My Hero Academia: Did Shinso unlock One For All’s past?

My Hero Academia’s Deku continues to learn more secrets about his Quirk One For All, but did Shinso’s brainwashing trigger a deeper connection?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 3 “Clash! Class A vs. Class B!”, Which is now airing on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

After a long wait that lasted three seasons and included a portion of sporadic appearances, Hitoshi Shinso returned to My hero academia in episode 3 of the fifth season. It seems that Shota Aizawa / Eraserhead has taken the hopeful hero under their wing, leading him to join Class 1-A and 1-B for the Joint Training Battle.

Shinso reminded freshmen of the UA High School hero program of their promise to surpass everyone and be the best hero, a humble aspiration cultivated at the Sports Festival in Season 2. However, for Izuku Midoriya / Deku, Shinso’s return prompted him to reflect on his dream about One for All’s story from Episode 2, which served as a follow-up to their fight at the Sports Festival, where he first saw the vestiges of power.

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Relating his mysterious contact with the first wielder of One for All to All Might, Deku hypothesized: Shinso and his Quirk were the main catalyst that unlocked his power? While various theories have emerged about Deku’s strange subconscious manifestation of the One for All, there are reasons to speculate that Shinso had something to do with the awakening. After all, he was there when Deku first tapped into his latent power.

Looking back at the aforementioned Sports Festival battle in Season 2, Episode 7, Deku was trapped miserably under Shinso’s brainwashing and staggered on the brink of elimination. With nothing on the table for Deku that could help signal a return in the fight, he was unexpectedly assisted by the will of One for All, or rather, the other eight users who had the power before him. This event caused the Quirk to activate, not requested by Deku.

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Deku pointed this out to All Might immediately after the fight, for much of his mentor’s deal – he essentially faced the same issues while taking advantage of One for All. However, Deku has now spoken to the first Quirk user, something All Might never did. However, All Might stressed to Deku that if it hadn’t been for his strong emotional response to seeing the vestiges, then he would not have escaped Shinso’s brainwashing.

Although Deku managed to see the previous One for All users indicate his gradual accommodation with the power-building Quirk, that did not mean that he should meet them anytime soon. Since he experienced the awakening of his Quirk’s transcendental abilities in the fight against Shinso, Deku had not experienced a second occurrence during his first year at UA until his strange dream. Strangely, her dream happened the night before she met Shinso again.

It’s been a long time since Deku and Shino faced off at the Sports Festival. Still, both of them have had their own difficulties to face on their respective journeys to become heroes. Deku now faces new challenges in understanding One for All and the truth behind its power. Simultaneously, Shinso continues to refute the negative stigma around his brainwashing Quirk that many people assume he will use negatively.

If their previous encounter is something to break out, then Deku and Shinso’s next showdown in the Joint Training Battle is something to look forward to. With Shinso and Deku’s hero aspirations wielding the explosive power he wields, something has to give when they face blows in their next battle. Considering that Shinso’s Quirk affects his target’s mind, he may have a unique key to unlock more One for All secrets for Deku.

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