「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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Preview

19 Comments

  1. I really have to give it to Nobuhiko Okamoto’s acting, he made Bakugou’s confession of guilt more perfect than I could have hoped for. That moment hits like a ton of bricks anyway, no matter how many times I see it, and the emotion he poured in really elevated it that much more.

    Nex
    1. *from

      So yeah, one example is rather than commenting on how much faster Deku himself has become, it’s actually more on how Bakugou’s movements are faster than before, and that Bakugou’s the one who improved.

      YK
  2. This season’s running a little deeper than I expected… I figured it was going to stop at the Midoriya/Bakugou fight on the spot, but apparently BONES is going to tease the next arc before we go on break. Perhaps we’re not going to need to wait long for season 4?

    PurpleBomber
  3. Did you all notice how Katsuki never hit Izuku’s busted right arm with anything that could really hurt it? Katsuki always threw Izuku through the latter’s left arm. Even at the end of the fight, he was stepping on the left arm and holding the right.

    Katsuki may not have the best personality but he doesn’t fight dirty.

    Crimson7
    1. That is a nice catch. I missed that. That’s a lovely little detail, because it underscores everything else about the episode, and shows that Katsuki truly is worth the faith Izuku and All Might placed in him.

      Plus, it burnishes his hero bonafides. He wants to win each fight at great cost, nearly any cost, but he’s not about to take a “potential threat” out of the picture entirely. He wants to beat the best, not punch down. That’s why he’s a hero and not a villain.

  4. Truly amazing episode.

    Katsuki is a truly amazing character. I wanted him dead at first and he deserved it as a dangerous bully. But Katsuki’s drive to be a hero and live up to the All Might image has been steadily changing that at a realistic slow pace.
    Like someone, I debated I am a bit concerned that so many are totally forgiving and rating Katsuki the best even though he is still a Jerk and has many flaws that should keep him low on the best hero list right now. But unlike the person, I debated I really acknowledge Katsuki is a hero in his core and it only a matter of time before he reforms a great deal more. The earlier refusing the villains at risk of his life and this time his guilt over what happened to All Might show a great core along with little things like paying his debts even though the person he owes does not consider it a debit.
    Katsuki might never be a sunny personality and always be a bit of a grouch but I can see him giving speeches to kids about don’t be bully like I was later in life. I am sure now deep down he already knows how wrong he has been and eventually will say so as his past self violates his core values.
    Katsuki did have one advantage typical bullies don’t have. Typical bully is not gifted athletically and a smart and hard-working student.

    RedRocket
    1. Agreed. I don’t forgive nor forget Katsuki’s bullying, that’s still something wrong he has done, but on the other hand, no one should be judged by the worst thing they did as a child … so long as they eventually realize that what they did was wrong, and admit it, and apologize. All of which I can see Katsuki doing, in time.

      1. Pretty much. Katsuki is great at many things, but he still has an abusive, abrasive personality quirk that hinders him in many ways. It’s good to see more people who are willing to understand him and observe him walk his journey. He isn’t absolved of all transgressions, but he also isn’t irredeemable scum. Which is why I don’t also completely wash my hands of Mineta, but that’s a discussion for another time….

        The Walker
  5. Loved the episode for all you said but I am gonna nitpick for a little. I can’t see how Katuki could withstand the kick and punch from Deku at 0,5 much less 8% of his power. Does Katsuki have other powers we don’t know about?

    All in all one of the best episodes for sure.

    Kurik
    1. Nothing as complex as that. He could take it because he’s muscular (muscle cushions blows), because he’s trained (so he knows how to take a blow), and because Izuku wasn’t trying to seriously hurt him … though mostly the first two, since Izuku admitted to losing control a bit.

    2. I figure it’s also the same as it’s always been, Deku unconsciously holds back to a more reasonable level against people. He got some good hits on Todoroki in the sports festival, and Stain later on, and didn’t like, accidentally vaporize them or anything like he probably could.

      Nex
    3. If he could take a beating from All Might (mightiest hero with a long career and good handle on One For All) at maybe 1-2% of his power, he could certainly handle Deku (kid still in training) at 8%.

      Deku also punched Todoroki twice with One For All during the tournament.

      Stranger
  6. Holy shoot that animation. Holy god. I haven’t felt this way since Muscular!

    I love how the rest of the cast was shoe-horned into one shot in the epilogue because of how much focus two characters got.

    starss

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