Alright, alright, I’m back after a very short break. Work has just been exhausting lately, and let’s just say Ash’s wacky adventures in Banana Fish doesn’t exactly get me all pepped up when all I want to do is play Dragon Quest XI. My Hero Academia, on the other hand, is easy enough to write about; I really don’t spend too much time on it. Same goes for Persona 5. I’ll probably also get to the last subbed High Score Girl episode before I get back to my puff puff adventures. But meta talk about the blog. Let’s watch round whatever (I say officially two) of Deku vs. Bakugo. By the way, I expect him to lose (though not by much). I also wonder how far we’ll have to go into the series before our hero legitimately beats Bakugo officially in a duel.
— Oh, the title of the episode is even “Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2.” Well, there you go.
— Deku’s ability to seemingly slow down time (I know he actually doesn’t) in order to plan out his next move is pretty powerful if he could rely a little more on his instincts. I know that defeats the purpose of a thinking superhero, but eh, not really. The best athletes combine the best of both worlds: they study copious amounts of film, but they also try not to overthink in the moment. It’s a delicate balance that Deku will have to learn how to strike. He’s just a kid, after all.
— A robot spots the carnage and immediately goes to warn Aizawa, but I feel like all the explosions would be loud enough to alert anyone on campus.
— I half-expected to see Aizawa up to something silly, but it looks like he’s working across two different screens. Geez, dude, no wonder you always look so tired all the damn time.
— Someone stops Aizawa right in his tracks, and it’s probably All Might. The old man wants to let the kids hash it out.
— I know Deku doesn’t want to fight his former friend, but he needs to wake up. When the guy is throwing lethal explosions at you, just fight first and talk second. Bakugo will probably be more receptive once you knock some sense into him.
— So look, I’m not a complete uncaring monster; I do understand why Bakugo feels guilty for ending All Might’s career. First, it’s technically not his fault. Anyone could’ve gotten kidnapped during their training in the woods, and the results would’ve been the same. All Might would’ve had to flex his muscles in order to save the day and thus run into All For One no matter what. The only possible way to avoid this was to somehow prevent anyone from getting kidnapped in the first place. So if you really think about it, it’s UA’s fault that everybody lost their symbol of justice. If the school hadn’t been so shit at protecting their students, All Might could still pretend that he has years left of being superhero in him.
— Nevertheless, it’s kind of messed up for Bakugo to take all his pain and rage out on Deku constantly. It’s doubly messed up that the school never provided him with any sort of therapy before and after the incident. He’s always been full of unbridled rage, and no one seems to care. Plus, being kidnapped has to be traumatic for anyone, but has the school really talked Bakugo through this? Of course not. This is just a children’s show, after all.
— That’s one of the problems with anime, though. It blurs the line between childhood and adulthood, toying with themes that might be too serious for kids, but at the same time, not serious enough for grown-ups. From my perspective, Bakugo should’ve gotten therapy a long time ago. But you can’t suggest it without somebody always going, “Ugh, it’s just a superhero show; don’t overthink it!” And yet, I have to turn around and take all of Bakugo’s feelings seriously: “See? He is not all bad! He has deep-rooted reasons for why he’s an asshole!” If you want me to acknowledge that the character isn’t a lost cause, you have to meet me halfway and acknowledge that serious problems require serious solutions. You can’t just nakama your bumbling ass through a character’s mental anguish over and over. You can’t solve every little conflicts like a bunch of meatheads.
— This looks painful for both of them.
— Also, Deku’s narration as the two kids stare at each other really kills the scene’s momentum. Dude, just fight. You’re killing the mood. Also, it’s the story’s need to spell everything out, which takes away from the drama of the fight.
— Bakugo also reveals that he feels as though Deku is looking down on him. It sounds so childish and petty, which is fine because he’s a kid. But that’s why it all the more maddening that the adults seem to just let these kids raise themselves. All Might tries to serve as a father figure, but I mean, fathers are around their kids every day. He’s not truly their father, so we can’t expect him to do the same. It’s not fair to him, but what’s fair isn’t always what’s right. It’s clear that these kids, especially Bakugo, have always needed more guidance, and there’s just no one around to help them navigate the stormy, hormone-fueled years of being a teenager.
— Deku doesn’t have much to say in return. You’re awesome so I followed you. Cool. Thumbs up to you, kid.
— I also like how the whole full cowl percentage thing lets us know just how far we all from the end. Just 8%, huh? Boy, we’ve got a long way to go.
— These two have really boring superpowers, though. Especially Deku.
— Deku surprises Bakugo with a punch after using nothing but kicks up until now, but Bakugo’s determination still prevails in the end. Ah well. This is what I expected to happen anyways. It’s the safest route that the story could’ve taken. Deku has gotten stronger, but he’s still behind Bakugo!
— See, All Might is being like a father now, but he can’t always be there for them. It’s up to UA to provide these kids with everything they need to become full-fledged superheroes, and that’s not just physical training. They need to become well-grounded adults as well, but no one seems to care until someone seriously gets hurt. Two kids shouldn’t have to fight in order to get their feelings out in the open.
— Blah blah blah, work together to make each other stronger. Standard All Might answer. Bakugo promises to hold onto All Might’s secret, so in return, the old man opens up to the kid.
— Meanwhile, Deku swears to his friend that he’ll get stronger. Standard stuff. Bakugo then retorts that he’ll go higher. Then Deku says he’ll go even higher. Higher and higher and higher! Yawn…
— Ahhhh, All Might even comes out and admits that these kids need more mental care then blames the adults for being neglectful! This is the only way he could get Aizawa to relent. But… will anything ultimately change? Will Bakugo, for instance, receive more guidance from an adult in the future? Look, I’m not going to bet any money on it…
— After the credits, Deku and Bakugo have to clean the dorms while their friends all call them idiots for fighting. Ah well, I think they both got off pretty easy considering the rules they broke. This is kinda nothing.
— Open ceremonies are all boring as hell.
— Anyways, time for a new arc.
You thought the fight was boring or their powers are boring?
Yeah, I can understand that. No real stakes, not much character development and movesets that haven’t changed much over time