After being treated to Ochako versus Bakugo last week, episode ten delivers Deku versus Todoroki. However, Deku isn’t the only thing Todoroki is fighting against. This battle also encompasses his struggle with the baggage created by the toxic relationship he has with his father.
As expected Todoroki starts off the clash by relying on his ice based quirk, which he inherited from his mother. After a few minutes the contest starts to hit a stalemate, with Deku holding Todoroki at bay. The skirmish gets turned on its head when Deku becomes an impromptu therapist, pushing his opponent to use all the power at his disposal instead of holding back to prove a point to his father.
As all of this is going on we are treated to flashbacks to Todoroki’s upbringing. A glimpse of what it was like to grow up being pushed to become the crowning achievement of a man blind to anything except success. Seeing what kind of environment would drive a mother to purposefully harm a child.
It’s not all negative, though. While these terrible memories flood back into Todoroki, he is also able to recall the love and positivity his mother displayed. It’s something that he had forgotten about. With these positive memories, he gains a new sense of purpose. His true power unlocked by the boy that is supposed to beat him.
The match comes to a memorable conclusion, with some of the UA staff having to step in before things got out of hand. Although it’s easy to start to ponder if the outcome would’ve been different if they let everything play out instead of intervening.
Deku versus Todoroki lives up to the billing, with Deku becoming Todoroki’s personal savior. Fortunately, the fight concludes within one episode rather than being dragged out. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between the two characters changes after the fight, and who ends up coming out on top at the sports festival.