Ever since being adapted from the manga starting back in 2016, My Hero Academia has shown no signs of slowing down. From movies to video games to even a musical, Bones’ monolith continues to grow, with some of the best My Hero Academia episodes ranking as some of the greatest across all of the anime medium.
Set in a world where 80% of humanity has powers known as “Quirks,” My Hero Academia follows the quirkless Izuku Midoriya as he longs to become a hero like those he’s been watching on TV his whole life. A chance encounter with All Might, the greatest superhero across the world, changes his life forever as he’s granted the One For All Quirk that requires him to gradually increase his power so he can properly wield it. With this mysterious new power at his fingertips (often to bone-breaking effect), Izuku enrolls in U.A. High School and soon learns what being a hero is all about alongside his eclectic and eccentric classmates in Class 1-A, including Katsuki Bakugo, a childhood bully.
If you’re tired of waiting in-between new seasons or just want a refresher of some of the show’s biggest hits so far, here are the best My Hero Academia episodes you should be watching.
Best My Hero Academia Episodes
15. That Which Is Inherited – Season 5, Episode 10
While it could be argued that the bulk of Season 5 didn’t really need to consist of so many training matches as individual episodes, it’s hard to argue against just how good some of them ended up being.
‘That Which Is Inherited’ depicts the final between Class A and B, with Shinso finally getting a rematch against Deku (Izuku). The new fan favorite does admirably well despite having far less training than Deku and the rest of his peers, but the match is really a side attraction to the rest of the events of the episode.
Deku unexpectedly unleashes a new side of One For All, meeting one of the previous holders in the process and basically blowing the door wide open for what he can do in the future. Add in the embrace from Ochaco and the always charming Seito’s manic snark, and you have one of Season 5’s best.
14. Climax – Season 2, Episode 17
Season 2 was a consistently good season of My Hero Academia (arguably the most consistently good of them all), yet it didn’t really have as many standout episodes as you might expect. ‘Climax’ probably ranks as the season’s second best entry, directly following on from Deku, Shoto, and Iida’s fight against Stain.
My Hero Academia always thrives when the classmates come together to fight some evil, and it should be no surprise that three of the most popular students coming together would create the most fireworks. However, as excellent as the fighting is, it’s Iida clashing against the man that permanently injured his brother and all the tempest it stirs up inside him that’s the real attraction.
Bonus points go to Endeavor for finally unfolding his arms and doing some hero work, as well as Stain’s rather unsettling unmasking. Here’s hoping it’s not the last we see of old licker.
13. Early Bird! – Season 5, Episode 9
The second training match to make its way onto this ranking, ‘Early Bird!’ is one of the most straightforward episodes of My Hero Academia ever put to screen, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Why? It finally makes Bakugo into something close to a hero.
After almost five straight seasons of Bakugo’s responses being some variety of volcanic eruption, ‘Early Bird!’ shows the explosive hero finally learning to co-operate in his own way and become a hero. He’s not exactly Napoleon, but the way he leads the rest of his team in Class A to victory is smart and straight to the point.
For being an engaging and contained fight episode that opens up one of the simplest books in My Hero Academia, ‘Early Bird!’ deserves tonnes more recognition. It’s worth rewatching only to see Plamo’s panicked fleeing.
12. Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2 – Season 3, Episode 23
Speaking of the closed book himself, Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2 shows arguably the very first sign that Bakugo (called “Kacchan” by his childhood “friend” Deku) has any signs of actual depth beyond wanting to be the #1 hero. He even unexpectedly sheds a tear of guilt for believing himself responsible for All Might losing his power in quite the moving scene.
The fight itself is poetic, with the friends stripping everything back — no costumes, no stadiums, no headlines — to have the kind of messy, scrappy fight you’d have with your friend when you were young. The action ends when an equally emotional All Might appears, with Bakugo’s VA giving their best performance to date by a mile.
For improving on their first fight and for showing just far they’ve come while also finally giving fans proper reason to care for Bakugo, Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2 must go down as of the best My Hero Academia episodes so far. 1-1.
11. Unforeseen Hope – Season 4, Episode 12
Arriving in the middle of a trilogy of truly intense episodes, Season 4’s ‘Unforeseen Hope’ deserves a spot here for putting over both Deku and Overhaul’s power, showing how the former continues to impress yet also just how powerful the latter really is.
How can the heroes hope to win with no All Might to fall back on, and with Lemillion now Quirkless? It’s simple: by unleashing their inner John Cena and never giving up. Nighteye’s resilience, even in the face of what he believes to be unfortunate destiny, does a lot to help the viewer warm to, let’s be honest here, a weirdo.
‘Unforeseen Hope’ is a spectacle of flying rock and body horror that shocks from almost its opening frame.
10. School Festival Start! – Season 4, Episode 22
Perhaps the most surprising inclusion when talking about the best episodes of My Hero Academia, ‘School Festival Start!’ is a bit of a polarising entry in Season 4, with Deku’s fight against Gentle Criminal not being anyone’s favorite showdown. However, what really makes School Festival Start! work so well is the surprising emotion in the villain’s backstory.
Gentle Criminal always wanted to be a hero, yet never stood out in classes and fatally bumbled when it came down to the real thing. Forced into a life of crime and posting his sprees online to try and leave his
mark on the world, the diminutive La Brava is besotted with the villain and the two outcasts become an inseparable duo to the end.
‘School Festival Start!’ is fairly low stakes, but it’s more of what My Hero Academia needs in-between the planet-shaking clashes, and really strikes a chord for those willing to step back. Here’s hoping the loved-up duo return at some point, hopefully with some lessons learned.
9. Tenko Shimura: Origin – Season 5, Episode 23
A lot of fans’ highlight of Season 5 saw long-time villain Tomura Shigaraki finally get a proper backstory, with his early childhood as Tenko Shimura belatedly unveiled. It’s a pretty heavy, affecting tale, as Tenko is shown to be a friendly, loving son who’s completely ostracised by his father, who is the unwanted son that Nana Shimura (All Might’s predecessor) put up for adoption.
‘Tenko Shimura: Origin’ comes as close to being a pure horror as My Hero Academia has ever been, often to quite distressing effect. Tenko’s world quite literally crumbling around him starts off heartbreaking before becoming seriously unsettling, with the young man realising that his lust for murder is behind his itching tic.
While you’d have to stop some way short of calling Shigaraki a sympathetic villain, ‘Tenko Shimura: Origin’ fills in some of the blanks and really kicks the sputtering Meta Liberation Army arc into gear. Shigaraki is a real threat, and now that he has actual weight behind him, he’s perhaps the show’s most compelling villain. While it’s a shame that so much of Season 5 ends up being filler, episodes like this one more than make up for it.
8. Bright Future – Season 4, Episode 14
Hot on the heels of an episode that we’ll feature later, ‘Bright Future’ stands as one of the saddest and most chilling episodes of My Hero Academia in equal measure. Saddest because it says goodbye to a character who no doubt grew on everyone, and chilling because it shows just how depraved and cunning Shigaraki really is.
The bedside vigil for Sir Nighteye with All Might and Lemillion unashamedly aims for the heartstrings, almost to the point of being melodramatic, though it’s fair to say that Nighteye reading into Lemillion’s future and seeing nothing but good things hits all the right devastating notes. The stern Nighteye’s final moments being full of smiles leaves a lasting impression of a man with more to his dour expression than meets the eye.
Then there’s Shigaraki, who jumps the convoy carrying Overhaul and rids him of his hands, effectively rendering him powerless. It’s a shocking moment of cruelty in a playbook that’s really starting to fill up.
7. Shoto Todoroki: Origin – Season 2, Episode 10
Everyone’s favorite half-and-half, ‘Shoto Todoroki: Origin’ dives a little deeper into a character who had been almost a brick wall up to this point. The son of the #2 hero, Shoto has never had an easy life despite his privilege, struggling with legacy and parental abuse.
Refusing to use the powers he inherited from his father, Shoto’s ice Quirk isn’t enough to put away Deku in their Sports Festival encounter. Realising that his rival’s wellbeing and personal growth is the most important thing, Deku implores Shoto to use his full power — and that’s exactly what he does, effectively rising as a phoenix.
‘Shoto Todoroki: Origin’ brings logic and depth to a character who felt like a more straight-faced Bakugo in terms of antagonism, effectively turning him into a true hero as a result. Shoto’s place as a fan favorite was set in stone from this point on.
6. All Might – Season 1, Episode 12
‘All Might’ may feel like a practice run for another episode featuring the titular character that’s coming up later, but there’s no denying just how high the stakes felt when it first aired. Never had a main character felt in as much jeopardy as they did before this episode, with All Might at serious risk of not being able to save 1-A from the emergent League of Villains.
That, of course, wasn’t the end for All Might, but you feel every sinew strain and every laboured punch from a wilting icon who refuses to give in, to the point where the thought really starts creeping into your mind. He finds a way, but only just — 1-A is going to have to do a lot of growing up, and fast.
‘All Might’ is the episode where everything changes in My Hero Academia and it really starts to find itself as a show. Later episodes are far flashier with more chaotic fight scenes, but there’s something about a prizefighter going into his final rounds that’s perhaps just as captivating. This is where newcomers really start to get into the show.
5. Lemillion – Season 4, Episode 11
Few could have predicted that an often naked dude with Disney eyes would become such a prominent and beloved character in My Hero Academia. That’s why what happens to Lemillion in his titular episode is so devastating, as he’s rid of the powers that he spent so long honing when so many wrote him off.
Before that, though, Lemillion whips some serious backside, making Overhaul and his cronies look like absolute chumps, drawing some pretty easy comparison to another blonde, constantly chirpy hero. Lemillion is basically the prototype for what Deku aspires to be, but in a surprising reversal, Lemillion is the one who finds himself Quirkless.
That doesn’t stop him, though. Despite no longer being able to phase through walls, Lemillion is a good match for Overhaul and refuses to bow, even when he finds himself impaled and barely able to carry Eri. If there’s any justice, this won’t be the final episode of My Hero Academia with everyone’s favorite streaker at its core.
4. My Hero – Season 3, Episode 4
‘My Hero’ feels like a mirror to Deku’s future, one in which he becomes the true heir to All Might and puts his body on the line for those more vulnerable than him. Deku is an absolute disaster after his fight with Muscular here, who is so intimidating a villain that you expect him to come back down the line.
In terms of set-up, you don’t get much simpler than Deku having to reach unknown depths to fend off an attacker who targets a misunderstood young boy. ‘My Hero’ lands in the middle of a run of episodes that were hit after hit with the class of 1-A taking their biggest hits yet, and the tempo barely drops for the rest of the season.
For showing just how heroic Deku really is, as well as for featuring some of the most breathtaking animation in the show up to this point, ‘My Hero’ is a roaring success and the kind of episode that will make the hair on your arms stand on end.
3. His Start – Season 4, Episode 25
The best TV shows are able to make you care about characters that you used to hate. My Hero Academia manages this is in a single, incredibly enthralling episode.
‘His Start’ follows the new #1 hero Endeavor as he struggles to adapt to picking up where All Might left off. He’s an unsympathetic character not just to the people of Japan, but the viewer too — why should we care about a man who’s been almost a villain from so much of what we’ve seen of him? ‘His Start’ answers that with aplomb.
Bones’ finest animation in the series so far brings Endeavor’s fight with the all-new Nomu to vivid life, with viewers left unsure if he’ll be able to win out the day. Endeavor feels vulnerable and almost weak in comparison to this strange creature and even the predecessor that he cannot escape. The tension ratchets up as the inevitable seems to near.
With the odds stacked against him, Endeavor still somehow finds a way to win, and also to win himself new fans in dramatic fashion. ‘His Start’ is one heck of a way to start a redemption story.
2. Infinite 100% – Season 4, Episode 13
‘Infinite 100%’ is such a chaotic, furious episode that it comes across like Bones put 100% of their budget into making it as outrageously bombastic as they possibly could. It works, because you finish watching it feeling as if you just watched 100 Marvel movies in one.
With Eri in tow, Deku is finally able to reach the limits of One For All’s strength without hesitation, his body being repaired constantly by Eri’s unique Quirk that was previously used for evil by the villainous Overhaul. It’s a blessing for not only Deku, but also the viewers — the fight reaches levels so theatrical that you expect a Spirit Bomb to land at any minute.
‘Infinite 100%’ also works so well as it fills in some of the blanks on Overhaul, showing how, ultimately, he’s just a confused boy who wants to give thanks to the man who took a chance on him. No sympathy for vacuuming up his friends and turning into a giant crab thing, though.
For allowing Deku to really let loose while also dealing in themes of how we shape our own destinies, ‘Infinite 100%’ is an absolute spectacle that proves that, even four seasons in, proves that My Hero Academia is aiming to go down as anime royalty.
1. One For All – Season 3, Episode 11
‘One For All’ is the most significant episode of My Hero Academia to date, a devastating farewell to an iconic hero, the prizefighter who’s going one last round even when his body is trying to tell him to stop. It will give you chills.
All Might is forced into a final confrontation with All For One, his long-time nemesis, but he’s clearly running on fumes — embers, even. The power of All For One has almost completely left him, but he somehow finds it within himself to win the day in seriously emotional yet uplifting fashion.
The fight itself isn’t the flashiest or most complex in the series. It’s the willingness and determination of everyone involved, from All Might himself to the crowd desperate for him to give it his all, one final time, that will give you goosebumps throughout.
‘One For All’ is a passing of the torch for the show that felt necessary, yet still devastates. There’s no deus ex machina for the young heroes to depend on anymore — the training wheels are off. It’s a reminder than even though our heroes may win, they can still lose in other ways.
Even after watching it multiple times, the power of ‘One For All’, almost ironically, never fades. It’s a stirring, impactful goodbye that not only ranks as the best My Hero Academia episode to date, but also one of the greatest across all of anime.
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