The #2 Pro Hero is known for being an airhead — but, could that just part of his public image?
Pro Hero Hawks, also known as Keigo Takami, is possibly the goofiest character in My Hero Academia, consistently making light of bad situations and obsessing over his idols as any normal person might. Though, it's widely debated by the anime's fan base whether Hawks' air-headed personality is only part of his Hero persona.
Hawks has moments of seriousness, as any hero with his level of responsibility would — which leads to the possible misconception that the hero is only acting up for his fans. Whether he's in or out of his persona, Hawks proves you can get stuff done while still having fun and making jokes.
There's no question that Keigo acts like a dork around Endeavor. Endeavor is his idol, and from childhood, Hawks has placed Endeavor on a pedestal aiming to be a hero just like him. He would always watch heroes on TV and was gifted an Endeavor figurine by his mother, so it's safe to say Hawks is a fan.
Additionally, Hawks grew up with an abusive father, so heroes were an escape from that reality. In the end, Endeavor was the one to arrest Keigo's father, so his adoration for the Number One Pro Hero stems from more than childhood obsession. The dorky goofiness Hawks shows around Endeavor is a genuine part of his personality. It comes from a place of awe and thanks and isn't something faked for a more likable persona.
Recent chapters of the My Hero Academia Manga have been more on the serious side, but Hawks never fails to add some light-hearted charm. In Chapter 340, "The Story of How We Became Heroes: Part 3", Hawks and other Pro Heroes are discussing the next steps towards the final battle. One part of this conversation involves Ragdoll, one-third of the hero group Wild Wild Pussycats, wondering how she can help without the use of her quirk.
Ragdoll follows her point by saying "Nya," and Hawks replies in the exact same way. It's assumed this is a character trait of the Wild Wild Pussycats or a motto used between the trio, so Keigo using the phrase was just him repeating something he thought sounded cute or nice. His goofy personality is present around fans and heroes alike, and it adds a relatable aspect to Hawks' character.
Outside of general trickster behavior, Keigo is often seen as almost painfully awkward. Some of Hawks's goofiness likely stems from being in some high-stress and anxiety-inducing scenarios, such as being undercover as a double agent. Being generally awkward and silly could be his way to cope with the stress of his job, using his personality as a mechanism to deflect from the embarrassing situations he sometimes ends up in.
For example, when the Public Safety Commission tells Hawks he has to infiltrate the League of Villains, he questions them. Immediately, he recognizes that he spoke out of turn and said too much, so he hides his face with his jacket to hide his embarrassment. This endearing act shows Keigo's normalcy, as anyone would feel awkward and self-conscious accidentally speaking out in front of such an important organization.
Hawks is a fun-loving character who brings much-needed light-hearted quips to an otherwise serious anime — and he's relatable. Overall, Keigo seems to be someone who just genuinely enjoys making jokes and being a bit awkward, sometimes using this to cope with some more difficult things. Hawks's genuine goofiness makes him an excellent character who will hopefully keep supplying the audience with moments of cheery optimism in future arcs.
Subscribe to the CBR newsletter for exclusive comics, TV & movie news, reviews, interviews & much more!