My Hero Academia is back after Kohei Horikoshi took a short break to get more time in to work on a new chapter. The last Horikoshi left My Hero Academia with All Might deciding with the last of his strength to make the ultimate sacrifice. All Might doing this is a massive game changer as if the attack can finally take All For One out of the equation for good. With Izuku Midoriya and Tomura Shigaraki locked in their final battle will the time to shift our full attention to that fight be at hand? Let’s find out with My Hero Academia Chapter 403.
Writer & Artist: Kohei Horikoshi
After thinking of his past growing up with his mom, All Might is stunned by All For One stopping his final attack.
All For One destroys the last of All Might’s armor. All For One then uses the Bloodcurdle Quirk he stole from Stain to paralyze All Might.
All For One then hits the foundation of UA High School’s floating fortress with a massive blast to force Gentle and others to focus on keeping it afloat.
Star and Stripe’s X-66 crew try to attack All For One but their jets are quickly destroyed by the villain.
All For One then carries All Might to where Deku and Tomura Shigaraki are fighting.
Deku is in shock when he sees All Might’s state but can’t break away from the fight with Shigaraki.
Suddenly someone appears through the smoke at the edge of UA High School’s floating fortress. When the smoke starts clearing up Deku spots it is Dynamight. Deku and Dynamight then share a look as the chapter ends.
Kohei Horikoshi sure knows how to pull at fans heart strings. Continuing with how we’ve been seeing glimpses of Toshinori Yagi’s pre-All Might past was a great set-up. It got you into the mindset that this was All Might’s final moment. That was quickly ripped away as All For One once again showed why he is pure evil. All that set the tone for how My Hero Academia Chapter 403 went from beginning to end.
The flashback to Toshinori growing up happily with his mother reading him stories continued his narrative of reminiscing about the past. Most of this has been around his relationship with Nana Shimura and Izuku Midoriya. Having grown up with such warm, positive parents made Toshinori’s desire to fight crime after his parents were killed by villains stronger. Part of his Symbol of Peace origin goes back to wanting to make sure others can grow up without worrying about their lives being taken away.
This made the return to the present where All For One stopped All Might’s final attack to be even more dastardly. All For One knew even before he stopped All Might’s final attack what it meant. He reveled in All Might’s failure. This made him using Stain’s Bloodcurdle Quirk to paralyze All Might the cherry on top. Finally, All For One got All Might where he wanted in order to eradicate the Symbol of Peace.
Adding on to how All For One was enjoying this moment was how he made sure no one else would get in his way. Attacking UA High School’s floating fortress took away from Gentle and other heroes capable of getting in his way. This all added to how All For One created this great sense of horror that there was no one left to stop him from reaching Tomura Shigaraki. Horikoshi punctuated this feeling with the reactions of Melissa Shield and others watching this on TV.
With this being the situation it made Izuku Midoriya be in an even tougher spot. He was already having difficulty maintaining his standstill with Tomura Shigaraki. The effects of how he is using his Quirks are having an impact on his body. That being the case, seeing All Might in such a helpless state against All For One was even more painful. Midoriya could do nothing but watch it all happen.
All of that made the final moments of My Hero Academia Chapter 403 deliver the exciting return of Katsuki Bakugo. Finally, after his status was unknown for dozens of chapters Bakugo is back and ready to do his part. Horikoshi did an excellent job at making the moment live up to the title of this chapter “The End of an Era, and… the Beginning.” It’s a moment that really got over how with the Final War story arc we have been seeing the beginning of a new hero era.
This moment also had an intriguing shot of Bakugo’s eyes. They looked very similar to when he briefly used the One For All Quirk in the Heroes Rising movie. While the movies are usually out of continuity we’ve seen Horikoshi integrate elements from the movies into the manga, specifically with Melissa Shield. The other possibility is that like with Ochaco Uraraka and Dabi, Bakugo’s Explosion Quirk could’ve evolved after his near-death experience. Either possibility will be cool to see happen.
My Hero Academia Chapter 403 delivers on the promise with a chapter title of “The End of an Era, and… the Beginning.” All For One was once again at his most pure evil with what he did to All Might. That created a scenario where the next generation of heroes continue to rise to meet every challenge the villains are throwing their way. This is by far the most consistent hype the series has been chapter to chapter.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10