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Recap / My Hero Academia S1E2 "What It Takes to Be a Hero"

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"I couldn't just stand there and watch you die!"

Izuku Midoriya has asked his hero, All Might, if a quirkless boy like him could possibly become a hero, explaining that it had always been his dream to be a hero like All Might. When he looks at his hero, however, he sees something shocking: where once stood a hero who was tall and muscular, now stood an emaciated, disheveled-looking man. It is still the same All Might, however. All Might explains that he had received a grave injury in the line of duty that cost him some of his organs, and he could only use his powers and assume his "heroic" form for a few minutes each day before the strain placed on his body causes him to start coughing blood. Using this injury to demonstrate his point, All Might honestly answers Midoriya, saying that it is simply too dangerous for someone without a quirk to become a hero, and that Midoriya should give up on his dream.


Dejected, Midoriya takes his leave. After he departs, however, All Might notices the bottle in which he had kept the sludge villain was empty: he has escaped!

Suddenly, explosions ring out in the city as the sludge villain attempts to take another victim. Pro heroes gather on the scene to contain the flames, but the villain is too powerful for them to defeat without putting their victim in harm's way. Midoriya and the de-powered All Might watch in horror; Midoriya had accidentally released the villain while he was hanging on to All Might, and All Might had already reached his limit and was dejected over his inability to help.

The sludge villain's victim continues to struggle, his eyes visible for a brief moment...

And Midoriya recognizes those eyes as Katsuki Bakugo's!

Before he even realizes it, without even knowing why and unable to stop himself, Midoriya runs towards the villain. He claws at the villain in a desperate bid to free Bakugo, stating that he couldn't just sit by and watch him die. All Might, shocked at this show of bravery, chastises himself for his previous weakness of character as he assumes his heroic form once more and joins the fray. Even as he coughs blood, he uses his power to defeat the villain and capture them once more.


As Midoriya walks home afterwards, still heartbroken over his dream ending, Bakugo confronts him: his pride wounded, he states that he never asked for help and warns Midoriya not to look down on him.

Afterwards, Midoriya is approached by All Might, who explains that all of the heroes he knew had one common thread in the stories of how they started: they had a moment when they threw themselves into danger, without knowing why or how, to help others, just as Midoriya had earlier. To do so, even though he was quirkless, helped All Might realize that a true hero must be willing to risk all for the sake of others, and it was all thanks to Midoriya.

Midoriya, overwhelmed, clutches his chest, tears in his eyes, and falls to his knees as All Might finally tells him the words he had waited his entire life to hear:

"Young, too, can be a hero!"

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Broken Pedestal: While seeing that his childhood hero has become a cynical invalid coughing up blood is bad enough, it is when All Might flat-out tells him that being a quirkless hero is a lost cause does Izuku finally give up on being a hero.
  • Fat Flex: All Might compares his buff, hero-form to this.
  • Finishing Move: All Might's punch "Detroit Smash" is so powerful, not only does it completely annihilate the Sludge Villain, saving Bakugo, but it releases a concussive wind so strong that it changes the clouds, creating a brief shower that douses the flames around him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: All Might shows Izuku a gnarly scar on the side of his body, a war wound from the battle that left him in his weakened state.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Izuku gets chewed out by the pros for stepping in to try and save Bakugo while Bakugo gets praised by them for his "bravery" and quirk (despite only making the situation worse).
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Despite his "The Cape" persona when he is out doing hero work, All Might has become rather cynical, telling Izuku that he should not become a hero when he does not have a quirk for his own safety. It is not until Izuku (a quirkiness little kid) runs in to the scene, trying in vain to save Bakugo (who is being held hostage by the Sludge Villain) does All Might (who has run out of energy to step in and help) step in despite his low amount of time and save the day. He later escapes the press to talk to Izuku, thanking him for reminding him about what it means to be a hero and then assures him that he in-fact could be a hero.
  • Stepford Smiler: All Might claims that his "fearless smile" is just a front. Being a hero ain't easy.
  • Super Zeroes: A full-on team of specially trained pro-heroes show-up to take down the Sludge Villain, but none of them are able to properly pacify the situation, either because their quirks are not equipped to handle dealing with a villain whose body is made of sludge or due to the fire and explosions set off by the villain’s captive Bakugo.
  • Tears of Joy: Izuku breaks down into tears when All Might — his idol — tells him that he really can be a hero, validation that has been denied him his entire life.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: From Mount Lady.
    Mount Lady: My only weakness! I at least need a two-lane road if I'm going to make it through, here!


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