Yaaaa! A flashback episode!
Overview (Spoilers Below)
My Hero Academia has been on a roll with its second season, and that trend continues with “Listen Up!! A Tale from the Past.” At the onset of the episode, Izuku Midoriya, or Deku (Justin Briner), bids farewell to his mentor Gran Torino (Charles Campbell) at the conclusion of his internship. Upon returning to U.A. High School, Midoriya reunites with his class, 1A.
There’s a brief recap of internships and reactions to these. Though it doesn’t quite tread into U.A. sports fest territory, there’s a brief obstacle course scene. This puts the children’s newfound skils on display, notably Deku’s. Although, this segment presents a pleasant surprise in its defiance of audience expectations.
After witnessing Deku’s improved performance and skill, All Might (Christopher R. Sabat) speaks with Deku at length about their shared quirk, One for All. As All Might explains, their power derived from All for One, a power which allowed the user to steal other quirks and dole these out. All for One reigned with terror, and was supposedly defeated. But it seems he hasn’t been.
“Listen Up!! A Tale from the Past” really proves how much My Hero Academia has come into its own. It’s another entry in the coming of age narrative for Midoriya, and lends an interesting back story to his character and All Might’s, as well as the My Hero universe. It’s clear this sub plot is setting up a tragic moment for All Might and Deku, where Deku assumes the One for All legacy and All Might presumably dies. At least that’s what I’m guessing from the rather overt suggestions in All Might’s internal dialogue.
As an episode, it’s much improved over the previous entry in “Everyone’s Internships.” While a fun romp, it was entirely filler. But “Listen Up!! A Tale from the Past” instead offers significant plot advancement, and sets up what promises to be one of the top episodes of the season and series at large.