Okay, seriously, no one thought to put him through some kind of therapy after this fight?! He practically killed his opponent just because he had a grudge! I had to go to fucking therapy because I yelled a lot, but this guy gets away with nearly fucking killing a dude?!
Bakugo’s mental health (or in this case, lack thereof) aside, this is still one of my favorite episodes. Any fight that requires this much strategic maneuvering is always a treat, and this one goes above and beyond. Plus Ultra, if you would.
In terms of production quality, it’s exactly what you’d expect from this show at this point. The expression work on each character is amazing, the animation is spectacular (especially with Deku’s Detroit Smash and Uraraka’s Comet Home Run at the end), and the music is spectacular as always. This meets and surpasses the standard this show has set at his point in it’s run, and it’s one of the best looking episodes in season one.
It’s also full of incredibly wonderful character moments. Seeing Iida get into the mindset of a villain by acting like a Saturday morning cartoon bad guy is hilarious, and watching Uraraka struggle against him whilst he’s acting as such so that Deku’s efforts aren’t in vain is sweet and adorable. Both of these characters provide the perfect levity for an episode that is otherwise incredibly brutal.
Then of course there’s Deku and Bakugo. Seeing Bakugo’s early developing narcissism clash with Deku’s early developing heroic spirit is kind of charming in an odd way. It also communicates to the audience pretty well just how petty Bakugo really is. Not only has he projected all of his weaknesses and flaws onto Deku, but he developed an extreme hatred just because he tried to help him out of a river.
I always forget how hard season one tried to make the audience hate this kid.
Then of course there’s All Might. Watching him struggle between his duties as a teacher and his obligation as Deku’s mentor is a simple but endearing emotional conflict. It’s a perfect fit for the character. It’s not the star of the episode, but it’s a nice little touch that makes the episode feel more complete.
I love this fight, and I love this episode. Re-watching after the rematch between these two in season three makes this battle feel all the more intense. Even if you don’t feel like going through a season one marathon, I’d recommend watching this episode after you’re all caught up with the show. Seriously, you won’t regret it.