Yeah, hm, damn. Busy weeks, extremely technical chapters, I messed up–no excuses. I was also kind of unmotivated to write, but alas! We have a conclusion to the Star arc #sadness. I’ll try to be brief with the previous chapters so I don’t bore you guys too much. By the way, I’ll be calling Tomura ft. AFO as AFOmura since they’re equally inhabiting the same body.

BOOM.

Boku no Hero Academia 331 – United States of America

So an interesting thing and also rather unfortunate about being a non-fluent Japanese speaker is that some things really do get lost in translation. The fight between AFOmura and Star is accompanied by AFOmura’s constant shift between “ore” (Tomura) and “boku” (AFO), which makes it easier for us to distinguish who is the dominant personality at the given moment and also better illustrates the whole two souls in the same host concept. So that’s a small letdown, but it does make me look forward to the anime since we’ll be able to hear the voice actors and I hope Ootsuka Akio himself will be reading AFO’s internal dialogue–is it weird that I get turned on by a voice?
“It may be supreme, but it’s still constrained by rules of its own.” said AFOmura “now I get how New Order works.” Hmm… But do you really? Do we? Does Horikoshi himself really know how it works? Because Star and Stripe’s quirk feels more like a shoulder shrug and a “It does what I want it to do and it doesn’t do what I don’t want it to” from Horikoshi more than anything else–in my non-professional blogger opinion. Convenient.
It was nice to see a hero confidently willing to kill a villain for a change. Perhaps because I grew up in Brazil, where I’ve not only heard, but also seen stories up close of people who would’ve otherwise died had they not acted in self-defence against their aggressors or criminals, but I’ve never particularly liked Heroaca’s approach–the whole heroes are not allowed to kill villains under any circumstances because it taints their moral compass–but it turns out this seems to be more Japanese-exclusive and that makes more sense to me, this I buy.

Oh no! No one saw that coming…

Boku no Hero Academia 332 – State-of-the-Art Hypersonic Intercontinental Cruise…

Ah… America, the land of the free and hypersonic missiles. We get a bit more of Star’s backstory and the Challenges™ she faced as a female hero following All Might’s steps, which I still find baffling. How can Super Strength be so disproportionately better than a quirk that Alters Reality? Toshinori never got to use the full extent of OFA, he had no idea there were other quirks contained inside of the main quirk. Sure, being the 8th wielder meant that due to the stockpiling property of the quirk, his SS was flabbergastingly strong, but the way I see it, there are advantages and disadvantages to everything. So maybe he can deadlift more than Star and throws a meaner punch than she does, but didn’t he also fail to annihilate AFO? To be honest, I don’t see much of a difference between them, was it the total rescue number of victims? Villain takedowns? PR? Hard to tell. But after Nagant’s survival, I kind of suspected Star wouldn’t be making it out alive.

Bye bye Miss American Pie.

Boku no Hero Academia 333 – Specter

Up until this fight, AFO didn’t fully comprehend New Order, but as we heard in the beginning of their fight it had been part of his master plan to acquire the quirk after stealing OFA–which strategically makes a lot of sense: New Order acquired with OFA means a less limited New Order, stronger than when wielded by S&S. And acquire it he does, but not before Star sacrifices herself to give one last order “New Order revolts against other quirks!” what, you didn’t think her entire existence would be meaningless, did you? She served as a weakening agent! Ha, sorry, I’m a bit bummed with this turnout even if we all saw it coming. Don’t get me wrong, I think Horikoshi is miles ahead when it comes to how he treats his female characters compared to other shounen writers, but that doesn’t mean he’s great at it either.

Master of puppets, I’m pulling your strings.

Boku no Hero Academia 334 – Parting Gift

Oh look, Star is acknowledged as suppressing All Might–after she sacrifices herself and dies. AFOmura is quick to act, steals his nomu’s flying quirk making a quick escape and finds a decoy for Star’s quirk. If he passes it along to someone else, he might be able to preserve it, or so he thought. It’s still not certain if S&S’s quirk is really gone for good, but for now let’s assume no one will be getting their hands on New Order. AFOmura gets a warning he chooses to ignore: as long as a fire burns and people stand up for each other, the mantle of heroism will continue to be passed along. Because duh Shigaraki The First, it’s spelled commUNITY. Like my man Littlefinger once said “together they’ll be difficult to defeat.”
Edit: I initially thought this panel was a vestige of Izuku, but it’s actually a child-Tenko. His specifically calling to Izuku brings us back to the vestige council when Deku says he wants to save Tenko, so hold your hearts for we’ll see an eventual heart-to-heart between their kiddies version. But I wonder if child-Tenko is calling for Izuku thanks to being in possession of AFO and if they now share some sort of weird connection through their quirks as we’ve spoken about before in chapter 328–because it’s specifically the restrained child-Tenko who’s thinking about Deku and not the young adult-Tomura who’s currently fighting with AFO over who’ll be the main conscience in the body. Are the older ones even aware the child exists inside of them? A dime for you guys’ thoughts, one minute of silence for Star and Stripe and a pat on the back of the very handsome pilot who shared important data from AFOmura’s fight with the Japanese force.
Our heroes now have an extra week on their hands to strategize until they face off AFOmura again. And don’t think Hagakure and Aoyama’s absence has gone unnoticed by me, though this smells more like red herring than actual foreshadowing–I’m standing by Izuku being the mole and not them.

12 Comments

  1. First of all a true hero does not kill dude if they did they be no better than the badguys. Watch Superman the Elite as a good example.
    Second I am sad that Stars was killed off after her introduction. Hirikoshi kinda did the same thing with Nagant but at least she is still alive. Also you clearly have not read or watch enough Shonen if you think Hirikoshi is the only one to treat females better than others.

    Third that wSnt deku it was a young Tenko which means a small part of Tenko is still alive. I just hope this means Tomura will take back control of his body soon and kick AFO out. Seriously I am so tired of AFO hogging the spotlight.

    Zemox2
    1. If we follow your premise “true heroes don’t kill a dude, if they did they’d be no better than the bad guys” to its logical conclusions, then we reach contradictions and absurdities, but I guess you never really thought that deeply about this.

      Is Hawks a bad guy? He killed Twice. All Might himself thought he’d killer AFO (the battle where he lost his muscle form and got his lungs damaged), and if he really had done it, would that mean he’d turned into a villain?

      If a hero is uncertain if he can overpower a villain and cannot subdue them in time to prevent imminent massacre of innocent lives and then they kill the villain, does that make them a villain as well?

      If you’re driving a train with 40 people inside and you can’t stop the train and there’s two tracks you can choose to follow and the first one) you’ll run over an old woman and the second one) you and everyone else will fall off a cliff and die, if you choose to run over the old woman, does that make you a villain?

      I find stories that don’t challenge their own rules to be extremely boring, and that’s not the case of My Hero Academia–since we’ve seen Horikoshi slowly touch upon this subject here and there, hence why I was happy to see him approach this with Star’s character. She was going to kill AFO (make no mistake), and had she succeeded, would you have called her a villain too?

      Nah, I’m good, I don’t want to watch Superman the Elite. I like Batman way better. Deadpool, Wolverine, Punisher, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, these are the guys I actually like.

      Err… You’re putting words in my mouth buddy, I never said Horikoshi was the only one, I said he does it better than others. Gege (Jujutsu Kaisen) and Oda (One Piece) do it really well, but Kishimoto (Naruto) was atrocious at it and Kubo (Bleach) was unfortunately not so great. Also a piece of feedback: it wasn’t a pleasant experience to read your comment, you might consider remembering that you’re talking to a human on the other end, and another thing worth remembering when diving into a discussion: you might be wrong about your ideas.

      Cool, thanks for pointing out about Tenko. I didn’t catch that one, I thought it was Izuku, I see I misunderstood.

  2. 4 your fucking information Kubo actually write several women very well but you were clearly to distracted from the fs 2 notice. Orihime is a kind girl but suffers frfroinsecurities.she may not be a fighter but she is a healer and frankly you do not need to be a fighter to be a great character. Rukia, Yoroichi, Soifom, unohana and Rangiku. His writing is more subtle than you think. The bleach girls are far more complex. I share my opinion and i will admit I was a little too harsh but you could have trued to be a bigger person and not respond to me in that fashion but again I guess you prefer to talk down to people. I just get so frustrated when people say Shonen has no well written girls in them. But whatever if you want to be a jerk beca jerk! I wasn’t trying yo start a fight but whatever I am done talking to you you prick!

    Look I am aware that Hawks had mo choice when he had to kill Jin but that still doesn’t mean everyone hero should be a killer. Seriously you could have responded to me I’m a less condescending and disrespectful manner. Did I insult you earlie? No I fucking didn’t because unlike you I know what respect means kindly look it up you jerk

    Zemox2
    1. Listen here, son.

      First order of priority is to get your Asperger’s in check before you venture out into public and start interacting with others.

      Second: you and I both know this is not about anyone else. This is about you. I’ve been watching you interact with other posts on this blog, and there is a clear theme that emerges: “stop condescending me, don’t talk down to me.” This reveals, in such a painfully clear way, the psychology of a weak person who is mortified of being seen as inferior to others. It almost makes me pity you to witness you stake your personal value on having a better opinion on anime/manga than others. In each and every comment you leave, you open and close with an argumentative claim aimed at positioning you above others in your knowledge and perspective. Then when they offer contention in return you can’t handle it and act as if you’re being attacked, hissing and scampering as a cornered and frightened rodent. But no one is cornering you. Your perception of being cornered is a symptom of your fragile constitution. Because you are weak and incompetent, you see the world as a danger to you. Others seem like a threat because to a weak organism everything is a threat. The feeling that everyone is looking down on you is not a reflection of any reality about your environment; rather it is a reflection that you are actually small; and in oder to look at you at all, one MUST look down. You know this intuitively.

      Third: the solution to your weakness, whether or not it is a matter of genetic constitution, is to develop competence. But walking in borrowed splendor here on an anime blog––pretending to know something about something, acting tough like a lower-middle class wife beater from Southie––is NOT a good strategy to develop competence. My suggestion: get a real hobby. Lift some weights. Play a sport. Read philosophy and basic economics. Practice some grappling or boxing and get submitted regularly. Learn some actual skills and humility. Then, if fate wills it, you won’t need people like me to play the father you never had for a day on an anime blog.

      If none of this is an option for you, and you truly cannot take any constructive steps forward in either your self perception or communication skills, then please realize you are not fit to interact with others. Then refrain from doing so.

      Zoro

      yoursenpaizoro
      1. @Gabbie: First off, I’d like to say thank you for the post! You bring up many great points, and typically, I am more than happy to read them because you are so thorough. Don’t feel stressed about writing, we’re happy to read whenever you’ve posted something. I’ve actually just caught up to Boku no Hero Academia’s 333rd chapter at the time of writing, and I will look forwards to both seeing where this series is going, and what you have to say on things.

        @yoursenpaizoro: I thought your abrasive tone and unlearned prose sounded familiar. You’re the person who incorrectly claimed that Super Cub was about existentialism and therefore, above most anime fans. At least back then, your comment was tangentially related to the post at hand, whereas this time, you’ve done nothing more than throw a few ad hominem insults around like you know what you’re talking about.

        You don’t get to call anyone “son” around here, or anywhere else.

        Your first order of priority is to check your own anger issues before you expend too much effort into making a fool of yourself and reassess what you’ve done with your life before you act all high and mighty in attacking someone else. What exactly gives you the right to tell others how to conduct themselves when you yourself cannot adhere to the things you are advocating for?

        Secondly, like in the Super Cub post, you claim to have been “watching” for a long time as to what others are commenting here. Such an investment in one pursuit is not commendable, and everything you’ve written in your second paragraph is a description of yourself. Rather than allowing Gabbie to focus on the argument at hand, you’ve deemed yourself as the person to step in and intervene. However, you never once mention Boku no Hero Academia. Instead of attacking the argument and showing what you might know, you’ve only served to show what you don’t know. What do you gain by doing this? Is your constitution so fragile that you need to throw around big words in order to satisfy yourself that you are somehow relevant and important?

        Finally, given your paltry remarks, you’re the one trying to compensate for something by acting tough and pretending to know something. It follows that you’re the one that needs to embark on a journey of self-improvement. I suggest a technical course or something like yoga (or anything that promotes mindfulness): both will make you aware of how much you don’t know, and in fact, you’re the one in need of more civility and humility. However, I won’t ask you to lift weights or take up a martial art: given your narrow-minded and presumptuous mindset, you’ll only hurt yourself in the process.

        I doubt you’ll listen to your own advice, but take a step back and refrain from commenting if this is the best discourse you can offer. Until then, stop acting like you are the senpai whom everyone must listen to. You’re no masked avenger, and your services most certainly aren’t needed.

        ArgentMoon
    2. @Zemox2 wow, you’re way out of line bud. I treated you respectfully and held a constructive discussion on my end. I don’t mind the swearwords thrown around in a heated debate, but you’re the one calling me names. You also seem to have a habit of assuming things about people which you have absolutely no idea about and your assumptions are miles wrong–so you end up coming across as a fool.

      Orihime is actually my favorite character in the entire Bleach series (males included), so how about that? And it’s precisely because she is not a fighter and instead shows her strengths in more subtle, feminine ways (in the same way Sansa Stark is my favorite character in GoT/ASOIAF). But Orihime also had the craziest power, so much so that Aizen kidnapped her as a center piece in his masterplan. She could literally reject the existence of anything. Could she reject the existence of Soul Society? Of the Soul King? I thought Kubo failed at jumping at the opportunity of exploring this concept more deeply as he does for other male characters. And what about Unohana? The first Kenpachi. She was given what? 1-2 measly chapters explaining about her backstory amidst her battle with Zaraki and then she dies, 2 chapters? For this magnitude of a character and story? Yeah, I still stand that Kubo was not so great at it. Doesn’t mean he was terrible, just that he could’ve been better.

      I won’t go any further as you clearly cannot handle a constructive conversation without feeling personally attacked when you’re the one coming here and attacking people (don’t think I didn’t see you calling Rena condescending and a bitch when she was anything but that).

      I never said all characters were badly written. I’ve been speaking about character treatment and these are two very different things. I never started a fight man, you’re the one fighting with me. Anyone who reads my response to you can see I was respectful and actually opened the space to a conversation.

      There’s nothing condescending about me saying you didn’t think deeply about something, you clearly hadn’t seeing as you point it out yourself about the case of Hawks. And I’m also not being a jerk at pointing out your ideas can be wrong, man, this is just how life is. Any time I have a conversation I’m open to being wrong, because I’m aware of my own limitations and setbacks. No one is always right or wrong, life goes on.

      I never said a hero has to be a killer, oh my god hahaha. Where did you get that? Read my post again. I said it was nice for a change to see a hero willing to kill a villain. That means on this specific situation.

      Wow, just wow.

      1. Unohana will forever be the final nail in the coffin for my love of Bleach. Lots of hints of strength throughout the story. Then when we’re definitively told, yes she was a badass, all she’s used for is to become a sharpening stone for THE MOST BORING Character in Bleach.

        ps: Great post all around.

        On the topic of never killing blah blah blahs. At what point does a hero become responsible for the death and destruction caused by their villain? Knowing they chose a moral high ground over the safety of removing a cancer? Seems like a shitty salve for the mortals left in the aftermath. ‘Yes Timmy, your entire family died when that building collapsed/laugh gas hit main street/etc. But your hero remains pure to his convictions, and thats all that matters. whew.’

        SpaceAce
        1. I’M DECEASED hahahaha. “Who knows Timmy, you might even get to meet your hero if he decides to pop by your parents funeral!”

          Dude, I still mourn Unohana. It’s such a sore spot on my heart I have a hard time talking about it. I really loved Bleach, it was the series me and a lot of people followed growing up (I was freaking 11 years old when I started watching it back in ’04) and to this day I still mention it as being one of my favorites.

          Kubo had a bizarre potential as a writer and storyteller, but he got way too sidetracked by shit that didn’t matter. I respect him, adore him, absolutely LOVE some of his characters and SS Arc/Hueco Mundo, but I also think he sucks a little.

          1. ‘Now Timmy. Mr Hero came all the way here to give you an autographed hat. It’s rude and frankly selfish to keep crying about your parents and making him feel bad. He almost had to feel the sads for hurting the Murderizer too badly.’

            Ah man. I was part of Bleach written RPG around that time. People had OC’s and storyline’s written out. collab’s written, and artwork to go with shi kai’s and ban kai’s. Still friends with some of them to this day.

            Which probably played into why I disliked Kubo’s inconsistency in the name of the Rule of Cool. And it’s absolutely fine to love an imperfect piece of art. I still look back at Bleach with a smile, his ability to storyboard action sequences is STILL rarely matched.

            SpaceAce
  3. So, I’ve been trying to wrack my brain over the events in these chapters and did some digging on my still most addictive website, TV tropes dot org. Apparently, what happened to AFO in the end was sort of an example of “Too Powerful To Live,” pertaining to “A villain who is just too powerful to exist for more than an episode or two. If they aren’t killed now, their presence will dominate the entire story forever” (examples include the likes of Thanos in MCU). I say sort of because obviously AFO’s still alive.

    This isn’t the first time Horikoshi-sensei did this. Twice was the first to get bitten by this, because his quirk could create big armies in the span of minutes.

    The difference I see between AFO and Twice is, IMO, pacing and buildup. We knew Hawks was undercover and willing to do whatever to takes to undermine the villains, we knew the versatility of his quirk and his mastery of it, and we knew he’s capable of smart strategizing and thinking on the fly (pun none intended) which enabled him to come to the conclusion that Twice was a big threat to the heroes’ efforts. So for me, Hawks killing Twice came off as very believable.

    With AFO, what do we have? A hero we’ve never seen before 5 chapters ago (doesn’t even matter if she was some little girl All Might saved in a side movie), with a quirk that “does what I want it to do and it doesn’t do what I don’t want it to,” being revealed only shortly after. That’s not to say this battle came off as totally unbelievable because I could still believe it to some degree, thanks to two things: Star wasn’t willing to sacrifice her teammate just to accomplish the mission (which goes back to Horikoshi-sensei’s talent of inducing rather great first impressions of characters he only just introduced), and that she ultimately sacrificed not only herself, but also her quirk so that not only AFO can’t get his hands on it anymore, but also that the plot doesn’t need it anymore or it would’ve surely festered by doing the exact opposite of evening the odds.

    What happened here was a nerf on AFO, and with how it all went down I’m cool with it overall. But I wish Horikoshi-sensei built up it more appropriately. Still, I’m like 70% satisfied with this outcome. What comes next should be a fight on more equal grounds with still a high possibility of curveballs thrown at the heroes, because let’s face it, someone like AFO who lived for a few centuries must have some backup plans for his backup plans.

    1. I think you nailed it yolo, it really seems like it was the case of the “Too Powerful To Live” trope. And nice linking it with the case of Twice, he was a formidable foe and the fact that he was also the most likable and “naive” of the villains (plus Hawks’ backstory) is what made his death and Hawks’ choice such a brilliant move by Hori, which is also why those of us who know what he’s capable of in terms of storytelling, also know he could’ve done better with Star.

      I don’t mean to give him a hard time, but I also think it’s cool we can express our honest opinions and impressions and hold these fun discussions. We wouldn’t be spending our time here if we thought this series was absolute crap or that Horikoshi was a terrible writer–we wouldn’t get emotionally invested in these characters if they weren’t pretty awesome. We also can’t pretend like the pressure “be popular or get cancelled” from WSJ doesn’t exist, and also that maybe not everyone is like GRRM and has YEARS to spend on connecting dots/building up character introductions/foreshadowing/etc etc before publishing their work hahaha. It would’ve been nice if Star had been mentioned here and there (maybe a small news cameo on the television while the kids were still at school, or a poster of her in one of the girls room, something small like this, maybe like two or three times), you know what I mean? My guess though, is that he came up with Star kind of recently, so that’s why she really felt rushed.

      I agree with you a lot, her unwillingness to sacrifice her teammates and her sacrifice/her quirk were very noble choices. But I found that a connection with the hearts of all characters was missing, she felt like a loose piece, that lady was supposed to be the strongest hero alive.

      Oh, if AFO doesn’t have some backup plans I WILL be surprised hahaha.

  4. @SpaceAce ⚰️⚰️⚰️ Timmy will rest assured because virtuosity has prevailed yet another day.

    Wow, that RPG sounds so much fun!! I’ve just recently joined a D&D party (for the first time. I had never played any table RPG before) and it’s soooooooooo much fun, so I can actually imagine how a Bleach one would go. But damn, yeah. I can see how this tainted the original thing considering Kubo’s unfortunate failures.

    “his ability to storyboard action sequences is STILL rarely matched”
    This, 100% this.

    (Also had to respond in a separate comment as there’s no more way to reply to the thread)

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