What’s the show? My Hero Academia 3rd Season, Episode 11.
And so does the battle continue between All Might and All For One? Continues and concludes. This is a very jam-packed episode!
And is it any good? You should know better to ask that by now… it’s very good, it’s a damn near perfect conclusion–except for one or two kind of hard to overlook flaws that stop it from achieving legendary anime status–at least at this point in the story.
Why do I have the feeling the ‘flaw’ you speak of is to do with the latter part of the episode? We’ll work up to that then… let’s just start at the beginning… We start off with a flashback to when All Might was just a weedy looking high-schooler by the name of Toshinori Yagi, who after being noticed by pro hero Nana Shimura, becomes the newest vessel for the power One For All, a.k.a the power All Might gave to Midoriya back in Season 1. I’ve truncated the flashbacks into a couple of sentences not because they’re unimportant but because they’re short–but frequent throughout the episode. A lot of what we’ve come to know and love about All Might came from Nana, which is a kind of humbling thought that this all powerful ‘Symbol of Peace’ wasn’t just formed out of nowhere but had his worldview molded and honed by another.
But back in the present day? Right, All Might is torn to shreds, at the end of his rope and almost out of time. All For One is vastly overpowered–at least in the stolen quirk department—and as the world looks on via news helicopter footage, things seem especially grim for the ‘Symbol of Peace’… the crowds rally round him, so too his fellow pro-heroes, but it’s not ’til All For One drops a bombshell intended to cripple All Might emotionally do things “get real”.
Oh? What is it? Tomura Shigaraki, the hand on face bad guy who’s been the mastermind behind so many of the recent attacks on UA High School since the first season–well it turns out this dastardly far-gone villain is actually the grandson of Nana Shimura!
Oh snap! Snap indeed. Except it doesn’t have the debilitating effect on All Might that All For One probably planned. Foolishly, the arch nemesis mentions Midoriya–as if to rub salt in the already gaping wound–but there is something All For One didn’t count on; the power that comes from protecting an ideal, from protecting the future and from protecting everyone. With his last ounce of strength All Might takes on All For One with an attack unlike any other–and wins! But not without great cost, he is now completely without powers–all of the responsibility now falling to Midoriya.
Well you certainly talked fondly about the episode. What was it about it that you didn’t like? There’s a quote from the film The Dark Knight that I think is somewhat apt. “You either die a hero, or live long enough to become a villain.” And while I don’t foresee a villainous turn on the cards for All Might, having him survive (albeit sans powers) is kind of a cop-out in my opinion. It doesn’t completely rob the episode of its standout moments but it does eliminate a lot of the stakes that were built up. I have a quote of my own in this situation, “heroes don’t retire.” And here, more than anywhere before in anime, do I think All Might dying here would have been the absolute right decision–emotionally, narratively and even logistically.
‘A Heroes Death’, I can see the appeal. But instead we’re left with a preview for next week that just has All Might in a hospital bed with bandages round his head, like this is some Saturday morning cartoon. I feel like they had the chance for some dark and challenging story telling with a satisfying and complex pay-off but they abandoned it in favor of the status-quo.
The more I let you ramble on the more these so-called ‘positive reviews’ devolve into verbose criticism. I should learn to quit while I’m ahead… If I’m overly critical it’s only because I see the potential for something more only for it to be sidelined. Don’t get me wrong this is still a truly great episode, among the best this season–it’s just… not as great as it could have been. I’m hoping the stakes for the hero world that were so deftly raised throughout this arc aren’t completely mitigated by All For One’s defeat. Having All Might survive means there has to be narrative consequences or else the only purpose this arc had was a symbolic transferring of power between All Might and Midoriya and while that’s important I don’t think it’s enough.
Previous My Hero Academia Reviews:
Season 1 (20 Question) Review
Season 3, Episode 1 & 2 Review
Season 3, Episode 3 Review
Season 3, Episode 4 Review
Season 3, Episode 5 Review
Season 3, Episode 6 Review
Season 3, Episode 7 Review
Season 3, Episode 8 Review
Season 3, Episode 9 Review
Season 3, Episode 10 Review
If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!