Picking up right where last week’s My Hero Academia left off: Deku’s ongoing training, and Shigaraki’s villainous plotting.

In his mentor’s home office, Izuku (Daiki Yamashita) lets the power of One For All surge through his entire body while Gran Torino (Kenichi Ogata) challenges him, once again, to land a punch. At first, Izuku struggles to keep his Quirk flowing while focusing on his opponent. The sprightly old man darts behind his student’s back, as he did on their first day together, and again dodges Izuku’s hand. Young Midoriya laments at the difficulty of it all. Though he’s made a huge stride over the course of a day, this advancement has opened his eyes to the miles he still has to go. Turned away from the youth, Gran Torino wipes blood away from a small cut on his cheek. The hit didn’t land directly, but the kid’s getting close, fast.

Learning this old man’s tricks will only get Deku so far, though. To really understand the professional Hero game, he’ll need a taste of the action. While Izuku has already experienced a brush with the League of Villains, that wasn’t quite the same as the impromptu street level Quirk-crime suppression for which Heroes are needed. Student and pupil hop a bullet train to Shinjuku, expecting to find some low tier ne’er-do-wells causing trouble in the bustling Tokyo district. En route, Izuku notes that they’ll be passing through Hosu City, where a vengeance fueled Iida roams, despite surprisingly few people’s completely mild efforts.

Back at the villain speakeasy, Stain’s (Go Inoue) already well on his way to meting out his faux justice on Kurogiri (Takahiro Fujiwara) and Shigaraki (Koki Uchiyama). Stain wants to kill Heroes because they pursue the wrong goals, and apparently will also kill villains for similar reasons. Though the specifics of the Hero Killer’s Quirk remain a mystery, he seems to be able to paralyze anyone he cuts. At least, that’s the outcome he expects. In spite of the blade through his shoulder, Shigaraki is still able to move and, being a phony moralizer himself, is fully aware of false reasoning behind Stain’s actions. He grips the blade with his hand and it rapidly rusts before crumbling to dust.

My Hero Academia

Still, Stain knows his way around killing Heroes, so Shigaraki and Kurogiri broker a sort of alliance. Grand statements aside, they all know they’re just violent jerks looking to justify their violence, so they hop a Kurogiri portal back to the spot where they found Stain: Hosu City. Beyond being the “Hero Killer,” Stain also has a bit of a serial killer streak to him. He doesn’t just kill every Hero he sees, but travels from city to city, killing four Heroes in each before heading to the next. Only two Hosu City Heroes have fallen to his blades, so far.

Though not a pro yet, Iida (Kaito Ishikawa) patrols the streets of Hosu City while interning with a professional Hero called Manual (Kenta Ookuma). The teen’s thin facade covering his reasons for coming to this city might as well be transparent to Manual. In the most gentle way possible, the pro warns his smoldering student about the risks associated with vengeance. It’s completely wild that this is the first time anyone has talked to Iida, let alone the UA students in general, about the dangers of revenge. Even then, Manual’s speech is mostly about the legal ramifications. Never mind the emotional damage such hate can wreak, but a Hero seeking revenge is an illegal crime! It’s against the rules! Sure, it’s typically portrayed as the path to villainy in all heroic media, but have you considered that it will also get you fired? Heavy stuff.

My Hero Academia

Why wasn’t this part of the curriculum?

Once Stain is back in the wind, causing a bit of havoc for the heroes of Hosu City, Shigaraki confirms what we’ve known about him all along: he’s a huge dick and hates everybody. Stain’s bravado about suitable reasons to pursue heroism and villainy really rubbed Shigaraki the wrong way, and now everyone in this city will pay the price. The price, as it turns out, is a fresh batch of Nomus. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again, and again, and again. With his first Nomu locked up tight in some secret police facility, Shigaraki unveils a trio of new abominations, all with the trademark weird brain head.

My Hero Academia

And how odd the brains in those heads are, as it turns out. Back at UA, All Might (Kenta Miyake) meets with his cop friend, Naomasa Tsukauchi (Tokuyoshi Kawashima). Since the League’s attack, scientists have been studying Nomu, trying to figure out who or what it is. The answers raise more questions; questions which All Might himself may be able to answer. Nomu, surprisingly, wasn’t just created in a lab from scratch. At his core, he’s some minor criminal, but that doesn’t explain his grotesque appearance or incomprehensible abilities. What sets him apart are three other people, or at least their DNA. Somehow, his DNA was combined with that of three others and, somehow, the Quirks in that extra DNA were activated within a new host. All For One has already demonstrated the possibility of passing a Quirk from one person to another, but this is a step beyond. And, swelling to his full stature with a furious grimace on his face, All Might seems to know who has a Quirk capable of such a thing.

My Hero Academia

Whoever made these Nomus, they’ve got All Might steamed.

Speeding their way to Shinjuku, Izuku and Gran Torino’s train passes through Hosu City. A commotion in the car draws their attention to the fires and explosions spreading across the horizon. With no time to react, a catlike Hero is thrown through the side of their train, and the throwing was done by a Nomu. Izuku recognizes the creature immediately, recalling the prior horrific battle, but his new mentor isn’t so easily shocked. In a blink, Gran Torino kicks the creature through a building. Bad stuff is going down in this city, far beyond Izuku’s concern over his friend’s darkening demeanor.

As chaos and destruction spread through the city, Manual and Iida rush toward the epicenter to lend aid. That is, until Iida glimpses something down an alley and abandons his post. At the end of that alley, stabbing a questionably appropriate Hero called “Native,” is none other than Iida’s brother. Not really. It’s Stain. With casual ease, the Hero Killer swipes at Iida with a sword, knocking his helmet off. Surprisingly, once he’s glimpsed the teen within the armor, Stain is completely uninterested in killing a kid. Whether or not his killer’s code is consistent, it is interesting that he’s not purely a knife licking murder machine.

Iida’s hard up for revenge, though, and won’t take no for an answer. He musters all of his fury and courage — hollering about the violence visited upon his brother — and, in challenging Stain to a life or death battle, takes up his brother’s mantle as “Ingenium.”

Next week! Izuku and a bunch of other Heroes join the battle against Shigaraki and his Nomu gang. Nearby, Iida seems to completely lose to Stain. We see him lying in a pool of blood — still alive — but there’s always the possibility is just another ketchup gag.

Tom Laurie
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Tom Laurie

Tom Laurie is unqualified to tell you what to think about anime, but there is no law in this land to stop him.
Tom Laurie
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