…That’s not what I expected from the Villain Speech, and it raises so many questions.
And partly I want to go - so why is that an excuse to try and murder kids? You’re just excusing yourself from the severity of your crime, really - I mean, All Might is doing his best to knock the villains into next week (and for the mooks he already did that), but at least he didn’t try to murder kids.
But then I stepped back, and thought about it. I really thought about it, especially in the context of this story’s world.
All Might is the ‘Symbol of Peace’.
The man who can change the weather by punching hard enough. He’s pretty much the walking equivalent of a nuclear bomb, and is one of the most devastating superheroes in Japan, if not the world.
And this man is considered the Symbol of Peace.
God, what does that say about this world? Violence is glorified, violence is praised - when it is used within the confines of heroism.
Look at the entrance exam, and Bakugou’s score - hell, just look at Bakugou, really. That boy scored the highest on the exam, out of participants presumably from all across Japan, all simply because he could destroy the highest number of robo-villains. Not a single goddamn rescue point, not a single inkling he gave a shit about anything other than blowing stuff up, and yet he still shot right to the top of that damned exam.
(And another part of that is how the idea you can get ‘rescue points’ isn’t even mentioned by the exam people! We the watchers don’t even know it’s possible until the end of the show to get rescue points. It’s never even mentioned.
Because it’s not considered as important as destroying ‘villains’ is, in that exam.)
And throughout his life, Bakugou has been lauded and praised for his Quirk, even those his massive anger issues and willingness to bully others to the point of abuse cannot have gone completely unnoticed.
The first time we are introduced to Bakugou Katsuki is when Izuku is defending a boy who was injured because of Bakugou’s Quirk. Bakugou was young, then, not more than six probably, and already he showed how very little he cared about what should be the first rule of heroism: protect the weak. Instead, he used his Quirk, abusing it shamelessly - as he would continue to do until well into the show starts - to hurt other people.
Was he ever chastised? Was he told that he needs to work on his powers, and use them for good? Was he ever told that that’s not how a hero should act? Was he ever told to use his anger for good and that he could use it to help other people?
Was he ever told no, explicitly?
No. He was lauded and praised and told what an excellent hero he’d be instead, from childhood, even. When he spoke of going to the best school for heroics in Japan, not a single person thought he probably wouldn’t be able to get in. Not a single person stopped and said that maybe a kid who willfully abuses those considered weaker than him, maybe this kid who throws his Quirk around to make himself feel stronger - maybe this kid needs to learn some discipline and compassion for others before we started letting him train to become a Hero.
(Hell, not even at UA did anyone stop and say okay, Bakugou just tried to fucking murder Midoriya during the training simulation, and good god his anger issues are astounding, we need to get him some goddamn therapy asap. And I’m not holding up hope that anyone will, tbh!)
And now, I’m not saying that All Might is Bakugou, or drawing a parallel between them in any other way. (I have a really hard time imagining All Might, even as a probably angry Quirkless kid, doing ½ of the abusive things to someone else that Bakugou does to Izuku.) And All Might has done good, and I’m not claiming that he doesn’t. One of our very first looks at him comes from when he saves people during a disaster.
But Bakugou (and his Quirk) is violent. And All Might’s power is violent. Very much so.
They both have power meant for stopping villains dead (or making them very dead). There’s no room for subduing them peacefully, there’s no room for their powers to get someone to stop without a fight. There is no room for even the idea of not fighting.
And yet, they are praised.
Bakugou is told what an excellent Hero he’d be. He’s told he’ll be the best.
All Might is lauded across the country as the compass to which all other heroes should aspire to, to which all children should want to become. He is called the Symbol of Peace, and it is shown how many criminals have been stopped/halted by either him or his rise to fame.
But, and I wonder about this: what about an ordinary criminal? What about people who steal some change from the corner store, or a person who shoplifts some food, or any of the minor criminals who very likely have to exist - because the Shigarakis and Noumus and Kurogiris of the world are far and in between. Because the villains with the ‘flashy’ and ‘big’ Quirks would likely be far and in between themselves. Because a lot of criminals aren’t just big rolling robots, big hunks of metal who cannot feel who do not have loved ones, whose only desire is to destroy-
What happens if one of them runs into a hero? Say the hero can’t temper their blow enough not to kill them. Say the hero is lauded for doing so, or they’re popular enough that they can’t have a ‘bad mark’ on their record, so it’s covered up, because obviously this man stealing some candy bars was a ‘threat to the public’ or something. (There are a thousand and one circumstances that could happen, and I’m not smart enough/well-read enough to think of them all. but you get my point!)
And maybe it’s not All Might, but there are other heroes, aren’t there? Other veteran heroes, likely with Quirks that utilize destructive forces in their own right - just look at the Fiery Santa Claus (Endeavor, was it? The guy with the horrendous fire-mustache). That’s a fucking deadly ass Quirk. That’s a Quirk that could very, very easily kill people. How’s a guy like that going to stop a pickpocket, or whatever, peacefully?
Then those criminals - well, they might have families, right? Those families or those friends (probably just as poor as the criminals) see the Heroes being lauded for the death of that criminal, contrasted with images they’ve seen all their lives, of plenty of Heroes not caring enough about doing good in places that aren’t profitable for them/don’t show them to the media.
And then more villains arise, out of hate or rage or grief or a simple need for money - because you can’t tell me there aren’t plenty of people who become villains for the money, especially when the option to become a Hero is presumably right there.
(But that’s a whole other rant, on economic inequality and the stagnation of lower classes for the benefit of the upper class and this post is already long enough as is.)
Shigaraki’s right, no matter what reasons he may have for saying it.
All Might isn’t a Symbol of Peace - the man is a nuclear deterrent. He’s not Nelson Mandela, because I’m pretty sure Nelson Mandela didn’t have a fucking warhead he could churn out whenever he needed to dispense justice.
(I’m not saying that the oppressed violently uprising against their oppressors is a bad thing, that’s not my point at all. I’m not of the mind that believes that punching a Nazi is a bad - unless you don’t use proper technique and protect your hands, in which case don’t do that until you have training - you know.)
What I am saying is that All Might lives in a world that glorifies violence. He influences that, even as he acts against criminals.
Here is the hero to which everyone must aspire to!
But he, like all other Heroes, goes after the symptoms - not the source.
(and people die and people suffer while the world goes on, and they look up and whisper why. Why did my father/son/daughter/wife/friend. Why do my children go hungry. There’s anger in those questions, anger that drives people to do stupid things, to strike out at a world that has no use for them.
and then they die, and others rise up, wanting to hurt as they’ve been hurt.
and it doesn’t end.
It doesn’t end until someone stands up and says no. Says, this isn’t working, says, we need to do better.
Even if for the wrong reasons.)
(I wonder why so many people followed Shigaraki, really.)
w-what a fool u awe… ima god, how can u kill a god? :3 what a gwand and intoxicating innocence! how couwd u be so naive? dere is no escape.
no wecall or intewvention can work in dis pwace. come, way down ur weapons! it is not too wate for my mercy! OwO