「決着」 (Ketchaku)

Stain is defeated. Mostly.

I find myself with strangely little to say, because everything that transpired here was the culmination of everything the arc was building to, and by the end of last episode it was clear what shape that would take. Save for one element, but I’ll get to that. This episode brought to fulfillment Iida’s journey back from the brink of revenge to being the kind of hero his older brother would have him be—and he still got to be the one to (in part) take down Stain, with his second aerial kick probably the one that broke Stain’s ribs. None of which should minimize how impressive the action was up to the last second, small details and all. I’m especially happy that the UA kids got to take down Stain themselves, instead of having a pro come in to clean up. They earned this victory fair and square.

The element that was up in the air was whether our heroes would get to capture Stain, and once captured, whether he’d stay that way. Turns out no, but it didn’t last. Stain is a great villain because he has a moral code, twisted though it may be, and because he shouldn’t be as strong as he is. The UA trio says as much—his quirk is good, but against multiple opponents it’s not nearly as overwhelming. No, it’s Stain himself that’s so damn powerful, and seeing him murder the last Nomu and then freak out everyone so much that even Gran Torino and Endeavor felt it is—well. Someone like Stain should never be “liked”. He’s a serial killer who slays without remorse, and his warped philosophy is repugnant because people can change, dammit. Stain is a character who should be despised . . . but that doesn’t mean, deep in my heart, I don’t feel a begrudging respect for a man so tenacious he can frighten pro heroes and stay standing even when he’s unconscious. It’s like—you know those sci-fi stories where there’s a bunch of alien civilizations, and humans are the scrappy, ruthless bastards of the galaxy? There’s a dark delight in one of our own being that much of a bastard, and being so damn good at it. Because we humans, all of us, are fucked up like that.

Side note: Endeavor might be a royal bastard, but he’s certainly good at his job. Though seeing Gran Tornio corner in midair and take out one of the Nomus before Endeavor could even attack was perhaps my favorite Nomu-centric moment. The old man’s still got moves.

Next week is the aftermath. If it’s anything like the beforemath, bring it on, and bring on the revelations/foreshadowing of who is making these Nomus, because color me intrigued. I can feel the plot heating up.

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: 34.




      1. The manga implies it’s sheer intimidation. I’m so glad that they included the scene between Tenya and Tensei, in the past, it was so funny when Tensei made an that analogy of what he thought was a cool hero and Tenya taking him completely literally. The manga added in an extra joke before hand where Tenya asks his brother why he wanted to be a Hero , to which he replies “bexause they are cool.” Shocking Tenya before bringing up the ananlogy of bringing a lost kid to the lost kids counter and saying how the guy who does that is the coolest in his mind.

    1. The subs I had were pretty unclear. It almost sounded like his broken rib puncturing his lung brought out his power in a new way or something. Like, he used his ‘fear’ on himself, Shin no Ippou style? I dunno.

  1. I’m pretty sure you meant villain and just mistyped, though I find it pretty incredible how so many people online watched the episode and expouting his cause as noble, proclaiming him to be an anti-hero (he is not a hero, I’d only goes as far as labelling him as lawful evil).

    Its clear that Stain’s actions have had a profound effect on the story so far, and having read the manga, and seeing the clips of next weeks episode, I’d say the aftereffects of his actions still have a ways to ripple. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Stein is definitely not chaotic, given that he operates by a very strict and rigid set of law/standard (that he set himself). He’s more like a lawful “end justify the means Templar extremist”.

  2. (Not so) fun fact, the author mentions the reason why that winged Nomu chose to target Deku
    Show Spoiler ▼

    (Not much spoiler, I think, because there isn’t any further mentioning about this issue again as of now.)

  3. It’s ironic when you consider Stain’s depiction in the Illegals spinoff manga
    Show Spoiler ▼

  4. Great episode – again….just the agony as usual to wait another week. Then the same for GoT later tonight….Oh well…delayed gratification is a good thing sometimes…Loving the pacing and glad to Iida back to his senses and was able to save Todori’s arm and probably the final blow to Stain. Was good to see Endeavors powers used in those creative ways – climbing a wall, spear throw. I asked this elsewhere but how is it that Endeavor is so strong where a punch from him can stop a nomu? that’s not normal human strength there…Is he almost as strong as All Might just a tad lower on the scale since he has his quirk of fire?

    1. Considering what happens later….Show Spoiler ▼

      I think All Might is still a good amount higher than Endeavor on the power spectrum. Do take note though that power is not the only determining factor to hero rankings, and that the Nomus sent to Hosu have been said to be a lower level than the one sent to USJ

    2. @Kurik

      Agreed with the others, seems to me he’s using the explosive force of his quirk to power up his punch, either on the back end (propelling his arm faster) or, more likely, at the point of impact (a relatively strong punch that then explodes with fire, kind of like Bakugou).

    3. Well, this is essentially a comic book setting, so sometimes people who are just really strong can be depicted as performing feats that are beyond what would normally be expected from Human strength. It’s worth noting that Endeavor does work out. Like, seriously work out. He does hardcore weight training and other stuff. He’s actively pursuing his goal of surpassing All Might, not just paying it lip-service.

  5. A loose ribcage bone punctured his lung. I doubt he’ll be able to survive from that, even with medical treatment! I thought his defeat was satisfying, but it was plain out of nowhere, and I can imagine fans thinking it was anti-climactic.

    1. A punctured lung is very survivable with modern medical treatment, the actual chance of survival depends on the nature of the injury and speed with which the injury can be treated. A broken rib can cause everything from surprisingly little damage to a nasty injury, it depends on how deep it penetrates and how much it moves. But given that I’ve seen combat medics and trauma teams save soldiers with shrapnel and gunshot wounds to the lung in a combat zone Japanese paramedics and hospitals should be able to do it in the middle of a sizeable city.

    2. Nah, a punctured lung is entirely survivable. I mean sure, it depends on how severe his other injuries are, how bad the puncture is, how much more damage the bone does before it gets removed, etc., but this sort of thing is by no means a guaranteed killer. Get him to a hospital for surgery, yes. Prepare the morgue, no.

  6. I think a background reveal is coming up to explain why Stain is the way he is, but at the moment, my view of him is that he is someone with a warped, ill based grudge against how the current state of the heroes is and goes around punishing those he deems unworthy of being heroes. But it’s the why that puzzles me, because otherwise, I think the reason he rescued Izuku is because he believes Izuku passed his “test”. He must’ve seen something in Izuku that made him rescue him. It would make sense that he wouldn’t do that if Izuku didn’t regardless of the fact that crime rate goes down in the cities where Stain operates, implying that he goes around doing vigilante work. He believes heroes are ones that do great deeds; are those “great deeds” just anything that can meet the benchmark set by All Might, the one person he’d accept to kill him? Is anything other than the desire to make people awe at a hero’s accomplishments considered phony for him? That’s how I interpret his view of “great deeds”. In which case, I just don’t agree with that, because everything All Might did was what any hero of his caliber would’ve done, and it was all for the sake of the people.

    I believe it’s not enough to just say he is outright a villain, not a hero or anti-hero. He’s more complex than that. He’s not a hero or an anti-hero, he is a reflection of what a warped mind about heroes would be in this setting. A villain that is the product of disappointment and jadedness, even though misplaced, out to make a statement to heroes instead of outright opposing them and being this society’s traditional villain. Stain is genuine for sure, but he also feels lost with the times. Still, I can’t help but to see a point in some of the things he says, but not what he does. He is someone who is striving for perfection in the hero profession, but his view of perfection is the crux of the problem. The end doesn’t justify the means, but that doesn’t mean the end is something to be dismissed entirely. One always has to strive for perfection, if only to become better. Iida himself acknowledged that when he admitted Stain was right about him.

    I think I need to know even more about him.

    1. He explicitly said in a previous episode that Izuku (and Shouto) passed his test, whereas Iida did not. That, along with his stated desire to take care of the Nomus after he got some hero killin’ in, is why he saved Izuku (or more correctly, killed the Nomu and didn’t kill Izuku).

      You can certainly call him a villain, but that doesn’t mean he’s one-dimensional. His position within the story is of antagonist and villain, and he’s a murderer to boot. There is complexity there, though. We’ll probably learn a little more about him, or have characters talk more about him, though I don’t expect that’ll last for long. I get the feeling that Stain won’t keep reappearing like Shigaraki will, or if he does, it’ll be in a long while when things go from bad to way, way worse.

      1. Him killing that Nomu was probably my favorite bit in an episode filled with them.

        He’s a monster, but once he decides you’re worth saving, he’ll walk through any fire to see you safe.

      2. I disagree. There was no reason for him to grab Izuku and could have let him fall to the ground. If you watch a little further, he clearly has one hand on Izuku and kills the Nomu with the other.

  7. Stain is a purist. At heart he is a supporter of true heroes (those who are pushed forward by the relentless desire to better the world). Every hero that is in it for fame, revenge, or any other stupid cause that deviates them from the role of the true and pure hero is a target in Stain’s book.

    Todoroki and Midoriya passed his test because they were heroes doing heroes stuff: Rushing into peril, despite the odds, to save those threatened by Stain. Ida was motivated by revenge, (he even ignored Native)so he was a fake…
    Stain is obviously demented, but amidst his chaos he strives to cut down the weeds (fake heroes) to let the true ones shine.

    I’m curious to why he hates Endeavour and All Might so much… Maybe he believes that at this point they are in it for the same and personal gain, maybe there’s some specific background linked to this. Waiting anxiously for next week’s episode 🙂

    1. He specifically does not hate All Might. He’s the one man he considers true hero enough to let him [All Might] kill him [Stain].

      And I’d watch it before ya start talking about “true” this or “true” that. It doesn’t matter why someone does something, so long as they do the right thing. Actions are what matter. Motivations can bleed over into actions (Iida seeking revenge, and thus ignoring Native), so they’re worth paying attention to, but in the end it’s all about what we do.

      1. One’s motivations for doing something can however color how others perceive our actions and to varying extents affect how they see the world. For example, if All Might is the kind of hero that does heroic stuff for fame or money, would he still be able to inspire others with a noble vision? No. And if the hero society on the whole acts like this, people will come to see heroes as just licensed mercenaries and heroism as something that can be bought. Of course all heroes only act when they stand to gain something in return, be it the adoration of the masses, monetary rewards or the satisfaction that the old lady has crossed the road safe and sound. But a person who does it just because it’s the right thing to do and the one who does it because he can get a pretty buck for doing so: who would you prefer?

        The seeming desecration of the heroic ideal is probably what Stain hates about the current state of things (anime-only viewer here, so no idea on manga details =D). He is imho an idealist who believes in the sacredness of heroism and that heroes must be held to the highest moral standards so as to preserve what makes them so special. It’s a selfish reason, probably to satisfy his black-white view of the world, and his methods are too extreme but the core of his beliefs (as I observed in the anime so far), that a hero should be someone special, is imho not wrong.

        Random Comment
  8. After Stain’s reaction to Endeavor, I was almost sure we’d see a horribly burnt face underneath his mask. It’d make a lot of sense, and that falling mask moment was awfully convenient… Oh well, maybe he knows something else. Anyway, he’s a great antagonist.

    Endeavor didn’t notice when Gran Torino called him “Todoroki” (twice!), huh… Maybe he was too immersed in his cool scenes and cool music.

    Can’t wait for the next episode. Especially since we’re getting back to less serious UA students (and Bakugo).

    1. I don’t think it’s strange for people to know his last name. After all, it’s well known that Shoto is his son so his family is probably quite famous. In addition, there can’t be that many people with fire beards walking around.

      I, too, expected a nasty burn mark when Stain’s mask fell off!

  9. I thought Stain would be a bad villain that I end up hating but the more they show him, it just looks like he had a bad past like he has always wanted to be a hero but couldn’t and now he just don’t like them for a reason.

  10. @ep 31:

    the words that Midoriya reply to Lida (also his name pronounce in English = “Leader”?) in the hospital.. was very mature and touching. Midoria knows how to use words to cheer others up… he has an natural talent for that. Perhaps he learned it from “All Mighty”‘s influence. So All Mighty give more then his Power to Midoria… You can see it?

  11. I like that the show doesn’t go out of its way to make Endeavor contemptible the way a lot of shounen series treat dads like him.

    Yes, Endeavor is an asshole who sacrificed his wife and son on the alter of personal ego.

    But when the chips are down, the guy is the real-deal. A true hero and professional. He never seems to have lost sight of what it means to be a hero and the responsibilities to protect and defend that that entails. He made a good contrast to Iida, who is wallowing in personal vendetta and revenge while ignoring his duties to protect people. Even in the middle of irritation and frustration, Endeavor keeps his cool – making fair and correct judgments.

    I also like the fact that Todoroki has come to trust this fact about his father.

    I’m interested to find out what sort of dirt Stain has on Endeavor that might shake up this image.


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