The three do not interact all too often as a whole, due to Hitoshi’s differing (first year) class (1-C) from Mashirao and Toru (1-A). However, separately, the trio do have notable interactions with one another, especially in the case of either Hitoshi or Toru with Mashirao, rather than each other.
Toru and Mashirao have the closest bond out of the bunch (above Hitoshi/Mashirao and Toru/Hitoshi). From the start of their first year at U.A, they quickly attracted each other, and were shown cultivating a certain closeness in the background of the series, due to neither having a prominent role in canon. The two are known to be somewhat plain, and have a lacking of subjective “flashiness” (as Toru is invisible, and Mashirao simply has a tail), which both seem to be rather insecure about at times. However, they both speak out against this fact for each other when needed; a chapter of the spin-off series, “Team Up Missions” had Mashirao and Toru sent off to deal with a group of kids. As they present their quirks, Mashirao is criticized for being so boring, which visibly upsets him. Upon seeing/noticing his discomfort, Toru quickly denies these statements, as she finds him amazing either way.
Mashirao and Hitoshi do not meet until the Sports Festival; Hitoshi selects Mashirao to partake in his ‘horse’ for the Cavalry Battle, alongside Nirengenki and Yuga. However, at the start of the battle, Hitoshi brainwashes all three of his teammates, leaving each of them with no memories of the battle. Mashirao decides that as he didn’t truly do anything in the battle, he did not deserve to move on to the 1v1 fights, and albeit begrudgingly, he retracts from continuing in the Festival, not without a glare towards Hitoshi. Their next encounter is until the Joint Battles; Hitoshi proves to be mildly nervous upon seeing Hitoshi again, but after finding that Mashirao doesn’t carry a heavy grudge against him, if one at all becomes relieved.
Hitoshi and Toru have not directly interacted in canon, although Toru did give her angered opinion after seeing Mashirao, a good friend of hers, retract from his spot in the Sports Festival due to Hitoshi’s treatment of him in the Cavalry Battle. However, like Mashirao, she doesn’t hold a grudge against him, and sees him as yet another friend. Additionally, Toru is known to take quite the liking to boys she deems ‘pretty’, and as proven by a comment by Denki, Hitoshi is counted as one of such ‘ikemen/pretty boys’, and thus, fits into Toru’s likings.
As poly ships tend to draw less popularity (as compared to two person pairings), ShinOjiToru is not particularly popular in the MHA/BNHA fandom, even ranking below most ‘rare-pairs’ due to the lack of interactions between Mashirao and Toru towards Hitoshi. However, like any pairing, it has gained relative attention, and holds a decent fanbase for itself, especially in the case of fanfictions containing other poly pairings . It is more popular when broken into the pairings of OjiToru or ShinOji as well.
The ship currently has 38+ works on AO3.
- OjiToru refers to the ship between Mashirao Ojiro and Toru Hagakure
- ShinOji refers to the ship between Hitoshi Shinso and Mashirao Ojiro
- ShinToru refers to the ship between Hitoshi Shinso and Toru Hagakure