「平和の象徴」 (Heiwa no Shouchou)
“Symbol of Peace”
There aren’t many series that can make me whoop for joy. Even fewer can do it repeatedly and consistently. Boku no Hero Academia is one of them, and this episode was another example why.
For all the over the top destruction, this was an episode marked by its restraint. The greatest moment came about because of what the characters were not allowed to do. Iida and Yao-momo wouldn’t let the other three fight; Katsuki wouldn’t have reached out his hand if Izuku had been on the other end. Constraints defined the gambit Izuku and co were able to pull off, and that’s what made it so grand. Izuku had to figure out the path, threading the needle so that they could get Katsuki out of there without engaging in battle. The solution he found: a high speed boy rocket, with Kirishima the central piece to get Katsuki to accept the help. It was marvelous! I whooped aloud in joy as Katsuki grabbed Kirishima’s hand! It’s also damn lucky for Izuku, because All For One may still be ignorant that All Might has passed on his quirk. But most of all it was a stirring moment, and that’s what I’m here for baby.
Speaking of All For One, dude is scary. He’s also really, really damn impressive. As he was mixing and matching quirks, I was reminded of Yao-momo’s earlier struggles, which in turn reminded me of the video game Magicka. (Stay with me.) Magicka was a video game that I found really fascinating, but I nonetheless did not much like. (Nor did I like it when its combat system was imported into the latest Gauntlet game.) It suffered from the problem of too many options: mixing and matching all the elements gave rise to endless permutations, but that made it really annoying to use in the middle of a battle. (That’s why most shooters give you just a few options, and ask you to flourish within those constraints. Restraint is power.) That was Yao-momo’s challenge too, the paralysis of choice. When you can do anything, how do you pick? All For One has that too, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. He’s planned ahead, found combinations that he likes, and even if he seems to be relying on a few tricks more than others, that’s what you’ve got to do in that situation. And he still mixes it up. The guy is scary powerful, but he’s also wicked smart. No wonder he’s survived to do so much damage for so long.
Speaking of, Best Jeanist. Whether he’s dead or not, he reminds us once again that it’s not the quirks that matter. Best Jeanist’s quirk isn’t that impressive. It’s Best Jeanist himself that is impressive, for all his experience, his skill, his quick decision-making, and the steel in his spine. Even if he falls, he shows what it is to be a hero. Maybe he couldn’t get to #1 without a quirk as sterling as All Might’s, but #4 when all he can do is manipulate fabric? It’s not what you’re born with that matters, it’s what you make of it.
The big reveal this episode is that Shigaraki Tomura, AKA Shimura Tenko, is the descendant of Shimura Nana, friend of Gran Torino and the previous wielder of One For All prior to All Might. Which, hm. Not sure the relevance of that quite yet, to be honest. I’m sure it’s there, we just don’t know enough about the 7th user of One For All quite yet. Unless we are manga readers maybe, in which case don’t spoil it thanks.
Next episode, it appears the secret is out. I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to go down. I have a feeling All Might isn’t going to go out without one helluva bang.
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