WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia, Season 4, Episode 25, “His Start.”
Ever since the incident in Kamino Ward last season, which saw the retirement of All Might, the world of My Hero Academia has been in a tailspin. Since then hero society has had no symbol of peace, until now, that is. The final episode of My Hero Academia Season 4 cements Endeavor not only as of the new Number One hero but also as the new symbol of peace.
This idea of a symbol of peace is based in the dark past of My Hero Academia‘s world. When Quirks first emerged there was essentially anarchy, where the strongest Quirk users reigned supreme. Enthroned atop this world of might was All For One. It was All Might and the other heroes of his generation that triumphed over the darkness, that ushered in peace and security, and established hero society as we see it in the show. That is what it means to be the symbol of peace. Without the symbol, the Japanese public grew afraid that there would be a return to the old ways. Luckily, those fears are put to rest — at least for now — by Season 4’s epic final battle.
The battle pits the Number Two hero, Hawks, and the Number One hero, Endeavor, against an enhanced Nomu. At the beginning of the fight, Endeavor is trying to minimize damage to the surrounding area, while Hawks is focused on rescuing those civilians who have been put in danger, but it becomes quickly clear that this will not be enough. People begin to panic, crowding the streets and screaming about how this is a society without a symbol of peace. Endeavor unleashes his ultimate attack, Prominence Burn, but the Nomu reacts quickly — tearing off its head and allowing the rest of its body to be burned up in the inferno, only to regenerate and strike back, landing a direct hit on Endeavor and taking out his eye.
The hero falls to Earth in one of the episode’s more emotional moments, as we see various characters watching the battle, including his son, Todoroki. But Endeavor doesn’t give up, using his fire combined with Hawks’ feathers he moves his otherwise immobilized body into a final charge. He lifts the Nomu high above the city and unleashes a Prominence Burn that exceeds the safe limits of his Quirk. The Nomu is completely incinerated and the smoke clears to reveal Endeavor barely on his feet but holding a fist in the air in victory; the new symbol of peace.
At one point, a newscaster says that the whole scene is very reminiscent of the chaos at Kamino and Endeavor’s pose is an exact copy of All Might’s stance at the end of that battle. There is a big difference here, however. While the Kamino Incident saw some interference from Deku and the other heroes, it was very much a one-on-one battle between All Might and All For One. This fight, however, and this victory, are very much a product of two heroes working together. It’s Endeavor that goes head-to-head with the Nomu and delivers the killing blow, but Hawks is all the while making it possible for the fire hero to focus all of his energies on the Nomu; he’s fighting the additional Nomu that the enhanced spits out, he’s rescuing people, and it’s his feathers which lift Endeavor to the position where he can safely use his overloaded Prominence Burn. It’s possible to look at this as All Might being as good on his own as these two top heroes, and that’s partially true, but it’s also the mark of a paradigm shift in hero society.
The era of All Might was one of individualism, and this marks the end of that. Where the end of the Kamino incident saw Deku looking on, seeing All Might’s gesture as a nod for him, and him alone, to take up the role of the symbol, this time the episode cuts to Deku, Bakugo, Todoroki and the rest of the next generation of heroes, while the voiceover says that this responsibility falls to them, not one of them alone.
This sense of the togetherness is also reinforced by the short post-credit scene of Deku’s dream: We see the moment where All For One passed on his gift to his Quirk-less brother, and looking on are all of the previous users of One For All. But this is more than a dream. At the last moment, the first user reaches out to Deku and says that he is the ninth. A spark of power is passed between their hands — a spark that causes Deku to activate his Quirk, shattering the window of his dorm.
Not only does the Season 4 finale of My Hero Academia mark the rise of Endeavor as the new symbol of peace, but it stresses the idea of the heroes working together. And even within Midoriya, there is the collective power of all.
Season 4's final battle marks a turning point in the My Hero Academia universe.