「爆豪VS麗日」 (Bakugou VS Uraraka)
“Bakugou vs Uraraka”
Now there’s a hero.
That fight was a thing of beauty, even if it wasn’t the kind of fight that had me wondering about the conclusion up until the end. With the next match, Izuku vs Shouto, I could see the story going either way, but with this one, Bakugou’s victory felt preordained. That should always be cause for doubt in fiction, for as soon as you think you know what will happen, a disreputable storyteller will throw you a curveball—and all storytellers are disreputable. Yet Bakugou’s power is such that it didn’t feel like Uraraka had a shot. That meant it came down to how it happened, as opposed to the straight result.
This time, we were right. As an occasionally wise, albeit thoroughly evil
man lich once said:
“There’s always a level of force against which no tactics can succeed. You can have your finely-crafted watch—give me the sledgehammer to the face any day.” -Xykon, The Order of the Stick
Bakugou proved that. Uraraka had a good plan, and an even better secret plan, and the toughness to see them through. But Bakugou possesses a level of force against which none of Uraraka’s tactics could succeed, at least this time. She gave it her best, she laid it all out on the field, and he blasted her hopes away—even if it took more for him to do it than either Uraraka or most of the audience realized. Force won the day, as it so often does.
Bakugou wins, but it’s in two sentences from him that the real glory of the fight is exposed:
“All right, let’s get serious then, Uraraka!”
“What part of her was frail?”
Some people will say you shouldn’t hit girls. They’re right. You also shouldn’t hit boys. Don’t hit people! In everyday life, I mean. But if someone enters a tournament such as this and fights you with all they’ve got, you do them the courtesy of punching them. Or blowing them up, as the case may be. Bakugou isn’t really a good person, and he’s often blinded by rage, but in some ways his eyes are clear. He doesn’t see Uraraka for the slight girl she appears to be. He sees the resilience, and the determination, and the threat she poses as a competitor who’s gotten this far. Like with Todoroki, Bakugou could so easily be a cliche. It’s moments like this that prove he’s not, and illustrate why a raging asshole of a bully is often one of this excellent show’s most interesting characters.
One last thing on Uraraka, though I could write a thousand words more. Did you notice how, when the chips are down and she’s reaching deep to keep going, it’s either her parents or Deku-kun she thinks of? I don’t know that she loves Deku any more than she loves Iida, which is to say, as friends. But he might be her hero. Or at least he’s her star. This is a relationship that feels meaningful and earned, and I love it.
Though, well. One more thought on Uraraka: her father is right. She’s so kind, it’s clear that she’ll be a great hero. Her strength is Deku’s strength, the strength to cry, to feel, to care. She’s one of the good ones.
I’m not crying, you’re crying! *sniffles*
I was stoked for this episode’s fight, and it delivered. I’m equally stoked for the coming clash, for all different reasons. This is one that could go either way, even if I certainly have my guesses. (Mark and tag any spoilers, you glorious bastards.) But the faces of the competitors, especially after Endeavor just had to stick his nose into things—shudders, man. Izuku will stick up for Uraraka in front of Kacchan, and for Shouto in front of his father. He might be a scaredy-cat by nature, but when it comes to doing what’s right, his courage incarnate. I think Endeavor galvanized Izuku, and he’ll fight even better for it. Which Endeavor will probably appreciate, but I’m fine with agreeing with him, just this once.
Just as long as someone punches that smug attitude off his face eventually. That’s another time punching is okay, by the way. I’ll make an exception for this guy.
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: I get it now!; Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; and The Carcer Principle.