You’ve got a friend in me.
After months of waiting, we are thrown back into U.A. And as expected, class 1A–being held back from graduation–was not happy with how Deku left
letters things and went rogue. In Bakugou’s letter fragments we can catch glimpses of an apology, a thank you and perhaps a wishful thought of being together again. また一緒 (mata issho), “together again”. Almost ironic if we look at Izuku’s solo approach to the whole situation. How can one build anything meant to be shared, to want to be together and yet actively separate, distance?
All Might also failed in that instance which in turn resulted in his failure as Izuku’s teacher. Bakugou serves the truth, All Might and Deku together are a recipe for (self) disaster. How could Toshinori ever teach Izuku how to prioritize himself if that’s something he never did? The save to win mentality is not too different from a blind person trying to cross between two buildings on a walking rope. Whereas the extreme spectrum of winning to save is selfishness and its terrible consequences on those around us (and ourselves).
As number one Hero and main strategist, Endeavor takes this miscalculation as a heavy blow and personal failure of his. I find it disheartening to see how much bashing his character gets amongst fans of this series. One of the reasons why I enjoy Enji’s journey so much is because he feels very human. Even though he’s made the conscious decision to be better, he still gets things wrong every now and then, and that is too close to home. What is the rational explanation behind it? Because what I see is an inability to distinguish between behavior and identity, which are far from being the same thing. Think about it this way, have you ever told a lie? Yes. Does this mean you’re a liar and that all you ever do is lie? No. Does this mean people should always be skeptical when talking to you, questioning whether or not you mean everything you say? No, right. This is not only about a fictional character, it’s about a fundamental mistake that can be found in different scopes of our social interactions and stands in the way of generational healing.
Principal Nedzu proposes a different plan: to bring Deku back to U.A. and protect him from inside this new mysterious ‘barrier’. Now equipped with Endeavor’s GPS, class 1A make their move and track the number one most stubborn friend in Japan. For all the positive effect he’s had on his friends (more directly Todoroki, Iida, Uraraka and Bakugou), Deku doesn’t really know how to be someone’s friend. He is a great friend to others (even when they don’t want to be his friend), but when it comes to him, suddenly there’s an invisible line drawn. His friends will do for him what he did for them–they’re gonna meddle.