「デクvsかっちゃん2」 (Deku Baasasu Kacchan 2)
“Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2”
This is one of the most exciting, and most touching, episodes of HeroAca thus far.
The action in this episode was stellar. Both the animation and the fight choreography were top tier, and the arc that ran through the battle—of Izuku learning and adapting so as to challenge Katsuki on even footing—gave structure and form to the chaotic scuffles. And, as a backdrop for an evocative character drama, it did its job well.
It’s that character drama that elevates this episode to one of the best in the series, because what would have otherwise been a pointless punch up was stuffed to the seams with meaning. This is the first time the two boys have gotten their feelings about each other out in the open—Katsuki’s misconceptions for how Izuku saw him, Izuku’s admiration for Katsuki (along with dislike for some of his attributes)—which is a very “boy” thing to do. You don’t have to bottle everything up until it explodes, dear reader. Learn from their mistakes. You don’t have to talk about all of your feelings—if it’s small and unimportant, don’t make your internal life someone else’s issue—but if it’s a huge festering sore on your relationship, deal with it. As these two finally did today.
This is the payoff for having Katsuki as a character. He is a rage-a-holic and a bully, but he’s always had redeeming qualities—power, and strength of will, along with emotional frailties that point to a conscience that very much does exist, despite the villainous persona he appears to have. He’s a super hard character to write, always has been, but Horikoshi-sensei managed it with aplomb. I would have to pick apart every scene to do it justice, but: his clear eyes as he prepared himself to see what All Might saw in Izuku; his frustration and inability to forgive himself for ending All Might’s career; his admission of weakness, belying his overly proud personality; and finally, his acceptance of Izuku as an equal and a rival, as someone to struggle against and surpass in order to become the rest. I love how he’s determined to take all of what makes Izuku so good and make it his own, just as Izuku needs to internalize the will to win that Katsuki so personifies; that’s why Izuku didn’t win, after all. I also love how he referred to Izuku as the “chosen one,” an turn around after the first part of their lives where he was the one chosen by fate to have an amazing quirk, while Izuku had nothing. Bonus: I noticed how Katsuki didn’t duck responsibility for throwing the first punch. Katsuki truly is a hero.
It reminds me again of how people are factoring Katsuki into their plans incorrectly. All For One doesn’t realize that his plan is flawed, because he’s focused entirely on All Might and All Might’s successor, Izuku, when in truth All Might has many more successors than just Izuku. He has thousands, all the heroes he has inspired, and he’s training a few of them personally. Katsuki is just as much All Might’s successor as Izuku is, and I bet he will be the linchpin that will save the world from darkness, or send it spiraling into the abyss. After this episode, it’s the former. No one can doubt he’s a hero now.
Honestly, there’s too much. Too much amazing went on in this episode, it would take hours to tease it all apart. I’m just going to watch it again instead. Be back next week for another episode.
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