When a fire consumes its fuel in one glorious spectacle, a truly memorable flash is seared into the memories of those there to witness it. However, with its power source depleted, it is only a matter of time before it burns itself away. Now, Todoroki’s situation is not that metaphorically morbid, but the analogy is still a pretty sound one. Especially when applied to this episode as a whole.
With the explosive clash we have been waiting to see already over, this weeks affairs are of a much lower key. The cruel sadness of this being that the matches we see this week are the quarter and semi finals. Thus, despite their best efforts, Iida, Tokoyami, Bakugo, Kirishima and even Todoroki are not able to elicit the sheer thrill of last weeks fight. Not that I really expected anything else. After all, Midoriya vs Todoroki was the climax of the plot laid out before us. Though the Tournament Arc provided a solid backdrop, it was that clash we longed to see. And we have seen it. And we are tired. Emotionally I mean, there’s only so much heroism and personal revelation a person can take. Todoroki himself mentions being confused following his pyrocentric outburst, having been so focused on himself and his opponent, that Endeavour and the horrors he committed simply faded from memory. Is it a sombre way to continue Todoroki’s victory? Yes. But I cannot fault it for the truth behind it. Sure Midoriya helped heal a wound in Todoroki’s heart, but pain of that nature is not simple. Though impossible to truly mend Todoroki, Midoriya tried and that is apparently more than anyone in his life has ever done before. And that was more than enough.
Speaking of the protagonist, he is not doing well. However, though three out of four limbs are broken, it is his inability to meet All Might’s expectations that pains him. His failure to tell the world, “I am here.” Of course he is the only one who thinks he failed, but it goes a long way to show just where Midoriya’s priorities lie, even after destroying his own body. That in mind, Recovery Girl comes in as a friendly foil to All Might this week, chastising him for the pressure he puts on Midoriya’s shoulders, believing that both of them tend to overdo it. To further draw that line in the sand, she outright refuses to heal Midoriya from self inflicted injuries, demanding they find away to utilise One for All in a safer manner. And I cannot blame her. As powerful a message as Midoriya sends every time he willingly harms himself for the sake of others, it is still a glaring weakness in his abilities. With powerhouses like Todoroki, Bakugo and Tokoyami in his class, not to mention the other students who have proven they can hold their own, it may be damn time for Midoriya to figure out how to not blow up his arm when he clenches a fist. Sure he has made some progress, landing a few blows on Todoroki without reducing him to a fine red mist, but that is far from enough and he now carries a scarred and battered hand to prove that point.
Something I was not expecting this week however, was a look into the past of All Might, as brief as it may have been. Answering Midoriya’s fears that bestowing One for All upon somebody with a Quirk already would create a truly infallible hero (Can you imagine Todoroki with All Might’s strength on top of his own?), All Might reveals that he to was once Quirkless. I’ll admit, this is hardly a revolutionary idea, the master being just like the student and all, but it really struck me. Since we first entered this world, All Might has been the pinnacle of heroism. He is the embodiment of everything our cast strives for, an unattainable goal that the will never stop chasing. Even professional heroes simply defer whenever All Might is on the scene. That’s how ridiculously unreachable his level is. But to find out that he once had no power, not even a joke one, is something special. No longer is he simply Midoriya’s goal, he is Midoriya’s example, the proof that his dreams are not impossible. It’s a truly sweet moment that strips away everything about these characters, leaving them as two simple people who share the same dream, shared the same past and strive towards the same future.
Unfortunately for said future, a dark present seems to be looming in the way. With the last few weeks dominated by the Sports Festival, a brief glimpse into the world at large reveals a much more sinister plot afoot. Seemingly decrying the current state of heroism, one character has taken action to cleanse society: Hero Killer Stain. Though the extent of his actions are unknown to us, Iida’s brother, Ingenium, is one apparent victim. Our introduction to the horror a full fledged villain can be. Even worse, Stain has garnered the interest of a familiar face (and cloud of shadowy mist) who wishes to parlay. Now, I don’t know about you, but the last thing I would want is a group of viallins who tried their damndest to kill All Might, Eraser Head, Thirteen and a whole class of students to team up with somebody whose pseudonym is: Hero Killer.
Even with all of this added to the table, there is still a little room left for some Sports Festival fighting, with the finals rollin’ up next week and bringing us Bakugo vs Todoroki. It’s honestly anyone’s game and I’m looking forward to seeing these two dynamos duke it out on the grand stage. I am curious as to how much of said fight will comprise next week’s episode however, as it seems pretty darn likely that Midoriya, and our focus, will follow along with Iida and his personal drama. Regardless, stain is definitely leading the charge into the next arc of this story, especially considering his claims that he will only allow All Might to kill him. Not sure how far said statement ventures into the realm of death seeker, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Stain doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who will wait around quietly. As Ingenium can attest to…
It’s fine now. Why? Because My Hero Academia is on Crunchyroll