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「Doujin Review」Tododeku: Tohka

It's no secret that I'm into My Hero Academia (otherwise known as Boku no Hero Academia) and my favorite pairing is Todoroki Shouto with Midoriya Izuku (Tododeku). 
I do look at ships concerning other pairings in the series as well, but since this is the main pairing which I ship and I also collect a ton of doujinshi (doujins) about them, I thought I'll take the chance to highlight one of my favorite artist for Tododeku: Tohka!

Please note that as I do not have permission to showcase any page in the doujin itself, I will only be showing the cover of the book. As the four books are primarily in Japanese, my introduction will include a brief premise of the story. Although Tohka does not typically draw R18 stuff for Tododeku, do note that there is one R18 book in here, that I will highlight later.

Left: One Week Sidekick (一週間サイドキック; Isshuukan Sidekick)

Characterization: 4/5
Story: 4/5

This story follows the later part of their training as heroes, probably closer to their graduation. In this, the A-class is split into pairs, where one would take the role of Main Hero and the other would take the role of Sidekick. The sidekick would then be ranked according to the teacher's (Aizawa) and the main hero. Here, Todoroki is the main hero and Midoriya is the sidekick.

The book is rather long and emotional. It starts of by touching on how protective Todoroki feels for Midoriya, going to the extent of using an ice wall to break Midoriya's fall from a height he would be able to manage alone. 

It then goes on to cover how this protectiveness actually stems from Todoroki's insecurities about his relationship with Midoriya: even long after All Might's death, Midoriya is still keeping his relationship with All Might under wraps. That signifies Midoriya's lack of trust to Todoroki and they grow slightly more distant, but we all know what is the real reason behind Midoriya keeping this secret, which allows us to empathize with Midoriya better in this scenario.

Eventually, after pairing up with Bakugou-Tsuyu pair, where Tsuyu is the main hero and Bakugou is the sidekick, we get a daily dose of Bakugou's enraged yelling and Tsuyu's calmness as they play the role of cupid to this Tododeku relationship. This enabled both Todoroki and Midoriya to return to how close they were before and at the very last part of the book, they actually made a promise to remain together, grow stronger and overcome obstacles as one.

One line that really struck me was Midoriya saying that because they (are in the minority that) are able to achieve their dreams, the only path for them to take (as heroes) is to become stronger. Midoriya and All Might are really inspirational characters throughout the series and I love how this aspect of him shines in this book.
Right: The book where Midoriya-kun and Todoroki-kun are doing XXX in the gym warehouse (緑谷くん轟くんが体育倉庫でXXXする本; Midoriya-kun to Todoroki-kun ga taiiku souko de XXX suru hon)

Characterization: 4/5
Story: 2/5

If it isn't obvious by the title yet, this is a R-18 book, depicting explicit male/male sex. There's not much to say about this since it doesn't really have much of a plot, other than the fact that it was mentioned that Todoroki loves pleasuring Midoriya and finds it alright if he doesn't climax in a session, so long as Midoriya enjoys the action. Cue in Midoriya finding that unacceptable and sets his mind to (unintentionally) "seduce" Todoroki and get him to enjoy the session as well and... well, that's in the gym warehouse!

While there isn't much of a plot, I do enjoy seeing the interaction between this pair, and realistic reactions, such as Midoriya being extremely uptight about keeping the gym equipment clean in their session. I also did enjoy the inserted humor into the book, such as Todoroki stoically suggesting to burn all the dirtied equipment. 
Left: Ichibanboshi my hero (一番星マイヘーロー)

Characterization: 4/5
Story: 4/5

This book follows Todoroki and Midoriya while they are working as pro heroes. They face a lot of troubles with scheduling and meeting up despite seemingly working in the same agency. Hence, when Todoroki moved out, he passes a key to Midoriya who graciously accepts to stay over on weekdays and goes back to visit his mother on weekends.

As they are also already in an established relationship that is kept under wraps from the public, we get the drama of the paparazzi capturing an photograph of them that shows Todoroki kissing the top of Midoriya's head, and suddenly the fact that they are living together and in a relationship is public. This causes problem for both the reputation (since homosexuality isn't acceptable via societal standards) and for their agency as well.

This sparks them to question why they are dating in the first place, as well as re-awakens them to reality and the burdens that they are shouldering, societal expectations on heroes, as well as how much they depend on each other.

Endeavor and Todoroki organizes a press conference, trying to cover up the issue, but Todoroki, against his better judgement, goes against his father's plans and confesses that what is in the picture is the truth, and that he has never liked anyone before Midoriya, regardless of their gender.

Given that this could have potentially crushed Midoriya's dream of being the Number One Hero, he is very surprised to see Midoriya return back to their shared apartment after the press conference. And what surprises him more after that, is Midoriya taking out a ring that he bought. They then exchange rings and Todoroki admits that he wants to become Midoriya's strength, and a hero that Midoriya can always count on.

After a blank intermission page, we are also treated to a scene where the two men dress up in tuxedos and get married, with the promise of finding happiness together.
Right: Doppelt

Characterization: 4/5
Story: 4/5

This is one of Tohka's longest and most controversial book by far. We start with Nezu bringing in a cat with a quirk and threatening Midoriya to keep it. The cat was a part of research about giving people quirks, and if the research were to succeed, it would drastically change people's opinions on quirkless people, as instead of being worthless and useless, they can now become vessels that can hold any quirk of choice.

Note that in this book, it is mentioned that Midoriya has been hurting himself a lot with One for All (OFA) and Nezu wishes for him to pass down OFA quickly before the damage on Midoriya's body becomes irreparable. The passing of OFA to anyone would be favorable, even to Todoroki.

After the cat starts living with them, the three of them get closer. But on the flipside, it also makes the cat question if Midoriya can be truly happy without a quirk. Todoroki joins in as well, by discussing that Midoriya can still be a hero despite being quirkless, but as that is far from what Midoriya himself considers a hero to be, Todoroki also wonders if Midoriya can be truly happy without OFA.

Eventually, the cat is accepted to the institution that Nezu was in, and from there, the cat would get certified for having a quirk and hopefully also become a hero like Nezu did as well. Both Midoriya and Todoroki start missing the cat after it left them for the institution, but the time together with the cat also gave Midoriya new-found resolve.

Midoriya requests to be given permission to keep OFA until he reaches thirty, and on the other hand, he starts considering how he could reduce the load on his body if he devises better combos with Todoroki that uses more/equal parts of each other's quirk.

This ending to the book really touched my heart because Midoriya had always been one that's really huge on cooperating, and his decision to devise new battle formations and plans with Todoroki makes it seem as if he grew as a character, and matured. It's amazing how I can feel his character growth in just one doujin! While Todoroki didn't have as much character growth, his insights into Midoriya's personality and what being a hero means to Midoriya clearly states the extent and depth of their relationship, selflessness and understanding for each other.

I genuinely love Tohka's storylines and how each character is melded nice into the story enough to give new believable insights into their personalities that may not have been gleaned from the original manga or anime, but still keeping them nice and in-character.

My favorite books would have to be Doppelt and Ichibanboshi my hero, as they both touch on deep emotional concepts, dark pasts and their effects, as well as some trust issues. Tohka was also able to present the depths of these issues in a way that fitted Todoroki, Midoriya and Tododeku perfectly. The slow-paced storytelling that Tohka's doujins have is very much appreciated, as they do play a very important role in creating that 'other world' for me to be drawn into when reading their doujin. 

Unfortunately, if slow-paced stories aren't your thing, you might be bored out at the start, but I'll recommend that you push on because the feels that you get at the end of the book would be worth it! Also, Tohka's doujins are generally longer than average, so be prepared to dig or request for any fan translators who are willing to translate the book to English!

~ Reina-rin

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