Based on the title, this week’s My Hero Academia promises the start of a new chapter for Izuku Midoriya’s (Daiki Yamashita) world. His mentor and super-power-benefactor, All Might (Kenta Miyake), spent every ounce of strength he had while the whole world watched. From boardrooms to the streets, everyone is trying to work out what the life will be like without their Symbol of Peace.

For the suits at the top of law enforcement, these seem like dire times. All Might wasn’t just an aid to their play for control, but was widely believed to be an effective deterrent against greater villainy. While his strength was definitely the key to foiling One For All, it was never enough to fully destroy the Symbol of Hate, nor enough to dissuade upstarts like Shigaraki and Stain. Still, it’s hard to argue with people’s belief in symbols.

The permanent deflation of All Might has also left the public’s faith in UA High sagging. What was already a tenuous situation after the multiple League of Villains incursions is now make-or-break as people wonder if an already rattled school can really improve their safety record without the world’s greatest hero on staff. To salve these concerns, the faculty takes a final gamble on a plan that should offer everyone a greater sense of security: dormitories. With hat in hand, they go to each student’s home, urging their parents to let the kids move in.

Responses vary, with Bakugo and Izuku’s families playing either end of the spectrum. For the Bakugo household, getting prideful Katsuki (Nobuhiko Okamoto) on the straight and narrow is an obvious necessity. Mitsuki Bakugo’s (Yuka Adachi) faith in UA stands firm, particularly after Shota Aizawa (Junichi Suwabe) defended her son’s heroic ambitions in front of the ravenous press. On the other end, Inko Midoriya’s (Aya Kawakami) faith in UA has all but crumbled.

My Hero Academia

When Izuku finally got a Quirk and worked his way into UA, his mother regretted ever having doubted him. She swore through tears to always support him in the future. Now, some ways into the future, that support has just resulted in Izuku repeatedly risking his life and destroying his limbs to a near-permanent degree. She understands his ambition, and his love for All Might, but she can’t stand to watch him take these risks anymore; at least, not at UA. As Inko stipulates that it’s not it’s not Izuku’s heroic pursuit that scares her, but UA’s continued failure to protect him from villains (and himself), Izuku storms out of the room.

Expecting their boy to be sulking, Inko and All Might both move to the door, but are halted as Izuku bursts back into the room holding a sheet of paper. Determination painted on his face, Izuku holds up the paper–the “thank you” letter he received from Kota–and declares that this is all that really matters to him. He doesn’t care if it’s UA or some other school, as long as he can become a Hero, it doesn’t matter how he gets there.

My Hero Academia

Stirred, All Might puffs up to his muscular form before bowing his head low to the ground. As his muscles steam away, he begs Inko to give him another chance–to show Izuku a path less bloody than the one he walked–and the opportunity to pass on the title of ‘Symbol of Peace.’ Toshinori Yagi, the man who was All Might, begs that Inko Midoriya look to the future of UA, and not to its troubled past.

Seeing All Might prostrate himself–this historic Hero for whom her son lives an breathes–is too much for Inko. She relents, on the condition that All Might and Izuku both understand that she just wants them to live and grow for each other, not to die for one another.

Elsewhere, home life is rockier for some folks. When Shoto Todoroki (Yuki Kaji) walks through his front door, his caring sister’s worry is swept aside by explosions shaking the house. He makes his way to his father’s training room to find Endeavor (Tetsu Inada), formerly the Number Two Hero, unraveling. Crumpled among the smashed gym equipment and dented walls, The Flame Hero can’t accept the nature of his ascension. For his entire career, he wanted nothing more to surpass All Might. Now he has, but not through his own growth. He watched his entire inspiration wither away to nothing, and he’s still the same man he was the day before.

Wheeling into a supermax villain prison, our final loaded father figure caps off the story. All For One (Akio Otsuka) might not have expected to go down like this, but he always planned on passing his legacy on to Tomura Shigaraki. Now, with a new mountain of trauma to heap upon the boy, The Symbol of Hate is certain that his handsy creep of an adoptive son will rise to the occasion.

Tom Laurie
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