Shouto Todoroki and Katsuki Bakugo face off in the Tournament Finale as the Sports Festival Arc comes to a close.
While Todoroki’s match with Bakugo did not have the same kind of intensity as his match with Midoriya, it was still engaging watch. It was interesting to note the contrasting personalities of all three of these characters and how it changed the dynamics of their fights. Midoriya’s challenged Todoroki because he truly wanted him to reach his full potential and not be held back because of his anger towards his father, regardless the justification for that anger. In one of the Funimation Behind-The-Scenes videos, one of the dub script writers comments that it almost like Midoriya was having a therapy session right there in the arena. On the other hand, Bakugo wants Todoroki to give his best game so everyone will know that he beat him at his strongest. However, Bakugo failed to realize that was not that simple for Todoroki to just forget the association between his fire abilities and the abuse he and his mother suffered under his father.
This doubt leads to Todoroki’s defeat at the hands of Bakugo, much to Bakugo’s fury. While his motivations were selfish, I can’t help but at least admire Bakugo for wanting his opponent to fight him with the best of their ability and not just take advantage and/or mock their weaknesses like a lot of antagonists would. I never thought there could be such a thing as a sore winner, but Bakugo truly takes the cake. I am surprised that UA High still even held the Awards Ceremony when the 1st place student they are awarding is chained and muzzled in order to prevent him from straight up murdering the person who lost to him. However, All Might saves what would have been a more tense and awkward ceremony by giving Tokoyami, Todoroki and Bakugo some advice and encouragement as he handed them their medals.
As the Sports Festival ends, Tenya Iida is shown rushing to his brother’s hospital bed as he is waking from surgery to repair the damage caused by Stain. This is a gut-wrenching scene especially since it has been established that Iida looks up his brother and now he has to see him in this weakened and debilitated state. No doubt this is heading for a confrontation between Iida and this Hero Killer.
Despite that sad scene, we see Todoroki going to see his mother for the first time in 10 years, give or take. He realizes his path to being the hero he wants to be lies with her and I am glad he is taking those steps and not allowing his father to define or restrict him. Bonus points for the scenes at the end featuring Uraraka’s parents surprising her at her apartment, the interaction between Midoriya and his mom and finally Bakugo angrily brushing any and all plaque from his teeth. A good episode with some great moments as well as foreshadowing to the upcoming Field Training Arc.