If this was really 1,000,000%, Izuku’s arm and Muscular would have been pasted across the forest.
Here’s my (late) Recap and Review of Episode 4 of Season 3 (or Episode 42 as a whole) of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) .
The episode picks up with a flashback on Izuku’s talk with Mandalay about Kota’s parents and their death. Then we cut to Kota remembering a moment where Mandalay is telling him someone will reach him and be his hero. That’s before the robed villain appears behind him.
Five minutes beforehand, the extra lessons group of kids join that loud mouth from Class B in the building for studying. Then Eraserhead goes out to check on the trouble when Mandalay uses her Telepathy to tell them that villains are attacking. Dabi immediately tries to kill him with a sneak attack and that’s the last we see of him this episode.
Back with the other heroes, Magne threatens to crush Pixie-Bob’s head and Tiger is getting ready to pounce when Spinner tries to chill them out… until he sees Iida and recognizes him as the one who led to Stain being caught and wants to go fighting. Mandalay has the kids head back to safety and tell them not to fight, but Izuku immediately runs off to find Kota because he’s not back yet either.
With Class B, they’re running from the gas until Momo provides them with gas masks. That means they can get through this alive and retreat. But Tetsutetsu decides to go fighting because his class is the one under attack and they need to turn this crisis into an opportunity.
As for Kota, he can hear Mandalay’s Telepathy telling him to run, but she can’t reach him in time to save him from the villain that’s right on top of him. Said villain immediately tries to kill Kota without a second thought too. Izuku, luckily, pops up to save him at the expense of his phone being broken, meaning there’s no chance of reinforcements like with Stain.
We then go to Bakugo and Todoroki, who made it to the halfway point before the attack and ended up leaving things to Ragdoll since the gas is too dangerous. Unfortunately for them, they run into the villain in a straitjacket who has a severed hand in front of him. Then they recall Tokoyami and Shouji were in front of them and Bakugo immediately wants to get to the fighting.
Mandalay uses her Telepathy to distract Spinner while they fight until Magne uses their Quirk to pull her away. Then Tiger punches Magne and recalls the criminal’s record while Mandalay mentions not being able to get in touch with Ragdoll… after which we see her table at the halfway point being covered in blood.
Back with Izuku, the villain Muscular mentions that Izuku is on a “to-kill” list from Shigaraki. Since Izuku states that he’ll save Kota, Muscular decides to see if he can keep up with that promise before decking him hard enough to leave a crater in the wall and break his arm. Oh, and he also wants to know where Bakugo is for some reason.
Izuku decides to fight back, but Full Cowl isn’t strong enough to get in any damage and he nearly gets killed until Kota brings up that he was the one who killed his parents two years ago. Muscular considers it fate they meet, and while doesn’t have a grudge they left him with an artificial eye since they were doing their jobs and he wanted to kill, he’s still going to kill the kid.
Predictably, that snaps Izuku into action with a 100% SMASH that demolishes Kota’s hiding spot and breaks his other arm, but doesn’t finish off Muscular. The reason why is because the moment Muscular recognized that his (telegraphed) punch had a lot more force behind it, he increased the amount of muscle fibers to shield him. So both of his arms are ruined and Muscular decides to get serious, meaning he’s screwed.
Izuku quickly pieces together he can’t run, so he has to buy time for Kota to get away. Kota, naturally, sees the same scene playing out with his parents and intervenes when Izuku is overpowered and thinking he’s about to be killed, apologizing to his mother for dying like this. That gets Izuku’s resolve pumping and so he goes Plus Ultra on Muscular the moment he’s distracted and pumps it up to 1,000,000% (the author confirmed its not really that much, it was just to hype himself up).
He manages to knock Muscular out, which inspires Kota and gets him to consider Izuku his hero as the episode ends.
The episode once again reaffirms that the villains are not playing around. Dabi immediately went to take out Eraserhead, removing him from the board with no hesitation or playing around. And Ragdoll is nowhere to be seen with a lot of blood left where she had been, so they’re down to three heroes and nine villains as by the episode’s end.
Muscular was… simple, for lack of a better term. He believes that if you want to do something you should, and if you have the power to back it up then that’s okay. In other words, he kills because he likes to and nothing more. He’s no Stain or anything, but his Quirk makes it so that he can get what he wants through brute force.
But let me explain how ridiculous Muscular’s Quirk is. In this series, One For All is probably the strongest Power-Type Quirk you’ll run across and he matched Izuku who used 100% until he did the same thing as All Might against the Nomu. What that tells me right then and there is that he alone could have murdered maybe half the students and the pro-heroes with little trouble.
He’s that strong, and he’s the first villain that Izuku fights without help. A fight he would have lost if not for adrenaline and resolve, which we call a Shounen Power-up. Now, I’m not complaining about that because the emotion of it hit me like a ton of bricks, but it’s still a cop-out since the fight itself turned into a simple slugfest with none of Izuku’s creativity.
But, to be fair, Izuku himself mentions that Muscular didn’t give him time to think. He was tired and the man just wanted to torture them before he killed them, and the moment his speed shot up there was no running. He just had to overpower Muscular to win, so he did.
Another thing that Muscular brings up is that… Izuku can’t fight to save his life. Bakugo, Stain, and Muscular manage to get the drop on him during their battles because no one taught Izuku how to fight so he telegraphs his motions. Bakugo managed to get behind him and blast him during their battle in the beginning of the series, while Stain managed to immobilize him right after he thought he got around him, and Muscular blocked one of his serious hits because of it. Now, this isn’t exactly a bad thing because it shows he has room for growth.
No one taught him to fight because they’re teaching him how to control his Quirk, which means he has to copy other people’s movements like Gran Torino’s to get around his inexperience. He’s a student and he’s not supposed to be fighting seriously yet, but the world won’t wait for him to grow up so he’s got to learn as he goes. The problem is that when you meet someone who has that experience and a Quirk like, on let’s say Shigaraki’s, they can immediately put him down because of it.
Anyway, Izuku came out on top but both of his arms are royally screwed up so he ain’t fighting again today. Let’s see how the other fair next episode, shall we?