Push further! Go beyond! PLUS ULTRA! If you hadn’t guessed it, we’re talking about All Might today; the pillar of hope and a damn great husbando in my eyes.
All Might isn’t one of your typical anime pretty boys, no; he is a shining beacon of hope, power, and he is built like a brick shithouse. When you have the weight of the world resting on your shoulders, I suppose it makes sense for All Might to be the man that he is.
Who is All Might?
Also known as Toshinori Yagi, All Might is the 8th inheritor of One For All — a legendary power that can be passed down from one user to the next and stockpiles more power as time goes on. This power was actually given to the first One For All user by the big villain of the series, All For One, and while not originally strong, the first inheritor swore to pass the quirk down through the ages to a worthy successor in order to eventually beat All For One.
All Might was the eighth person to inherit the power, and similar to Deku, he was originally quirkless — but it was his strong sense of justice and his heroic heart that deemed him a worthy successor. Before All Might rose to fame the world was in a fairly volatile state — as you would imagine when 90% of the population has powers — and it was All Might that brought about peace.
He believed that someone needed to rise up and become a beacon that not just innocent civilians could look to for hope, but for future heroes to become inspired by. This is the mantle that All Might took upon himself as he became a hero among heroes. He trained harder than anyone and proved his worth as the inheritor of this power, but it wasn’t just his heroic feats that earned him his fame — no, it was also his smile. No matter the danger he faced, he would save people with a smile as he believed it put people’s fears at ease.
Why we love All Might
Similar to a character like Satoru Gojou from Jujutsu Kaisen, I’m a big fan of the sensei-type characters that are a staple of the shounen battle genre. Something I like even more though is when these sensei characters remain strong and live up to their responsibilities as a teacher.
Despite the issues that All Might’s injuries cause him, along with his passing on of the torch that is One For All to Deku, All Might doesn’t back down and will continue to protect his students so long as the tiniest ember of power resides within him.
When it comes to the shounen genre-defining moments and battles, All Might is the representative of that in My Hero Academia. The finale of the first season of the anime pits All Might versus one of the League Of Villains’ “Nomu”, which are heavily modified artificial humans that possess numerous quirks. This one, in particular, was well-equipped to deal with All Might’s overwhelming strength, but again, despite this, All Might’s resolve doesn’t weaken; he simply pushes past his own limits and it is here that the saying “Plus Ultra” cemented itself within the series.
Lastly, All Might’s clash with All For One, his final battle. This is in my opinion the best battle in the series, as it embodies what My Hero Academia is all about in my eyes — pushing past your limits and protecting those who need protecting, regardless of your own safety. This was the moment where Horikoshi’s inspirations from Western comics like Spiderman shone through, with All Might knowing his power was about to fade, pushing past every limit, and coming out victorious. Finally, he closes out with a message of reassurance to the people he dedicated his life to protect — and also a secret message to Deku, his heir.
Why you will love All Might
Even though I have talked about the many incredible things that make up All Might’s character, he isn’t flawless and it’s these flaws to his character — along with how he addresses them and develops as a person — that really made me love him.
In the second episode, All Might seems to have slightly lost his way, and it’s the actions of a small quirks boy that reignites the fire in his heart and reminds him what exactly it means to be a hero. Sure, All Might is a legend, but he still manages to learn something from a child — and it’s his actions after this that make him a fantastic character.
His relationship with Deku, the heir to his power, is integral to All Might’s growth as a character; he truly comes to understand the weight he has just placed on Deku’s shoulders. While Deku may feel blessed having inherited not just a quirk, but the quirk of the very man who inspired him to become a hero, All Might understands that Deku needs to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with One For All.
Seeing All Might become something of a father or guardian figure to Deku, as he gets down on his knees in front of Deku’s mother promising to protect and nurture his growth, is something you wouldn’t expect to see from this character — he is the most famous hero, yet here he is, just a teacher in front of a student’s parent.
What a guy.
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