My Hero Academia: The Age of Heroes Has Finally Collapsed

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter #307, "Been A While!!” by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook and John Hunt, available now in English from Viz Media.

Chapter #307 of My Hero Academia, “Been a While!!,” shows cities lying in ruin as a result of the villains' hostile takeover. The split between heroes and civilians is greater than ever, with people insulted they'd send “kids” to the rescue instead of showing up themselves -- as shown when Tatami Nakagame and Yo Shindo, from Ketsubutsu Academy, attempt to evacuate survivors to shelter at their school.

The people's distrust of heroes -- the culmination of many events that have led to the downfall of the heroes' image in society -- is disheartening. Chapter #307 only doubles-down on this, with many smaller details explaining how all hope came to be lost in My Hero Academia.

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A couple of months have passed since the last devastating encounter with All For One and Deku's departure from U.A. in Chapter #306 -- enough for Yo and Tatami to now be third-year students at Ketsubutsu Academy. The fact that third-year students are patrolling dangerous areas means the Pro Heroes are short-staffed, leaving the less-experienced students and Pros to clean up their messes. Normally, the Pros do a good job of protecting the civilians and their surroundings, but the state of the city suggests the villains are becoming too much for the heroes to handle.

When Yo and Tatami find survivors hiding in an abandoned building, the people there make it very clear that they'd rather risk their lives protecting themselves than ever rely on heroes again, even with dangerous villains like Nomu and JailBreaker wreaking havoc. All of their faith in heroes has completely vanished, leaving ordinary citizens with the impression that, if they can’t protect themselves, then no one can.

This is definitely a reflection of the hero community's shortcomings because while some cities are being saved, others are severely struggling. The lack of heroes shows that there is no longer any unity or leadership to reignite hope in society.

A shopkeeper’s reaction to Yo’s failed attempt at convincing them reveals the extent to which people no longer buy into the idea of heroism. Heroes are meant to save people, but if people are constantly being killed, then what good are they? Yo and Tatami leave without fully addressing this question. Even students like them seem to be doubting the place of heroes in the world. In the end, Yo and Tatami can't force the shopkeeper's group to come with them, so they just leave them. It's definitely a far cry from the days of people crowding the streets to witness heroes saving the day.

This is when Jailbreaker appears, ready for a fight with only the two students around to stop him, solidifying how out of control everything has become. Having such a high-level villain rampaging freely has never been an issue in the past, but now it seems like the strongest villains are just roaming about, having a field day. Yo and Tatami are no match for Jailbreaker. Yo is easily overpowered, even as the civilians from earlier rise up to protect what's left of their home.

Luckily, Deku makes a dramatic entrance, but he seems much more intense than usual. While he's likely returned packing some new powers or increased control over his Quirk, things won't necessarily instantly improve because he's arrived. One rogue student might not be enough to convince the world that everything is going to be okay again. What's worse, Deku's sporting a bleaker attitude than before, which could only compound the fact that the age of heroes is truly in a downward spiral.

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