The battle with Himiko Toga appears to be finally over. Now its time to shift our attention to one of the remaining battles set-up by Kohei Horikoshi: All Might vs All For One. This is not simply a rematch between long-time rivals. This is the definitive final match these two will have as each one seeks to help their proteges, Izuku Midoriya and Tomura Shigaraki, in their own ways. The question is how can a quirkless All Might hope to stop All For One from reaching Shigaraki? Let’s find out with My Hero Academia Chapter 396.
Writer & Artist: Kohei Horikoshi
20 minutes before Himiko Toga’s Twice Doubles army faded away Toshinori Yagi, with Nighteye’s prophecy of his death in mind, yells out to All For One “I AM HERE.”
Toshinori then summons armor from his Hercules car to transform into Armored All Might. Against Naomasa Tsukauchi wishes All Might has Hercules record and stream the fight with All For One.
Learning from all their past fights, All Might activates various abilities from his armor to mimic Red Riot, Blackwhip, Chargebolt, Cellephane, and Sugarman Quirks to block and close the distance with All For One.
All Might reveals that when All For One initially defeated the heroes he went to the United States for safehaven. While there he met a valuable friend (David Shield) and because of that he was able to use that bond to create the armor he is using.
While All Might is saying this Melissa Shield is shown watching the stream from her home.
All Might hits All For One with “Shoot Style Smash” attack while proclaiming he never goes into a fight expecting to lose. End of chapter.
Following the dramatic showdowns with Dabi and Himiko Toga it appears Kohei Horikoshi is going with a much more action route for All Might vs All For One. That is not to say there isn’t plenty of emotion packed in this final fight with All Might and All For One as there is plenty of that. But more than anything My Hero Academia Chapter 396 establishes how All Might isn’t simply trying to be a roadblock in All For One’s way.
As with the previous fights, Horikoshi is nailing the feeling of this being the payoff that All Might and All For One have been built to receive. These two have been tied to one another even before My Hero Academia began. All the little things about this final showdown hit the epic scale you expect it to have.
All Might invoking all the lessons he learned from his master, Nana Shimura, and having watched and experienced many fights with All For One shows that Toshinori Yagi is a student of the hero game. He has never let his Superman-like powers be the thing that carried him to be known as the Symbol of Peace. And when it comes to All For One, All Might turned the trauma of Nana’s death to be what fueled him to be better and always be prepared for whatever All For One would throw at him.
One of the biggest is understanding how All For One’s ego dictates how the My Hero Academia villain fights. All For One has lived a long life believing himself to be the strongest. Because of that he loves extending the pain of others through the use of his powers. That is well pointed out by All Might, who takes advantage of how All For One heavily relies on long-range attacks to physically and mentally beat down his opponents. Even when not having the need to steal All Might’s Quirk this fighting style is a natural way All For One conducts himself. Having All Might take advantage of this shows what continues to set Toshinori apart from other heroes even though he is now Quirkless.
Adding in that for this fight All Might is being powered by all the bonds he has built over his life where the emotion of this battle comes from. All Might utilizing moves inspired by his peers and students show both his love for them and also his nerdy side. The best was Toshinori recruiting Melissa Shield’s help in creating the Armored All Might armor for him. This is a great call back to Toshinori’s time in the United States wasn’t just him hiding. He was making all sorts of preparations that included what would happen after he passed on his powers to his successor. Even though she has only had cameo appearances in the manga Horikoshi clearly placed an importance on Melissa’s character debut in the first My Hero Academia movie.
Tapping into his love for Marvel and DC Comics, it was also cool to see how All Might armor had so many Batman and Iron Man influences. All the preparations made to for the Armored All Might was built with finishing off All For One in mind. This wasn’t just All Might trying to buy time. As he states, All Might has never gone into a fight thinking he is going to lose. All Might has supreme confidence that he can win.
At the same time, Nighteye’s prophecy of All Might’s death is something that Toshinori is not able to shake. That is something that is in the back of his mind. But staying true to himself, even with Nighteye’s prophecy in mind, Toshinori will not let fate dictate his life or desire to save the world. That added to how All Might has decided to stream this final fight with All For One to the world as he wants the lasting memory to be of him being the Symbol of Peace.
My Hero Academia Chapter 396 is an excellent chapter that delivers on the excitement that comes with All Might vs All For One. This chapter further drives home what has made Toshinori Yagi the Symbol of Peace as All Might was never his powers but drive to protect and save others. The Armored All Might form was an extension of that. It all builds greater excitement to see how Kohei Horikoshi plans to end this final saga.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10