Now that the third season of My Hero Academia! has started, it’s very relevant to take a new look at Midoriya and the drive he has to save people, no matter how bad the situation is. His personality is definitely one of the most important aspects of the series, and the fact that he has a very different background to other anime’s protagonist is what makes his character so unique.
Unlike in many other series, having a protagonist who isn’t driven by a cliché story is somewhat refreshing. Midoriya didn’t lose his parents, nor did he sworn vengeance on a lifelong rival. He was simply a kid who was born in a superhero society… without having any powers himself.
His motivation and drive was to become a hero. Of course, having no powers, it was always going to prove to be an impossible task. Nevertheless, his true inspiration was All Might, the strongest hero in the world. His meeting with Midoriya in the beginning of the first season shaped the story into what we have today.
All Might was the one who gave Midoriya a “quirk” (or superpower). Even if that hadn’t happened and Midoriya was to stay quirkless throughout the series, his motivation wouldn’t have changed. “Saving people with a smile” is the best way to sum up what Midroiya aims to become – which is exactly the type of hero All Might is.
Basically, Midoriya’s motivation has always been to become a hero like All Might, to become the best hero of all time.
Although the ending of the series is still uncertain, considering that the manga hasn’t finished either, the only thing we know by now is that his lifelong goal was achieved… After all, Midoriya always says: “This is the story of how I became the greatest hero of all time”!