Journalistic integrity is important, even in My Hero Academia. The UA High press conference continues as journalists push Shota Aizawa (Junichi Suwabe) for answers. How could things have gone so wrong? How can these educators appear so satisfied that they didn’t go worse? Though Vlad King (Shuhei Matsuda) expects Aizawa to explode at the relentless inquiry, Eraserhead instead absorbs every barb. He isn’t here to set things straight about the inherent dangers of heroism; he’s here to take the punishment required by the job in “All For One”.

Aizawa does a grand job, too. Back at the dive bar, Shigaraki’s (Koki Uchiyama) crew and their captive–Katsuki Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto)–watch as the teacher extols the strengths of his students and the weakness of himself. A dual purpose is served by the broadcast as Bakugo understands that his teacher understands his motives, and the villains are lulled into complacency by the apparent flagellation of these professional heroes.

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My Hero Academia

Classic Bakugo

In a seedy alley, Izuku (Daiki Yamashita) and his classmates try to plot out their next step. They’ve followed Momo’s (Marina Inoue) beacon to its final location, but the nondescript warehouse isn’t giving any clues about its true purpose or potential dangers. Izuku mutters out the possibilities before they decide to skulk around back to learn more. As they sidle between buildings, they spot a window. Momo offers to whip up some night vision goggles so they can scope it out, but Kirishima (Toshiki Masuda) cuts her off. He’s come prepared. Exclaiming at the expense of such an item, Izuku sees this this not as a sign of Kirishima’s preparedness, but of his devotion to Bakugo. Taking turns with the night vision scope, Kirishima and Izuku are rattled by their discovery: brains. Rows and rows of brain vats from which Nomus are born.

Despite what everyone assumes based on his performance at the Sorts Festival, Katsuki Bakugo is not here to be recruited by villains. If he wants to reach his goal of being the top hero, he’ll have to find a way out of this hive of villainy. Assuming this gang is more invested in his membership than his death, he figures he can take a couple of them out before making his escape, but how? Ultimately, it’s a question that doesn’t require an answer. A knock on the door announces the arrival of an unexpected pizza. The villains freeze in response… Who ordered a pizza?

No one ordered a pizza. And yet, bursting through the wall, All Might (Kenta Miyake) has arrived to deliver as many knuckle sandwiches as needed. Heroes of all stripes crowd the bar and street below. Diligent police work and the misleadingly somber press conference worked dual duty to allow for this surprise attack, and everyone is ready to start the back patting.

Straining to wriggle one more ace from his sleeve, Shigaraki commands Kurogiri (Takahiro Fujwara) to summon an army of Nomus. The portals don’t come. The entire League of Villains is disabled, and back at the Nomu factory, Mt. Lady (Kaori Nazuka) is smashing it to rubble.

Inside the destroyed factory, Tiger (Shinosuke Ogami) recovers the alive–but unresponsive–Ragdoll. While Best Jeanist (Hikaru Midorikawa), Mt. Lady and Gang Orca (Shuhei Matsuda) clean up all the Nomus, the kids casually make their way back to the street. The heroes are here, and everything’s fine! Except, it isn’t.

All around Shigaraki’s bar, and on the streets below, new portals spring open. Unlike Kurogiri’s “warp gate,” these portals swirl like pools of black ink. More like Kurogiri’s warp gate, they spew forth an army of Nomus. In the chaos, another inky portal envelops Bakugo. In a moment mirroring his distant battle with the slime villain, the ooze consumes him. This time, All Might is not fast enough to free the boy.

From the shadows of the Nomu factory rubble, a voice is heard, complimenting Tiger on Ragdoll’s Quirk and thanking them for her contribution. Expecting the worst, Best Jeanist binds the unknown figure, but it’s a momentary hindrance. The bindings explode. These heroes are not familiar with the voice, but we are. All For One (Akio Otsuka) is finally taking his stand.

Huddled behind the shattered factory wall, the kids hallucinate grim images of their own deaths. Can they stand before the Symbol of Hate?

 

 

Tom Laurie
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