Episode 10 of Season 2 (or Episode 23 as a whole) of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) has come out and starts the match between Todoroki and Izuku. The former intends to win without using his father’s half of his quirk, while the latter intends to win in order to live up to the support that everyone had given him. They’ve both got strong motivations, but there can only be one winner, and so the match begins with both going for the strongest opening they can muster to nullify the other’s power.
Already from the start, Izuku is at a disadvantage because to use 100% of his power, he needs to break a finger each time and so he only has eight times total to find an opening. That number drops as the match continues and he has to use an entire arm to ward off a particularly close-call, due to the fact that Todoroki is as much of an Ace as Bakugo.
However, that doesn’t mean that Todoroki isn’t going without trouble either. As Bakugo explains, all Quirks have a limit and his is that his body temperature drops as he uses his ice. Now, this is easily rectified if he uses his fire-half. However, he refuses to and this insults Izuku because everyone else is trying their hardest whereas he’s holding back half of his strength.
So Izuku goes all-in and land a punch that he manages to control well enough that it doesn’t smear Todoroki across the concrete. The judges consider stopping the match before Izuku completely wrecks his body by breaking already broken bones to keep fighting, but don’t as Izuku tells Todoroki that he won’t stop until he can become the hero that he wants to be.
This ultimately pushes Todoroki to remember the time he spent with his mother leading to the unpleasantness, namely that the verbal and physical abuse she suffered trying to shelter him from Endeavor drove her into a bout of madness and the asshole had her committed to a mental hospital. He remembers that he wants to be a hero like All Might (who doesn’t at this point, he’s the symbol of Peace after all), and that basically kick-starts him using his fire abilities for the first time for his own sake.
Izuku and Todoroki go at it one final time and that’s when both of the judges interfere before they end up killing one another by accident. Izuku ends up losing the match by the virtue of both a ring-out and knock out, while Todoroki wins as the episode ends.
So, this episode showcases the extent both of them are willing to go to be number one. Todoroki wants to be a hero, just not like his abusive asshole of a father. But he put that behind him in order to just spite his father by not using his full abilities, which is an insult to everyone else, including himself, because its his power.
Izuku basically pushes himself to try and break him out of this mindset, and succeeds at great cost to himself. I mean, he was breaking already broken bones to get in more hits. His mother must be having a fit watching this.
Also, love the way its established that even the strongest Quirks have limitations. Bakugo explains that he has to deal with the recoil while Todoroki has to deal with lack of stamina over time as his own Quirk slows his body down. That and the good science of the sudden heat led to the cold air, which was denser and condensing due to the drop in temperature leaving the molecules moving slowly, violently expanding into an explosion of mostly hot air.
Then again, it could be BS. If I could get some clarification that’d be nice, but can’t wait for the next episode.