Boku no Hero Academia (Season 2) – Ep. 20

 

Boy, those internships didn’t last for very long. I think everyone’s reactions to each other’s experiences was about what I expected. I confess to chuckling a fair amount when Froppy just casually mentioned the events of the filler episode. I guess that’s one way to treat your anime original content. It’s a huge shame that Deku, Iida, and Todoroki have to stay quiet about them defeating Stain (yeah, Endeavor totally beat the guy). I still think the boys deserve medals for their work but alas, this is the kind of society they live in.

One moment that really stood out to me was when Kaminari says that he thinks Stain is, in one way, cool. Boku no Hero has already shown how Stain’s arrest affects the villains but now we’re seeing how this is affecting our heroes in training as well. Not that I expect Kaminari to side with the villains but it’s worrisome sign if youths are taking interest in a serial killer. These are future heroes we’re talking about it and they will influence the current society one way or another. I have to give Iida credit for playing it cool and tell Kaminari that there is nothing wrong with thinking Stain’s perspective is sound so long as you recognize that his methods are not.

One of the things I really like about Deku’s arc is while he doesn’t always win in competitions or games, his progress is still very evident. Sero was a natural winner for the rescue race since he can easily traverse with his tape quirk Spider-Man style. But with Full Cowling, Deku is able to move in a way that he’s never been able to before and that naturally awes everyone (except Bakugo who hates it when Deku takes cues from him). All Might naturally recognizes Deku’s growth the most; even when it looks like Deku fails, All Might knows his pupil has gotten one step closer to becoming the next Symbol of Peace.

Speaking of All Might, he sure dropped quite a lot of details this episode! I had a feeling there was a story behind One for All and All Might’s explanation did not disappoint. It fascinates me that One for All is actually the accidental work of a criminal who wielded All For One, a Quirk that lets one steal and forcibly transfer other Quirks. It’s a sort of Yin and Yang dynamic, right down to the names of the quirk. That also means that All Might as “The Symbol of Peace” could not have existed had it not been the actions of that criminal from so long ago. The origin behind One for All also elaborates on how All Might got his critical injuries. Apparently, that man with All For One has lived for a very long time and one of All Might’s responsibilities was to defeat that man once and for all. Though All Might won, All for One is still at large (he’s flat out confirmed in the post-credit scene) and All Might now has those injuries that limits his use of his Quirk. That means that, at some point, Deku will have to defeat All For One.

 

I’m not quite sure how to interpret All Might and Deku’s last exchange. Deku says he can do anything with All Might at his side but his mentor struggles to tell the pupil that there’ll come a time when he can’t be there to help him. All Might has become far grimmer character than you would expect. His lovable and carefree persona is almost a facade to how deeply he thinks about being a hero and his successor. Deku is an extremely appropriate choice of successor (he’s as selfless as All Might is) and yet I don’t think All Might had considered the possibility of Deku fighting All for One until now. Now, All Might is forced to figure out how to best support his pupil. Maybe Deku does need this kind of support right now but it’s certainly cruel not to tell him the reality of the situation and All Might knows that.

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