The world has changed. In the past several decades, humanity began to develop superpowers known as "quirks", to the point where now 80% of the human population has a superpower of some kind or another. As a result, a new line of work emerged for those who use their powers to help others in need: heroes.
Enter Izuku Midoriya, a young boy of 15 who is finishing middle school. He has big dreams of becoming a hero, himself, and enrolling at UA High School, the alma mater of his childhood idol, the number-one pro hero All Might. There is, however, one complication: in a world where most of the population has a power, Midoriya is "Quirkless", having no power whatsoever! As such, he has taken to writing down notes on various heroes in the hopes of finding a means to become a hero, even without a power. Even then, he is met with adversity from other students who laugh at him and his lofty dreams. Worst of the lot is Katsuki Bakugo, a childhood friend of Midoriya who became a vicious bully after developing his own quirk which allowed him to create explosions. Bakugo, who has his own dreams of becoming the best hero in the world, torments Midoriya every day.
While walking home from school, dejected over his powerlessness, Midoriya suddenly finds himself being attacked by a slime villain who attempts to hijack his body. As all seems lost, however, a hero arrives to capture the villain in an empty bottle and save the young boy from harm: none other than All Might, himself! The symbol of peace even autographs Midoriya's notebook before taking his leave.
As All Might leaps through the air, however, Midoriya grabs a hold of him, having so much he wants to ask his hero. The two land on a nearby rooftop, where Midoriya asks All Might the question he had wanted to ask him for years:
"Can someone like me be a hero, even without a quirk?!"
Tropes present in this episode include:
- Adults Are Useless:
- After the teacher singles Izuku out as also being an applicant to UA he does nothing to stop Bakugo from practically assaulting him during class.
- Izuku's mother Inko did little to reassure her son after he finds out that he does not have a quirk. Instead of reassuring him that he could be a hero inspite of the odds, she instead breaks down crying, apologizing for him not having a quirk.
- Adult Fear: Izuku and his mother finding out from the doctor that he is quirkless mirrors cases of children being born with disabilities that prevent them from achieving their dreams or cause them to be bullied by their peers.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- Izuku is first introduced at the age of five, a quirkless little boy defending a peer that was getting picked on by Bakugo and two other boys, crying from fear but still willing to be a hero for a person who could not defend himself.
- Bakugo get two: first was when he was five, ganging up on a weaker kid with his explosion quirk, and then in present time when he calls everyone else losers, singling out the quirkless Izuku (a person he sees as an inherent loser) and threatening him, even going so far as to goading him into suicide. And this is the guy who wants to be a hero.
- A video clip is shown of All-Mights first appearance, saving hundreds of people from a collapsing building with a young, inspired Izuku watching it.
- In a Single Bound: All Might does this leap after making sure Izuku is okay. Unfortunately, he accidentally snags onto All Mights pant-leg when he does this.
- Ms. Fanservice: When Mount Lady barrels in a stops the villain, the camera accentuates her butt and her skintight outfit. All of the spectators are clearly into it.
- Muck Monster: The Sludge Villains that almost kills Izuku.
- One-Hit Kill: All Might takes down the Sludge Villain with a single Texas Smash.
- Punch-Clock Hero: It is established that being a "Pro-Hero" is a job, the heroes treated like celebrities who do hero work to out-do each other and gain popularity. This is seen when Mount Lady crashes in and stops the villain, a smug look on her face while Kamui Woods (who was there first) is bewildered when she gets the credit.