This entry’s heavy dive into the more general nature of the Nomu provides an illuminating context about these monstrosities and that they serve a purpose greater than just extra muscle for the League of Villains. “More of a Hero Than Everyone” underscores how truly genetically twisted the Nomu are and that they should no longer be considered humans, even if that’s where they started. My Hero Academia really hammers on the crazy science angle of it all, which has been absent from the anime for a while, but it’s already very important in what’s to come with Shigaraki. Some might bring the Nomu developments back to the basic storyline of Frankenstein’s Monster, but this episode quickly proves why it’s much more than that.
Rumors of Nomus’ brain-dead disposition persist, but in reality there are trace elements of their original personality that can shine through. This is something that My Hero Academia has been teasing since the very first season, but hasn’t really done anything with it until now. This information is of immense importance as it has been revealed that Kurogori is in fact a Nomu who happened to be made from the remains of Aizawa and Present Mic’s best friend, Oboro Shirakumo.
On this point My Hero Academia has spawned dozens of origin stories and shown various permutations of how hero teams and friendships can function, but “More of a Hero Than Everyone” offers one of the series’ most powerful flashbacks of the entire series. Oboro Shirakumo, before becoming Kurogiri, attended UA High along with Present Mic and Aizawa. These “Three Class A Dumbingos” were in fact their generation’s version of Midoriya, Bakugo and Todoroki. The parallels here make this tragic story even more effective, evoking a little bit of fear that one of Midoriya’s closest friends might also face a fate similar to Shirakumo.
Aizawa, Present Mic and Shirakumo are so entertaining to watch and they preach a touching philosophy where if one of them messes up the other will have his back. The principle becomes bittersweet as Aizawa and Present Mic weren’t enough to save Shirakumo, and it gives more weight to Aizawa’s efforts to protect his current students, especially his recent interest in helping Hitoshi Shinso.
Shota Aizawa really cares, but he also feels guilty and doesn’t want anyone else to become like Kurogiri. Shirakumo is someone Aizawa wanted his students to model themselves, leaving his friend’s dark fate stuck. It’s something he can’t get past. The title of this My Hero Academia episode – “More Of A Hero Than Everyone” – refers to Oboro Shirakumo, so it’s even more chilling that this titular legend is reduced to a semi-catatonic antagonist.
“More of a Hero Than Everyone” never loses its momentum and it’s painful to let Aizawa and Present Mic reminisce about how much they cherished Shirakumo, only for the zest of what was left of him in Kurogori to commit to instead. worry about Shigaraki. The episode continues in a direction where it seems like the positivity of these heroes and the strength of their friendship will somehow be enough to break this Nomu spell and take Shirakumo out of Kurogiri, which is what makes it so effective when this falls short and they ostensibly break their former friend. Granted, there is a glimpse of Shirakumo returning that offers the most cursory information about Shigaraki, but Aizawa and Present Mic don’t consider this a “victory”. It is arguably the very best Shota Aizawa episode of the series.
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