Be careful, this analysis has many spoilers for the second season of My Hero Academia
I’ve been rewatching My Hero Academia the last few days, and while I haven’t been as impressed by the writing as I was by the first three episodes of the first season (Here’s why), there was one thing I kind of had to write about. That being the Hitoshi fight in the tournament arc. We never really get to hear a lot about the guy before this fight. He seems to be able to get through the tournament “tests” in a way we never see. We get some subtle hints, but no full-out exposition sequence about what his quirk is (I really dislike those). That is until he uses it on Izuku (where we then get a full-out exposition sequence). Now it is here where we learn more about him (or rather when Izuku throws him over the line). How he was at a school that looked at his quirk as criminal, with no potential as heroic. Just knowing this and that he’s in a HERO school, we can guess that he’s trying to disprove this. Now here’s where the similarities to A Silent Voice comes. Both Hitoshi and Shouya try to show the world that they are a good guy even if they might not look like it. It’s for very different reasons, but it’s a similar motivation. Now I love A Silent Voice. I wouldn’t consider it a masterpiece because of the contrast in character writing that makes the movie feel jarring at points. But it has a special place in my heart making the fight already a stand-out in my eyes.
But what makes the fight so good for me, is what happens afterward.
One of the best scenes in the “my hero academia” series is the “You can be a hero” scene that we all know. It’s certainly one of my favorites. And what makes that scene so special is how All Might disprove what Izuku has believed and tried to block away for years. That he, a quirkless boy, can become a hero.
And the reason why this fight is as good is because of the same reason. When Izuku has won the battle, we know why Hitoshi wants to win so badly. So him walking away, setting his mind on that he won’t become a hero, it’s as sad as when Izuku walks away from All Might telling him to be realistic. But then one of his classmates tells him how awesome he was, and 5 different professional heroes telling him that he would be a useful assistant and that it’s a shame that he only went into the general studies. Telling him that he can be a hero.
This coupled with some similar art direction (mainly color wise) and music as A Silent Voice makes the fight (or rather the aftermath if you could call it that) so good to me.
It has problems of course. Izuku has no role in this character arc and the way he is able to wake up from his brainwashing is kind of bullshit. But the way they wrote everything that happens after the fight makes Hitoshi probably the best character in a show that has a lot of interesting and multi-layered characters.