The Dark Deku Arc is Here, & it Rules!
My Hero Academia S6, Ep 19 Review
If I had to pick which was my favorite arc of My Hero Academia right now, one answer would come to mind: the Dark Hero Arc, AKA the Dark Deku arc. In the bleak aftermath of the Paranormal Liberation War, this arc sees Deku leave U.A. and become a full vigilante to protect Japan from the chaos AFO and Shigaraki have unleashed. While the series hasn’t shied away from the darker side of the superhero genre and things like the emotional toll and the death of comrades, the Dark Hero has MHA at its darkest. We see how far Izuku Midoriya’s come as Deku, but we also see him pushed to his absolute limits.
A Nation Gripped by Anarchy and Crime
Since All for One and Shigaraki broke into almost every prison and set their inmates free, Japan’s been in chaos. People have lost faith in heroes, who number fewer than ever, and have taken it upon themselves to fight back against the villains. We witness this first-hand when two students from another Hero School confront a group of civilians refusing to evacuate. They’d rather stay and fight back than trust the heroes in whom they’ve lost faith.
The presence of these vigilante groups is a very realistic outcome of what happened in the War. People will take steps to defend themselves when things get tough and they can’t rely on those they normally would. It gives us a sense of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation. It’s a good idea, but it can also hurt people unnecessarily when they get in over their heads. If the heroes chose to give these civilians training, they could be helping support and shore up their numbers, but that doesn’t happen in the story.
In any event, things get worse when one of the jailbreakers arrives and begins to wreak havoc. It’s Muscular, the psychotic villain Deku defeated during the Training Camp Arc. Considering how much it took Midoriya to defeat him the first time, Muscular looks set to slaughter everyone.
Then, Deku arrives.
Not a Student Any Longer
This skips ahead to the end, but I want to address it anyway. In a flashback, we see that Deku and All Might didn’t just tell the other heroes about One for All; they also told Deku’s mom. She’s naturally horrified to know that her son’s life is now in grave danger, more so when Deku admits that he plans on leaving U.A. to stop Shigaraki and All for One. This moment was heartbreaking because it reminded me of how Aunt May would react if she learned Peter was Spider-Man. She knows she can’t stop him, but she also can’t keep him safe, which is the worst thing a parent can ever feel. In the end, though, Midoriya’s resolve is firm as he goes from a student to a full-fledged hero.
One thing I liked about this flashback is that the pro-heroes don’t try to force Deku to go back to U.A. or go into hiding. They know by now he’s more capable than most pro-heroes, and there’s little they can do to stop him. As a result, Deku, All Might, Endeavor, Best Jeanist, and Hawks agree to team up to save Japan from All for One.
In the present day, we see just how far ahead of most heroes Deku is. He now has greater control of One for All and its stock-piled Quirks, creating smokescreens, flying, and using blackwhip, much like Spider-Man would use his webs. However, how he essentially one-shot’s Muscular shows how far Deku’s come. Only a few months before, he barely managed to beat the villain. Now, he’s so far above him that, even if he wasn’t already weakened, he could’ve taken him down with little effort.
I won’t lie: I felt like cheering when I saw Deku’s own Muscular.
Dark Deku Looks So Cool…But Also Worrying.
In addition to everything else, this episode also marks the first appearance of Deku’s latest costume, and it’s his best one yet. Combining the best aspects of his previous looks with a sense of weariness brought on by what he’s seen, Deku looks and feels like an actual hero. However, we’re already seeing how much he differs from those like All Might.
Firstly, whereas All Might and other pro heroes show themselves to the public and do everything they can to reassure them, Deku does none of that. He uses his smokescreens to keep people from seeing him, even when he’s on their side. As a result, he’s acting less like Spider-Man and All Might and more like Batman. That…cannot be good for his well-being.
Overall, I loved this episode; it shows how much Deku’s come into his own. At the same time, I can’t help but worry about Deku’s well-being, which will worsen as time goes on. Now the next episode will see Deku facing off against All for One’s assassins. GO BEYOND, PLUS ULTRA!!!
I Give “Full Power” a 4.5/5
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