Home Shoto vs. Dabi - One of the Best My Hero Academia Episodes Ever Released

Shoto vs. Dabi - One of the Best My Hero Academia Episodes Ever Released

My Hero Academia Season 7 episode 8 aired on Thursday giving fans a grand experience with what is one of the most well-written fights of the entire series in Shoto vs. Dabi. Everything we love about My Hero Academia came together into a single 23-minute episode as the fight between Shoto and Dabi exceeded any and all expectations.

Shoto vs. Dabi

My Hero Academia has been under criticism in recent past due to the lack of details in the artwork and questionable animation. But it’s safe to say that the production team for the Shoto vs. Dabi fight did everything they could to make this one of the most memorable just as series creator Kohei Horikoshi intended from the beginning.

There are times when fans may get annoyed when a fight is constantly interrupted by backstory and dialogue, but this fight is now the “modern” poster child for how it can be used to perfection. Dabi’s backstory being told by Dr. Garaki was so chilling at times that not even all of the flames of the Todoroki family could settle down my goosebumps.

I think every battle shonen anime that’s hit a long run like My Hero Academia has those moments here and there that make you say “This is peak”, even if you try to shy away from internet slang. This is one of those moments for me.

Dabi’s full nosedive into insanity and the brutality of his own muscles and skin melting off his face as a child was almost head-turning. Watching himself practically becoming a flaming skeleton by the climax of the fight was gruesome by My Hero Academia standards, but damn it was amazing to watch.

Dabi constantly screaming and being reckless with his flames while Shoto is in a state of being as calm as possible while trying to minimize surrounding damage just went to show how the two are in perfect contrast with one another—I think more than anyone from both sides in the entirety of My Hero Academia. Even the way the soundtrack plays violently to Dabi’s flames then almost angelic to Shoto’s ice at the end added even more contrast.

This wasn’t simply a fight to hype people up for a few minutes. Everything that was built up in the story led to this exact moment. Shoto telling Deku this is the Todoroki family cross to bear. Him calling Endeavor and telling him that he’s the only one, out of the entire world, who has to be the one to take down his own brother. And even the smile Shoto gave at the very end like it’s all finally over. The pain. The trauma. The grief. The different paths each took. How can one not get the least bit choked up from it all?

I love a villain who’s past the point of no return and simply decides to keep charging down that path. Embracing the darkness and lunacy is something I yearn for in a well-written villain. I’d even go as far as to say that Dabi is the best-written villain in the entire series. Going from an innocent child to a villain even the big, bad All For One can’t even control just goes to show that Dabi’s level of villainy is a cut above the rest.

A failure in his father’s eyes and a failure to the villain that breathed new life into him. We often hear of heroes who endure and are resilient in their stories. But little often do we hear of a villain who overcomes his hardships. That being said, this all showed even more so the weight that was thrust upon Shoto’s shoulders.

Shoto admits that Dabi is the Todoroki “cross to bear” but in reality, it’s more so his at this point in the story than even Endeavor’s. Everything Shoto trained for and inherited was all for this moment—to put an end to a brother he never had the chance to grow up with. Imagine never seeing your brother for years and when you do, he hides behind the stapled smile of a soul that is almost burned away from the heat of his own flames. He can no longer cry. He can no longer feel. It’s almost ironic that Shoto put an end to that suffering with a numbing final blow with his ice.

The entire way Horikoshi handled the Todoroki family up to this point could be argued as the best out of any group of people in the entirety of My Hero Academia. But it wasn’t just the writing. The artwork was crisp and visually stunning. The animation was wonderful. The soundtrack courtesy of Yuki Hayashi, as always, was downright perfect. The voice acting from Hiro Shimono (Dabi) and Yuki Kaji (Shoto) felt like two voice actors battling each other in the booth themselves.

I’ll outright say it—this was a top 3 episode of My Hero Academia ever released up to this point next to Deku vs. Overhaul and All Might vs All For One. This is what a big fight should be like for any battle shonen series—clashing ideals layered upon external/internal conflicts on both sides and emotional connections that are built up throughout the majority of the story. Back all that up with a staff of talented people who can bring it to life—this is where anime works its wonders.


Shouji Ikeno returned this week making it his third time around as episode director this season (ep: 2, 4, 8). He was joined by veteran Kou Matsuo, who worked on the storyboard for the episode. The two have a history of working on My Hero Academia and this time around they banded together under Season 7 Director Naomi Nakayama to give us one of the best episodes this series has delivered.

I’m glad that the entire fight was adapted into one episode. This fight deserved its own full 23 minutes from beginning to end. And I think it’s the first time where the entire sound of the opening track really felt in place of the fight that was about to ensue as well.

Everything about this episode was right on the money, even that brief comedic moment of Bakugo telling Shoto he’s still a small fry compared to him on the battlefield. It almost added that little “Can’t wait to watch Shoto prove Bakugo wrong” push.

There’s nothing more to be said about the production in detail that can’t be found elsewhere on social media. It was an all-around phenomenal job done by everyone who worked on it. This is what My Hero Academia is and why we love it so much.

My Hero Academia Season 7 Episode 8 Wrap-Up

Going forward, a lot of fights may seem second-rate compared to Shoto vs. Dabi. It sucks that it’s the reality of it, but it’s true. When a bar is set so high, sometimes it’s hard to top. That being said, this season has proven to actually be a step up from the past two in terms of production quality so I’ll be putting my faith in the staff to really deliver on the rest of this arc for the remainder of the season. If this episode doesn’t reach number one on our polls, though, I’ll be shocked.

Episode 8 rating: 10/10

If you loved episode 8 of My Hero Academia Season 7, then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 11 will be released on Saturday, June 29. Crunchyroll is streaming the anime with English subtitles.

Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©K. Horikoshi / Shueisha, My Hero Academia Project

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