Boku no Hero Academia Season 5 – 12 (Episode 100)

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Any arc conclusion in Boku no Hero Academia is, inevitably, also the start of the next.  Horikoshi takes after Togashi in planting the seeds of what’s to come (even on TV screens), sometimes even multiple arcs ahead.  But more so than Hunter X Hunter, HeroAca tends to see the next arc playing out at the same time the current one is tidying up.  But another area where this series takes after its older brother is that consecutive arcs tend to be tonal contrasts (I don’t think any more need be said about that for the moment).

The denouement process starts with the matter of Shinsou’s fate.  I don’t think there was much doubt he was going to be entering the hero course.  It would be obvious to any teacher that Shonsou’s quirk is S-class, and in the class battles he showed he had the strength of character and force of will to back it up.  That just leaves the matter of which class he’s assigned to.  And while theoretically an open question, the obvious mentor-protege relationship that’s emerged between he and Aizawa-sensei will speak loudly here.  It seems natural to pair them off, but might they actually be so close that some distance might serve Shinshou better?

The largest question hanging over everything is One For All and the turmoil it’s causing Deku at the moment.  The question of “blanks” is an interesting one – Momoma uses it to refer to OFA.  Deku doesn’t follow up in the moment, but the subject of blanks comes up again when Aizawa sends Monoma off to visit Eri.  His idea is to have him use Copy and try to give her some instruction on safely using her quirk as a more experienced user, but she’s a blank too.  “Stockpiling” quirks are unusable for Monoma – blanks (lucky for him, too).  Make of the implications what you will.

Horikoshi is clearly edging the story in a specific direction here, as users who have very specialized quirks start to take precedence in the story.  Something like Shoutou or Kacchan’s quirk is extremely powerful in a direct sort of way, but stuff like what Shinsou and Eri can do – even Monoma – these are the X-factors in BnHA.  One For All is the one quirk to rule them all, but direct and powerful and the ultimate in specialization.  Nothing exists like it, and that makes it uniquely powerful.  Well – almost nothing…

Bakugo knows the truth of course, so it makes sense All Might will call him in when he’s trying to make sense of what’s happening to his protege.  He says what All Might has only been thinking – that these new revelations make Deku’s quirk sound very much like All For One.  And we all know what the original source for One For All was.  This is the real nature of Deku’s “power-up” – a giant dump truck full of responsibility and unsettling connotations.  He has the right sort of character to deal with it, but his job has gotten harder, not easier.

Lastly, we have Bakugo and Todorki finally getting their provisional licenses and thus, catching up to their classmates.  And it isn’t long (a half-hour) before they get put to good use – there’s trouble on the drive home.  It’s always interesting to see All Might in a hero context when in fact, he can no longer fill the role himself.  His essential nature and instincts are unchanged, however, and whenever we see him dependent on one of the students to save him, it’s a very poignant reminder of everything this man gave up to fulfill his life’s mission.

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