Major Spoilers for the Entire Series up to Manga Chapter 190
Aside from its intricate characters and overall premise, one of the most distinguishing traits of the My Hero Academia series is its fights. Now, I’ll be completely honest and admit that I didn’t watch or read anything that had to do with the My Hero Academia series until the beginning of 2019. I had heard of the series before when I came across a FineBrothers YouTube video in 2018 where several fans talk about the show. I became instantly hooked on the premise and the fights that were shown in the video but never really followed through in watching the series. Since the Naruto series had finally ended and its spinoff series, Boruto, was picking up steam, I didn’t see the need to get invested in another anime. With college-related work and other responsibilities, I didn’t want to pick up a new series that would require me to catch up to its current arc.
It wasn’t until I saw a small snippet of All Might taking on All For One that I finally decided to give the show a try. The raw emotion and incredible voice acting brought me back to the days of watching Goku take on Frieza for the first time. I wasn’t sure that there would ever be another series that I would be that invested in but My Hero Academia has proven me wrong. Since then, I’ve become a massive fan of the series and even decided to read the manga because I didn’t want to wait to see what happens next in the anime. Having just read what I consider to be one of the best fights in the entire series, I wanted to compile a list of ten My Hero Academia fights that I thought stood out from the rest.
10. All Might vs Noumu
Even though we had seen All Might fight in the series before, this was the first time that fans got to see the full potential of his power. With the League of Villains targeting Class 1-A of U.A. High School, All Might arrived just in time to save the day. However, the Noumu was a worthy foe who was tailored specifically to fight against All Might. I wasn’t sure what to expect from seeing All Might use his full power, but I was awestruck with the entire fight. Even after getting seriously injured by the Noumu and being on borrowed time in terms of how long he could use his quirk, All Might never gave up. Besides the incredible fight, this gave fans an insight into the kind of hero that All Might was and why he earned the title of the “symbol of peace.” From this point on, any expectations that I had for any future fights in the My Hero Academia series were completely blown away.
9. Aizawa vs The League of Villains
Just like the fight between All Might and Noumu, this was the first time that fans were able to see Aizawa in action. Up to this point, My Hero Academia had painted Aizawa as a slacking teacher who didn’t seem very powerful. He was always in his sleeping bag and seemed completely over everyone’s business. However, as soon as he realized that the League of Villains was targeting the Class 1-A students during their field trip, he quickly sprung into action. His quirk allows him to negate other people’s quirk as long as he keeps his eyes open, but it didn’t serve as something that would pack a punch. This didn’t slow him down as he began fighting with the villains and made quick work of them. Though he wasn’t able to defeat some of the more powerful villains, he proved just how far he would go to protect his students.
8. Fatgum and Kirishima vs Rappa and Tengai
One of the best things about My Hero Academia that I’ve come to love is that it takes time to give major development and shining moments to its side characters. During the “Shie Hassaikai” arc, Fatgum and Kirishima were split up from the rest of the group and were forced to fight against Rappa and Tengai. Kirishima charged head-on but was quickly bested by the Shie Hassaikai duo. Fatgum stepped in and did his best to fend them off but was getting overpowered. Kirishima was filled with doubt after remembering a time where he failed to do anything to fend off a villain when he was younger. However, he regained his confidence and continued to follow Fatgum’s plan to defeat Rappa and Tengai. It was incredible to see Kirishima get his moment to shine and reassured me that he would be an incredible hero.
7. Midoriya, Iida, and Todoroki vs Hero Killer Stain
This battle is a perfect example of the level of teamwork that Class 1-A has been able to master in such a short amount of time. It began with Iida wanting revenge on Stain for nearly killing his older brother. After Iida was quickly overpowered, Midoriya came to his rescue after mastering the Full Cowl technique. Todoroki joined the fight shortly after and the three took on their biggest challenge yet. Even with their determination, Stain wasn’t an easy foe to beat. Stain’s belief that only certain people are worthy of being called heroes is what drove him to fight. This belief wasn’t enough to beat the U.A. trio, but it still managed to have a major impact on people’s beliefs in heroes. This is one of those rare My Hero Academia fights that would change the scope of the show forever.
6. Midoriya vs Muscular
It seems like the students of class 1-A can’t catch a break from being attacked by the League of Villains, even during private training sessions in remote locations. When the class is attacked during their summer training, they’re in for quite a challenge. Midoriya goes after Kota, a young boy who hates heroes ever since his parents were killed by a villain.
Realizing that 5% of his power is not enough to beat the villain, who goes by the name of Muscular, Midoriya goes above and beyond to end the fight. He unlocks the 1,000,000% Detroit Smash and wins the fight. Aside from this incredible victory, the fight serves as the necessary event to restore Kota’s faith in heroes. With this being Midoriya’s first major solo battle against a dangerous villain, he proves that he’s more than willing to risk everything to save others.
5. Midoriya vs Todoroki
“The Boy Born with Everything” vs. All Might’s successor, this was a battle that was bound to happen sooner or later. Even though Todoroki and Midoriya became great friends after this fight, their fight was a major deal. Since Todoroki is Endeavor’s son, who happens to be All Might’s rival, there was even more pressure added to his fight against Midoriya. What made this battle even greater is that Midoriya wanted Todoroki to go all out against him. This constant teasing about his quirk made Todoroki realize that he’s much more than his father’s son. Midoriya, who grew up with an incredible support system, saw that Todoroki was now in need of support. Even if he lost the match, Midoriya just wanted Todoroki to know he had someone looking out for him and cheering him on.
4. Midoriya vs Bakugo II
This fast-paced and emotional fight was a rematch destined to happen. With Midoriya winning the first fight that took place during the first arc of the series, Bakugo wasn’t going to go down easy. Believing that the fight was just because of Bakugo’s usual competitiveness, it’s revealed that Bakugo blames himself for All Might’s retirement. This is the first time in the entire series that Bakugo shows any moment of weakness. Though it wasn’t his fault, Bakugo carried this burden for quite some time. I was surprised that I found myself rooting for him to win the battle instead of Midoriya. They both held nothing back and Midoriya even increased the percentage of his quirk from 5% to 8%, which was a major development. I’m looking forward to the next time that they face off against each other again.
3. Endeavor vs Hood (High End)
Like I mentioned in the introduction, I couldn’t wait for the new episodes of the current season to drop. With the show just having wrapped up the “Shie Hassaikai” arc, I picked up any volumes of the series that were available and read them. I finished reading the battle between Endeavor and High End. I was completely blown away, not just with how the art was drawn but the major character development that Endeavor went through in just one fight. For so long, he was so set on beating All Might and taking the position of No. 1 hero. He achieved his goal once All Might retired but struggled with the fact that he could never beat him.
Since earning that title, Endeavor had been trying to make sense of what being the No. 1 hero really means. After many attempts, he comes to the conclusion that he just has to take every challenge as it comes and to show others that he deserves the title. When the League of Villains unleashes another creature, High End, Endeavor steps up to the plate and fights him. There were several moments were High End came close to killing Endeavor, but the No. 1 hero never gave up. The battle was being broadcast on live TV and the entire Todoroki family was watching.
Seeing Shoto cheer his dad on is easily one of my favorite moments of the entire series. Given the history that Shoto and Endeavor have had, it was hard to imagine that their relationship could be mended. The fight was a sort of wake-up call for both of them since it brings them together without them even realizing it. This fight proved to me that not only is Endeavor a worthy successor to All Might but that any of the fights he has in the My Hero Academia series will be spectacular.
2. Midoriya vs Overhaul
This battle could easily fall into the trope of the main character of an anime becoming extremely overpowered just for the sake of beating a major villain. However, there’s so much more emotion and importance to this battle that justifies me putting it at the #2 spot. For one, Midoriya solidifies himself as a true hero since he manages to save Eri from Overhaul. He himself says that he couldn’t call himself a hero if he couldn’t even save one little girl. Secondly, Midoriya was taken past his limit and unlocked 100% of One For All, which resulted in both physical and power changes. Moments like this take me back to when Goku first transformed into a Super Saiyan. Finally, Midoriya beat the strongest villain that he has ever faced.
1. All Might vs All For One
If you’re a fan of My Hero Academia, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I put this fight at the #1 spot. After All Might told Midoriya about All For One and the battle that transpired between them five years ago, I eagerly anticipated their rematch. From All For One’s immediate introduction, it was easy to predict that their confrontation would be the most fierce fight that the series had done. It took everything that All Might had to defeat All For One, which proved how far he was willing to go to put an end to his arch-enemy. It’s a fight that I highly recommend that you watch on your own. The fight made such an enormous impact that it won Best Fight at the 2019 Anime Awards. I simply can’t imagine any future My Hero Academia fights having this much emotion.
My Hero Academia is full of many more fights that I wish I could’ve added to this list. However, I feel like these ten fights fully capture the essence of the show and what it means to be a hero. I’m looking forward to revisiting this list a year from now and see how much it has changed. One thing I’m looking forward to is if any future My Hero Academia fights involve more of its side characters. Regardless of what happens, My Hero, Academia has become a global sensation and I’m glad that I am able to experience new material as it comes out.