Editorial

Clash of Ideals: Shirou vs Archer Who is right?


It goes without saying that this editorial will contain complete spoilers for Fate Stay Night. If you haven’t watched any of the routes yet, particularly Unlimited Blade Works then you should hold off on reading this editorial. I will do my best not to go too into depth here with spoilers as they aren’t really needed for the most part but some of them are inevitable. Particularly any involving Shirou and Archer.

I really like philosophical debates. It’s something that I always find fascinating in a show or movie. Shows have a better opportunity to really get the views across though as a movie only has so much time. It’s also difficult to try and portray both versions well. Typically as soon as the debate starts you know which one the movie or show is going to portray as correct. As a result the other one may end up being portrayed with strawman arguments that don’t really work. An example of a recent movie that did this really well was Infinity War. While Thanos is a villain and there’s absolutely no denying that, the goal he was fighting for at least made sense and had its own logic. Same for Light Yagami in Deathnote. There are classic battles of good and evil to be found here with good arguments made for both. Even when the villain is losing he doesn’t suddenly disregard his ideals, they just ended up losing.

A big part of Fate is the difference between Shirou and Archer’s ideals. They are both pacifists who effectively work as heroes but go in very different paths. Shirou believes in the concept of being a Hero of Justice. He believes that this is an unshakable concept and as a hero you don’t compromise. Shirou wants to save everyone he possibly can without exception. If someone’s in trouble he’ll jump in even if he doesn’t really stand a chance in a fight. He’s always been about helping everyone ever since he inherited this dream from his father Kiritsugu. Part of this stems from how Shirou had to survive a mass death experience as a child. He saw first hand how it feels to have your life saved and it also underscored the value of life to him. Shirou may not have a lot of power at the start of the series, but he uses it to help others.

Then you have Archer. Archer was once a hero who believed in such ideals, but has become quite jaded with humanity. Part of the reason for this is that his role in life is to be an eternal deterrent force. He is forced to travel to different time periods where there is a conflict and destroy the evil side. He would destroy 10 people to save 100, 1000 to save 10,000, etc. After a while, Archer had claimed more fatalities than even most villains could. Technically he was helping to provide balance to the world, but after a while the whole thing seemed futile to him. He had to compromise on his ideals many times until he finally came up with the ones he has now. He won’t save everyone and believes that’s impossible. Instead he will always look for the logical choice of who to murder to save someone else. It’s a very different framework as you’re actively looking for targets. This eventually even leads him to target Shirou as that kid would ultimately go on to murder many people in the future if he wasn’t stopped.

It’s an interesting loop there and the show has lots of debates on this. Shirou and Archer confront each other on their ideals quite a bit and absolutely do not get along.

So in the end, who is right here? The show plays it out in a way where you’re left to your judgment on this to an extent. Shirou is the main character and he is a good guy while Archer is unmistakably a villain so to an extent you can say that Shirou will have the edge here but the show never demeans Archer’s arguments. In a way a lot of the show is Shirou basically admitting that he thinks Archer is correct, but that won’t stop him. “You may be correct but that doesn’t mean you’re right” was a pretty good line there since it shows Shirou may believe that Archer is logically correct but that it still isn’t the right thing to do morally. Shirou ultimately holds true to his ideals and Archer hopes that he can manage to carry it out, but we have already seen that it didn’t work out for Archer.

I think another subtle aspect the show gives us that makes the debate more interesting is Archer’s portrayal. To counter the fact that Shirou is the main character, Archer is portrayed as being a lot more effective. He’s far more confident than Shirou as well as being more powerful. He has everything that Shirou has ever wanted in terms of ability. Shirou’s main grievance has been the fact that he currently lacks the power to be a true Hero of Justice. He has the ideals but not the power and that’s part of why he really can’t stand Archer. It works for the audience well too because Archer’s points become more compelling considering the amount of power he has. If Archer, one of the strongest characters in the show (I know that’s debatable but purely from what we saw in the show I would absolutely say this) says it is impossible to save everyone then it adds credibility. He just appears to be very wise and knowledgeable. The way in which he articulates his thoughts always makes him appear to be a step ahead of Shirou as well. This brief clip below shows how they both decline Caster’s offer but how different their responses are.

In general he’s just a lot cooler than Shirou although of course you can’t factor that in when considering the arguments. It intentionally does make this task more difficult though. Even Shirou is always incredibly impressed with Archer, below is a scene where Archer effortlessly takes down an opponent that Shirou couldn’t even touch.

There are 4 main timelines in Stay Night: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, Heaven’s Feel, and the one where Archer comes from. There are tons of other timelines of course but those are the main ones. Whether Shirou holds true to his ideals is what you have to decide, but I believe he will. He’s already lived through a lot of conflict and had to reaffirm his ideals so I don’t see him having any more trouble in the future. The whole final fight with Archer and Shirou was really about ideals. In terms of pure ability Archer could have destroyed Shirou in an instant but what he really needed was for Shirou to relent and say that Archer was right. Winning the physical battle meant nothing if he couldn’t win the verbal one. So, short answer here is that I think Shirou is definitely right on both accounts. Let’s tackle the first element of being a Hero of Justice first:

Should you try to save everyone?

This is one that My Hero tackled as well with Lemillion being satisfied with saving 1 million people while Deku aims to save everyone. They both failed Eri initially, but that’s the concept Shirou is going for. You have to at least try to save everyone even if it appears to be impossible. The instant you decide that someone can’t be saved you’ve compromised on your ideals. It will become easier in the future to suddenly decide that someone else can’t be saved and that’s when it’ll all start to snowball. That’s exactly the issue Archer came up to. As soon as he started murdering someone, he found it easier to keep on going and that didn’t exactly work out. At the end of the day as a hero your duty is to try and save everyone.

Shirou throws himself into danger quite a lot in order to do this. He may be outmatched and certainly got a lot of heat for this but he made the right decisions. In the first show he was a bit overboard with how he would try to fight instead of Saber though. I understand fighting side by side with her like in the second show more which makes sense, but he does need to realize that he’s weaker. If he dies then he can’t help anyone else. I think you gotta risk your life if there’s someone that needs saving but if there’s someone else that’s already doing the job then jumping in is more about getting the credit. In this case he just thought she couldn’t handle it so at least the intentions were good.

This is a point for Shirou. Archer tries to say that saving everyone then goes as far as counting the villains and will always be impossible. He’s right if you take it to the extreme of course, but in that case Berserker was attacking Saber and going for the kill. In that sense it makes sense to save Saber and not worry about Berserker at the moment. It’s not to say Shirou wouldn’t try saving him in the future but in that moment it wouldn’t make sense. What it boils down to is that Archer is looking at this from the numbers and sees that it’s impossible to save everyone. As a result he thinks the whole notion is no good. I understand that take, but he is missing the important piece which is that you always have to at least try to save everyone.

One Life vs Many

The second point is risking it all to save one person at the possible expense of many. This is a point Archer would be completely against. Lets say you have one person tied to a bomb that’s about to blow up. You can disarm it right away but the person attached to the bomb will die. Alternately you can try to untie him but the process will take a while so there’s a large chance that the bomb will blow up first and destroy 10,000 people. Archer would very quickly take out the bomb so that only one person dies while Shirou would just trust himself to be able to untie the hostage in time. This is another one where I agree with Shirou. I’ve always thought that you have to try and save the one even if it risks the many. There is just no point in everyone living if you had to sacrifice someone. If it doesn’t work then you all die together at least.

It’s why that always ends up being one of the most sympathetic reasons for a villain. In Sub Zero this is what made Mr. Freeze a compelling villain because he was just trying to save his wife the whole time. At no point in the villain do you forget that he is in fact a villain. It’s important not to lose sight of that. However, it’s a goal that you can understand and relate to because there aren’t many things you would not do in order to save your significant other. A lot of times this one is portrayed as the right thing to do is to save many lives. It’s a very interesting concept and one that has had many books written about it. It’s a very popular philosophical take. I’ve always been with the one life here. You have to do all that you can to save the one even if it ends up risking the many. If someone close to you is at stake then even if you have to fight off whole legions to save her then that’s what you have to do. In quite a few series this ends up with the heroes being forced to take on a ton of other “Heroes” (They start to lose their status when they defend this) or villains. Sometimes the hero even relents to the peer pressure and submits which is always unfortunate and can ruin an ending for me (Flashpoint Paradox) but at the end of the day you have to stay true to your ideals.

It may be logical to sacrifice one if it’ll save thousands or even millions, but the numbers don’t matter to me. Even if it’s to save the whole universe, if you have to sacrifice someone to do it then that’s clearly not worth it. You can’t sacrifice your ideals to save everyone. At the end of the day the one life that is in trouble is the one that you have to worry about. Even worse is if you want to save someone but don’t do it because someone threatens you. There are quite a few Saint Seiya characters who are guilty of this but this editorial’s about over so I won’t go into that here.

So at the end of the day Shirou was right. I do appreciate the debates he had with Archer in the show though. Both characters were given a fair opportunity to explain their piece and rationalizations. It’s also portrayed in a way where you aren’t meant to feel bad with siding with one over the other. Both of them have very valid takes and I imagine there will be fans of both ideologies. It’s not as if one of them is the “correct” option. It really depends on if you’re looking at it logically or morally. The value you put on your ideals vs the amount of lives. There are a ton of factors here and it’s what made Archer an excellent antagonist and he is still one of my favorite characters in the series. I could really link the entire 21 minute fight as clips here since it’s all great stuff with the back and forth but I try to keep the clips minimal with the editorials. They should enhance the points as opposed to overtaking the whole thing. That said, if you want a good debate just look up Archer vs Shirou dub on Youtube and you’ll see theh whole thing there.

Archer did have another good point that is worth remembering as well. You need to know why you are saving people. People say that doing the right thing is its own reward. In a lot of ways what that saying also means is don’t expect a reward for doing so. A lot of times doing the wrong thing will be easier and doing the right thing will go unnoticed. There are times when doing the right thing will ultimately hurt you temporarily as well. He reminds Shirou that if he’s going to save people, it needs to be what he actually wants to do as opposed to doing it for someone else. It’s an important distinction and something to keep in mind. Doing the right thing is always what you should do, but you need to have a strong resolve as well to accept the consequences. Ultimately I do prefer Archer’s more heroic version from the 2006 version though despite all of this. Since all routes are technically the same character I suppose that means he was never super heroic but if you just saw that show you wouldn’t know any better. That may be worth an editorial some day as well comparing both Archer versions but that’s definitely for another day.

The Hero of Justice is a valid ideal and one that I agree with. Shirou wins this round.

2 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Review


It’s time to look at the final chapter in the Resident Evil saga. Unfortunately it is not all that good and throws away the entire premise that the last film set up. It’s a shame because the films always tend to have pretty amazing cliffhangers and more often than not the sequels manage to capitalize on them. Unfortunately this one turned out to be an exception to that. It feels a lot like the desert film previously and not a whole lot happens. The whole first half is basically filler so once the main plot occurs we have to go at turbo speed. I feel like they just wanted to end everything so there wasn’t a whole lot of effort behind this one.

Last time Alice regained her powers and prepared to fight off the invasion of the Red Queen along with Wesker, Jill, and the U.S. Military. The final shot there was great with an epic background and guaranteed action for the next film. Unfortunately this film borderline retcons that similar to how Blade 2 retconned 1 a bit. It’s not an official retcon here of course as there are small references to how that was all a trick but it still makes no sense. So according to this film, Wesker basically brought Alice and the others over to murder them so he gave Alice a fake serum. We can assume Wesker murdered all of her friends but how did he not destroy her? Wesker has super speed and super strength enough to effortlessly dodge bullets and crush people with a single blow. The film never bothers to address this in any kind of way. I like a good mystery myself but it just made no sense and this film may as well be a reboot to be honest.

Back to the plot though, Alice is now travelling aimlessly through the desert as she fights off giant monsters. The Red Queen shows up and says that she has actually betrayed the Umbrella corporation. The villains have invented a cure to take down the zombies and it is airborne so it can cure the entire planet. It’s a lethal cure though so it’ll murder anyone who is infected and only the humans who are not tainted will survive. They mention at the beginning of the film that only 4000 or 40000 (Can’t remember which) humans are still alive so it’s not a great amount. Still, they can eventually start to regroup but Alice needs to find the cure within 48 hours or everyone will be dead. Remember this because it will be important later on. Alice will have to head back to Raccoon City to find the cure which certainly won’t be easy. Fortunately she runs into yet another resistance group who is here to help.

There sure are a ton of resistance groups since Alice finds one in every film and promptly gets just about all of them murdered. The plot is very thin here and riddled with holes. I’ll get into that in a minute so lets get the standard stuff out of the way first. First off, the film is definitely super violent as always which holds it back quite a bit. Zombie films really aren’t my thing since they’re just an excuse for the film to get as gruesome as possible since they are no longer human. There’s a lot of nonstop violence here that’s for sure. The film skips its obligatory fanservice moment this time though which I was glad about. That’s something that the films definitely did not need in the slightest.

Unfortunately with the story being the way it is it’s hard to get invested in the film as well. It’s easily the least interesting film in the series aside from the desert one. Most of the film is just Alice wandering around another desert until she makes it to the facility. Then we get some solid fights but that’s about it. The film ends and you’re wondering what the point was. It even starts to drag a bit and that’s unfortunate since the film isn’t even very long. The worst part is that it got rid of a lot of the amazing music themes that played during the previous films. Why would they get rid of the umbrella elevator theme when they actually brought the elevator back into play here? That was a huge missed opportunity.

Alice is still a great main character though. She’s very no nonsense and takes down quite a lot of zombies. Alice may have lost her powers but not her fighting abilities. The scene of her taking down a whole group while tied up upside down was really something else. It’s really not an exaggeration to say that she may be the best film heroine out there. I may even do an editorial for that at some point on top 10 female leads or something. What really helps here is her consistency. She hasn’t had a bad film and is always right up there in the thick of the action without backing down.

The rest of the cast is quite weak and to be honest they don’t get much of a role. I doubt anyone will remember the members of her squad aside from Claire who gets to return here. Claire looks decent at least but seems to vanish for almost all of the fight scenes. As for the villains, it’s hard to take Isaacs seriously. Good for him that he got super powers though but it makes his fights look even worse. You’re telling me that with bullet timing speed and super strength he seriously couldn’t beat Alice? I’m glad for the Alice hype of course but when you stop to think about it for more than a second then it really makes no sense at all. Don’t even get me started on Wesker. That guy was portrayed as being absolutely unstoppable. A pure beast of combat through and through, yet he wasn’t able to do anything in this film. The movie had absolutely no idea what to do with him considering that he only appeared for a few minutes in the entire film. Wesker also isn’t as confident as usual and is portrayed as a lackey for some reason.

Okay, so let’s talk about the plot now. At the beginning Alice mentions that there aren’t many humans left and the Red Queen confirms that within 48 hours they will all be dead. So that’s why Alice needs to grab the serum right away. Well, she does and in typical cinematic timing she does it with a few seconds left. There should only be a small handful of humans left then right? The 48 hours were basically up before the Red Queen was able to stop the zombie attack. I guess we could say that she underestimated the humans which is reasonable so there could be more left, but Alice says the cure will take years to travel the globe. Even if the Red Queen can somehow stop the zombies from attacking…which is a bit sketchy in itself, years is a long time. Realistically the human race is pretty much wiped out and that’s how the film should have ended. The Red Queen telling Alice that she is now the last survivor of the human race aside from the people present (Really just Claire) would have been a pretty powerful moment.

Then we have the fact that the villains seem desperate to destroy Alice. Again, they could have finished her at any time so why continue to let her live? Why even let her get near the facility instead of blowing it up? Since there were only minutes left and they had cameras on the heroes the whole time they could have escaped through the back as well. Having Wesker at the ready would have been good too. There are just too many reasons why Alice’s desperate assault on the base should not have worked. The writers stacked things a little too heavily against the heroes which made for a completely unbelievable scenario all the way through. I really couldn’t buy into it personally.

It’s hard to nail down exactly why the film failed on all fronts aside from what I’ve listed, but I think the final part is that it no longer felt like a Sci-Fi. The film scrubbed all sci-fi elements away from the series for some reason. We lost all of the cool themes, the great designs, and the whole atmosphere that made the series resonate as a Resident Evil title. You could have taken the name away and this had almost nothing to do with anything. Just take a look at the first scene of the last film with the excellent fight aboard the helicarrier or the climax against the cybernetically enhanced metahuman. This film had none of that and wound up being quite underwhelming.

Overall, It may feel like this was just more of the same based on the score. Admittedly it’s not like the series would drop a whole lot more because it’s already pretty low. That being said, the other films were at least very interesting and compelling. A lot of times the silver lining for me is even if a film ends up being pretty terrible I can at least be engaged the whole time. Particularly with the more intense zombie or vampire type films. This one just didn’t do it for me. The plot is about as strong as a couple of straws and the fact that the film retconned so much just felt like a really bad move for me. I just couldn’t see the film recovering from that and unsurprisingly it did not. Still, in the end if I look at the franchise as a whole I think it did a good job of adapting Resident Evil to the films. It took a lot of liberties but did construct a solid narrative. I doubt there are very many films that could come close to matching the epic cliffhangers that this series had film after film. I’m hoping the reboot will be able to match this one but as lightning only strikes once I have a hard time seeing it match this series. It’d be cool if they brought Alice back though.

Overall 2/10

Battles, Necrozma Battles, Redips Battles

Necrozma vs Redips




Suggested by Anonymous This is definitely a pretty tricky one. On one hand Necrozma is pretty strong and can even corrupt Pokemon with a single touch. He has a lot of unbelievable power although I’m not too impressed with his speed. That’s something Redips is lacking as well. As a result this comes down to their raw power and that’s where Redips has the edge. His final form has automatic healing regeneration as well as a full onslaught of lasers. I don’t think Necrozma is ready to handle such an opponent and would be overwhelmed by that power. Redips wins.

Battles, Eternatus Battles, Lumine Battles

Eternatus vs Lumine




Suggested by Anonymous Lumine is a pretty epic villain and has one of the better designs in the X series. He has an extremely wide variety of moves since he can tap into other Reploid abilities. Eternatus is a fierce Pokemon and one of the strongest dragon types as well, but I don’t see him being able to take down Lumine. Lumine will be able to match him blast for blast while also dealing extra damage with other attacks. He can fire off more lasers at once than Eternatus can and that will be the difference in this battle. Eternatus just won’t be able to keep up. Lumine wins.

Battles, Herbert Battles, Nemo Battles

Herbert vs Nemo




Suggested by JordyPresto0418 Herbert’s pretty old and definitely can’t fight for beans. That said, you can’t deny that he has the size advantage over Nemo. Nemo isn’t nearly large enough to do any real damage to Herbert. Herbert will have a hard time catching him so this will be a standoff for a while but it’s one where Herbert definitely has the edge in durability. He’s just got more time to wait compared to Nemo and really needs only one lucky hit to win. That will decide the match. Herbert wins.

Battles, Kairi Battles, Rey Battles

Kairi vs Rey




Suggested by JordyPresto0418 Kairi has finally obtained mastery over her Keyblade. I expect this will lead her to using quite a lot of advanced abilities in the near future. That said, the games haven’t had a real chance to show off much of her skill yet. Meanwhile Rey had a whole trilogy to temper her abilities with a Lightsaber. Right now the difference in their combat abilities is key. Rey would quickly take Kairi down in a battle of blades and her Force abilities further extend the advantage to Rey. Rey wins.

Battles, Jessica Albert Battles, Schierke Battles

Jessica Albert vs Schierke




Suggested by iKnowledge Jessica Albert has quite a lot of elemental attacks thanks to her appearance in Dragon Quest. She can use explosive abilities, elemental attacks, and a whole lot of other spells. Schierke is a little more restrained in her options and some of them won’t do much of anything like astral projection. Jessica really doesn’t have anything to fear in this fight. She can completely overwhelm Schierke with a frontal assault. Schierke won’t be able to defend against that level of power. Jessica Albert wins.

Akame Battles, Battles, Dizzy battles

Dizzy vs Akame




Suggested by iKnowledge Dizzy’s array of abilities have quite a bit of variety. This allows her to get in close with some good hand to hand attacks or stay at mid range which is her specialty. Her durability is also very high which is handy for taking direct blows. That said, as Akame fights with a sword that negates the durability advantage to a great extent. Dizzy just won’t be able to survive getting hit too many times and Akame’s blistering speed will prevent Dizzy from dodging. This is not a fight that I expect Dizzy can win. Akame wins.

Live Action Movies

Snitch


It’s time for a film based on real events. I am not really familiar with the actual event in question so at least this way I was in for a fresh adventure right from the start. Snitch is a pretty solid film. There’s a solid story going on and some pretty good characters. In the end everyone is pretty hard to deal with here as the “heroes” are pretty manipulative and the drug dealers….are drug dealers. Ultimately John can really only trust himself on this mission.

The movie starts off with Jason’s friend asking if Jason can help him deliver some drugs. Jason half heartedly says no but isn’t able to properly end the conversation as his Mom comes in. The friend sends the drugs anyway and after he is caught claims that Jason asked for them. The cops snag Jason and now say that he will serve at least 10 years in prison without bail unless he can also trick a friend into getting caught or exposing another drug dealer. Jason doesn’t know anyone else since he really isn’t into drugs so his hands are tied. His father John decides that he’ll have to do something himself. He owns a truck company and decides to use this as leverage. The cops agree that this is a good idea so they’ll let Jason go if John is able to bring in one of the big drug leaders. John has his mission, now he just has to pull this off!

Fortunately John has the help of Daniel, one of his staff who used to be in the whole drug business. It’s really fortunate that he has Daniel around because I can safely say that John would have been doomed without him. The whole thing’s pretty tragic for Daniel because he was really trying to go straight. He was keeping away from doing any kind of crime and really wanted to do good by his family. Unfortunately his circumstances weren’t great at the moment and so he took John’s offer. Daniel’s a likable guy and definitely the brains of the operation. He does have quite a few connections and I guess he did a good job of not burning any bridges when he got caught the first time.

Meanwhile John’s definitely a great main character as well. He definitely does all that he can to save Jason and never gives up. The plan is especially dangerous for him since there’s a whole lot that can go wrong here. He puts himself in danger with each mission but continues to go through since he knows it will save Jason. The prison itself isn’t exactly safe for the kid as he gets beaten up quite a bit over there. If John didn’t go to pull this mission off there’s a very good chance that Jason wouldn’t have survived the whole ordeal either way. So much for security in there.

Snitch manages to keep this plot pretty engaging thanks to its quality writing and pacing. Something is always happening during the film which is important and the characters are all pretty reasonable. John’s ex is definitely portrayed as not being very reasonable for sure but there’s a lot of tensions between them that the film wasn’t going to get into. Otherwise John’s family as well as Daniel’s were also doing their best to get through this. I’m glad that John came clean about what he was doing early on or at least relatively soon. At the end of the day it’s still better that the family knows in case things do end up going badly.

The film is also a good reminder to watch out who your friends are. You never know what’s going to happen but if a friend starts to talk about drugs or committing crimes then it’s time to quickly establish some distance. It also goes without saying that if you receive a package for something you’re not expecting then you should not sign. I think that’s something that you may easily do by mistake. If it has your name and address on it then it might be for you right? Wrong! If you’re not expecting it then don’t sign it. Worst case you’ll get a call or an email asking why you never got something but they should have told you in advance. You want to make sure you minimize the amount of ways someone can sabotage you. You can’t prevent everything but some scenarios you can at least prep a bit for.

Overall, Snitch is a pretty solid film. It shows how big the drug dealing game is and how the law treats it very seriously. It’s true that with many drug related crimes it is hard to avoid jail time. It’s also still a pretty big business to this day. It’s just hard to completely shut down such a big network even if you don’t really come across it during the day. Being a mole has got to be one of the riskiest jobs that you can do. There are tons of things that can go wrong and you have to play everything perfectly if you want to come out on top. It’s definitely not something that just anyone can do and you need a fair amount of luck to pull it off as well. I thought the situations were handled pretty realistic. So if you’re looking to check out a film based on real events with some quality action then this is one to check out. I assume there are probably some creative liberties taken with the climax as it all got pretty explosive but it definitely worked pretty well to end the film on a high note. It’s a very satisfying conclusion all the way through the ending.

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Deku & Bakugo: Rising Review


It’s time to take a look at a quick manga prequel to the recent My Hero Academia movie. It’s two chapters long and each one’s about 15 pages so it’s like 1 monthly chapter. It’s a fun little story about Deku & Bakugo going after their first ever villain. It underscores why you should be able to use your powers if you need too. The series isn’t totally explicit on how this works but I assume you are allowed to use your abilities in self defense. If that’s the case then we’re good although I am glad to see Bakugo just charge in anyway.

The basic premise is that Bakugo and the bullies are walking around town and having a good time. Deku shows up reading one of his superhero magazines so they pick on him for a bit. Bakugo is surprisingly the nicest one of the group as he gives Deku the magazine back. That’s when a cloud villain shows up and tries to flee the scene. Bakugo realizes that this is a good chance for him to finally be a hero and get into UA so he gives chase. Deku is worried about Bakugo because he has figured out that there is more to the villain than the cloud abilities. The only trouble is, how can he gives Bakugo a heads up about this?

Since this is a prequel and we know that the two still don’t get along at the start of the series this one naturally ends with the rift continuing to grow. Bakugo is pretty upset that Deku was able to figure things out so quickly while Deku is impressed that Bakugo was ultimately able to figure it out as well. It’s a fun dynamic between them and one that has been solid since the start of the show. You can definitely point out that their dynamic isn’t nearly as friendly or healthy as other rivals but the sheet animosity from Bakugo to Deku makes it pretty unique.

As far as one shot stories go this one was also pretty good. We got a little fight scene and the art was pretty solid. The plot twist about the guy’s powers was pretty neat although I do feel like they should have figured it out a little sooner. The sheer difference in element is pretty big so it’s something that you should be able to determine both visually or physically. That’s just how it goes I though I suppose. They were still kids when this happened. We also got to see a pro show up which was pretty neat. We don’t usually get to see a lot of the more obscure pros engage in a fight so when that happens it’s pretty neat.

This one incorporates the villains from the movie for a quick page at the end but this definitely isn’t their story. It’s really about connecting more details from Deku and Bakugo’s past. It accomplishes this goal rather well. The artist does a good job of making this feel like it could have been a chapter from the main series and the writing is on point. You’ll definitely read through this adventure in a breeze.

Overall, Deku & Bakugo Rising is definitely worth checking out. If you’re able to then you should read it before watching the movie. It’s always nice to have a little more context on the manga. Hopefully Viz puts this story at the back of an upcoming My Hero volume or something. I always think it’s a shame to lose these stories to the remnants of time. Every one shot should get put into physical form at some point. I’m definitely up for more My Hero Stories. I’ll be starting the My Hero Team Ups soon so that’ll be a good way to get some more My Hero action. There’s certainly a lot of different team combinations the series can try out.

Overall 7/10