My Hero Academia S6, Ep 22 Review
Okay, this isn’t cool anymore, people! It was awesome at first to see Deku kicking villain butt, but now it’s getting way too dangerous. Deku won’t eat; he won’t sleep; he won’t even do his catchphrase in the previews anymore. The selflessness that drives him to be a hero is about to destroy him! It was painful to see in the manga, and the anime makes it even worse.
Man, this arc might be short, but it’s so good! It also hammers home what Horikoshi’s trying to say about heroes.
All for One is Playing Deku Like a Fiddle
I wasn’t joking when I called All for One the Devil. He’s a master manipulator, capable of playing people even when they know not to trust him. Case in point, he’s driving Deku into a corner. Getting so many heroes to quit forces them to bet more on the young man. The end result is even more pressure getting put on Midoriya, both by himself and by the other heroes. He’s the only one who can stop Shigaraki and All for One, and the latter knows it. When the heroes think they found out where the villains are hiding, all they get is a message from All for One to taunt Deku for his failure.
Everything happening can be called organized chaos, courtesy of All for One. He’s breaking the public’s faith in heroes, isolating Deku from everyone, and wearing the young hero down until something breaks. Izuku Midioriya will break physically, mentally, or emotionally from the weight of it all…and it’s working.
Deku’s Determination is a Double-Edged Sword
I remember seeing these events when they came out in the manga, and it felt my heart breaking for Deku. He insists that he’s fine, but he forgets to eat, sleep, or look after himself. In one heartwrenching scene, All Might’s trying desperately to get him to slow down, only to be left behind. He’s left in the same position Nighteye was in all those years ago, powerless to help his student.
A common trait found in many Shonen protagonists is the sheer level of determination they possess. It’s what pushes them to greater feats even as their bodies get broken to the point of near collapse. In Midoriya’s case, it’s his selfless, almost instinctive need to help others that makes him rush headlong into danger. However, now that strength’s being used against him. In one particularly poignant moment, people talk about rumors of Deku and wondering if he’s a Nomu or working for All for One, with most scared of him. This gets juxtaposed by showing how demonic Deku looks in his current state. If he keeps going the way he is, he’ll lose.
In fact, he almost comes close to losing when a villain who can control other people’s bodies sends a mob of civilians to gang up on him. He’s almost crushed…until Class 1-A arrives.
Many Symbols, Not Just One
I really enjoy My Hero Academia and how mangaka Kohei Horikoshi’s trying to portray a world where almost everyone has superpowers. As a result, almost anyone can become a hero, but only a handful become great heroes like All Might. All Might was the symbol of peace for Japan, but when he retired, that peace began to fall apart. It’s here that I think Horikoshi’s trying to teach us an important lesson about heroes.
The main flaw with the concept of a single symbol of peace is that the whole thing will collapse when that symbol goes away. That’s why it’s not often wise to bet everything on a single solution to a problem. Or, in this case, it’s not smart to put everything onto one hero like All Might or Deku. As powerful as they are, they’re still humans with limits and can’t do everything. It’s better to have multiple symbols of peace working in tandem, not just one.
Nowhere is this more evident than when Class 1-A shows up, having learned everything about Midoriya and what he’s going through. As Bakugo puts it, they understand why he’s doing this…but they also get that he’s the kind of idiot who won’t give himself a break. Thus, they have to bring him to his senses, whether he wants to or not.
I’m giddy with excitement over what’s about to happen next: Class 1-A vs. Deku. This is going to be a very emotional conflict that manga readers have looked forward to, while anime-only fans could end up crying over it. For everyone’s sake, though, Deku needs to chill out. Otherwise, he’s letting All for One win.
I Give “Friend” a 4.5/5
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