Guys, finally we are here, the epic moment, the face-to-face battle between Deku and Bakugou! I really really really loved this particular round when I had read the original printed format, so much so that I was bit hesitant to watch the same round in an animated format, I didn’t want to spoil my experience, you know? It turned out that my concern was completely unnecessary. The animation rendering pushed the enjoyment to the max, making this round a key episode to be remembered. Alright, let’s move on to the review portion.
Highlight 1: Deku VS Kacchan
The subtitle of the episode is Deku VS Kacchan, and it says it all, the number one highlight of this round. Deku has been scared of Bakugou and shun away. On the other hand, Bakugou always looks down upon Deku to feed his ego. In this episode, two boys go all out to meet face to face!
As the battle begins, Deku reads Bakugou’s thought pattern, and guides Ochako-chan to advance to the goal point, while he himself engages in an one-on-one with Bakugou. Deku knows that Bakugou is skillful in close-range battle, so, he focuses on hiding from Bakugou, in order to keep a desirable distance between Bakugou and himself. Deku’s effective battle strategy is a gift of his years of hero research before entering the academy. All Might gives a positive evaluation to the depth of his otaku level knowledge.
In the latter half of the battle, Bakugou gets down seriously and grows aggressively; he creates massive explosions using explosive material stored in the arm equipment that is shaped like detonators. He releases the concentrated explosive gust in one shot. Deku gets off balance. Without wasting time, Bakugou shoots another one, and pounces on Deku to add more damage.
Their classmates watch this battle on monitors in a remote classroom. Everybody is taken aback, watching Bakugou’s amazing battle ability on the display.
The graphical presentation of Bakugou in the battle scene is, in one word, terrific. For example, the sense of speed is palpable when he lashes out firely attacks while riding the explosive blast. The weight of his punch is real as he delivers that charged blow on Deku after having swung back in full range to concentrate his power.
The match ends in the favor of the Deku and Ochako-chan team, who insists on winning the assignment. However, Deku receives serious damage on his arm. Bakugou is the last one standing so he won the battle but lost the game – to none other than, Deku. He shows complexed emotions on his face. Nonetheless, the epic battle brings one milestone between Deku and Bakugou’s long-term conflict. It’s interesting to watch how their positioning is going to change because of this.
Highlight 2: Bakugou from Deku’s point of view. Deku from Bakugou’s point of view.
During the fierce battle, Deku and Bakugou both have a flashback moment, related to the time when they were kids. Deku’s memory lane shows us Bakugou who ridiculed Deku at any opportunity he could find. Deku used to aspire Bakugou as a natural-born leader. Deku must have felt proud of hanging out with Bakugou, who managed to stay in the center of the attention and receive praises from not only kids around them but adults like kindergarten teachers.
When Bakugou looks back his past, he is particularly frustrated with the fact that Deku is truly the friend in need. From the young age, Bakugou was a capable kid. He loved himself being able to do anything, everything, even the stuff that other kids can’t, and naturally, people around him loved him, spoiled him. Bakugou came to believe that he’s the best, and constantly felt superior than the incapable Deku. It is particularly humiliating for Bakugou to be even offered a helping hand from Deku, because accepting help, no matter how much he may need it, is a threat to his superiority.
The one-on-one battle in this episode vividly illustrates how much the two teenagers actually respect each other deep down. Unfortunately, Bakugou’s exceptional ability prevents him from admitting the truth. The show traces in detail the frustration and emotional gaps.
Deku and Bakugou’s friends-or-foe relationship is twisted to the level that no one can fix. I don’t expect that only one battle will solve everything, nonetheless, I’m sure the battle was a big step forward for their future. There is a moment where classmates congratulate Deku’s stunning performance after the battle is over. It’s definitely interesting to keep watching his development!
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