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My Hero Academia Just Set Up Its Second Movie as Official Canon

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  • Posted on 09th Aug, 2022 09:29 AM
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All Might's depiction in My Hero Academia chapter 362 suggests Bakugo's time with One For All is canon, with some major implications.

style="text-align: center;">Warning: contains spoilers for My Hero Academia chapter 362 and My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising!

A very specific design choice in the latest chapter of My Hero Academia may be implying that the series' second movie, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, has secretly been canonical all along.

While film adaptations of manga and anime series are often considered non-canonical to the original story, this trend has begun to change in recent years, most prominently with Demon Slayer: Infinity Train arc and Dragon Ball Super: Broly being announced as canon. Nevertheless, fans accepted Heroes: Rising was non-canon mostly because the film's climax revolves around something that was thought to be impossible: Deku passes off One For All to Bakugo, only to see it returned to him after the villain's defeat. An interesting idea to explore, certainly, but it seemed the sort of thing that was far too important not to have come up in the manga if it was canon.

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Related: My Hero Academia Just Hinted At Its Most Important Character Death Ever

In chapter 362, a dying Bakugo has some kind of vision in which he's speaking to a ghostly apparition that resembles All Might, asking that he finally sign a trading card that Bakugo has always carried with him. This isn't just some random hallucination, however: instead, the spectral All Might actually looks nearly identical to the vestige of All Might which resides within One For All, just like its other previous users. As such, there's no reason anyone other than Deku should have any idea what that form looks like... unless they also wielded One For All, even if only for a brief time. All Might has shown some awareness of the non-physical "One For All" realm in which the spirits of previous users reside, even as Deku lay in a coma in chapter 303. It's not unreasonable to think that Bakugo might still have a tenuous connection to that realm if he carried One For All in canon, and even that this hallucination may be a real piece of All Might's soul that remained with him.

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It's worth noting that My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, the first film, was also said to be non-canonical to the manga, but references to that film have occurred since that suggest those events did happen. A character from that film, Melissa Shield, even appeared in the spin-off Team-Up Missions manga. If that film can be retroactively made canonical, why wouldn't the franchise do the same with Heroes: Rising?

If Bakugo had indeed wielded One For All, it could have some major implications. A vestige of Bakugo may reside within One For All too, offering Deku a chance for one last goodbye to his friend, while also giving him the ability to use Bakugo's quirk to help defeat All For One. Both literally and metaphorically, Bakugo would still be fighting alongside Deku in spirit. Shigaraki even complains that Bakugo is giving him far too much trouble for someone who's not using One For All - a statement which seems intended to bring the second movie to mind. Series creator Kohei Horikoshi commented that the second film's climax with Bakugo and Deku using One For All together was something he had originally intended to use as an ending for the manga.

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While some of the above is speculative, the decision to use All Might's vestige form for Bakugo's hallucination seems like a deliberate choice that definitely has some significance, even if it isn't meant to reference the film. This could be confirmed directly, by having some character mention those events, or indirectly, by having Deku or All Might react psychically to Bakugo's death without seeing it, as in chapter 303. Knowing that Horikoshi once planned for the film's epic moment as an ending to My Hero Academia altogether makes it all the more likely it's meant to be seen as canon, as the entire franchise's finale is quickly approaching.

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Next: My Hero Academia Could Use the Return of a Fan-Favorite Hero Against Deku

My Hero Academia chapter 362 is available on the Viz Media website.

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