I like Twice. I’ve always found him an interesting character and a pretty raw take on the more psychological side of Quirks. Though his double-talking nature is often played for a laugh, things invariably get real when the mask comes off. So, though I’m pretty sure deep-seated trauma doesn’t just fix itself on a dime, it’s nice to see the guy get a win. Even better, Twice’s victory over himself turns everything around for the League of Villains, who now have an endless supply of soldiers via one of the coolest named techniques ever: Sad Man’s Parade. Though less of a subversion than some other Quirks, seeing Twice swarm an entire town is a pretty powerful image as to how abilities are shaped by their user. Twice has made copies before, but they always acted as temporary decoys and distractions—nothing too dangerous. But if Twice were to truly overcome his trauma, the guy really could take over Japan. Heck, had his life played out differently, he could’ve been an amazing Hero.
Which is where we find this episode’s other message—the one that isn’t “friendship is good even if you’re bad”—the one that’s all about societal “norms”. Twice done goofed…sorta. Some guy walked out in front of him while he was driving his motorcycle and got injured; Twice got a criminal record; said injured party turned out to be a client of the company Twice worked for and subsequently cut ties; Twice’s boss got pissy and punched him in the face. That’s a lot of bad luck, and a lot of what My Hero explains about its Villains: most of them just fall into crime out of necessity. Though he didn’t make the best decisions to help himself, Twice was legally a criminal in a world where Villain is a capital-letter word; where Hero is an enviable, and real, job. Dude didn’t really stand a chance. This goes double for people like Toga, with a Quirk that frightens people. That being said, the Liberation Army’s goal of “freeing Quirks” isn’t right just because it opposes this. I mean, it’s not coincidence that every person who praises “survival of the fittest” just so happens to be one of the strongest people around. Hell if I have all the answers, but I’m sure there’s a solid middle ground between repression and unbridled expression. Would it hurt to let someone with a flying Quirk take the skies to work? Probably not. Would things get messy and dangerous when a thousand people are flapping around and some fly via the power of explosions? Yes. Obviously. Also, what the hell is being able to wave a giant arm around going to do for you in a boardroom, Re-Destro? Scare people? Because I think that counts as unfair business practice and you’re going to wind up sued.
P.S. Never have the opening lines for this particular intro song seemed more inappropriate and, quite frankly, mean.
P.P.S. It’s nice knowing that “Quirk” came from a mother unconditionally loving her child and all of his qualities…and sad to know that it was used as jargon to further political agenda.