My Hero Academia 423 Spoilers: AFO’s Demise, Deku to Remain Quirkless

My Hero Academia has been inching closer to its end, and we seem to have reached a conclusion point. All the buildup from the last chapter finally comes to a head as we see the fight between All For One and One For All for the last time and the aftermath of Deku’s final attack.

Chapter 423 throws us a curveball in the shape of Bakugou Katsuki, along with Shigaraki and Kurogiri being set free from All For One’s reign of terror once and for all. The chapter is titled “One For All vs All For One,” and it could not have been more fitting.

All For One’s Mental Decline

All For One’s Mental Decline | Source: Viz Media

The chapter begins with AFO confused about his regeneration being ineffective. In addition, all the hostility from the heroes on the battlefield blocks his danger sense and helps Deku hide his presence, which helps him land a punch on AFO.

After Yoichi’s death, AFO’s mental health has been on a steady decline along with his body. A callback from the initial chapters of My Hero Academia, All Might had mentioned that One For All could explode a weak body, and that seemed like the case as AFO’s body started crumbling.

Kurogiri Saves Shigaraki

Kurogiri Saves Shigaraki | Source: Viz Media

At the sight of AFO’s crumbling, the heroes assume the fight is over. However, AFO refuses to die before he achieves his goals and uses multiple quirks to keep himself together. If he manages to transfer All For One to a new vessel, he can return.

AFO heads for Deku but is intercepted by Kurogiri, who is determined to save Shigaraki. He demands that AFO return Shigaraki as his friends are waiting for him. “I’m sorry, but I have to go. I need to protect Tomura Shigaraki” Kurogiri’s words make Present Mic emotional as he remembers Shirakumo always helping everyone in need.

Bakugo Returns To Cheer Deku On

Bakugo Returns To Cheer On Deku | Source: Viz Media

Just as Kurogiri starts disappearing, Bakugou shows up and propels Deku towards AFO using his explosion. Still half-dead, Bakugou uses his mouth to create explosions so that he can help Deku.

Bakugou was supposed to be in the hospital, but he got Shoto to make an ice ramp to reach the battlefield. This also hints at Shoto being relatively fine after the Todoroki family’s fight against Dabi. Bakugou cheers Izuku on to finish All For One once and for all.

AFO Is Just A Lonely Man

AFO Is Just A Lonely Man | Source: Viz Media

Even though Deku is determined not to forgive All For One, he believes that AFO is not some incomprehensible monster or some demon lord as he likes to portray himself. Deep down, All For One is just a very lonely man.

We switch to the vestige world and see AFO talking to Yoichi’s flame. Deku’s last punch transferred the final embers of One For All he had, which were fragments of Yoichi himself, as he is the origin of OFA. We witness AFO’s breakdown about losing his brother.

All For One’s Demise

All For One does not seem to care about his quirk anymore and is desperate to see Yoichi one more time. Yoichi apologizes to AFO for not being a good brother and not helping him move in the right direction.

afo death
All For One’s Demise | Source: Viz Media

Deku’s final attack would finally allow both brothers to rest in peace, but AFO refuses the outcome. He starts throwing a fit about wanting Yoichi by his side and not letting his story end like this. However, Yoichi is determined to let AFO pay for all his crimes.

All the One For All vestiges and Shigaraki reveal themselves from the shadows of the vestige world. Deku and Shigaraki punch AFO’s vestige together, and as AFO disappears, their hands touch, which could be a really significant moment in hindsight.

Shigaraki’s Conclusion

Shigaraki tells Deku that he really was swallowed up by AFO, but Shimura’s vestige saved him from disappearing. He also admits to being a crying boy, which Deku had always seen, but he couldn’t destroy anything he wanted.

battle ends
Battle Ends | Source: Viz Media

Deku tells Shigaraki that he only continued fighting because he couldn’t forgive Shigaraki for what he did and just wanted to stop him. In his last moments, Shigaraki asks Deku to tell Spinner that he fought to destroy until the very end. Deku assures him that he managed to destroy what he really needed to.

We switch back to the real world and witness Shigaraki’s body crumbling to nothing. Deku is poised with his hand raised high, symbolizing both his final punch and victory stance as a hero. Just like All Might, Deku managed to change the weather as the rain stopped and sunlight made its way to the remains of the battlefield.

Deku’s Potential Quirkless Future

Deku sacrificed One For All to live up to his idea of a hero: ‘save to win.’ He has always been more inclined toward saving a life than taking it, and he even sacrificed his most valued treasure to save a crying boy he saw in Shigaraki.

Shigaraki and Izuku
Shigaraki and Deku | Source: Viz Media

However, with Shigaraki’s death, Deku’s sacrifice seems like it was for nothing. Deku could not save the life he wanted, but he still managed to save Japan and, by extension, the world, which still seemed like a lose-lose situation. Deku gets to keep neither his quirk nor have the satisfaction of saving the crying boy he was so determined to save.

If Deku were to end up being quirkless, he would have neither lived up to his ideals because Tenko died nor been able to continue saving others to make up for this because he lost his quirk. The ending does seem abrupt, but there are a lot of loose ends that Horikoshi still has to tie. All we can do is hope for a justifiable conclusion.

What This Means For Deku’s Future As a Hero

With Shigaraki’s death, including his body and soul, All For One has also disintegrated into nothing, which all but confirms that One For All is also gone. One cannot exist without the other, and as AFO disappeared alongside Yoichi, his brother, and the origin of One For All, it seems like Deku’s quirk is long gone.

deku and all might
My Hero Academia Reaches Full Circle | Source: Fandom

The story has come full circle, and Deku is going to end it just like he started it—quirkless. However, Deku has become a hero to all, not the next All Might but someone who has long surpassed the living legend.

We still don’t know how Deku’s story might end, but My Hero Academia has stayed true to its roots. This is the story of how Izuku Midoriya became a hero, after all.

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About My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, with its chapters additionally collected in 37 tankōbon volumes as of February 2023.

It follows a quirkless boy Izuku Midoriya and how he backed the greatest Hero alive. Midoriya, a boy who has been admiring heroes and their ventures since the day he was born, came into this world without a quirk, where almost everybody is born with one.

On one fateful day, he meets All Might the greatest Hero of all time and discovers that he was quirkless as well. With his diligent attitude and unwavering spirit about being a hero, Midoriya manages to impress All Might. He is chosen to be the heir to the power of One for All.

Aaheli Pradhan

Aaheli Pradhan

A grandma by heart who loves to knit, sketch, and swing in parks. Binge-reads a massive amount of manga from psychological to shounen-ai. Either awkward or salty, there's no in-between.


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