WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter #297, “Tartarus,” by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook and John Hunt, available now in English from Viz Media.
My Hero Academia has been foreshadowing a villain jail breakout for quite some time, and Chapter #297, “Tartarus,” delivers. The infiltration of Tartarus is led by All For One so that he may recover his physical body while also picking up a few villainous allies. But in the process, My Hero Academia's overarching villain might be setting himself up for a fatal fall.
The villains are now gaining the upper hand with so many heroes incapacitated at the moment, but the true struggle arises from within the shadows. Shigaraki is getting tired of All For One treating him as a pawn. All For One reassures Shigaraki that he’s more than just a disposable piece, but the leader of the League of Villains might be conducting his own rise to power.
The shift in power hierarchy for the villains has grown more evident in the past couple of chapters of My Hero Academia. The student is starting to get agitated with the methods of the master, and now the student is starting to feel as if all their work is getting overlooked for the greater good of the teacher.
Shigaraki is the student, and his teacher, All For One, is doing what villains do best, disregard those around them for their own perseverance. The fact that All For One is using Shigaraki’s body while he is still unconscious seems like the most logical use of the power in the new vessel, but in the eyes of Shigaraki, he’s simply being used as a puppet.
Shigaraki regains some consciousness and demands to have full control of his own body, but All For One makes it very clear who the top dog is. All For One has been pushing Shigaraki’s buttons to the point where Shigaraki’s patience is starting to get tested. The big question regarding the jailbreak is whether the freed villains will decide to side with Shigaraki or All For One.
The internal war between villains might seem to be more dangerous than the confrontation with the Meta Liberation Army since the most dangerous villains have now been freed. All For One is still seen as the beacon for all criminal credibility, but the rising calamity that is Shigaraki has made a name for himself. There is also the option that the freed villains will go their own way, but All For One will not allow their strengths to go to waste, and he might even threaten them into working for him. Either way, the tides of destiny are shifting out of All For One’s favor.
The heroes haven’t even recovered from all the casualties and injuries, and society is starting to lose fate in who they can truly trust with their safety. With the fall of Tartarus, the hope for peace is slowly fading away, as is Shigaraki’s faith in All For One. The fact that Shigaraki refers to himself as a pawn means that he hasn’t felt true acknowledgment from All For One. Shigaraki is known for having a temper, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him challenge the weakened All For One for complete dominance.
Shigaraki has all the pieces he needs to overthrow All For One. His old allies have now been freed. The heroes are in no condition to intervene with his plans, and he still has a team of loyal followers that escaped the hero ambush; plus, Machia is still in the picture. All Shigaraki has to do is bide his time until All For One slips up.