NOTE: The following article contains major spoilers for the third episode of My Hero Academia Season 6, as well as JUJUTSU KAISEN.
The mood for this season of My Hero Academia has been intense from the start, so much so that we didn’t even get the traditional recap episode where the kids go swimming or have a journalist visit the school (though Izuku did remind us that 80% of the population uses quirks).
Currently, the heroes are in the middle of a full-on assault against the villains. One group is going after the Paranormal Liberation Front while the other has casually strolled into the hospital where Shigaraki is getting a power boost. The first two episodes highlighted the battle against the doctor and his Nomu courtesy of everyone’s favorite muscle-bun, Mirko. The third episode, however, shifted gears and brought us to the Paranormal Liberation Front.
More importantly, it showed Twice learning the truth about Hawks, the results of which led to one of my all-time favorite things that anime can do: change the opening/ending (in this case the ending) to line up with what’s happening in the series.
What Happened in the Third Episode of My Hero Academia Season 6?
My Hero Academia is a series that plays with the idea of what makes someone a hero or a villain. We’ve met a handful of characters who are more “outcast” than “nefarious” and we’ve even met a couple of heroes who initially made folks question whether or not they deserved the flowers they were getting from society.
It reminds me of watching Batman: The Animated Series as a kid where some of the bad guys were downright awful and others were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Batman would even show compassion toward those villains, like when he let Harley Quinn get the dress she wanted on her day out, comforted a tearful Baby Doll, or that time Penguin actually tried to leave his life of crime behind in favor of living among high society.
Maybe that’s why I found myself drawn to Twice. Twice has always been a character who really just needed some support. He’s not the only one in the League of Villains like this, but he’s definitely one of the main representatives of “I tried my best but no one else has given me a chance.” The League of Villains offered Twice the compassion he’d been longing for which meant he always tried his best to do right by them. Unfortunately, this led to him being taken advantage of — first by Overhaul, and now? Hawks.
Twice putting his trust in Hawks is how the heroes found out where the villains were located. The episode depicts this betrayal in a painfully brilliant way. The music is tragic as Hawks gets the kind of shading you’d expect a villain to have. Meanwhile, Twice has been reduced to tears as he tries to make sense of the fact that someone he believed in turned on him. Hawks admits that he doesn’t want to fight Twice, seeing the good in him and offering to help him start over. He goes so far as to use his real name (Jin Bubaigawara) as he encourages him to just turn himself in.
Twice doesn’t go for it, though, making one last stand to protect his friends. He ends up dying in the process, getting an emotional goodbye with Toga before the clones he sent out melt away.
How do the ending credits fit in?
About a month ago, Crunchyroll writer Tony Cocking discussed how JUJUTSU KAISEN’s opening rewards those with a keen eye. We get to see Yuji’s friend group expand and it makes us believe that he’ll eventually reach this euphoric point where everyone can share laughs and enjoy each other’s company. The opening even highlights Yuji’s newest friend, Junpei, in a way that makes you think they’re going to be close to each other for a long time.
Then Junpei dies and the opening adjusts by showing Yuji crying on the subway.
As Tony writes, “It’s one of the biggest gut punches in recent anime history, and a lot of this is due to how the opening sequence subverts our expectations so well. Yuji and viewers alike were convinced that Junpei was destined to become an ally. More than that, even, a true friend with whom an immediate connection was formed.”
My Hero Academia kinda just did the same thing.
This season’s ending, “Sketch,” performed by Kiro Akiyama, already has a more subdued vibe compared to the comic book inspired opening. Gone are the bombastic effects and the high-energy standoffs, replaced with shots of characters slowly heading into battle and quietly looking over the cityscape. At one point, Twice and Toga are seen dancing together, a reference to the moment they shared back in Season 4. It’s a joyous celebration for the two of them, a complete contrast to the quiet mood of both sides heading off with the main players, Shigaraki and Izuku, standing alone. The entire ending’s been pretty serious except for this dance.
In the first two episodes of the season, we cut to Dabi then Shigaraki after Twice and Toga’s dance. That’s not the case anymore as Shigaraki has been replaced with Toga comforting Twice. It’s an image viewers recognize as Twice is wearing the handkerchief Toga once tied around his head to help “keep him together.”
The shot changes seconds later. Twice is gone. Toga is alone. The one playful image in the entire ending now has a somber tone tied to it. It’s effective, and it hurts.
Not only is this a reminder of what we just watched, but it also makes you wonder what else is going to change throughout the season as the war continues. How many of these shots are going to get swapped out? Is anyone else going to die? Is there anything else we should be looking out for?
I can’t help but feel for Twice in this situation. He spent so much of his life being misunderstood, finally found a place he could call home, and gave his all for the people he cared about. He dies with a smile on his face, happy that he got to be with the League of Villains, and even criticizes Hawks for calling him unlucky.
With an episode titled “One’s Justice,” it sets the tone for an arc that will surely make us question things, and the tragic addition to the ending will keep reminding us of that.
Briana Lawrence is the Senior EN Features Editor here at Crunchyroll. When she’s not writing she’s taking care of her three butthead cats and playing Hades for the 100th time. You can check out her writings and her book series over at her website and give her a shout-over on Twitter.