All Might is or should I say was the Symbol of Peace in the world of My Hero Academia. He’s a figure that seems larger than life and has affected the lives of many by his heroic actions. From starting as a quirkless boy who wishes for people to be able to live their lives smiling without a care in the world, All Might made his dream a reality by becoming the world’s number one hero. A pillar that society can rely on in times of fear.
The concept of being a symbol and a pillar to society might seem like a good thing to do, but it isn’t without its flaws which I’ll get into later on in this post. All Might effectively retires from being the number one hero after his godly rematch with his arch-nemesis All for One. There are a few lessons we can take home from this battle as well as from the episode itself. Continue reading if you feel like learning something beneficial if we apply it in our lives.
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- Overcoming our fear when necessary
- All Might’s “I am here” and what it represents
- Remembering our origin
- The relationship between All Might and Deku
- The death of the Symbol of Peace
Overcoming our fear when necessary
The rematch between All Might vs All For One takes place in season 3 episode 11 and 12. A message we can take to heart from these two episodes is to overcome our fear for the greater good. There are numerous times that we see this happening throughout these two episodes. It could be when Deku and friends overcame their terror to save Bakugo to allow All Might to use his full strength, or it could be when Best Jeanist gave his all to protect his comrades even if it meant sacrificing himself in the process.
Heck, even the former number one hero has to beat fear to uphold his responsibility as the Symbol of Peace. He does this by following his master’s trademark of smiling in the face of danger to trick the fear inside him. But the question is, why is it important to overcome our fear? It’s because the world is a scary place and if we don’t muster up the courage, then we won’t achieve anything, or we won’t go anywhere in life.
There are two types of fear: instinctive fear and fear due to our perception. These aren’t facts cause I made them up, but it does make sense so let me explain. There’s a reason why I added the necessary part to the equation of overcoming our fears. It’s because sometimes there are things that we should be afraid of and we should avoid those things if possible. This type of fear is called instinctive fear. For example, if there’s an animal that could kill us within our vicinity, it’s only natural to be afraid. If it isn’t harming anyone, then we shouldn’t muster the courage and do anything stupid that could cost our lives.
Perception fear, are things that might make us piss our pants, but to others might seem trivial. When this type of fear exists, it might hinder our growth and prevent us from realizing our true potential. I believe it’s because our brain focuses on surviving instead of thriving and it’s the biggest reason we stay complacent. When anything threatens our comfort, our brain will warp our perception, causing us to fear that thing.
An example would be the fear of failure, which affects so many people from different walks of life. It prevents us from taking action, which ultimately causes us to stay stagnant. Sometimes it’s the fear to stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid to offend other people or be abandoned. When we fail to overcome these hurdles, it means that we deny ourselves of the self-respect we deserve. Fear is a lie. A lie that we create to tell us that it’s okay to stay mediocre. Fight that fear, or live with the consequences of our actions.
“I smile to show the pressure of heroes and to trick the fear inside of me.”
All Might’s I am here and what it represents
All Might says “I am here” so that he can reassure the people he’s saving. His mentor once said that a hero should smile because it will salvage the hearts of the people they’re rescuing. Another thing that “I am here” represents is All Might upholding his responsibility as the Symbol of Peace. Before inheriting One for All, he told his mentor that he wishes for a world where people can live smiling. All Might’s ideology, in essence, is pure, but it poses a lot of flaws that could cause more damage then good if not executed correctly.
When All Might took the mantle as the Symbol of Peace, the crime rate decreased. Hope started to spark in the hearts of the people. There was not a villain who is not afraid of the mighty All Might except maybe All for One who loves to toy with everyone’s emotions. The problem arises when everyone grows complacent due to relying too heavily on a single entity that is the Symbol of Peace.
The world is full of people with powers, but when All for One almost ended All Might during their fight, the hope that resided within people almost disappeared in an instant. Everyone was crying out in desperation for All Might to win because they knew if he lost, it would mean the end for everyone. The concept of having a symbol is a problem when it’s built on such a fragile belief which relies heavily on a single entity. All Might is human which makes him vulnerable like the rest of us, so putting your faith in him is good, but it’s like putting your eggs in one basket. Once someone steals the basket, we’re left with nothing.
Another issue with All Might’s ideology is that it has made the heroes complacent with their abilities. The heroes don’t strive to become better, and there isn’t even any competition in trying to overtake All Might as the number one hero. The only hero to have some sense is Endeavor, but he initially does it for the wrong reasons. Whenever there is an enemy that is too hard to handle, the heroes will wait for All Might to clean up the mess. All Might is a great character, but his pure ideology is weak in practice. The Symbol of Peace shouldn’t be a single person. It should be the Pro Heroes Association as a whole. Everyone should strive to be a symbol that will make people feel safe. When the reign of one symbol ends, there should be heroes from the association who can take up the role.
“It is fine now. Why? Because I am here!”
Remembering our origin
Sometimes we overcome our fear and take that first step, but that doesn’t guarantee success. Nothing ensures success but not trying and giving up is the essence of failure. As we muster the courage to face the terrors of the world, we might suddenly see that we have strayed from the path we came. It’s us adapting to the circumstances and evolving to our current needs. Sometimes we can change for good, but there are times when our evolution is corrupt. When this happens, we have violated our principles and become what we vowed not to. During these times, it’s best if we remember our origin to guide us back to a path that we would be proud to take. The road less travelled.
Another instance we should remember our origin is when doubt starts to seep into our minds. When we start questioning whether we will achieve what we set out to accomplish, or it could be when we’ve hit our limits. When we feel like we’re burning out and the end goal is nowhere in sight. Throughout the battle between All Might and All for One, the latter seemed to have the upper hand. All Might was at his limit trying to protect the people around him as well as trying to attack All For One with everything he got, but it was just not enough.
During the showdown, All Might remembers what his mentor taught him which was to remember our origins.
“If you feel yourself hitting up against your limit remember for what cause you clench your fists… remember why you started down this path, and let that memory carry you beyond your limit.”
With this in mind, All Might in his weakened state gathers enough strength in one of his arms to land the final blow that’s powerful enough to take down All For One. All Might chose to be the Symbol of Peace because it was his goal to see people live their lives smiling, and he made damn sure that he was going to uphold that responsibility to the end even if it meant going past his limit.
These lessons are why I love anime, especially, My Hero Academia because of how it can serve as a reminder to us. Achieving our goals isn’t easy and requires a strong will. There will be times where a shortcut will present itself to us, but it would mean to abandon our principles. There will also be times when we feel that it’s too much to bear. During those times, ask yourself why you’re on this journey and is it what you truly desire? If yes, then you have to go beyond the limit and make your suffering worth the pain.
The relationship between All Might and Deku
Deku has always looked up to All Might and has always aspired to become like him. At the beginning of the show, Deku didn’t have a quirk, and he started losing the belief that he could realize his dream. No one gave him the encouragement he needed, no one except All Might himself.
I’ve mentioned this before but having someone have full confidence in you, especially someone you respect is essential in a person’s growth. As much as a lot of shounen anime hammer the message of believing in oneself, if the world around you decides otherwise, you will succumb to their voices. It’s only a matter of when. That’s why I believe teachers and parents play a role in watering the seeds of confidence in a young person.
“You can become a hero,” were the words needed for Deku to start believing in his dreams again. It was also the push that helped him overcome his fear and take that first step. All Might is Deku’s mentor, but he also acts as a father figure to him as Deku’s father is never around. Believing in oneself as well as believing in others come hand in hand, and if both are present, then the person in question is sure to succeed.
Once we have watered the seed, we have to be prepared to pass the baton once our time has come to an end. It doesn’t have to be when we die, but more to when our era or generation has concluded. In life, it’s the younger generation who will carry on the will of the previous generation. It’s how the world works and represents the cycle of life. But there are times when the older generation is too stubborn to step down which could be an issue. I’ve seen it happen a lot of times from various types of fields such as sports, politics, and even through the succession of a monarchy.
All Might knows that he cannot be the Symbol of Peace forever, and he knows that eventually, someone has to succeed him. Heck, even the most powerful villain of all time knows that he can’t last forever even though he’s been alive for generations. When the time comes, we have to entrust the future to carry out what we initially intended. We have to be willing to pass the baton because it ensures that our lives had meaning. It’s something that Erwin said before riding off into his death in Attack on Titan.
“Next, it’s your turn.”
The death of the Symbol of Peace
All Might is standing at the end of the battle while All For One is unconscious on the ground. He has yet again saved the day, but this time he isn’t smiling. It was his last stand as a hero as well as the Symbol of Peace. It might be a bittersweet conclusion to his tale, but I believe the death of the symbol is a step in the right direction.
Everyone saw All Might battling All For One and it should have made them realized that the concept of a symbol that they have been adopting has a fragile foundation. Pro Heroes should be the ones coming out the wiser from this. Those who have relied on All Might for far too long and those who have stopped striving to be the best should start re-evaluating their beliefs. They are the ones who should remember the reason they become heroes in the first place.
In the end, the idea of a symbol is a noble one, but it shouldn’t rest on the shoulders on one person. There should be a strong foundation behind the ideology to support it even when it’s on the brink of collapsing. To ensure this, the Pro Heroes Association should take it upon themselves to raise the bar and standards of heroes. The top 10 heroes should be symbols, and if they are defeated, there should be a line of heroes who are equally powerful to take on the mantle.
It can even apply in reality. A smart king is one that surrounds himself with wise people to counsel him on matters that he’s lacking. Any movement can’t rest on the shoulders of one person. What if that person goes to jail trying to defend a just cause? Does the revolution end? There has to be a strong foundation to continue the work similar to the previous point. There should be people willing to take the baton and carry out the mission until they achieve their goals.
“The symbol of peace cannot be daunted by evil.”
And that’s all the lessons from All Might vs All For One. I hope you were able to understand what I was trying to say and apply these things in your lives. I believe that it will help you because it helped me go through some tough times. Here’s a cookie if you made it this far.
If you like posts like this one, then you should read my article on Endeavor and the hidden depth behind his character. If you’re curious to know which is All Might’s true form, then you can find the answer here. Watch Heroes Rising lately and want an in-depth analysis? Look no further cause I have the perfect article for you here.
Anyway, thanks for reading!