Long ago in My Hero Academia, two brothers clashed over the world’s fate. In Season 5, Episode 2, Izuku learns how All For One’s villainy began.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Episode 90, “Vestiges,” now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.
My Hero Academia fans have known for a few years that the mighty villain All For One — nicknamed the “symbol of evil,” the twisted counterpart to All Might, the symbol of peace — is the greatest threat to world freedom. In Season 5 Episode 2, Izuku learns more about the supervillain’s past — and he can hardly believe his eyes.
Izuku already had a vision of One For All’s previous users during the U.A. sports festival, when he faced Hitoshi Shinso’s Brainwashing ability. Now those previous users, including this Quirk’s first-ever user, are becoming clearer. And All For One himself is involved.
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The Wild Frontier Of A Quirk World
While asleep in his U.A. dorm room one night, Izuku finds himself in a shadowy dream realm. One For All’s previous users (minus All Might) stand in a line beside him, from Nana Shimura to six men whom Izuku has never met before. Izuku then spots two other men speaking to each other, both with light gray hair. They are brothers butting heads over the purpose of nature and Quirks in their earliest days.
Quirks were still a novelty back then, and many questions lingered, such as how to shape society around these superpowers and what responsible Quirk usage should look like. The younger brother had no Quirk at all and protested his older brother’s twisted vision of a Quirk-based world.
The older brother, who is in fact a younger All For One, argued that Quirks would make the world messy and dangerous without some oversight. He volunteered himself to regulate and administrate the world’s Quirk with his own ability, which could pass Quirks from one person to another. In fact, All For One proclaimed himself a savior and protector, granting them to defenseless people who needed them or taking Quirks from those who didn’t want them at all. Every person he helped owed him fealty, and All For One quickly amassed a crowd of loyal followers.
The younger brother saw this as an insidious power play and called out All For One, but the elder brother persisted. In these chaotic early days, anyone could make up their own rules on how Quirks and society should mingle, and All For One’s ambitions were truly grand. Or, in his brother’s eyes, truly wicked.
The Birth Of One For All
The younger brother continued to passively protest All For One’s schemes, even ending up in a locked room with his older brother pressuring him to see things his way. Eventually, All For One presented him with a gift: a Quirk that even the frail younger brother could handle. He seized his little brother’s face and forced that gift upon him.
This is the genesis of the One For All Quirk, which defies All For One in every way. This Quirk works best with a user who has no Quirk at all, allowing powerless people to gain the strength necessary to resist evil. Crucially, One For All can only be passed on with consent from all parties, as opposed to how All For One’s ability works. All For One tried to do his brother a favor, but he really planted the seeds for his greatest nemesis — a multi-generational Quirk that would eventually defeat him in battle.
All For One further argued that despite the stories shown in comic books, victory, in reality, goes to whoever has the most power, not the most heroic or righteous person. Both brothers admired superhero comic books growing up, but All For One now dismisses those optimistic stories as irrelevant, saying they cannot influence reality. Here in the real world, the strongest will win even if they are labeled as evil. Or will they?
The younger brother was traumatized, but he would begin building a Quirk and a legacy that would prove justice is real — if there is someone strong enough to defend it. With this newborn Quirk, a real-life superhero could emerge to challenge All For One’s plans for world domination, and My Hero Academia‘s fiction and reality will mingle in the best possible way. One For All is destined to be.
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