girls are changing in the locker room as the All Might keychain Deku gifted to Ochako accidentally falls out of her costume. She panics while trying to quickly grab it before the girls notice, but it's too late. Mina teases her about it and Ochako assures her that it's not what she's thinking of.
In chapter 256, Deku apologizes to Ochako for letting his quirk get out of hand and possibly hurting her, but Ochako dismisses it as if nothing ever happened. Ochako then tells Deku about how his Black Whip quirk inspired an upgrade for her costume, then going on to say that they've improved each other. They give each other a fist bump. Deku smiles and blushes, and Uraraka smiles back. Mina is jumping for joy at the sight of this while Mineta looks traumatized.
On AO3, IzuOcha is the third most written ship for Izuku and the most written ship for Ochako. It is the eighth most written ship within the My Hero Academia tag.
BNHA has never had a particularly strong emphasis on romance, therefore it is noteworthy that the supposed crush of Deku and Ochako on each other is technically the first one way or another confirmation of romantic feelings between the characters of the franchise in general. At the moment, this ship remains the only pairing in a show of this kind, which especially emphasizes it against the background of other het ships with a large number of ship tease like TodoMomo.
|SHIPS||het||IzuOcha • Kacchako • KamiJirou • KiriMina • TodoMomo • TogaDeku|
|slash||BakuDeku • EndHawks • EraserDeku • EraserMic • Hot Wings • InaTodo • KiriBaku • KiriDeku • ShinOji • TodoBaku • TodoDeku|
|femslash||OchaMei • MomoJirou • TsuChako|
|CHARACTERS||male||Izuku Midoriya • Shoto Todoroki|