Now they’re proper rivals.
Here’s my Recap and Review of Episode 23 of Season 3 (or Episode 61 as a whole) of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia).
Picking up where the last episode left off, Bakugo’s challenge to Izuku is clarified. Both he and Izuku admired All Might in different ways, and the fact that Izuku’s admiration was what managed to get him the ability to basically become his successor has left Bakugo wondering if his own admiration was wrong. On top of that, he blames himself that All Might lost his power.
Izuku initially tries not to fight. But when it becomes clear that Bakugo is on the verge of a mental breakdown because he’s got no way to vent his feelings, because therapy doesn’t exist, he realizes he has to take him up on it. The only way he can reconcile his emotions is if he fights Izuku to see for himself what All Might did.
And then we see where the budget went (not that its been bad all this season) as the two beat the stuffing out of each other. Izuku even ramps up Full Cowling’s strength to 8% just to surpass him in terms of speed. Unfortunately for him, Bakugo is a better fighter than him and still wins by meteor-dropping him into the street.
That’s when All Might appears. Eraserhead is immediately notified that they’re out late and told to scold them by the defense system, but he abstained when All Might asked him to so they could vent their feelings. Once that was out of the way, he came in and clarified why he gave Izuku his power: Bakugo was already strong, but Izuku needed strength to get into the same ring.
He sees them both as carrying parts of being a hero, wanting to succeed and wanting to save people. The two of them need to be proper rivals to be heroes. So he goes out of his way to explain to Bakugo the nature of One For All and the history of it to appease Bakugo and put them on the same level of understanding.
Of course, they both get in trouble with Eraserhead and get stuck with chores as the episode ends.
This, my friends, is what happens when teenagers go through some heavy stuff and no one sits them down to talk about it.
Bakugo’s been a bundle of issues since day one. He was put on a pedestal to where he saw others beneath him, only to be subsequently humbled when he realizes he’s a big fish in a bigger lake. He looked down on the boy who’d always been chasing his back only to now be the one chasing him instead. And the person he admired for his strength had that strength taken away in an attempt to save him for being too weak.
Do I agree with the need for them to settle things with their fist Yes, but only because Bakugo is too prideful because people put him up on a pedestal his entire life. The only way he was going to confess anything was in the proper shounen way of using his fist.
Not that Izuku’s completely innocent. He has parts of Bakugo he hates as well, beneath the surface. But he also admired him and wasn’t afraid to admit it. He wants to surpass the image of victory in his head and that’s manifested as Bakugo.
Yes, he taps in deep to give Bakugo a proper fight. But he still lost because Bakugo has always been a better fighter than Izuku. But that’s okay now that they’ve got the proper rivalry going on.
Next arc begins the next season, but I doubt they’ll be able to get through it all given what a doozy that one was and the fact that they’re running out of materials.