「緑谷と死柄木」 (Midoriya to Shigaraki)
“Midoriya and Shigaraki”

And then, everything goes to hell.

The second day of the internships was fun, and I appreciate how we keep taking a moment to check in on other characters, both because they’re frequently amusing and because HeroAca’s strength has always been in its entire cast, even if Izuku still bears much of the story’s success. Seeing his training with Gran Torino, and how quickly he’s progressing, further expounded upon the differences between Deku and All Might. Izuku got his first hit on Gran Torino by diving under the couch, or to put another way, but taking control of the flow of the battle and forcing Gran Torino to react to him, rather than the other way around. His analysis and prediction is different from All Might’s overwhelming power. It’s a harder path, but also less stupid. There are things Izuku’s going to do that All Might could not, even if he’s not gonna be the Symbol of Peace in the same way All Might was. That’s good, though—All Might’s legend was vulnerable to one defeat, whereas Izuku’s will not. It’ll be more robust, even if he won’t be as reassuring of a symbol.

The conversation between Stain and the League of Villains is worthy of note only in how it led to the two factions being aligned, for now, even as they don’t agree in the least. Stain wants to purge heroes and villains, he believes the whole system is corrupt, and that “hero” ought to be an earned honor rather than a job title. Whereas Shigaraki, he just wants to burn it all down, and destroy those who upset him. Shigaraki’s chaos will further Stain’s goals, though, and besides, he can kill him anytime. This is most concerning for our protagonists because this is a strangely functional quasi-alliance. It’s not a typical “uneasy villain alliance” that could fall apart at any second, because it’s not really working as is. If it falls apart completely, it will be because Stain decides to kill Shigaraki. But it’s almost stable right now. There won’t be a wedge for the heroes to drive between the two factions, because they’re not really cooperating. That means, as the end of the episode shows, they can end up with two horrific threats operating at the same time, without any organizational weakness to exploit.

That’s . . . not good. To say the least.

I’m surprised that we didn’t get to hear whose DNA made up the original Nomu, though the reason became immediately clear when three more showed up. Holy heck, that escalated quickly! I did not expect Gran Torino and Izuku to get involved in an all-out crisis so soon, though that’s a good sign. The best stories often surprise by being more ambitious than assumed. It’s also awesome, because while Gran Torino and Izuku are both fairly well-suited to tackle the Nomus—Gran Torino because he’s fast enough to not get hit, and Izuku because he’s smart enough to outmaneuver them—this ain’t gonna be easy. All the Nomus are going to have multiple quirks, and be difficult to take down, even if they are dumb; they’re more like natural disasters than villains. Which means more fun for us viewers, woohoo!

Not so fun, though certainly compelling, is what’s happening with Iida. I’m glad that Manual (Ookuma Kenta) wasn’t so blind as to not see why Iida came to his hero agency, I just wish he hadn’t been so focused on the Nomu catastrophe as to notice Iida slipping away. I’m sure Manual would have gotten his ass whooped if he went up against Stain, but maybe his words would have snapped Iida out of his idiocy given a more serious situation, in a way this other guy doesn’t seem ready to do. Iida-kun finally taking up the name Ingenium while in pursuit of vengeance is an inauspicious start for the second hero to wear the name, and he’s going to take a lot of damage before he realizes what his brother would have wanted him to do. Hopefully he makes it out alive, and someone arrives to help him—though, given everything else that’s happening, Iida-kun may be on his own.

Random thoughts:

  • More people need to check out the rooftops. Villains just chill up there. Catch them, they’re in plain sight!

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.

Full-length images: 25.




  1. Ok, maybe I thought wrong before, but I find myself already in disagreement with Stain… is what I’d normally say, but I want to know more about him first before making my judgement, as even what he said this episode didn’t spell everything about him.

    I watched the first episode of Jikan no Shihaisha, and I wasn’t interested in that show personally. However, one important lesson I learned from that anime is that a conviction (or a strong desire) that may be malicious cannot be easily taken away. Something like that needs to be taken away the hard way. And that certainly applies to Iida now. The only question is, what hard way would it take for him to realize that all he wants is revenge, and that is not the path his brother would want for him, much less the path of a hero? Because I think Iida is unfortunately right about one thing. He has to do something about those emotions of rage and uneasiness that are eating him up from the inside.

    1. I mean, you should be in disagreement with Stain. He’s a terrorist and a murderer. That doesn’t automatically make him wrong about everything, but it makes him wrong about a lot.

      Iida should do something, it’s just that what he’s doing isn’t healthy. Therapy and meditation aren’t dramatic, though, so here we are! XD

      1. That’s what I mean. Stain will likely be wrong about a lot, but still, I want him to show me something that can either convince me to agree with him on some level, even if it maybe minimal, or make me think hard for reasons why it may be wrong, and then for that thing to be reasonably rebutted by Izuku and the heroes, and therefore develop them mentally for it. That’s my expectation for him as an antagonist anyway, a villain that makes me think on a different level than just story events, something Shigaraki isn’t fulfilling for me so far. What he said this episode didn’t make me agree with him at all. I mean, that would make Uraraka’s reason for being a hero wrong, which would negate all the reasoning we had that it doesn’t matter why anyone would become a hero, only that they do their job well. Which is entirely ludicrous on his part. Or maybe I’ve set my expectation too high and I shouldn’t have.

      2. Thank you stilts; this is exactly why I think those who call stain an anti-hero are completely mistaken. There seems to be a confusion amongst some people as to what the anti-hero archetype is. Hell, with that reason, heath ledger’s joker is an anti-hero and we all know that’s not really the case. He was right about gotham and how the city handles itself but he was going about solving that problem in the wrong thing. Anti-heroes are those who for the most part do the right thing but just for the wrong reasons

      3. @yoloalchemist

        Beware forcing your expectation on someone else’s work. They’re under no obligation to fulfill them. Hope if you must, just don’t get mad if you don’t get what you expect. Feel free to be disappointed if what you get isn’t good, though.

        (In case I wasn’t clear, my point is to not be disappointed if what you get isn’t the specific thing you wanted. Getting disappointed if what you got isn’t good in a general sense is understandable, though.)


        Anti-heroes are still heroes. Stain is a villain. I don’t mean that he’s an antagonist, though he is that too—villain has to do with moral alignment, whereas antagonist has to do with opposition to the protagonist (there are villain protagonists, after all). I mean that Stain is a BAD DUDE, and even if he’s not cartoonishly evil in all of his reasoning, he’s still a serial killer.

        I’d suggest, to anyone who thinks Stain is anything but reprehensible, that they examine why they’re empathizing with a serial killer in a story that’s not trying to make us do that at all. (Some stories try to get us to empathize with horrible characters, after all. This just ain’t one of ’em.)

      4. @sonicsenryaku
        I have never considered Stain to be an anti-hero. In fact, I’m hoping he’s downright a villain that’s gonna have some impact on the heroes in how they act from then on. The Joker wasn’t out to solve Gotham’s problems, he didn’t care about peace at all, he just wanted to “see the whole world burn”. But he was right about why it was not such a good city. I’d really like at least some part of that kind of impact from Stain concerning the state of the heroes. It is, after all, what drives him to do what he does.

      5. @Yoloalchemist

        Solve was meant to be in quotes. I didnt mean that the joker actually had the passion to want to fix gotham. However, there are enough hints in his dialogue throughout the film that his desire to watch the world burn is a result of a personal hang-up he has with the way society handles itself (as well as situations he has experienced in his past)

      6. It is not necessarily wrong to empathize with Stain. He is the embodiment of ‘the ends justifies the means,’ which defines much of politics throughout history. It is a very human thing to do, and is thus relatable on some level. I’m a little disappointed that you imply anyone who doesn’t hate Stain might have a psychological problem.

        He believes there is corruption in modern-heroism trending towards the desire of fame and riches. Yes, he takes lives and that is wrong, but his core ideals are something to consider. There is little difference in the ultimate actions he is taking from that of, say, the people fighting and dying in the Middle East. Some call them freedom fighters, others call them terrorists. At the end of the day, who is perceived to be on the side of justice is based on which side of the conflict you are: the oppressed or the oppressors.

      7. Serrompalot said exactly what I was thinking. I am commenting to show that more people feel this way. Living in the USA I see people that believe murder is justified as long as it meets our needs, regardless of who is being killed. My Uncle was a sniper in Vietnam. Many people consider him a War hero deserving of respect. I consider him a trained murderer. I don’t care what he was fighting for. What I’m saying is that it is subjective.

        I would assume that stain feels things are very wrong in the world and no one else seems to care. He can either chose to accept it and live his whole life in a system he detests, or he can do something about it, regardless of any support from others. The latter is a very hard thing to do for a human and will inevitably breed conflict and bitterness on both sides. I understand all of this well, but I also believe hurting others is wrong, no matter the reason. Unfortunately, those willing to take that last step and kill for their ideals are usually the ones who win the argument and change history (Think Sasuke or kiritsugu and how it degraded their sanity to do this.). The losers message is buried by the victor and measures are taken by the winning side to make sure rebellion won’t happen again.

        Honestly, I believe if stain were born quirk-less he would have done what most powerless peoples do all over the world. Accept the “norm” and try to be happy within those confines regardless of your own ideas of morality. It’s very difficult to live this way when you see so much wrong with the established idea of normality.

      8. @Serrompalot @beorn4200

        I didn’t say you should reject Stain’s rationale out of hand. What you should do is take it with a heavy grain of salt, because though even the reprehensible can be right—for a certain value of right—they are still reprehensible, and thus their reasons should be viewed with suspicion, even if, once viewed with suspicion, they still prove to be right. With Stain, he’s both reprehensible and wrong, even if, were I to set up this society (in an idealized sense, not as a storyteller), I wouldn’t count on costumed vigilantes when creating quirk-powered police seems so much more reliable. But I’m a boring wonk like that.

        I just get worried when people start talking about Stain as an anti-hero, or anything but the murderer he is. Too many people subscribe to the “ends justify the means” viewpoint, or that sometimes we must walk on the dark side to do the right thing. There may be some truth to that—nothing is as clear cut as our lizard brains would prefer for it to be, and killing, while really not preferred absent all else, is sometimes justified—but not as much as those who say that seem to think.

      9. I find that those who will not kill to protect the innocent from evil to be evil themselves. No society that will not fight to survive can continue to exist thus all societies must reject those who will not defend them and yes kill them as death is what a societies defenders risk it is unjust to let those who refuse to be a part of society to live while those who fight for a society die. If your society is evil you fight your society and die for it or at a minimum gladly go to your execution for failure to serve hopefully to make a moral point. I find few pacifists willing to disarm the police and let warlords enslave everyone.
        A society that considers it’s terrorists heroes has some deep moral problems. And it has a losing culture as terrorism is a losing strategy most of the time. Yes sometimes evils must be committed in war but one tries to avoid them and like the US destruction of over one hundred cities in Japan because they would not surrender when they had lost, it is not something the US celebrates. And not all revolutionary movements commit terrorism.

    1. The next episode is titled “Hero Killer: Stain vs U.A. Students“, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Iida-kun gets some help.

      But no, I don’t think Native is from Gunhead’s agency. Or at least, if he is I don’t think he was the guy shown this episode.

  2. Will Deku face All Might again and try to find some explanation for how he didn’t properly train him? I just find it ironic how this series started painting All Might as the defacto mentor, and then they switch it around by saying, “Oh no he’s too different to even realize that Deku needs to be trained different than the way he was.” Nice writing.

    1. It’s another way to show All Might isn’t “perfect” beyond merely the physical and can still make mistakes like anyone else. He’s also another example of the types of people that, while they may be great and/or powerful individuals, that doesn’t automatically make them great teachers for others.

  3. Stain and Shigaraki…two of my favorite types of villians. Stain has “noble” intentions but goes about it in a completely horrible way. There could’ve possibly been a time where he a good guy but unforeseen circumstances in life twist those morals, skewing good and evil. A path that Iida could go down if he pursues his revenge. As for Shigaraki, he likes destruction. Quite simple. And simple things can be the most entertaining. As long as he has fun, I’m good.


Leave a Reply to sonicsenryaku Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *