My Hero Academia, Season 2 – Episode 20 – “Victory or Defeat”

The tournament of the U.A. Sports Festival has arrived, and the first battle is Izuku vs Shinso. And yet, as soon as it starts, it looks like it’s over for our MC. This episode is gonna take you on a journey through your mind. Or just Izuku’s weird visions.

As everyone wonders what is wrong with Izuku, and what Shinso’s Quirk is, Eraser Head has the data from the entrance exam himself. It shows Shinso failed the practical exam for the Hero Course, and believes Shinso knew it would happen because of the Quirk he has. It’s a very powerful Quirk, but the exam revolved around physical attacks where Shinso would fail to get points. Shinso tells Izuku to walk out of bounds. Izuku turns around and obeys.  What is Shinso’s Quirk? It’s Brainwashing. Shinso asks a question, and if the opponent answers, it flips a switch in them that allows Shinso to take over. Shinso can also not turn the switch on if he feels like it. Looking more at the data, Shinso failed the fitness part of the Hero Course worse than Izuku did. In short, if this was a normal fight, Deku would win. This battle will be over quickly, no matter who wins. All Might does want one person to win though, and that person’s body isn’t listening to him.

As Izuku can’t stop, it flashes back to Ojiro talking about this. Ojiro knew Shinso could control people after answering, so Izuku can’t answer without thinking or he’s in trouble. However, there was a time when Ojiro remembered near the end. As the group was taking Tetsutetsu’s headband, one of their teammates ran into Ojiro, and he snapped out of the brainwashing. The only problem is that Izuku is facing Shinso 1-on-1, so outside forces will not be involved. Ojiro does tell Izuku to do his best for him, but Izuku is in a pickle. He doesn’t want to lose here, this quickly, all like this.

As he is about to step out of bounds, a strange light appears. It goes right into a vision with a bunch of people staring at him. It’s enough to make not only One for All activate in his hand, but allow Izuku to move his fingers a bit, and use One for All to make him stop just in time. Everyone cheers this, as Eraser Head can see Izuku exploded two of his fingers to remove the brainwashing. Shinso can’t believe it, as can’t Izuku. He didn’t move his fingers on his own. He’s guessing the people in the vision before One for All were a factor? Izuku doesn’t have time to think this, as he has to beat Shinso. Shinso tries to provoke him to talk, saying how blessed he is. But Izuku charges ahead, knowing he is blessed but only from everyone’s help. He starts to push Shinso out, as Shinso tries to stop him, punching Izuku’s face and his broken fingers. Shinso tries himself to push Izuku out, but Izuku counters, and shoulder tosses Shinso out of bounds. It’s over. Izuku wins and moves on to Round 2.

The show then flashes back 3 years ago to Nabooh City Middle School, where Shinso is being praised for his Quirk. The students think it’s awesome, as long as he doesn’t use it on them. Shinso, however, knows that if anyone else had it, he think they use it for evil. He’s paranoid thinking everyone expects him to turn into a villain. As he returns to reality, all of Class A loves that Izuku won, as Kaminari points out it was the same move Izuku used to beat Kacchan with.

Both Bakugo and Eraser Head point out how Izuku did the same thing in the exam on Shinso, using that experience to turn the tide. Before Shinso leaves, Izuku asks why he wants to be a hero. He answers, “You can’t help the things you long for.” Izuku knows this because he felt it before One for All. As Shinso leaves, his general study buddies praise him for fighting, but they also point out how the heroes in the audience like his Quirk as well, saying it could be good against villains. Shinso decides not to give up, and will still try to get into the Hero Course and beat the rest. Izuku nods to this, which causes Shinso’s Quirk to activate again. Shinso hopes Izuku won’t lose in an unseemly way.

As Izuku gets fixed by Recovery Girl (with her also punching All Might for putting too much pressure on him), he tells All Might about the visions he had fighting, and how one of the people in there looked like All Might himself, thinking the people who inherited One for All all experienced it. After trolling Izuku, All Might tells him he saw them when he was younger, meaning Izuku is getting the handle on his powers. But the vision itself wasn’t that undid the brainwashing. It was Izuku’s strong emotions. As Izuku leaves, All Might is glad Izuku saw him in the vision.

As Todoroki makes his way to the ring, his dad Endeavor is in the way. He still wants Todoroki to use his left side to fight, since he is different from his siblings and is the “greatest masterpiece”. But Todoroki promises to win with his mom’s power, even if there’s a limit to it.

With Izuku joining the others, the match of Todoroki vs Hanta begins, as Hanta isn’t sure he can beat Todoroki, but will still fight. He gets all his Tape wrapped around Todoroki, and proceeds to try to toss him out of bounds. But Todoroki apologizes, then uses his ice. A big shockwave rocks the building All Might is in. Izuku, the announcers, and the audience are shocked at what they see. A big, ice wall is covering part of the stadium, as Hanta (and Midnight as well) are covered in ice.

Todoroki overdid it with his anger, but the result is that Hanta can’t move (The audience tries to help Hanta by chanting “Don’t worry about it”.) As he melts the ice on Hanta, Todoroki advances to face Izuku in the next round. All Izuku could see from Todoroki was complete sadness.

The overall episode didn’t have a lot of punch to it, other than to Izuku’s face, but the one thing that dominated this more than Todoroki did to Hanta was the animation. It was the real winner here, as most of it was Grade A quality stuff. From Izuku’s vision, to his fight with Shinso, to Todoroki icing the place, BONES did a great job on this one, turning a “boring fight” (Present Mic’s words, not mine) into outstanding work that made you want to watch it play out. Plus, the back and forth of Shinso and Izuku was good, and Todoroki dealing with his dad is still a unique perspective on dealing with authoritative figures. Although, humanizing Shinso was not for my liking, to be honest. Yeah, it was coming, but he has kind of been an ass this whole time as we seen him. Not as big as one as Kacchan, but that’s who he is. I get where Shinso is coming from, being not as good as the others. But it was better when he was mysterious and creepy. Still, it’s a shonen about superheroes, so it’s to be expected. Then again, to be fair to Shinso, I actually still prefer this then the people who watch MHA that constantly whine about the pacing and how it’s not consistent with the manga. Yeah, they are still going on about it. Just give it up already. It’s a 2-cour season, and you got 17 episodes left. The tournament continues on in the next episode, as we will see a bunch more of Class A square off against one another.

My Hero Academia is simulcasted on both Funimation and Crunchyroll. It can be seen Saturdays at 5:35 AM on both, with a simu-dub on Funimation.

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