Eyyy! This is Monmon. This is my first opinion piece on one of my top mangas Boku no Hero Academia. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Warning: This post will feature story plot points well after the story covered in the Boku no Hero Academia Season 2. Expect spoilers if you only watch the anime and have not caught up with the latest chapter.
So, now that the ‘Yakuza arc’ has finally wrapped up in the manga, it’s time to discuss one of the plot points that has been contested by fans of the manga: Chapter 152, Lemillion’s fight with Chisaki and his goons to protect Eri. Could Lemillion have done better to protect Eri and as a result, kept his quirk?
The scene, Lemillion had just finished giving Chisaki a good bruising, and Nemuto, one of Chisaki’s Eight Precepts of Death, has crawled his way back into the battlefield. Having just been knocked out by Lemillion earlier, he crawled his way to his master out of sheer loyalty. Chisaki tosses him a container with injection catridges containing the quirk destroying serum. Nemuto loads the cartridge and takes aim, thinking about how to properly get a shot on Lemillion. He takes aim at Eri who has just emerged from Lemillion’s cape a good distance away. Just as he predicted, Lemillion jumps in to protect Eri and takes the shot, destroying his quirk completely.
Fans were mortified. The character that has worked his way into their hearts since the beginning of the arc has lost one of his main charms.
“Vault Boy’s quirk is gone!!”
“RIP Cuphead’s quirk.”
Then, some fans began speculating. Running ‘what if’ scenarios in which Lemillion does not take the ‘bullet’. Naturally, some fans disagree with their theories.
The first one is more objective driven. To let Eri get shot with the serum and Lemillion will defend her from there. They would argue that since the serum is fashioned out of her own cells, she would not be affected by it.
However, one could argue that the serum Chisaki had was a finished product and is a more refined serum, with its quirk destroying component extracted and purified. But if Eri lost her quirk, then Chisaki’s plan would go up in smoke. What a cruel way to stop a villain, isn’t it?
Opponents are arguing that this goes everything a hero could stand for. Lemillion had let Eri fall back into Chisaki’s hands, hands that have brought so much pain and suffering to her.
Thus, Lemillion had an emotional investment in saving her and letting her get hurt is unforgivable. Nemuto know of this ever since he used his quirk against Lemillion in their previous fight. That’s why he took a shot at Eri. To ensure the cartridge hits Lemillion without fail. He will not let her get hurt.
Another scenario is where Lemillion chose to take down Nemuto before he could fire his gun. Lemillion is a skilled fighter, capable of overpowering Chisaki who has the quirk to destroy and remake anything. Of course, Lemillion had beaten Nemuto before, with a straight punch to his head. So, how could Lemillion not throw another punch into Nemuto’s face? Another one will knock him out for good.
The problem with this scenario? Even if Lemillion successfully pulls it off, what’s stopping Nemuto from pulling the trigger? In fact the act of punching Nemuto might even cause him to pull the trigger as well. Sure, he might miss but the chance of the cartridge hitting is ever present. Lemillion could not allow that.
So what now? Letting Eri get shot is plot breaking. Punching the shooter won’t guarantee Eri not being shot. What’s next?
Well, let’s analyze Lemillion’s sacrifice itself. Can he make it out of that scene with his quirk intact? Is there anything that can be done to improve the outcome?
Yes. Yes, there is. And it is Lemillion’s skill in using his quirk, permeation.
His quirk has a unique characteristic in which Lemillion is able to fly out of the ground he was phasing through when he disengages his quirk. Coupled with his peerless skill in handling his quirk, Lemillion is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, there is even a time comparision in which Mirio took out half of the students of A Class in a few seconds.
In this scenario, Lemillion would use his quirk to reach and protect Eri. Instead of lunging forward to protect Eri, he would disappear into the ground, pop up next to Eri, and scoop her away to safety. One could argue that it will not change the outcome, but there is a difference between Lemillion using his quirk versus lunging directly to reach Eri. Time. Lemillion’s quirk of dropping into the ground and popping out of it is blisteringly fast. Heck, there is one scene where he took out Nemuto and Sakaki in one fell swoop.
Thus, if he had used his quirk, he would have reached Eri and have time to avoid the shot. Now, it is also possible that even with his ‘video game glitch’, he might not avoid the shot completely. Nonetheless, a chance to avoid the shot is a better gamble than a sure hit. If he had done all that and still got shot, the fans would have been mortified but more accepting of the outcome. He had done his best but is dealt a bad end.
Now in spite of all the theories floating about, the most sensible scenario is still the original one. The way Horikoshi intended. Why? Well, all these theories require Lemillion to jump out of character and jumble up his priorities. His objective is to save Eri and not let her get hurt anymore. Even the last theory which boasts the best odds and is in line with Lemillion’s character falls short. Lemillion, despite all the skills and strength is still a student and an emotionally charged one at that.
Lemillion may have displayed a good common sense when he first encounter Chisaki but with it leading to endangering Eri and betraying his core beliefs, he puts his common sense on the back burner and set his sights on only saving Eri. And thus, he jumped the gun despite having better options available. What a huge difference in outcome if he had more experience.
In the end, Mirio Togata lost his quirk. After a good bit of theorizing, it has come full circle. Horikoshi most likely drew the manga that way because he wanted Lemillion to sacrifice himself for Eri. And here we are overanalyzing the damn scene. How unproductive.
However, let’s not lose hope for Lemillion. He is not lost because Mirio is still alive. Eri is rescued and the chance of Lemillion bouncing back is just a distant chapter away.
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Also be sure to check out Q-ichi’s web novel R.A.M.!