「轟焦凍:オリジン」 (Todoroki Shouto: Orijin)
“Todoroki Shouto: Origin”

Izuku may have power, but he isn’t a prodigy. He’s a worker. He focuses and he works, even if it requires wading through miles and miles of pain.

Jesus tap-dancing christ.

There ain’t anything new under the sun. And, once I realized what Izuku was aiming for in this battle, I knew who would win. The rule of thumb in tournament arcs is to figure out who will learn more by losing, and they’ll be the ones who lose. Though that’s not entirely correct. The real rule: pick whoever will learn more by winning OR losing. In this, does Izuku learn more by winning, does Izuku learn more by losing, does Shouto learn more by winning, or does Shouto learn more by losing? Pick the one with the most absolute character development, and as long as it jives with the momentum, that’s probably the result. And in this battle, that held true.

But holy hell, that was phenomenal. It’s the best kind of battle between rivals and friends, because even though Izuku lost, he actually won. And the same goes for Shouto.

We learned a lot about quirks this episode. Even ones that seem unlimited like Shouto’s (or Katsuki’s) are physical abilities, and they have limits. Muscle fibers tear, and humans run out of breath. For Shouto, that’s symbolized by his body frosting over—though I’m sure he has absolute limits beyond that. Like Katsuki said, his ability is more like MP. But he can extend it by mixing his powers.

There are two things that made this battle so blasted amazing for me. The first is that, for the first half, I thought Izuku was doing it all for himself. Shouto’s focus was on his father, he thought maybe his damn old man paid Izuku off—he was focused on himself. Izuku, however, was screaming something else. “I am your opponent! Fight me!” All of his actions demanded that Shouto take him seriously, that Shouto focus the full might of his power on fighting him, or else Izuku would beat him, because he wanted it more. Because Izuku was willing to use his full power, to the point of re-breaking his fingers and arms, because it mattered to him. Because he didn’t want to let people down.

But I was wrong, and the realization, as it dawned on me, was oh so sweet. Izuku wasn’t pushing himself so far for himself. He was doing it for Shouto. And in the moment that Shouto smiled, Izuku won. He did not win this battle, but he gave the world a better, stronger hero. Shouto will live happier and save more people because Izuku fought him with his full might on this stage, and the world will be better for it. Izuku gave the world that, and he gave himself an eternal rival, and an eternal friend in the process. That’s the glory of good shounen manga/anime, and of HeroAca in particular. Characters like Izuku and Shouto don’t want to tear others down. They want to build them up, and then beat those stronger people even so. They want everyone to be better, and to still win.

Would that more people were like that. Be like that in your own life, dear reader. Izuku would want that of you.

The other thing that made this episode so amazing was Izuku’s grit. Izuku is a fascinating character, very much in the Naruto mold of being heir to an amazing power, but not having that power be all that defines him. He has to work for it too. Up to this point, Izuku has never really won by sheer power, though he has that too. He wins by grit, and determination, and wading through miles and miles of pain. Izuku isn’t a prodigy, he’s a worker, and while the prodigies primp and preen and assume everything will work out for them, workers like Izuku keep on working. That’s why he was able to bring out the best in Shouto, changing him from a prodigy too mired in his own circumstances to a worker who will do the work, with all his power, to beat people like Izuku. Or give them a damn good fight trying. Seriously, if we could all live our lives more like Izuku—before he gained his quirk, and after—the world would be a better place.

Put the work in. Work, wade through the pain, and do it for others. If you do that, you might not win, but others will be better for it. Which is the other thing that good shounen manga/anime, and good fiction period, do. It teaches us how to live better lives, or, when we’re too mired in our own circumstances, it reminds us.

Godsdamn that was awesome. Plus Ultra!

Random thoughts:

  • The other thing that makes All Might such a great hero is that he’s a role model, and in that Izuku is the perfect heir. His speech of self-actualization, and his saying of “I am here!” being about recognizing himself—compare that to Endeavor’s child abuse and domestic abuse. No contest. Endeavor will never be the number one hero, not only because All Might is better in every way, but because Endeavor is a terrible person. I’d rather live in All Might’s world than Endeavor’s—but either Izuku’s or Shouto’s would be fine too. The future is looking up for Quirky Japan.

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.




  1. I have not seen a perfect anime episode in such a long time. Shouto is my favourite character because he has such fantastic expressions that you can understand and feel his agony.

  2. This is one of those parts of the series that NEEDED a perfect adaptation, and Bones really just went above and beyond. I’m honestly shocked.

    The animation, the music, and especially the voice acting, everything was just how it needed to be. I’ve probably watched the “It’s your power” scene twenty times at this point. Even just the fight itself, things like Izuku’s cheek-thumb flick still got me even knowing it was coming.

    Such a huge, pivotal moment for Todoroki’s character too, as anyone can probably tell now. This fight just gets even better in retrospect seeing how it affects him in the story to come.

  3. Oh my god. Like, Izuku lost, but even so, I’m kinda not mad. And of course I wouldn’t be really mad, because, as you already stated everything that was on my mind Stilts, the way it happened carried the most character development of all the possible outcomes. I love how the prior episode as well as this one both displayed such great execution of how there are 2 layers of winning and losing to some matches.

    I’m just wondering how All Might will receive this development of events from his heir, because Izuku did what he believed to be the right thing, and it was indeed for the better, but that still doesn’t say anything about how they both feel of his loss (next episode might answer that). Shouto, on the other hand, from my perspective, other than winning the fight itself, won and lost something. He lost his original goal to give his father a middle finger, who frankly speaking deserved it. But in the process, he won something I think is much more important in the long run: Self acceptance. Because now that I think about it, had Shouto won just by using his ice quirk, that would mean he would never fully accept who and what he is (the middle finger would’ve surely only been a temporary satisfaction), and it will likely hinder him during his job had he been forced to use his fire quirk due to how emotionally sensitive he is to it. However, and this is key for his character going forward, how he accepts his new path, and how he will face his father from now on will be the focus for him, because I think a huge acceptance like that isn’t gonna come easy, especially when one thinks of what it means for his relationship with his mother. And by the way, I want to know more about Shouto’s mother. What we’ve been shown of her so far served the episode very well, but I feel like we’re not getting all there is to know about her. I’d really love it if they mend their relationship, because I believe she really cared about him and wanted him to become a hero like he always wanted but didn’t remember.
    And all of that is good, because it means his character didn’t reach its end in terms of development. He’s only just started, and I’m so looking forward to see how he goes from now on. Another testament of how Horikoshi-sensei makes us invested in his characters.

    1. I think All Might will be really proud of what Izuku has done, even if he may not be a fan of how much he banged himself up—that’s what knocked All Might out of commission to the point that he needed and heir, after all. But saving Todoroki shounen? Yeah, that ain’t something All Might is gonna be mad about.

      I think Shouto won far more’n he lost. The way to give his damn old man the middle finger is not by denying his power and never using his left side, which is hella passive-aggressive, but by giving him the middle finger directly. Telling Endeavor that he’ll never become the number one hero, and will instead endeavor (heh heh heh) to be he number two hero only, ought to do nicely. Imagine how pissed that asshole would be if his son has all the skill and power to become the number one hero, but purposefully sits at number two just to piss him off. It’d be great! And Shouto could still be the hero he wanted to be.

      Granted, I don’t know if Shouto himself would be satisfied with that, but that’s not my point. The point is, don’t be a passive-aggressive twerp. Tell the old man off directly, spit in the eye of his goals directly, and then report him to the police for domestic violence. That asshole.

      1. Agreed entirely about Izuku and All Might.

        About Shouto, aha, I could see how that can work. It’s be much more confrontational while at the same time it’d be like no sweat is broken compared to how Shouto has to work hard to make sure he’d use his right side only. Smart, and more effective!

  4. Oh man, when the sakuga hit I was squealing, oooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhh!!! With that epic track playing in the background, I was so hyped, same as when Todoroki iced up the giant robot, damn that shit is what gets me off!

    1. Forgot to mention, as expected of Nakamura Yutaka, the grandmaster of battle animation, the inverse impact frames, the block-destruction, the final scene reminded me of a mix of OPM’s final scene and Concrete Revolutio.

  5. This show is masterful at controlling the feelings of the viewer. It has so many emotional threads moving through this episode that even if one or more of them arent tugging on your heart some will, and when the show snaps them all tight you always feel it.

    Even though Shouto’s backstory and Izuku’s speech in the middle of the fight had the taste of some stereotypical shounen tropes they can still get me yelling at my screen in excitement for the climax. Between This fight and Urarara’s fight last week this is some of the strongest character development driven action I have seen since Gurren Lagann.

  6. As a manga reader, I came to see if the anime did justice to this epic moment of the series. It did. I’m so glad…

    …yet returning to this moment leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

    Although it was a good twist that Izuku managed to break Shouto out of his sell and awaken his potential, I can’t help but think that the true moral was bypassed in favour of turning it into a question of personal development. Perhaps it’s because I’m too used to my country’s laws, but what I keep seeing is a domestic abuser getting away with it and all the pressure being put on his victims. It’s Shouto the one who has to “correct” himself to be a better hero and overcome his hatred for his father, while the ugly reality of years of domestic abuse is left as a private matter instead of the crime it should be.

    1. Sometimes the bad guy gets away scot-free; the world isn’t so kind. Endeavour is the one with all the money and all the clout. Few are going to believe the words of a kid, even if the kid is his son. And even if they do, it’s surprising what a little money can do for you in shutting people up…

    2. Bakugou doing whatever he pleased to Izuku early on in the story set the stage that this kind of behavior for heroes is sort of tolerated by Academia’s society. So yeah, Endeavour getting away with what he did is pretty much par for the course.

      Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if that somehow comes around to bite Endeavour down the road. I’m betting some villain gets a hold of that information, leaks it and blamo. Endeavour eventually ends up in jail.

      Dorian S.
      1. The main problem I had (and still have) with Boku No Hero Academia’s treatment of this issue is that the moral seems less “it sucks, but Endeavor is the #2 hero and remains untouchable” (a point which, actually, is barely mentioned) and more “it sucks, but it’s a private affair and Shouto has to learn to deal with it in a more constructive way if he wants to become a really great hero”. The onus of improving the situation is on the victim.

        It’s not the first time I’ve seen this theme in Japanese media and it won’t be the last time it’s mentioned in Boku No Hero Academia. But saying more would be spoilers, so I’ll shut up.

      2. I can see that. That’s not how I took it, but I could easily be injecting my own assumptions into the matter. Wouldn’t be the first time manga/anime has corrosive views of bullying or domestic violence, emotional or otherwise.

      3. I don’t really get this onus thing TBH, or the focus on punishment instead of betterment. Yes, I agree that abuser should be punished, but whether he get his just due no longer has any bearing on the well-being of the victim. So it is still better for SOMEONE to help the victim.

    3. It’s tricky though, right?

      Endeavor is the world’s #2 hero. He probably has action figures and shit, or does the talk show circuit, or has Endeavor-brand fireworks or whatever. And he has presumably saved thousands, tens of thousands, more, in his time.

      Does that make what he does to his family okay? Not at all. But who would want to believe this of one of their greatest heroes?

      1. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Someone as old as Endeavor is probably set enough in his ways that he won’t change. That’s not true of all, but it’s true of many. I wouldn’t expect him to change.

  7. Damn, I know this show’s doing good, but that was like the best five minutes of this show so far! I’ve seen this coming, but I was still so amazed!!! I’ve watched the final scenes for like 10 times already but still not over it! Good job allocating the budget for this episode Bones! Epic!

  8. Izuku also gained a lot, after breaking everything he could afford to break, he started making attacks using all might that did not break anything even though they were a bit weaker. Izuku should start to use all might all the time without injury most of the time.

    I had not quite realized that All Might has a ranged attack of force waves until this fight.

    1. *One For All

      And good point. It kind of got lost in all the awesome, but Eraserhead noted that he was able to control it at the price of his power going down. The only reason he kept breaking stuff is because he was using 100% blasts, because he felt he had to (and probably did) in order to fend off Shouto’s attacks. He’s seen walking around in the preview, after all, which probably means his leg didn’t get torn up.

    1. I think Endeavor would have a meltdown if he ever finds out Shoto wants to be hero like All Might, the guy is monsters for what he did to his family, he´s no hero, he´s just a bully with a huge inferiority complex and I must say Bakugo is heading towards the same path considering his awful tempr and the inability to think of anyone besides himself.

      1. I dunno about that. It’s certainly a path Bakugou could take, and a more likely one than for any other hero character. But it remains to be seen. With comrades like his, maybe he’ll escape that fate…

  9. On a side note, Bakugo confirmed as an intelligent character. Not only he’s watching carefully the other matches, he also makes comments and guesses, and even explains the attention he put on his costume design to maximize his potential.

    now going back to being amazed about Izuku and Shouto 🙂

  10. Ok guys this is it, this is the reason I love anime so muuch! This episode was epic in all the awesome sense of the word! This reminded why got hook into anime all those years ago!. I have an incredible amount of respect for deku right now, of all the students and heroes in this story I think only him and All Might truly comprehend what is to be a true hero; it´s not about being the number 1 as Endeavor thinks, it´s not about beating the crap out of everyone as Bakutsu thinks: It´s all about doing the right thing, help others even when it hurts you or have nothing to gain, it´s all about reaching for someone when everybody else gave up.

    If this is Deku as hero student when he becomes a professional hero he will be the stuff of legends!.

  11. This episode had such a huge impact on me that I didn’t want to watch anything else afterwards, it was so hard to leave it behind. Deku was awesome in saving his rival, but it was impossible not to root for Shouto as well.

  12. I really didn’t felt much when I read the manga but the anime adaptation brought chills down my spine. The final exchange was so fucking awesome. I had an eyegasm and eargasm and was in shock for a good whole minute.

  13. In the one punch that Izuku landed, he could’ve ended the fight, but had to literally pull his punch as not to kill Torodoki. He was trying to land a 5% power punch.

  14. I don’t watch this anime though I read the manga. But your summary was quite good. Someone who goes all out in order for you to become a better person. I don’t know anyone who is like that. Being an immigrant of a different race in white suburbia, I’ve was met with racists and bullies from all walks of life. They drag you down instead of uplifting you. It wouldn’t be so bad if I had a close knit family but they were neglectful. I would say most anime touch upon the theme of friendship. I think that’s why others and I are drawn to anime.


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