With the previous episode ending on such an ominous note, “The Thrill of Destruction” wastes no time letting you know that the scales have tipped in the other direction. Now that Shigaraki is awake, the stakes have been raised exponentially. It’s difficult to see how even the combined strength of the heroes will be enough to defeat the force of Shigaraki’s destruction.
I know I joked in my review for “Inheritance” that I hope you didn’t get too attached to X-Less, but it’s still hard to watch a hero lose their life. Shigaraki’s victims in particular have such a horrific end – watching it just leaves me in despair. But X-Force wasn’t the only hero we lost in “The Thrill of Destruction”. Aside from the nameless heroes lost when the city was destroyed, Crust sacrificed himself to save Aizawa – and he did so with a smile and a thumbs up.
Characters like Crust, who are simply earnest and empathetic, are a huge loss regardless. But what will the heroes who survived be going through after witnessing so many of their comrades die the way that they did? Shigaraki leveled a mountain and a city and killed at least a dozen heroes in the process just by touching the ground. Midoriya and Todoroki tried to contain the damage and saw their best efforts come to naught.
When you throw everything you have at something, and it still isn’t enough, what do you do? For possibly the first time ever in My Hero Academia, things feel hopeless.
As awful as that scene was to watch, it was done so, so well. Characters got turned to dust in seconds. Skyscrapers literally crumbled. When I read this scene in the manga, I didn’t realize the scope of the destruction. But in the anime, you could really feel the sheer scale of the decay and the utter helplessness of the situation. Seeing how futile every attempt was to stop it, watching the kids grab anyone they could, and hearing the desperation in Burnin’s voice as she tried to get a hold of anyone from the hospital… The whole sequence was amazing.
Given the parallels between Midoriya and Shigaraki, it’s fairly evident that they are setting up a final battle between the two characters. With Midoriya’s connection to both Shigaraki and All For One, he is the one who must face the villain. The question is, given everything we know about Midoriya’s abilities, can he stand against Shigaraki?
His Full Cowling is up to 45%, which is a big jump from 20%, but we saw that still wasn’t enough to stop the destruction. As it stands right now, I don’t think he’s a match for this overpowered Shigaraki. The answer likely lies in the additional powers he has yet to unlock from the previous One For All users.
Finally, after nearly three episodes of being in danger, Hawks was rescued. I love that Tokoyami came to his rescue – and that Fat Gum acknowledged the strength it would have taken to do so. A lot of the focus is usually on Midoriya, Bakugo, and Todoroki, so I like the moments like this one when you realize that the rest of Class 1-A is just as strong.
Knowing that his wings are completely gone is a devastating blow. He can’t use his Quirk at all. The battle has just begun, and the number two hero is effectively out of commission.
On the other hand, I do like the twist on the villain monologue trope with Dabi. Hawks and Tokoyami think they’ve outsmarted him, but Dabi is fully aware of his limitations and that’s why he was doing it. He even used weaker attacks in order to save up and overpower them when they thought they’d escaped.
I don’t know if it’s as obvious in the anime as it is in the manga, but you can see that Dabi’s body can’t really handle his own Quirk. He’s literally smoking every time he uses it. If you rewatch the series, from his introduction, his attacks have always been the same. He lets off a burst of fire, then monologues for a bit to recharge his Quirk and give his body time to cool down. But it’s such a trope for the villains to monologue that you wouldn’t necessarily notice unless it’s pointed out to you.
I appreciate that Tokoyami didn’t lose faith in Hawks, even after Dabi gloated that he stabbed Twice in the back. Despite Dabi claiming that heroes are no better than villains, Tokoyami was able to recognize that when Hawks takes a life, he does it for a reason.
There’s a double standard when it comes to taking a life. Villains are villains, so it’s expected of them. But heroes are meant to be better than that. Still, I think you could argue that in some situations, it’s necessary. The needs of the many, you know. Yes, it’s an awful thing to stab a man in the back, but if the PLF had Twice’s Quirk, the loss of life would be catastrophic.
“The Thrill of Destruction” has shown how big the stakes are. Are our heroes equipped to meet the challenge?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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