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Summary
This week's episode continues MY HERO ACADEMIA's ridiculous habit of surpassing itself. As the heroes launch a coordinated assault, the episode blends multiple zones of action together for a layered story.
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The heroes finally make their move in MY HERO ACADEMIA! This week’s episode focused on the critical response to Bakugo’s capture from three fronts. The reaction goes far beyond the planning of the student-led recovery we saw last week. On top of that, the villains and heroes are constantly parrying each others’ plans and movements. For the heroes, the immediate aftermath of the Training Camp fiasco was the best time to act. For the villains, the biggest focus was on swapping Bakugo over to their side and remaining incognito. What made this episode an especially wild ride were conflicting assumptions of information. The League of Villains was confident in their plan to convert Bakugo, and the heroes were certain they had every villain asset secured.

Especially good is something a lot of fans may have missed. If you’re the type to skip the after credits previews, you may have missed an incredible extra scene. Following the credits, there is a bonus scene in addition to the preview. We finally get to meet the biggest villain of the series, All Might’s nemesis All For One. This episode begins one of the most touted arcs of MY HERO ACADEMIA. The League of Villains usually plans surprise attacks. This time, the fight literally knocked at their door.

A lot of the action in this episode was seen from the several points of view and locations. By combining revelations of new information with several groups of peoples’ discovery of that information, there’s strong motion to the episode. In actuality, only a short amount of time passes during these events. But, despite that, MY HERO ACADEMIA made Episode 47 “All For One” full and fleshed out by exploring every detail of that brief time.

MY HERO ACADEMIA Episode 46 Recap

A Battle of Information

The central piece of finding and retrieving Bakugo was knowledge. For one, the heroes needed to find not just where Bakugo might be, but everywhere villains could be. The tracker that Yaoyorozu managed to attach to a Nomu at the training camp was important, but it was merely a breadcrumb to the Nomu factory. Interesting to note here is the part of last week’s episode that we didn’t see. Recognize that at the exact same time the students were collaborating to plan a basic reconnaissance mission, the heroes found almost every League of Villains hideout. The organized pro heroes, working with the police, found the true identities of most of the Action Squad, and attacked. All in under 24 hours. In this regard, they seemed to have a significant tactical advantage.

MY HERO ACADEMIA villains and heroes begin their fight over Bakugo.
The heroes burst in! | Image: Crunchyroll

This proves that Midoriya and the students trying to rescue Bakugo on their own were, to an extent, misguided. Like the public, once the valorized hero society has one little failure, the students lose trust in it. The students of UA are simultaneously gaining faith in their own power and losing faith in their school’s safety. But by all rights, UA responded perfectly at the training camp. They took precautions to avoid discovery and casualties. Even a single villain like Mustard could’ve killed almost everyone. Aizawa gave students permission to fight in order to guarantee maximum survival.

But the heroism MY HERO ACADEMIA’s citizens take for granted was clearly hard at work. Even the news conference itself was a ploy. Teachers intentionally feigned weakness in order to trick villains. The heroes launched their strongest attack by pretending to be at their weakest.

A Fledgeling Alone

For Bakugo, there was only one thing to consider: survival. And yet again, he reminded us that he’s actually super smart. People like Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, or Tsuyu typically voice their plans out loud. In Midoriya’s case, we very often get to hear his inner thoughts during a fight. But the same isn’t quite as often true for Bakugo. Due to this, his actions can seem impulsive and wild, especially given his fighting style. But in reality, Bakugo is constantly calculating every scenario and even doing some high-speed physics during his fights. The amount of mobility he achieves via explosions is a testament to this. Even Midoriya, one of the smartest students, had to put intense effort into replicating Bakugo’s movement.

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Bakugo’s Pride

His time in captivity further reinforced that he’s even truer a hero than a lot of his classmates. While his unique flavor of heroism might seem narcissistic, it’s still strong. The villains made a fundamental error in assuming that his anger was directed toward hero society. It’s quite the contrary; his anger is for hero society, and he wants to be at the peak of it. Both in last week’s episode and in “All For One,” he continued to smile and grin even while staring down some of Japan’s strongest villains.

MY HERO ACADEMIA hero Katsuki Bakugo shows off a wild grin as he plans his escape.
Bakugo sneers in the face of the League of Villains | Image: Crunchyroll

Like All Might, he grinned in the face of death and carefully planned his escape. While it’s unlikely that he could take down every villain in a fight, he knew he didn’t need to. He recognized that they wouldn’t try to kill him and planned around it. He knew his enemy and might’ve been able to bust out on his own, even without help.

Far too often in anime, fans relegate pride to the bin of vice. Overly prideful characters are usually used as rivals and foils for the main protagonist. The selflessness of the hero is meant to shine in contrast to his selfish rival. But Bakugo’s pride is a weapon. His anger is a drive to get even stronger. MY HERO ACADEMIA won’t be letting us forget that.

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All For One Descends on the Heroes

Without a doubt, this is one of the more exciting entries in the series. All For One, from what we know now, has a complicated history. After the Hosu incident, All Might explained the dark origins of their shared power. All For One has the ability to take, use, and give Quirks. After stealing an innumerable amount of Quirks, he approached godlike strength and gained immortality. One for All is the result of him bestowing a powerup quirk to his brother, an ostensibly powerless human who actually had the power to transfer his own Quirks to others.

All For One appears just before the credits and defeats the heroes at the Nomu factory in an instant. Following the ending theme, we get to see the catastrophic aftermath of his attack. The reason this episode’s final scene is so jarring comes from the wretched despair we see painted on Midoriya and company’s faces. As the true leader of the League of Villains effortlessly defeats several top ten heroes, they’re still around. And he sees them. Instantly, the students are paralyzed with existential dread as haunting opera plays in the background. The motionless images of each student shake on screen. After having just watched the jovial ending theme, the fear of this last scene hits especially hard.

Even in a world with superheroes MY HERO ACADEMIA places All For One at a whole different level.
The students can barely comprehend All For One’s destructive power | Image: Crunchyroll

One thing is for certain. However badass you think these next few fights are about to be, I guarantee they’re even better. All For One alone derails the momentum the heroes gained in their surprise attack. Few heroes even know who he is. All Might told Midoriya about All For One but noted he wasn’t in hero textbooks. Now, it seems not knowing about the League’s true boss could have awful consequences.

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Desperation and Despair in MY HERO ACADEMIA!

This episode was incredibly exciting. The ending scene makes it nearly perfect despite some middling moments halfway through. Unlike many episodes, which are either expository or action heavy, this episode mixed the two. Exposition became a weapon by which the heroes were able to take their stand. MY HERO ACADEMIA has an incredible talent for redefining the shonen anime space. Episodes like this that transform a few black and white panels into an audio-visual experience are proof of how incredibly the series is. I’m excited as ever to see the battles to come. Until then, Plus Ultra!

What was your favorite moment from the episode? What are your thoughts on All For One? Tell us in the comments!

2 Comments

  1. vlad

    June 4, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Please tell me someone knows how to find the ”haunting opera” song lol, I loved it !!!

    Reply

    • Omega Killer

      June 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      It’s a still unreleased OST from the upcoming soundtrack for this season, and it’s (from what I’ve understood at least) aptly called “You can’t run”.

      Reply

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