The next to last episode of My Hero Academia! The final exam ends as our series protagonist Deku and his “rival” Bakugou finally face off against the Symbol of Peace, All Might! Come follow along with me to talk about how it all pans out in 5 Point Discussions! Remember to share this on Facebook and RT it on Twitter if you liked this, and contact me @SageShinigami if you have any questions or comments!
1. Unsurprisingly, All Might makes just as good of a villain as he does a hero. Dude’s all strength, and whatever threat you thought the other teachers posed to their kids, All Might’s so many times worse. While watching Bakugou throw tantrums and attack Deku for the “sin” of daring to try such novel ideas as “teamwork” and “strategic planning”, all I could think of was how badly I wanted to see Bakugou get pounded into the dirt for being such a complete asshat.
…And then I got that and more, as All Might tossed them both around like ragdolls. It gets brutal, from the way he slams Bakugou’s face into as surfaces as he can, and even beats Bakugou with Deku’s limp body. It’s horrifying to watch, but these two will face much worse in the future as some of the most physical heroes in Class 1-A, so as weird as it is to say it still feels like the training they needed.
2. As one of Deku’s biggest fans, this episode highlights one of his biggest flaws: he has a bad tendency of idolizing people. He immediately suggests running from All Might not just because he doesn’t believe he or Bakugou can win, but because he views All Might so highly he can’t even conceive of fighting him. At the same time, he can’t communicate with Bakugou because for so many years he viewed him as this unstoppable ace that was so obviously going to achieve every goal he has in front of him.
It’s cute, but it’s also going to have to end if he’s going to have any chance of reaching his own goal. You can be an inspiration while looking up to others, but not when you idolize them so much you can’t even conceive of properly interacting with them.
3. While Deku’s flaws were on full display, the show also went out of its way to show off both his and Bakugou’s more endearing traits. Battling All Might is easily the toughest thing either of them has ever done, but neither of them quit or gave up on their path of heroism. After having his gauntlets smashed to pieces, Bakugou still attacks even when it’s damaging his body because he has to be noticed, he can’t be looked at by anyone as anything less than the best at everything he does. As much as I think the character’s a spoiled brat, he’s got the kind of steely conviction that any shonen fan has to respect.
Meanwhile Deku captures what most heroes in the show would call the essence of heroism. It was annoying watching him be too afraid to face All Might or work with his partner, but by the end he’s carrying Bakugou’s unconscious body because the one thing that overrides every other instinct in him is when he sees someone that needs saving, he has to save them. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t “have” to, it doesn’t matter how he damages himself–he just springs into action, because that’s what heroes do.
4. We come to the end of finals, and there’s a brief summing up near the conclusion of the episode that I wish could have gone on a bit longer. They talk about what each team may have gained from their time, and remind us that two teams did fail. But since the episode (and the series) is winding down, we only get a glimpse of what that means—all four of the kids that failed did so because they didn’t have to grow much during the year. They arrived with a basic level of competency and despite the unusual challenges they’ve faced, haven’t needed much else to progress. The teachers finally presented them with a unique wall that would force them to grow or finally fail, and hopefully going forward we get to see how that affects them.
5. Next Week: It’s the final episode! Deku runs into the leader of the League of Villains, which continues to expand their ranks for a dangerous attack in the future. How will our hero survive? And what comes after this?
I’m not really happy about the fact that they’re ending the season on this. I guess it’s meant to be a cool down after the finals, but from what I remember in the manga, this was a tense showdown that leaves more questions than answers, which won’t be answered any time soon. Hopefully we get a season three in the Spring of next year, because the series really starts to ramp up from here.
My Hero Academia is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.