Plus Ultra, All-Might. Plus Ultra.
Everything I love about this series was encapsulated in these last two episodes. We got to see more of exactly what makes Deku so awesome. Bakugo got to continue being the most likable unlikable person ever. There was more All-Might in action. And there were plenty of heroics from side characters, all over. But one thing I was really hoping to see was an engaging villain in All For One. Did I get it? I’d say he did a fine job.
All For One is a bizarre villain who’s both incredibly entertaining… and rather meh. I love the actual presentation of his character. He’s almost this inhuman thing and his very presence is enough to fill people with dread. He’s the opposite of All-Might in that regard. Just being there, All-Might fills people with hope. So the parallel of All For One inducing such despair that the kids nearly blow chunks is great. And it’s not just that. His personality is entertaining to watch. He’s absolutely awful and loving every minute of it. I especially liked his fascination with himself and the powers he was using, cataloging the combinations out of some nerdy desire to experiment with them.
But I dunno. I wasn’t especially wowed by him, either. He’s a villain I don’t see myself caring one way or another if I ever see again. Fun while he was there, but didn’t leave enough of a lasting impact for me to be floored by him. All he really did for the latter end of the fight was goad All-Might by pointing out how he killed All-Might’s predecessor and turned her grandkid into a villain.
Big shock. The villain tried to break the hero by talking in a series where a lot of the point is the philosophical and ideological clash between the heroes and villains. Except all he really did was say how her (and, by extension, All-Might’s) ideals were stupid so he crushed them. Shigaraki is far more compelling in that aspect. One of the things that make the villains so compelling in this series is that they have their own fairly strong ideologies and such. All For One is just… evil. He thinks the ideals of the good guys are stupid and fragile and flawed and blah blah blah. You get the idea. But he doesn’t really get into it beyond him personally finding them “unsightly.” Meanwhile, Shigaraki actually has a somewhat valid point in his own contempt for them. Taken to a radical extreme, but the point is valid.
What I was more interested in was the fight between All For One and All-Might. To put this into perspective, I already knew how this ended. I read this far in the manga. And yeah. It wasn’t the most visually stunning thing ever. I knew it wouldn’t be. But there’s more than one way to deliver on a fight. The end result was still extremely satisfying because of what it wound up becoming. It was basically an answer to the doubt that the villains were instilling in the public throughout the entire series. All For One wanted this fight to be a “decisive blow” against the faith people had in the heroes. And the result? All-Might punched his face in (again) and stood tall to restore that faith despite everything. Including his condition being made public. That is awesome. And that little message to Deku at the end managed to be both heartbreaking and, in a way, inspirational. A nice note to go out on with this arc.
These episodes were obviously Super Effective. Episode 48 was probably the strongest, overall. But the resolution to Episode 49 was pretty much perfect. The fight wasn’t amazing, but it was cool. And it packed a nice, emotional story into things as well. I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here. Buuut I am looking forward to whatever cooldown will (hopefully) take place in the next episode. I think the break will indeed be needed. If you want your action to be a bit showier, the last few episodes of Black Clover might have something for you.
My Hero Academia is Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Saturdays at 5:30am EST. And both Seasons 1 and 2 are also available to stream. That’s all for this time, guys. Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome.