It’s full-speed ahead for My Hero Academia as The Final Act Saga has hit a major plot point with the heroes having cornered All For One and the League of Villains. Now it looks like the full on Hero vs Villain War that was teased throughout 2021 has officially began. There is really no telling what this will mean for the future of My Hero Academia as both sides have pushed all their chips to the center. Will we see heroes and villains fall? Does either side have more surprises planned that will change everything again? Let’s find out with My Hero Academia Chapter 344 titled Stars.
Writer & Artist: Kohei Horikoshi
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In a flashback Toshinori Yagi, Naomasa Tsukauchi, and Principle Nezu explain to Class 1-A how they plan to trick All For One by using Yuga Aoyama status.
Momo Yaoyorozu is worried that All For One will kill Yuga’s parents when discovering the lie. Naomasa says he already figured out that All For One can only detect lies through a person’s voice to then appear in front of the person to kill them when detecting the lie.
Toshinori then reveals they have brought in Hitoshi Shinso to have him use his powers to make Yuga and his parents believe everything they are telling All For One is the truth.
Meanwhile at Central Hospital, Shota Aizawa and Vlad King take Neito Monoma (Phantom Thief) to copy and train in mastering Kurogiri (who Aizawa still remembers as his high school friend Oboro Shirakumo) Warp Gate Quirk. Neito isn’t sure he can do it because he has always viewed himself as a side character but Vlad King reassures his student that he has always been a star.
In the present, Phantom Thief successfully uses the Warp Gate Quirk to teleport all the heroes to where All For One and the villains thought they had cornered Deku.
Dabi immediately goes after Endeavor but his attacked is stopped by a massive ice attack that Shoto launched. Shoto and Dabi then prepare to face off.
Suddenly Toshinori activates the Operation Troy system. Metal cages suddenly contain All For One and all the villains. Toshinori and Naomasa then launch the second phase of the plan by having Phantom Thief open another Warp Gate to push the villains through in order to split them all up. End of chapter.
The Good: With the big hook ending of the last chapter showing us that the heroes were finally getting one over on All For One the beginning of Chapter 344 explains how that all happened. This was a smart move to open up the latest chapter of My Hero Academia as it gave further depth to how our heroes are not just rushing into battle. We are at a point where one wrong move will be even more disastrous than what led to the current status quo.
With that in mind we are seeing how everyone, including the adults, on the heroes side have all really matured through the past 343 chapters of My Hero Academia. Toshinori Yagi in particular taking the lessons from the fights he had with All For One to formulate this plan was an excellent use of history in this world. It shows that even without being All Might that Toshinori has found a way to still be useful. Taking a step back to lead this Operation Troy plan is a major growth moment for Toshinori’s character that keeps him at the forefront while still letting Endeavor and the others be the ones leading the charge on the battlefield.
Also give the connection that All For One reveal to have with Naomasa Tsukauchi family line it was great to see it also worked the other way around. We’ve seen how in his brief appearances Naomasa has been established as My Hero Academia’s version of The Question. Seeing how he figured out that All For One was using a version of his Lie Detector Quirk and formed a plan with the others to have Hitoshi Shinso use his Quirk so that All For One can’t see through their trick was fantastic. It all worked together to show the long term planning that has gone into facing off against All For One after the events of The Paranormal Liberation War.
Through all of this planning Horikoshi was able to elevate both Hitoshi Shinso and Neito Monoma. Shinso we knew that Horikoshi had plans to play a major role in he series at some point. Shinso showing up in this chapter felt like part of that payoff as a spotlight is placed on his growth and importance in the Pro Heroes plot. Just like with Class 1-A you felt proud that Shinso was able to come as far as he has come.
On the other hand, I was honestly not expecting the big growth we saw with Neito Monoma’s character. Horikoshi has made Monoma’s character more of a comic relief with his hate for Class 1-A coming from his own inferiority complex. Seeing all the build around his inferiority complex payoff into showing that Monoma is not just another supporting character was excellent character work. It not only works to elevate Monoma’s character this character moment worked to establish how, as Vlad King said, there is no side characters in My Hero Academia. If Horikoshi has spotlighted a character in some way at any point in My Hero Academia’s existence expect them to possibly play a role in the future of the series.
All of this storytelling in the flashback further strengthened how we see the battle between heroes and villains begins in the present. Right away Horikoshi recognized that the most personal battle of them all is the one with Dabi, Shoto, and Endeavor. Seeing it spotlighted even briefly showed how this won’t be a short battle between the Todoroki family. It being the only fight spotlighted emphasized its importance.
Going from their into how the heroes, through Operation Troy, are splitting up the villains to have a better chance at overcoming the odds opens the door for an infinite amount of possibilities. The different combinations of fights that we can get along with the personal rivalries already established makes how ever long this arc is extremely exciting. Which all speaks to how much magic Horikoshi has created that it is not just the fights involving Deku that we are invested in. That shows the true power of long-term story development that we can be excited for so many different battles and character interactions.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: You won’t find a better set-up chapter than the work the Kohei Horikoshi put into My Hero Academia Chapter 344. Horikoshi does an excellent job using both flashbacks and present-day scenes to strengthen the overall story as the heroes and villains are all set to wage war. The way certain characters are elevated through the story told in Chapter 344 was truly impressive. It all worked to build further hype for what is to come in My Hero Academia.