Movie Reviews

An Early My Hero Academia Villain Returns for Spinoff's Finale

This article discusses spoilers for Vigilantes chapter 125.

As the My Hero Academia prequel/spinoff series My Hero Academia: Vigilantes prepares to end in its upcoming final chapter, its last plot threads are being wrapped up. That includes some threads which tie into the beginning of its parent series–like the origin of one of the series’ first big villains.

Vigilantes has worked hard to set itself apart from the main manga, while still maintaining that feeling of both stories taking place in the same world. Although it has focused on a different set of characters dealing with very different problems from those of U.A.’s students, many familiar faces have made appearances, ranging from relatively minor characters like All Might’s detective friend Tsukauchi to major players like All for One and even giving All Might himself an epic battle. Some have even had entire story arcs dedicated to them in the series, like Aizawa’s U.A. backstory, providing valuable insight into a tragic backstory that’s merely alluded to in My Hero Academia proper.

Related: My Hero Academia: Shoto’s New Power Frees Him From Endeavor’s Control

While much of the chapter is dedicated to giving Vigilantes‘ original characters their endings, the story does take a few pages to acknowledge the legacy of its big villain, Number Six. Six was revealed earlier on to be a prototype Nomu, the result of an experiment by All for One and his goons to create a perfect vessel, as he would eventually do with Tomura Shigaraki. As All for One muses about Six’s defeat, he explains that he’s learned from this experience, and he’ll be taking these lessons with him into the full production of Nomu. As he explains this, the panel shows a vat containing a Nomu, but it’s not just any Nomu–it’s the first Nomu seen in My Hero Academia, referred to as “the USJ Nomu,” after the location where it attacked. This Nomu proved a dangerous opponent even for All Might, and this chapter implies that part of why it was such a deadly foe is the feedback and data obtained from Koichi’s battle with Six.

Much of Six’s villainy was driven by his desire for an identity, and that made him difficult to control. While the USJ Nomu was capable of speech, it could only communicate in simple ideas and had no wants or needs of its own, effectively eliminating what All for One saw as its biggest weakness. While Six also had a variety of quirks, his were often flashy and drew too much attention; the USJ Nomu, on the other hand, focused almost exclusively on strength and speed, as well as regenerative healing. If Six was a Jack of All Trades, then the USJ Nomu was All for One’s attempt at a specialist. Given that it stood toe-to-toe with All Might, it’s no wonder that future Nomu were all closer to the USJ Nomu than Six.

These kinds of tie-ins are exactly what a prequel series should be used for. The cameo was fairly subtle, as a reader would have to recognize its beak-like face to see it’s the same one, but makes sense in a general way without that recognition. It also serves as proof that the events of Vigilantes had a big impact on the main series’ plot without undercutting anything established separately there. While it’s a shame to see My Hero Academia: Vigilantes come to a close, it may well be the ultimate example of going out on a high note.

Next: My Hero Academia’s Chiikawa Crossover Creates a Bizarre New Deku

Look for the finale of My Hero Academia: Vigilantes when it’s officially published in English on Viz!’s website.

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