「ブチ込む鉄拳!!!」 (Buchi Komu Tekken!!!)
“Drive It Home, Iron Fist!!!”

I absolutely love Shigaraki’s plan. I don’t respect it—he’s a bastard through and through—but I like what it does to the dynamic, because it (1) proves that Shigaraki is growing as an antagonist, and is going to be much more problematic going forward, and (2) he can’t lose. He’s a terrorist, right? The point of this operation isn’t to kill anyone, though that would be nice (and preferred). It’s to strike terror into the hero establishment. If even your students are not safe, if the League of Villains can find them even when you do all this, where can you be safe? No where, is the answer Shigaraki wants them to arrive at. If even the children aren’t safe, no one is. He can’t lose, though he can certainly win less.

Izuku already ensured that (in part) by taking out Muscular, and Aizawa-sensei is doing his part too. I didn’t have an expectation either way as to whether Dabi got him, but I had a big ol’ smile when it was revealed that he did not. That’s Eraser Head for you! But his bigger contribution so far is taking the students off their leashes. They don’t yet have hero licenses, so they can’t do what Izuku just did (knock out a villain) without getting in trouble. That was the point of this whole training camp. Letting the students off the chain—and agreeing to take the reprecussions of this decision—means that they all have a better chance of surviving, even if it could mean bad things for Eraser Head down the line. He has all the luck, and all of it is bad.

There’s so much to talk about—the factions within the League of Villains, Aizawa-sensei’s words to Kouta, more—but the coolest fight of the episode was undoubtedly Tetsutetsu and Kendo vs Mustard (Furushima Kiyotaka). Mustard is a young man with a huge chip on his shoulder, and exactly the kind of poisonous brat who would bring a gun to a quirk fight. Not that it isn’t (admittedly) smart, but he’s so drunk on his own sense of self-righteousness that he couldn’t take it all the way. I’ll admit that I was surprised the UA duo didn’t let the boy unload his six bullets into Tetsutetsu and then take him down when he was reloading, but that would have lacked the karmic retribution of what actually happened. Mustard’s flaw was hubris, he thought he was better than even these “elites” at UA and had anticipated everything they could do, so best that he lose by underestimating them. Kendo’s quirk isn’t flashy, but as she said, it depends on how it’s used (Tsuyu comes to mind as well—“all the abilities of a frog” doesn’t seem amazing, but she makes it work), and Tetsutetsu is a good kind of stupid. He might have a one-track mind, but he doesn’t give up where others would. It was a thrilling battle, complete with dark moments where we’re not sure how they’ll win. Bravo! HeroAca shows how it’s done again.

The episode ends with Izuku running to save Katsuki, which is a bad idea. I have a feeling that the villains will find Katsuki harder to flip than the expect, because his iron will won’t get twisted as easily as it seems, but it could still happen, and Izuku will likely be the reason why. Katsuki must be the best, but he’s not so far, and he probably won’t be in the end. A large part of his self-image hinges on his being better than Izuku, so Izuku coming to save him… No no no. Bad idea. He’d rather die, and it might be better for the world if he does rather than have Izuku save him. What’s worse, the target going out as “Kacchan” told Katsuki that Izuku is already meddling. Not good.

That will have to wait for later, though, because first Izuku and the maimed Shouji have to get past, or save, the out of control Tokoyami. Dark Shadow is unleashed, and it’s going to take some doing to put that genie back in the bottle. I guess Tokoyami is one of the ones who most needed real combat experience. His first night battle isn’t going well so far.

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 updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Forbidden Island, coast to coast.




  1. So glad the site’s up! Was sure it’d come back up but was worried old posts would be lost, glad it’s not like that.

    I loved the “who is Kacchan?” and that she kept saying Kacchan but he can’t do anything about it. Dark shadow looks so op, this is gonna be fun.

    1. I really like the spotlight on her and Tetsutetsu! Not only because we haven’t seen as much from them, but because of how it showed the bonds between them. Kendo was praising Tetsutetsu, which showed the respect and fondness she has for her classmate and friend, and all without any overwrought romantic subtext! I mean, that’s fun when it happens (hi2u Izuku x Uraraka), but the fact that it doesn’t have to happen in every relationship makes everyone more complete characters. It was also just heartwarming to see the trust and faith between them. B-gumi rocks too! (Except Monoma.)

      1. Eh, I think that was clear romantic subtext between the two (also, the first Tetsu/Kendo moment we had was when she gave up her spot for him in the tournament and he cries), that wasn’t a simple look of admiration (I’m not a shipper and don’t look for relationships though, it’s just what I think I saw).
        Also Monoma is the best, good friends with Tetsu (telling him no hard feelings before the calvary battle, and Tetsu agreeing/Tetsu reporting back to Monoma what he heard Bakugou say in episode 2 which started his dislike for Class a), cares about the success of his class, crippling insecurity and arrogance, intelligent but also fails, combat skill (the scene where he side steps Bakugou’s explosion is top tier), and I love his relationship with Kendo (the scene where she picks him up for the pervert card in the tournament, how she’s his handler when he’s being insane,and how she goads him), really brotherly and sisterly.
        Also he has to have some serious pull to get almost all of his class to follow his plan in the race, he’s gonna be apart of a great hero team or run a massive sidekick agency (because he’ll need quirks to pull from) one day.
        I love his gags, I think Horikoshi probably had fallen back on them too much though, which doesn’t build good will with Monoma, I assume we’ll get to a point where his larger issues are addressed and he gets to show some of his “cool planner guy” persona amongst his humor though.

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  3. I’m kind of hoping Dark Shadow ate one of the 3 villains we haven’t seen. You know, where they were waiting to fill out their squad to a full 10 members the other episode, but we still have only seen 7?

  4. Glad to have the site back up; where’s the up/down hand arrows?

    Call in…the B-Team! (And the A-Team members that needed remedial schooling.)

    Tsuyu-chan remains the most level-headed of all the teenagers. Nothing fazes her – watch Tsuyu-chan stare down the guy with the knife!

  5. I love others noticing what you did a while ago Stilts. They noticed that this story in many ways is the same old themes or tropes. But Horikoshi-sensei showing it how you do tropes that make things wonderful not how original it is. After all X-men, new mutants, and many others have done the quirk like powers thing before, and over and over. Now Horikoshi-sensei has made this show original in small ways with world building and the like and done that well also.

    My only quibble is to make things “real” Horikoshi-sensei has kept healing quirks week which does not add up to all the regeneration powers and shapeshifting powers shown. If a manufactured monster can regrow arm quirks that do regeneration on others should be around. But I’ll live the story is great after all almost all sci-fi keeps medical advances primitive, cannot have cures for aging, depression, PTSD, and almost anything otherwise you lose a lot of story ability. And robotics and computer AI normally held back as well once the robots can do anything which we might see in our lifetimes if your young what is there to do? I for my sci-fi came up with jamming that shuts down nonorganics so the AI’s had to bring people back onto ships for exploring and fighting.

    1. Believe you me, the challenge with fantasy like this is that certain powers can break the setting. Crazy healing factors would do that, or at least make things a lot more difficult. It’s a good choice, it just depends on all of us deciding to follow along (like you have) for the sake of the story. And fortunately, it’s well worth the faith!

    2. BNHA is a testament to why tropes and cliche exist in the first place and its simply because they work, when done well anyway. Daft use of the tried and true is what helps BNHA feel familiar instead of unoriginal.


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