When it comes to the world of amateur heroism, the proper channels are never flowing the way they should. Police are so hung up on solving cases that they miss the bigger picture and professionals pass the young’s concerns off as imagination. That’s why it’s always up to the ragtag group of teenagers to band together and…oh, the adults already saved the day? Well…good. I’m glad. It’s not like there was going to be a cool moment where everybody forgot their fear and hesitation in order to band together and save the day or anything. What’s that? A villain blinked and levelled a city block? Well, sure is good All Might is around. Always trusted that guy, never once thought he wouldn’t be on top of things and totally didn’t buy a silly disguise to sneak by any abandoned warehouses, no sirree…
So, Bakugo got swiped, this our heroes know. What was kept hidden from them, however, was the actions of people whose job it is to save the day. You know, professional heroes…and the police. We’ve been told since the beginning that these are the professions our cast have been training to enter, so Kirishima and crew should have at least considered the possibility that they would be on top of things. I mean, we as an audience have an excuse, namely that this is a Shonen series and everybody outside of the main cast is usually hopeless. But boy did they prove us wrong. There were tactics, there was a simultaneous assault on two enemy compounds, Mt. Lady used a truck as a leg-weapon. It was awesome. It entirely negated the actions of the previous episode, but it was awesome nonetheless, perhaps even more so because of that. So long have we watched with our focus on Class 1-A, that we can forget there is a larger world beyond. Sure the series reminds us that there are threats the fledgling heroes are unprepared for, but they always end up facing them anyway. This situation is different. 1-A was completely unnecessary, their presence adding nothing and potentially holding the possibility for complications in the near future. So yeah, it may sound dark, but never have I felt more fulfilled by a pointless quest and the complete uselessness of major characters.
Speaking of uselessness, Bakugo spends most of his time this episode doing his best to keep on top of a dire situation. Surrounded by villains and severely lacking in options, it’s all he can do to goad his opponents in an attempt to buy himself some more thinking time. Though far from the high-point of the episode, it’s always nice to see Bakugo utilising his intelligence above Explosion. Despite this, Bakugo too is victim to upstaging this episode, with All Might saving the day before he can even try to save himself. This changes the mood somewhat drastically and provides us another glorious moment of Bakugo struggling against his awe of All Might and his immense fury at having his pride sidelined. This all moments after Aizawa declared, on national television, that Bakugo is far stronger of will than the villains give him credit for. It’s quite the emotional roller-coaster and a rapid-fire manner in which to round out how others see Bakugo, contrasting the villains’ attempts to add him to their ranks. Turns out being attacked by a sludge monster, entering U.A. Academy, winning the Sports Festival and behaving like a rabid dog on the victory podium leave quite an impression on the world. Go figure.
On the topic of impact, I am glad the professional heroes are given even an instant to shine this episode. Mt. Lady has been relegated to the background since her first introduction and Kamui Woods received a similar treatment…due to Mt. Lady. Best Jeanist has also remained a somewhat enigmatic joke, thus far existing to look denim and reign in Bakugo’s ‘do. This time around, Mt. Lady kicks a building in half, Kamui Woods wraps up the entire League in an instant and Best Jeanist does similar with a hefty amount of Nomu. That guy called Edgeshot can also apparently stretch himself to the point that he can enter someone’s body and mess with their internal organs, which makes you glad he’s a hero…and then keeps you up at night knowing that there is probably a villain somewhere who can do the same thing. Nevertheless, I will put that fear to temporary rest and focus on the flawless victory achieved by the forces of justice and that part where Gran Torino kicked Dabi in the head, because that was funny and well-deserved. Also, there is something far more immediate to be far more afraid of…
All For One. Who would’ve thought that swapping two words would bring about such a sense of abject terror? Remember that all-consuming evil that All Might warned Midoriya about before the Sports Festival? Turns out he’s here now and that is bad news for everybody, like, the worst news. Apart from looking like the most obvious villain in the history of evil, he is insanely powerful and stole Ragdoll’s Quirk, allowing him to monitor and observe one-hundred people at a time. Combine this with whatever he has amassed over the years and he is a homing missile of malcontent and malice. All Might may have warned Midoriya about this evil, but seeing it is intensely different. In an instant, All For One caused more damage than the army of Nomu let loose with the specific purpose to destroy. In an instant, he levelled heroes who could handle said Nomu with relative ease. In an instant, we were shown the overwhelming force that could stop All Might…and it was terrifying. The League of Villains is fathomable, they hold Quirks that we can understand. Dabi burns things, Twice makes copies, Shigaraki destroys what he touches. All For One stands still and heroes fall…and I don’t even think he’s trying yet.
So let’s try and sew this situation up before All For One rips it wide open, even further than he already has. Bakugo was in danger, then he wasn’t, now he is again. The professional heroes had a plan, they enacted said plan, they succeeded in said plan, then said plan fell apart and monsters appeared out of everywhere. Kirishima and crew tried to spy on the abandoned warehouse, they found Nomu, said warehouse exploded, the day was saved and then the entire street exploded. In other words, I am emotionally spent and horrified about what is going to happen in the immediate future. Bakugo managed to stand his ground against Shigaraki, but how will he fare against All For One? How far does All For One plan on going now that he’s revealed himself? All Might couldn’t beat him when he didn’t have a time-limit on his power, how will he fare now? How many new powers has All For One added to his repertoire? How will Kirishima and crew avoid being obliterated? Will they avoid being obliterated? Shonen tropes normally prevent those kind of main cast casualties, but this series has featured actual consequences, so I don’t know what to think anymore. Can fight-or-flight kick in because of an anime?