My Hero Academia [The Tournament Arc: Midoriya, Todoroki, and Bakugo]
Today we’re looking at the last episodes of My Hero Academia Season 2’s Tournament Arc, namely, we’re focusing in on the three ‘top’ candidates for the head of the tournament. Last we left off with Midoriya finding a way to fight against an opponent who can brainwash him, but now his real trial will actually begin. Even though Izuku and Shouto will be fighting very early on, they will not be fighting as if they’re going easy on each other. Izuku is All Might’s successor and Todoroki has so much to prove to himself. And at the top will stand Bakugo, waiting to prove himself against the winner.
The one deviation for the focus of this post I’d like to take is a moment to really applaud the sort of success that Uraraka reached. Rather than submit, be defeated swiftly, or even struggle with methods we have seen Ochaco use she brilliantly used Katsuki’s own rage and tactics against him. If Uraraka were able to contain her power in a more solid way there is a very good chance she would have won.
The main contrast in the fights following this is Shoto’s inability to accept the part of him that has a fire quirk and Izuku’s insistence that the things he has are his own gifts, not simply something of his father’s design. We learn all of Todoroki’s horrible baggage: namely that his mother poured scalding hot water on him as the abuse her husband inflicted on her and her children drove her insane. Who can blame him for rejecting that power when the mother he adored hurt him so much because of the man who gave him those powers?
But Izuku is a shining star amongst all the characters. He is unwilling to allow Todoroki to reject that part of himself. The reason why Izuku is (the BEST CINNAMON ROLL IN THE WORLD) such a compelling character is his own struggles make him determined to accept anyone and everything. If there weren’t villains that are genuinely evil in this show I would think the point is to make Izuku become Sailor Moon and embrace everyone with the most love the world can offer.
Determined to win at any cost, Izuku fights against Todoroki’s overwhelming ice powers by breaking and rebreaking his fingers. Even the colors used to shade his fingers show off the intense amount of pain he feels. He is unable to give up even at the expense of his body. All Todoroki knows is he has to win, but Midoriya pushes him against his best interests. What follows is the most beautiful animation in the show to date as Midoriya and Todoroki give it their all. When the smoke clears, Midoriya loses, but Todoroki is….conflicted.
The damage to Midoriya is extensive and Recovery Girl vows never to heal him again: but the tournament must go on. Iida is versus Todoroki so we know he will lose, but the loss is once again able to show us immense strength from a non top 3 contender.
And so Bakugo and Todoroki must fight – but the only one who can give it their all is Bakugo. Todoroki has to examine his life in a new way thanks to Midoriya. Bakugo is furious as Todoroki is unable to fight to his full potential. He wins but it means nothing to him, and he even continues to rage about it at the crowning ceremony. (Medal ceremony, whatever) It’s totally worth it that he won because there was no bragging, just rage. Rage everywhere. He is an angry potato!!!
But it all ends with everyone in a state of discomfort: Bakugo couldn’t beat everyone at their best, Todoroki needs to move on from his trauma and accept himself, and Midoriya has to find a way to be All Might’s succesor without destroying his body. The tournament ends and the student’s will have to get internships now, but can those internships help them come to terms with the tournament?
Stay tuned as the My Hero Academia Catch up Continues !