My Hero Academia doesn't waste much time establishing Izuku Midoriya as the successor to All Might's One For All power. Quickly setting the tone that Izuku will have to prove his worth at the elite school U.A. in Season 1, by the series' second season, the anime launched into its tournament arc -- a staple in many shonen anime. For My Hero Academia's "U.A. Sports Festival" arc, the Quirk-powered students go head to head to determine who takes the top spot.
In this story arc, many U.A. students showed off their various Quirks for the first time, and some of the series' most intense and emotionally charged fight scenes take place within these episodes. Along the way, more than a few shocks, twists and personal developments keep the viewer engaged and move the story forward in true "Plus Ultra" style.
When Ochaco Lost To Katsuki Bakugo
In some ways, the outcome of Ochaco Uraraka's fight against Katsuki Bakugo was not at all surprising. Still, in other ways, the duel demonstrated substantial development and deepened Ochaco's character a great deal. Ochaco had the odds stacked against her with Bakugo's Explosion Quirk but inspired by her good friend Izuku, she persisted and showed true grit.
Ochaco kept low and tricked Bakugo into blowing up the arena to create debris to use to her advantage. Then she used her Zero Gravity Quirk to levitate those chunks, raining them down on Bakugo's head. However, Ochaco ultimately lost the match but seriously impressed with her ingenuity -- demonstrating her intent while setting her up for further growth. She also had a vulnerable moment when speaking to her parents on the phone afterward, balancing her character out perfectly.
When Izuku Saw One For All's Previous Users
Izuku fought in the tournament's first match against the brainwashing student Hitoshi Shinso, immediately falling under Shinso's spell. All Might and the rest of class 1-A watched in horror as Izuku shuffled to the arena's edge like a puppet. Izuku suddenly came to a halt, marveling at a strange group of shadowy beings watching him and wondered who they were.
These were One For All's previous users, including Nana Shimura -- All Might's predecessor-- who seemed to urge Izuku to turn back around and fight. After somehow channeling the power of One For All through Izuku, they managed to snap him out of his daze. Exactly how this happened is a mystery for now in the anime. Still, it did establish One For All as a genuinely unique Quirk and put Izuku right back in the fight, leading to his victory over Shinso.
When Izuku's Words Reached Shoto
Shoto Todoroki breezed his way past Hanta Sero, the tape hero, in round one of the tournament before facing off against Izuku. Though Shoto initially tried to win using only his ice powers, Izuku countered with One For All, demanding that Shoto take him seriously and fight with both halves of his Quirk.
Shoto had long since neglected his Quirk's fire half to spite his tyrant father Endeavor, but Izuku's heartfelt words reached him as he remembered his reasons for striving to become a hero. Despite making his fight more difficult against a committed Shoto, Izuku was determined to save his friend. Shoto thanked his opponent for breaking that mental barrier, showing his real power at last.
When Tenya Iida Learned About His Brother
Tenya Iida, class 1-A's rep, received a phone call that took him away from the Sports Festival, and its importance was initially underplayed. However, when we see Tenya answer the call, his face fell, and his blood ran ice-cold. His older brother Tensei -- the pro hero Ingenium -- was in the hospital after he suffered severe injuries at the hands of the Hero Killer, Stain.
Tenya suddenly forgot all about the Sports Festival and packed his bags to visit his wounded brother. Despite his usual ultra-disciplined demeanor, Tenya abandoned reason and instead began acting rashly, much to the surprise of his friends, Izuku and Ochaco. With a new, singular focus, Tenya had made up his mind and became temporarily driven. By the end of it, Tenya comes away from the experience more grounded, but at the moment, he had to look into this and avenge his brother somehow.
When Shoto Lost To Bakugo
The Sports Festival tournament's final match pitted two great powerhouses against one another: Shoto Todoroki vs. Katsuki Bakugo. Everyone was eager to watch this fight, but surprisingly, Shoto reverted to his ice-only tactics, which put him at a disadvantage against Bakugo. Shoto seemed to respect Izuku as an opponent more than he did Bakugo, proving that Izuku was far more inspirational and insightful than the self-absorbed Bakugo.
When Shoto lost, Bakugo was furious that he never got a chance to beat Shoto at his best, and this cemented Bakugo's feelings of rivalry for Shoto and his borderline contempt for his classmate. During the next major story arc, their training in the forest, Bakugo had nothing but unkind words for the half-and-half boy who lost too quickly to him.