Most Cathartic Moments in Anime

Most Cathartic Moments in Anime

Battle shonen anime are series that live and breathe their big moments. Whether it’s Ichigo’s first bankai in Bleachor Naruto’s final fight with Sasuke i Narutothese stories must deliver memorable events for the audience to get excited about, and look back on fondly. My Hero Academia is no exception.


While many emotions are created in these moments, the feeling of catharsis is easily the most satisfying, usually the result of some major tension being released. This can be from the characters finding a solution to a long-standing dilemma, or winning a victory from the jaws of defeat. MHA has some big noisy moments itself, and these are some of the highest peaks in that category.

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7/7 Deku and Friends defeat Stain

Deku vs Stain My hero academia

This moment also ties in with Deku’s development of ‘full cowling’, which eventually allowed him to fight without needing a hospital visit afterwards. While Stain is a terrifying villain, the catharsis comes less from defeating him and more from what the fight draws out of the UA students.

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Iida, for one, finally gets character development, forcing him to put aside his desire for revenge and become a more reliable ally. In the aftermath of the sport’s festival, Shoto also first uses his fire powers properly in this fight, paying off Deku’s efforts to help him heal in the previous arc.

6/7 Deku discovers shooting style

Deku discovers my shooting style totally academy

As much as the full cowling was known for finally allowing Deku to fight sustainably, the “shoot style” was truly a revelation to him and the audience. It seems obvious in retrospect. If his arms were in danger of permanent damage, Deku should simply focus on his legs. However, the reveal still feels like a novel idea.

In a way, the shooting style multiplies the satisfaction of full cowling, as Deku is now not only able to fight without breaking bones, but has also developed his own unique fighting style. And the subsequent upgrades to his suit make it look better than it ever has.

5/7 Deku versus Bakugo 2

Deku vs Bakugo my Hero Academia

There is a lot of talk about the rivalry between Deku and Bakugo, but really, for the longest time it wasn’t a rivalry at all. In the first 3 seasons, Bakugo was a pure aggressor, with very little pushback from Deku. Everything changed after this match.

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Eager for the rescue and All Might’s retirement, Bakugo invites Deku out to what turns out to be a midnight slug party. This is the first time Deku really retaliates against his former bully, and it’s satisfying to see Bakugo genuinely scared of Deku for once. Better yet, this fight leads to Bakugo finally finding out about Deku’s secret, and becoming a real confidant to him and All Might.

4/7 Twice overcomes his trauma

Bleed twice without a mask My Villain Academia

Usually, victories for the villains bring only fear and horror, as opposed to catharsis. However, Twice is easily the most likable villain in the series. For most of the series, his quirkiness was held back by the fear of cloning himself and losing his identity. However, in the fight with the Meta Liberation Army, he finally overcame this limitation.

While it’s bad news for the heroes in the long run, Twice is portrayed as the protagonist in the fight against Skeptic, making the birth of his new ability “sad man’s parade” a triumphant moment. This upgrade also turns the tide of the arc, allowing League of Villains to come out on time, making Twice one of the strongest characters in MHA.

3/7 Eri is saved

Eri in My Hero Academia

For a series about heroism, MHA spends surprisingly little time focusing on the people the heroes are trying to save. However, this is not the case with Eri. Even after being physically saved, she needs time and help to move on from the trauma and learn to be a normal child.

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With two entire arcs dedicated to this goal, it was sure to be an important event, especially when Deku had to stop the Gentle Criminal from ruining the festivities on a time limit. When Eri finally smiles during Class 1-A’s festival performance, it’s one of the series’ strongest emotional beats.

2/7 Plus Ultra Prominence Burn

endeavour's prominence burns

After All Might’s retirement, Endeavor had to prove not only to the public, but to his community, that he was ready to be the number one hero. The battle against the high-end nomu turned out to be a perfect way to start his new place MHAhis world.

Not only was the match a blast to watch, but it really got the crowd rooting for Endeavor – something many didn’t want to do, due to his treatment of the family. But seeing him utter the “plus ultra” mantra to win the match, and walk away with newfound humility, made true redemption for his character a real possibility.

1/7 USA by Smash

All Might from My Hero Academia

However, Endeavour’s potential cannot surpass the genuine love everyone had for All Might. Back in the ‘hideout’ arc, after Bakugo was safely rescued from the villains, All Might was finally able to have his full rematch with All for One. This battle between the two strongest characters in MHA is still one of the best games in the series.

All for One’s plentiful supply of quirks made the fight tough for an already weakened All Might, but the number one hero was able to pull off one final attack to win the day. “United States of Smash” is a powerful moment to watch, and the name also aptly lends itself to the American theme of All Might’s offense, creating what is easily the quintessential All Might moment.

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