My Hero Academia: Deku Confronts His Worst Enemy Yet in… Civilians?!

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter #322, "Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight” by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook and John Hunt, available now in English from Viz Media.

Having finally come to his senses for a moment, Deku has been persuaded by the Class 1-A's creative efforts to return to UA. Chapter #322 of the My Hero Academia manga revolves around Deku acknowledging the fact that his classmates have always been ahead of him, and were always ready to support him. Bakugo’s apology in particular resonates with him, bringing Class 1-A's mission to retrieve their friend full circle.

Now that Deku has agreed to return to UA, one serious obstacle stands in his way: the sheltered civilians. Although his classmates are ready to help him out, the civilians seeking refuge at UA greet him with pure hostility. Deku might be in a safer place at the school, but for how long?

Society already has little faith in the Hero system, and as a result the younger Heroes' credibility has very little merit. In Deku’s case, the situation is worse since the civilians are aware All For One is hunting him down. His arrival creates immediate panic, and for good reason -- many citizens have been terrorized by villains roaming the streets unchecked. Some have lost more than just their homes, and Deku stands as the beacon of all the destruction caused in the cities. He is aware his presence alone invites danger, which is why he refused to return to UA in the first place.

Aside from putting a target on UA, the civilians could potentially turn on him and deliver him to All For One. It wouldn't necessarily happen as a physical action, but there may be those who would rather sacrifice Deku for the greater good. It can be as simple as relaying his exact location or even messing with the security system to allow villains to make their move. Deku may be surrounded by allies again, but in Chapter #322 those who disagree with his motives outnumber his internal support.

If Deku decides to stay at UA, there is no doubt All For One will make his move. The opportunity is too perfect to pass up, and all it will take is a small internal struggle to get the crowd riled up. Chances are, All For One has already made the necessary preparations for when Deku would return. The UA Barrier is regarded as top-of-the-line security in MHA, and chances are we’ll get to see the system in action soon.

Ochaco ends Chapter #322 by clarifying it’s also a Hero's duty to protect other Heroes when they’re in danger. It’s still unclear how far Class 1-A is willing to go to validate Deku and provide shelter, but it seems like if he leaves, they are ready to follow. If this were to happen, it would cause greater uproar among civilians and could create traction for the narrative that Heroes value the lives of other Heroes over the common folk. This scenario must be avoided at all costs. It’s going to take some great convincing from the Heroes to calm the sheltered civilians' nerves and ensure Deku’s safety.

For once in My Hero Academia, Deku is unable to smile around his classmates and society is not on his side. This was the exact situation he wanted to avoid but his classmates are just as stubborn as he is. Everyone is scared, and there's no guarantee that UA will be able to protect every civilian with Deku roaming around. The Heroes will have to find a way to reassure everyone’s safety without causing further panic -- or even worse, betrayal.

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