Due to being in separate classes, and fields of heroics, Katsuki and Hitoshi have not interacted all too commonly, although this does not completely inhibit their interactions- including future ones. However, after the announcement of the Sports Festival, a crowd of students come to gather outside of the 1-A homeroom to block the class from leaving. Minoru Mineta asks why they were there, to which Katsuki answered, “Scouting out the enemy [small fry].” He adds that since their class had already had their first encounter with villains, and thus, more experience, it was likely the gathered students wanted to see how strong 1-A truly is for themselves.
Katsuki then proceeded to address everyone as “extras” as he attempted to leave. Before he can, however, Hitoshi makes his way to the front of the crowd, and states that he’d heard 1-A to be “pretty impressive”, but Katsuki simply sounds like an ass. Katsuki angers at this, but Hitoshi continues to speak before he can shoot back; he finds himself disappointed to discover that 1-A, especially Katsuki are all just a bunch of egomaniacs. Hitoshi adds that he, and his other peers who hoped to make it into the hero course but failed could, depending on the results of the Festival, be transferred into the hero course, and that Katsuki shouldn’t get too carried away or he’ll “sweep his feet out from under him.”
Afterwards, two simply stare at each other until Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu rises to make his own proclamation. Katsuki begins to walk away after this; Hitoshi’s eyes follow him as he leaves. Hitoshi doesn’t show up often past, minus his Eraserhead-oriented debut in s5, where he gave a key mention that he wasn’t in U.A to be friendly, or bond with anyone in the slightest. These words not only tie into that of Shoto Todorki’s, but to Katsuki’s more-or-less nonverbal approach to this concept.
Hitoshi and Katsuki hold a few similarities. Both are perceived as unheroic, for their quirks and attitudes respectively, but retain their unwavering desire to become heroes in spite of it. Katsuki's competitive spirit often provides inspiration to his classmates, something Hitoshi aspires to do as well by becoming a hero. In addition to sharing their ambition, they both have personalities that are disagreeable on the surface and have been shown to struggle to work with others. On they surface they tend to be aloof and solitary, but they still end up surrounded by students that see them as their friends.
Outside of the amass of KamiShin, and to a lesser extent, ShinDeku, Hitoshi is not relatively popular in the shipping community of the MHA/BNHA fandom, as this is typically reserved for members of 1-A. However, ShinBaku has a fairly large number of fans, pushing it far out of ‘rare-pair’ territory, but not quite into the category of ‘popular’ ships.
ShinBaku gained the majority of its popularity from the similarities in either boy’s original stances on the concept of friendship, or close bonds in general. As Katsuki has evolved so far, with the help of Eijiro Kirishima and Denki Kaminari, many would like to see Katsuki’s emotional growth truly flourish by helping someone out of a similar mindset to what his once was. There is also, of course, the appeal of seeing two former rivals come together and realize their similarities.
- Katsuki and Hitoshi’s pre Sports Festival interaction was the first of Hitoshi’s appearances in the series.