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‘My Hero Academia’ Season 5, Episode 2: “Vestiges”

Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of "My Hero Academia"

Despite the season premier’s slow beginning, viewers were left on a cliff-hanger showing Dabi’s—the League of Villains' cyan fire wielder—confrontation with the No.1 hero, Endeavor. Fans who don’t read the manga were most likely confused about why Hawks, the show’s supposed protagonist and No. 2 hero, meets with Dabi after the confrontation. However, the unaddressed plot holes from the first episode were not only finally dug into but opened a whole new satisfying can of worms, leaving the viewer grappling with what exactly they watched by the end of the credits. Especially when the episode not only dove into what we saw in the ending credits of the previous episode regarding Hawk’s allegiance, but the Todoroki family’s road to closure regarding the familial bonds between their No.1 hero father Enji Todoroki, Endeavor; mother, Rei Todoroki, placed in a psychiatric hospital; and the three Todoroki siblings—Shoto, Fuyumi, and Natsuo. Furthermore, we were left with another shocking cliff-hanger showing Deku’s ‘One For All’ lineage and origin. All of this requires an even more satisfying second watch to make sure the smallest detail doesn’t go unmissed. Fans got everything and more in this episode; however, they were also treated to striking visuals and long awaiting character growth despite the overwhelming plot development. Thus, creating a proper balance throughout the entire episode. But, at this point, those factors are just a given in the world of "My Hero Academia." 

Eyes like a Hawk

Image from IMDB

The episode starts with Endeavor in the hospital thinking about the end of the battle. When viewers saw Dabi approaching Endeavor and Hawks at the end of the previous episode, we never knew what happened after that. That was answered when we see Dabi encase the two heroes in a wall of blue flame and threaten them despite their weakened state because of Endeavor and Hawks’ lack of flames and feathers, respectively. If it weren’t for the rabbit-resembling No.5 hero—Mirko—saving them, then it is believed both heroes would be cremated. After that, the show picks up where it left off, with Hawks and Dabi meeting and discussing Endeavor’s—Dabi incited—fight with Nomu. Viewers initially believe Hawks is a traitor to the hero profession by working with Dabi. It is later revealed that the controversial partnership is only a ploy to gain intel on the League of Villains to finally defeat them. Thus, adding more complexity to Hawk’s character development, especially since viewers know very little about the character given his introduction in episode 23 of season four. But, the ambiguity makes the double agent cover even more believable for viewers because it ties the audience into the ruse as well. After knowing about the ruse, Hawks’ allegiance is still not one hundred percent certain to viewers. The double agent mission also furthers the initiative to rid the world of the League of Villains: a motive revisiting plot points from the first season and adding complexity to the story. It is later revealed this mission is one of many planned. In turn, creating an ever-growing web of missions was posed to ensure the League of Villains’ destruction. This web and complexity are most likely one of the many reasons fans are drawn to the show outside the loveable characters and their individual motives for being involved in the hero realm. 

Melting the Todoroki ice

Image from IMDB

The scenes showing the Todoroki family all together—minus Rei—in their house was something fans, including myself, have been waiting for since season one when we were first introduced to the complicated situation. While we weren’t expecting sunshine and rainbows after years of trauma, there was still a sense of astonishment when seeing the family together and talking. I mean, we saw it coming after Shoto forgave his mother by visiting and writing her when he could. However, this scene provided an ultimate sense of hope after all the siblings expressed their discontent towards their father, as it established a starting point for growth and closure. Especially after Shoto showed concern towards his father during his fight with Nomu, Natsuo expressed his built-up anger towards his father, and Fuyumi told everybody that their mother smiled for the first time after years of upset. One important part was when Shoto pointed out his matching scar with his father; the matching scars now provide a reminder of the family’s development for viewers. Shoto received his during the family’s darker times, and Endeavor’s was a result of his fight with Nomu, fueling his drive to become a better father figure and role model. There were so many detrimental and intimate parts to this scene that tied in past initiatives each family member made to reach closure. This furthered the plot and made everything come together in a full circle. From here, viewers can only expect Endeavor to mend relations amongst his family further and become the figure his family not only needs, but society too. Viewers will also expect this breakthrough to further Shoto and Endeavor’s development as heroes. 

The Haunting 

Image from IMDB

One plot point that viewers may have forgotten about amid everything else, is Midoriya’s/Deku’s deep connection with the previous One For All users. Even though viewers know Deku is connected to the previous users just for having the quirk—similar to his connection with the previous No. 1 hero All Might—we have never seen him extensively interact with them. The only time he came relatively close to an interaction was during the UA Highschool Sports Festival in season two. Then, Deku saw shadowed figures behind All Might and was snapped out of General Studies student Hitoshi Shinso’s hypnosis. Since then, the experience was brought up here and there, but nothing similar happened again—until now.  

In this episode, Deku not only sees the previous One For All users but experiences the origins and learns the ultimate purpose of his quirk by watching its first user square off against their brother, All For One, in a dream. Deku is left confused and with a shattered window after his quirk is activated during his dream. There are now so many unanswered questions, but one can only assume that the previous users are reaching out to Deku to provide strength in his path to finally defeat All For One. Either way, this experience only adds to the many challenges Deku is set up to face on his path to becoming the ultimate “symbol of peace.” Thus, adding to Deku's very complex character and another satisfying plot point in his journey towards forging his own identity amongst the crowd of others who were previously in his shoes. 

Overall, the episode answered many questions from the previous episodes and opened a whole new can of worms. Things we thought were apparent about our characters and their character growth were thrown for a loop. Where we thought we had reached the ultimatum in this show, it looks like we are just getting started; it is apparent how much we have yet to find out about the main characters and their path to becoming a pro hero. However, above all else, it is exciting to see the creators finally dig into plot points viewers have been waiting for since season one. One can only wait in anticipation for future episodes to fully address Deku’s dream while diving more into Hawks’ mission and the Todoroki family’s growth—especially since the ending credits show the next episode to be another training exercise between Classes 1-A and 1-B.

Sources: Byte

Images: IMDB

Featured Image: Crunchyroll

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