My Hero Academia 6×09 Review: “Katsuki Bakugo: Rising”

My Hero Academia Bakugo

The fight against Shigaraki is heating up, and the heroes are running out of time. Their greatest hopes to beat him lie with Midoriya and Aizawa. But as we see in “Katsuki Bakugo: Rising”, neither of them is invincible.

In the first approximately thirty seconds of “Katsuki Bakugo: Rising”, Aizawa proves why he is the most baller boss that ever existed. This man actually cut off his own leg to stop the deleter bullet from robbing him of his Quirk. He knows that without his Quirk, they stand absolutely no chance against Shigaraki. After all, Shigaraki leveled almost an entire city in seconds just by touching the ground. That’s a power that very few people can stand against.

And he did it without even flinching. He didn’t even blink (which is good, because if he blinks, his Quirk stops working). He was fully prepared for the possibility that he would need to cut off one of his own appendages in order to keep the fight going. Even Shigaraki thinks that’s cool.

I think this episode does a good job of conveying the hopelessness of the situation. The same as when the students watched the city they were trying to save crumble into dust, the members of 1-A and 1-B who were fighting Gigantomachia are faced with brutal failure. They did the best they could, but he is still running unimpeded towards Shigaraki. He’s cut down multiple heroes on his way, and the only reason they are still alive is because they weren’t considered a threat. For a bunch of heroes-in-training, that has to be a low blow.

This episode also manages to show that it’s not entirely hopeless. For the first time, their attacks are starting to show on Shigaraki. His body is breaking down. Basically, he wasn’t done cooking; his super-regeneration Quirk wasn’t able to fully manifest. This is the first episode in a while where it seems as though the heroes may actually be able to defeat him.

That sequence, where Midoriya basically uses Shigaraki as a yo-yo, was so well done. The animation, combined with the voice acting, really let you feel Midoriya’s rage. He’s a character who’s almost always smiling, even when he’s crying, even when he’s in pain. When you see him that angry, you know that he’s about to beat someone down.

Unfortunately, he seems to be fully dedicated to the idea of noble self-sacrifice. He is going to win, no matter what happens to him in the process. His 100% attacks have damaged his arms, perhaps permanently, and he likely doesn’t have much strength left in him to finish off Shigaraki. He’s out there calling out every city and state in the United States. He has even debuted his new Quirk, Float, which (ironically or not) was Shigaraki’s grandmother’s ability.

I do love getting to see his other Quirks manifest. Ever since learning about the possibility, I’ve been eager to see what abilities will manifest for Midoriya. That he’s only unlocked two so far – Black Whip and Float – in addition to the base power of super strength, seems to imply that he won’t be able to defeat Shigaraki until he can master all of them. Therefore, it stands to reason that the heroes do not win this battle. The important question is, what happens in the meantime?

Of course, in an episode that bears his name, I can’t not talk about Bakugo. His growth over the course of the series has been phenomenal. One thing My Hero Academia does really well is redeeming its jackasses – Bakugo and Endeavor both have redemption arcs that feel earned. I mean, Bakugo’s personality is still awful, but you can’t help but root for him.

Flashbacks show that Bakugo is determined to help Midoriya master his abilities, not just because he wants to beat him fair and square, but also because he cares. He doesn’t entirely trust All Might and wants to be there to protect Midoriya, to an extent. Not only that, but he realizes the burden that Midoriya has to carry – through no fault of his own – and knows that he added to it. This is his way of atoning for his past behavior, but it’s also him making sure that Midoriya doesn’t have to do it alone.

By far the greatest example of his growth was him taking the blow meant for Midoriya. It nicely parallels Midoriya saving Bakugo in the very first episode. His body moved independently from his brain. If you remember, that was one of the things that convinced All Might to give Midoriya his Quirk. That is a true hero moment.

This season keeps getting better and better, but one has to wonder how many we’ll lose before the battle is over. And as I mentioned before, are they even able to beat Shigaraki as it stands now? Endeavor’s strongest attacks aren’t working. Midoriya has “smashed” him a few times to no effect. And now it looks like All for One’s consciousness has taken over. Things look grim for our heroes.

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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