My Hero Academia has hit an all-time high when it comes to emotional story telling. We’ve seen Class 1-A do everything in their power to make sure their thoughts and feelings can get through Izuku Midoriya’s current tunnel vision of taking on All For One alone. As it looked like Izuku was going to get away from them using his Faux 100% One For All move Class 1-A united to create a combo move that allowed Tenya Iida to catch up to Izuku. How will Izuku respond to his friends trying all they can to show they can stand with him? Let’s find out with My Hero Academia Chapter 322.
Writer and Artist: Kohei Horikoshi
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the sky Izuku Midoriya, with tears in his eyes, tries to break Tenya Iida’s grasp but is unable to find the strength to do so. Ochaco Uraraka releasing her power on Tenya. As they fall Tenya realizes they are falling to fast for him to break their fall.
Just as they are about hit the ground Eijiro Kirishima shows up and catches Tenya and Izuku while using his Hardening Quirk to stand firm on the ground.
Eijiro mentions to Izuku that he remembers hearing a story a while back about a kid his age rushing to save his friend (this took place in My Hero Academia Chapter 1 when Izuku tried to save Katsuki Bakugo from the Sludge Villain that All Might ended up saving both of them from). Eijiro says he knows that kid was Izuku and saving Bakugo had nothing to do with powers so he should let them do the same as Izuku did back then.
The rest of Class A rush to check on Izuku, Tenya, and Eijiro. Mina Ashido speaks on not wanting to lose someone else and asks Izuku to let them stick with him so they can do things together again.
Izuku stands on his own power and says that while he would like that he can’t go back to how things were before.
Bakugo reminds Izuku about telling him “Stop trying to win this on your own” before he got stabbed by Tomura Shigaraki. Bakugo goes on to admit that back when they were kids that he indeed believe that Izuku was someone that was beneath him while also feeling Izuku was above him, a feeling he hated. As we see Izuku and Bakugo from different points in their childhood, Bakugo goes on to say this was why he kept Izuku at arms length. Finally calling him “Izuku” Bakugo bows his head and apologizes for everything.
Bakugo continues to say that there is actually nothing wrong with Izuku walking down the path he did but he should let his friends help him so that is what will lead to living up to the ideals and surpassing All Might while. Bakugo finishes by saying that saving people is what will really be why they win.
Taking everything to heart Izuku apologizes for everything he said to Class A and immediately collapses. Bakugo catches Izuku before he lands on the ground.
As Class A reflects on what happened Momo Yaoyorozu tells Ochaco that while they got through this challenge a road much more perilous awaits them. Ochaco agrees.
Sometime later Izuku wakes up in vehicle with Thirteen (seeing her unmasked for the first time) talking to him about how civilians have been moved to U.A. High School shelters and only anti-hero protestors being outside the walls. She says that luckily protestors have grown exhausted which has made catching extremist criminals easier. Thirteen says that thanks to what Izuku did as Deku during his journey he gave the Pro Heroes and police a chance to be able to handle things now.
As he is lead through the doors of U.A. High School by his classmates Izuku starts to doubt if he should be returning. When the doors fully open a large amount of the sheltered citizens scream out their disapproval about Izuku being brought to U.A. High School as they believe he is the rumored person All For One and Shigaraki are after.
Hearing the discontent about his presence at the school Izuku starts to walk back through the entrance. Before he can leave Ochaco grabs Izuku’s hand. Ochaco tells Izuku that things will be okay. As she says this Ochaco thinks how Bakugo and her classmates played their part in getting Izuku back so they can’t let him just leave. She goes on to think “Because when heroes need protecting who will be there to protect them?” End of chapter.
The Good: My Hero Academia Chapter 322 continues the emotionally heavy arc of Deku vs Class A. Kohei Horikoshi does a phenomenal job in making the entire story get more intense with each passing issue. It makes how things are resolve for one major plot point be even more rewarding as a fan to experience.
Starting out with Izuku Midoriya unable to break Tenya Iida’s grip was a great way to quickly summarize how emotionally and physically drained Deku is at this point. He pushed himself well beyond the point exhausting even before this battle with Class A took place. It spoke to how this moment with Tenya holding his hand was the first time in quite some time that Izuku gave himself a moment to reflect on something other than stopping All For One and Tomura Shigaraki.
Having Eijiro Kirishima bring up Izuku saving Bakugo from all the way back in the first chapter of this series was great storytelling. By going back to the very beginning of My Hero Academia Horikoshi reminds the reader of how far all the characters have truly come 300+ chapters later. In its own way it got across the message that every chapter of My Hero Academia mattered in building out all the relationships between Class A.
This momentum was carried into Mina Ashido talking about sticking together so they don’t have to suffer losing someone else they know. Without saying the name Horikoshi is able to tap into how hard Mina and the rest of Class A took the death of Midnight at the end of the Paranormal Liberation War arc. It is important that the deaths that took place in that story arc are used to reinforce the importance of all the heroes working together, especially given how close Class A was to Midnight.
Izuku making one last attempt to leave made Bakugo being the one to give the final speech that drove home why Deku shouldn’t do things alone was excellently done. Bakugo finally opening up to Izuku about all of the feelings he has had throughout their history together spoke volumes of how far they’ve both come. Horikoshi was able to show us a Bakugo who has grown up to not just see everyone as things in his way to be considered the #1 Pro Hero. His view on Deku spoke to this as he is now to the point that he does view Deku as a friend. Drawing the different ages they both were throughout their lives made the moment Bakugo finally called Izuku by his first name was delivered with the weight that makes it one of the most memorable moments in My Hero Academia’s history.
Hearing everything Bakugo and the others said finally getting through to him made Izuku finally giving into his exhaustion a strong way to wrap things up in this part of the story. Izuku apologizing for having such tunnel vision and saying awful things to his friends was something he needed to say. It is the first step into not going down the dark and lonely path All For One likely wanted Izuku to walk.
While this did give a vibe of things turning around I’m glad Horikoshi did not lose sight of the current state of My Hero Academia’s world. Villains are still running rampant with the government pushing civilians to now live in shelters protected by Pro Heroes like the shelter at U.A High School. Seeing such a massive reinforced wall that made U.A. High School look like a fortress was the shock back to the reality for the state of the world.
And while the secret of One For All is still not out the fact that the civilians at U.A. High School suspect Izuku as being the one All For One and Tomura Shigaraki are targeting was a strong visual. You cannot blame the civilians, who have been forced out of their homes and now living in shelters with heroes working as guards all around them. The tensions in the shelters are already high so having Class A attempt to bring Izuku back to U.A. High would understandably set off all these innocent civilians.
Seeing Izuku start to go back to his loner Deku persona by attempting to walk out made Ochaco Uraraka grabbing his hand a powerful way to end My Hero Academia Chapter 322. The determination in Ochaco’s eyes as she does not want Izuku to walk away from them again made her thoughts stand out even more. It builds on wondering what will happen next as it does look as though we will see Ochaco step up in more of a leadership role. Izuku’s choices seem to be what will trigger this part of Ochaco to come out and I am looking forward to it.
The Bad: Though I liked how Midnight’s death was used to reinforce why Class A fought so hard to save Izuku it was a reminder of how all the deaths during the Paranormal Liberation War arc haven’t been addressed. There were many characters like Midnight who we knew the name of that died. It would’ve been nice to see that there was some sort of funeral or something that honored Midnight and the others who put their lives on the line to save people. It was a major miss in the middle of everything that has been taking place during the start of the Final Act Saga.
Overall: My Hero Academia Chapter 322 does an excellent job in wrapping up the Deku vs Class A battle and moving us forward to the next big story in the Final Act Saga. The emotions of the entire Class A students drove the story to hit you as a fan. Everything from what Eijiro Kirishima and Mina Ashido tell Izuku Midoriya to Katsuki Bakugo’s big speech made this entire chapter a home run. The final few pages work keep us guessing as to what direction Kohei Horikoshi is planning to take My Hero Academia.
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