My Hero Academia: Class 1-B Shuts Down Todoroki’s Signature Move

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 7, "Match 3", now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.

Since the Sports Festival arc, Shoto Todoroki has solidified himself as a stand-out character in My Hero Academia. From his tragic and complex backstory to his reserved personality and prodigal Quirk, Shoto has proven to be a compelling character worthy of being called one of the strongest students within Class 1-A.

However, when Shoto launches his signature mass ice attack in the third match of Season 5's Class 1-A vs. Class 1-B arc, it is almost immediately thwarted by Class 1-B's Juzo, throwing Shoto's entire team off balance, and even hindering Iida.

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Due to his complicated past with his father, Endeavor, Shoto has spent many years cultivating his ice Quirk and ignoring his fire Quirk. While he has recently been training with his fire side to become more proficient in using it, he still overly relies on the former ability as he is more adept with it. Doing so has allowed him to create his signature move: Heaven-Piercing Ice Wall. This move generates a massive ice glacier, effectively blocking off an opponent, but due to its colossal size, it also obscures Shoto's vision. In Season 5's Episode 7, we learn that Shoto has evolved this move to ensure the ice doesn't obstruct his view anymore, while still unleashing a huge amount power with a wide range.

While this is one of Shoto's super moves, his inexperience and hesitation to use his fire side now comes with consequences. Class 1-B's Juzo uses his Softening Quirk before he can be frozen in place, easily brushing off Shoto's attack and retaliating as if it were nothing. In fact, he uses it to his advantage. Subsequently, Shoto's teammates get caught up in their opponents' counterattack and Iida is swallowed up by the softened, ice-like quicksand.

Juzo states that if Shoto had used his fire, his team would have been left with nothing to counteract it. Not knowing his opponents' Quirks ahead of time, Shoto fell back on an old habit. As a result, he ended up starting the match at a disadvantage. This is proof that Shoto is still not over his past trauma, which is heavily tied to his fire side, still thinking of his flames as secondary to his ice.

Class 1-B got a close look at his capabilities during the Sports Festival, at which Shoto placed second overall. His inability to use his flames made his attacks predictable then, using only half his Quirk and allowing Class 1-B to strategize against him accordingly. Even though Shoto has adjusted his signature move over time, it's still a fairly simple attack, merely exhibiting raw power.

While possessing a very versatile 2-for-1 Quirk, Shoto is still failing to show off the full extent of what he can do. Though he does have his reasons, it is clearly hampering his goal of becoming a Pro Hero, not to mention causing problems for his teammates. Learning to fully utilize both halves of his Quirk in a more effective way -- enriching his skillset and making the most of his potential -- will be a true sign of growth on his journey of overcoming his past. In the meantime, the next episode of Season 5 will be make or break for him and his team.

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