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Deku Alone! The Birth of the Vigilante Hero!

My Hero Academia S6 Ep 18-Deku, the Vigilante

My Hero Academia S6, Ep 18 Review

We all knew this moment was coming, even if we were anime-only fans. From the moment Endeavor overheard Shigaraki say “One for All,” Deku and All Might couldn’t keep their secret under wraps for much longer. They’d either have to tell the other heroes, or let the public find out for themselves. What results is the episode I’ve waited for all season, as Deku makes a faithful decision with potentially dire consequences. 

My Hero Academia S6 Ep 18-Deku and Shigaraki
Source-Viz Media, Shonen Jump, Watchcartoononline

The True Nature of One for All Revealed

My Hero Academia S6 Ep 18-Deku, the Final Wielder of One for All
Source-Viz Media, Shonen Jump, Watchcartoononline

The first half of the episode occurs inside Deku’s mindscape as he converses with the previous wielders of One for All. This whole scene was pivotal to the story in the manga, and the anime manages to capture that importance and improve upon it. As it turns out, there’s more to One for All than even its past wielders knew. Its raw power is too much for those who already possess a Quirk Factor, causing it to overwhelm and destroy their bodies from within. In simple terms: having One for All shortens the wielder’s lifespans.

The good news is that this drawback doesn’t affect Deku, and neither did it affect All Might. Since they had no Quirk, their bodies adapted to this new power and made it their own. The bad news is that going forward, if Deku wanted to pass his power down, it would have to be to another Quirkless person. And since they’re becoming increasingly rare…Deku will likely be the last person to inherit One for All.

Deku Will Save Everyone…Even a Villain

My Hero Academia S6 Ep 18-Deku Shows His Resolve
Source-Viz Media, Shonen Jump, Watchcartoononline

This whole scene hammers the point home: Deku is the last chance to stop All for One for good. And the vestiges of the past wielders hate having to do this, especially Shimura. She’s guilt-ridden, knowing that her decision to give up her son led to the birth of Shigaraki, and she’s in tears over the fact that Deku might have to kill her grandson. However, what follows is one of the best scenes in the anime.

As Deku’s gained more control over his Quirk, he’s been able to manifest more inside his mindscape. As this entire scene continues, and Midoriya’s resolve at wanting to save Shigaraki grows, his will manifests itself by letting more of his form appear. By the end, he’s gone from barely being able to speak to having his mouth fully visible. The meaning’s evident: Deku’s resolve to be a hero has matured. I loved this moment; it symbolizes how Deku’s come into his own as a hero. He’s not a student anymore, nor can he be.

What follows, though…is bittersweet.

One for All’s Secret is Out

While all this is going on, Hawks and Best Jeanist come to All Might asking questions about One for All and Deku. From the start, All Might’s reminded his student of this one rule: keep One for All secret. It’s like how Spider-Man works so hard to keep his secret identity under wraps: if people knew, he and his loved ones would be at risk. However, All Might recognizes that Shigaraki’s forced their hands and that if they don’t explain it now, things will get worse. So, he tells the heroes everything. Thankfully, they keep their mouths shut about it to the press. It’s like a lowkey equivalent of Spider-Man unmasking himself in the Civil War story in the comics. Unlike Spider-Man, though, Deku can’t wipe everyone’s memories.

My Hero Academia S6 Ep 18-Deku Says Goodbye to his Classmates
Source-Viz Media, Shonen Jump, Watchcartoononline

Nor does Deku want to. After he wakes up from his coma, we see him write handwritten letters to all his classmates, telling them the truth. How he got One for All from All Might, how All for One and Shigaraki won’t stop until it’s theirs, and how his staying at U.A. will put everyone in danger. As a result, Midoriya drops out of his hero academia. When we see him at the end of the episode, he’s not a student anymore: he’s Deku, the vigilante.

My Hero Academia S6 Ep 18-Deku, the Vigilante
Source-Viz Media, Shonen Jump, Watchcartoononline

I personally loved that final moment in the episode. It’s an iconic scene showing how Midoriya’s forced to fight alone in a world falling apart. It reminds me so much of Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PS4: the lone hero fighting evil as his city’s falling apart. It’s awesome; bittersweet but awesome.

Next week, we start the Dark Hero arc, one of the darkest arcs in the series as we begin the endgame. This is going to be good, though, so get ready to GO BEYOND, PLUS ULTRA!!

I Give “Izuku Midoriya and Tomura Shigaraki” a 5/5

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