Home My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 23 - An Emotional Tidal Wave

My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 23 - An Emotional Tidal Wave

My Hero Academia Season 6 episode 23 aired this past Saturday giving us one of the best moments since the series began airing. Despite the episode feeling like it was over just as it started, Deku vs. Class A gave us a gut-punching episode with emotional moments from start to finish and ended up becoming one of the best episodes of the season for different reasons.

Bakugo’s Apology

I think we can all be in agreeance that this was undoubtedly the height of episode 23 and also one of the best moments of the entire season. Not only was the cinematography picture perfect as Bakugo professed the most sincere apology, but the voice acting by Nobuhiko Okamoto at this moment was something we’ve never heard from him as Bakugo. Even when Bakugo is serious about something, he still has that explosive emotion under his words.

This moment of genuine remorse for how he treated Deku and finally understanding him made it almost impossible to hold back tears. Having Bakugo’s current voice speak throughout each moment of time with the same camera angle as shown below leading up to the present is a visual storytelling tactic I absolutely love, especially with the camera inching closing and closer leading up to the final shot. It’s simple, yet packs a heavy punch when it involves two well-written characters that have a history together. My favorite shot of this collection might be the very last one as Bakugo bows his head in forgiveness. It’s the only shot where we can’t see Deku’s face clearly, almost as if we’re seeing only what Bakugo can see as well—the tears of his best friend.

At each stage in each of their lives, it was always Deku who seemed to be the one defeated no matter if he saved the day or not. At the end of it all, Deku constantly came out with the most bruises, cuts, and broken bones. He was always the most physically and emotionally damaged one of the two. Bakugo acknowledging that and realizing he was a major cause for such pain and having that shown in a visual timeline like above took this scene to a completely different level of emotion that we’ve yet to see between the two.

It was almost as if Bakugo knew his words would be the last thread to pull Deku back to reality (as Ochako said at the very end). The episode did a phenomenal job of recounting the moments with other Class A members that built to the most significant one that would make Deku falter. It wasn’t some spur-of-the-moment randomness of who spoke to Deku first. It almost felt coordinated in a way and Bakugo knew that as if it were his idea all along for it to go this way, once again possibly proving how intelligent he actually is.

While it may be looked at in a way for Deku to realize how much he means to everyone, Bakugo’s apology holds more weight than a simple “remember the time when…” Those years of bullying him yet Deku still considering Bakugo his closest friend hit harder than the impact Iida made with Deku’s hand. After saving Deku’s life when facing Shigaraki and now bringing Deku back home to U.A. High School, Bakugo proved that he’ll go to whatever lengths are needed to make sure his best friend stays by his side on their journey to becoming the number one hero. This didn’t feel like an apology, it felt like a powerful declaration of friendship.

Deku and Class A

With the majority of the episode centered around Class A reminding Deku of all the times they had together, whether they inspired Deku or if he inspired them, it felt like it wasn’t just a cry to Deku but to us as viewers as well. My Hero Academia has this incredible thing where it reminds us of previous events from long ago that become vital in the current moment we’re in. But we don’t remember those moments until they’re brought back up to us again. This episode was a significant example of that.

Most of us can point out the flaws in Deku’s character and as a main character for shonen anime in general. But through all this time, just as Deku did, I too forgot the positive impact that Deku had on Class A in one way or another. But, as I said, My Hero Academia has a habit of bringing up those little forgettable moments at the right time and using them in an impactful way. This episode executed such a writing technique without fail and the voice acting in this rightfully lifted the original source to a place it couldn’t go without the anime.

A hero’s journey isn’t a straight, clear path. It’s a long, winding road with obstacle after obstacle. This episode showed us that it’s okay even for heroes with the biggest hearts to fall off the right path so long as they accept the fact they have friends to guide them back to the light when they lose sight of it. To have trust in walking alongside those same friends rather than alone and way out in front clearing the obstacles for them so they don’t endure anything drastic.

Ochako’s Growth On Full Display

I think one aspect of the episode many might overlook is how tough Ochako has actually become. While many had a worried face when they saw Deku, even Bakugo, Ochako managed to remain firm and level-headed, almost as if she was pissed in a way throughout the episode. But then at the end, she gives Deku that soft smile we all love and know her for—that warming comfort nobody else could give Deku. At the same time, between her fight with Toga and watching Deku almost crumble right in front of her, she remained composed the entire time and never wavered, not even once.

While she has proved in the past to be a great character, I think episode 23 of this season was when she showed a lot of her maturity. She was a leader in chasing Deku down and was the last one to make sure he didn’t go anywhere when they got to U.A. The Ochako from a few seasons ago would’ve broken down crying seeing Deku the way he is but now she’s a formidable character in all aspects and is starting to define what being a hero means in her own way. The most exciting part is we’ll be seeing Ochako’s true growth in the upcoming episode just as we saw Bakugo’s this past week.

Episode 23 Wrap-Up

My Hero Academia Season 6 episode 23 was one of the best. It wasn’t the most action-packed but I found it to undoubtedly be the most emotional one alongside Twice’s death and Dabi’s episode. There’s nothing to this episode I would’ve added or taken away. Every part had meaning to it and they were conveyed in a way that left fans everywhere emotional in some sort of way—as it should’ve been.

Episode 23 rating: 10/10
If you enjoyed My Hero Academia Season 6 episode 23, be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 24, titled “A Young Woman’s Declaration” will air on Saturday, March 18.

Images via Crunchyroll
© Kohei Horikoshi / SHUEISHA, “My Hero Academia” Production Committee

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