「縷の希望たち」 (Ichiru no Kibou-tachi)
“Threads of Hope”
Good old Tintin is back, and just in the nick of time, too. I don’t think anyone would argue that Lemillion has the strongest quirk around, but in terms of a replacement for All Might, in many ways he’s the guy who most looks the part – and more than just physically. He has the swagger and earnestness of the former #1 hero, and a bit of cheek to boot. He’s certainly straight from central casting – more than Endeavor or Deku for sure. But Lemillion, even with his powers restored by Eri-chan, lacks that one essential piece to be the successor – a quirk to match the personality. Getting the most out of a limited power is admirable, but it’s not the path to being the #1 hero.
Mirio isn’t the only one crashing the party, of course. Best Jeanist is here too – much to the irritation of Dabi, because not only is he an obstacle and a distraction from his rant, his presence puts the lie to a large part of Dabi’s propaganda broadcast. I suspect it will still do its share of damage – certainly to Endeavor’s reputation. Clearly that’s what this is about for Dabi more than anything grander – taking revenge for the very real injustices and indignities he suffered at Endeavor’s hands. That this complements his political beliefs is just a happy coincidence.
The battlefield is a sea of carnage on both sides. Bakugo and Endeavor are badly wounded, Deku has trashed his limbs yet again, Best Jeanist is coughing up blood, and of Gran Torino we’ve heard nothing in a disconcertingly long time. BJ is the key to holding down Gigantomacchia, who’s starting to show the impact from the anaesthetics at last. Compress and Spinner are captives of denim right alongside him, and desperate to try and rouse Shigaraki into action. Shigaraki does muster the strength to give an order to the giant, which allows him to temporarily regain his strength. And if he breaks free of Best Jeanist, all bets are off.
In point of fact the one not moving for much of this episode is Endeavor, and not due to his injuries either. What Dabi has done to him is certainly wrong, but the problem is this – it was Endeavor’s own weakness that made him vulnerable to it. Mirio’s presence only calls attention to just how badly the No. 1 hero’s clothes fit Endeavor – he’s strong where Mirio is weak (but to his credit, aware of it), but weak in ways a symbol of peace should never be. It’s that weakness of character that’s frozen him into inaction here, not the physical damage his body has taken.
Everyone else in the fray does manage to roust themselves into action, even Kacchan. And seeing Best Jeanist alive causes him to remember their past conversation, and finally unveil his hero name – Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight. A name so absurd that on anyone else it would be laughable, but somehow with Kacchan it fits (as Lemillion is the only one to point out). Tintin being here calls attention to the areas where Bakugo is lacking too, of course, but courage and stubborn determination are definitely not among them.
Indeed, the one who combines the necessary elements the best is indeed Izuku, which All Might had the wisdom to see beyond the superficial reasons not to. He’s an imperfect vessel but the one we have, and he focuses his efforts – basically limited to using Blackwhip with his mouth because nothing else is unbroken – on helping Shouto. Who certainly needs it, as the one bearing the brunt of Dabi’s resentment. With Gigantomacchia finally weakening, all bets are off, with neither side having a firm advantage (for as long as Shigaraki is out of commission, anyway).