All Might has gone from the world's greatest hero to a quirkless. But he is also out to prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and with the advent of My Hero Academia's 396th chapter, he has quite the trick up his sleeve. Fans of the series are in for a real treat, and the stakes are higher for All Might than ever before as he goes off into battle with his archnemesis -- All For One. The Final Arc of My Hero Academia is building up to a fever pitch.
From the outset of the chapter, the artistry is eye-popping. But then again, that is to be expected with Kohei Hirokoshi and his band of merry manga crewmates with their pens in hand. But this chapter is especially impressive, with the introduction of the quirkless All Might's newest gadget. The hero dons a full suit of armor and names himself "Armored All Might." It is not hard to see why Hirokoshi needed to take a quick break after working on his latest chapter. A lot of work clearly went into crafting this eye-catching armor. The meticulous nature of the design would make even the most ardent of gearheads feel overwhelmed.
Marvel fans will also get a kick out of this chapter since it is clear that Hirokoshi tapped into his inner American comic fanboy tendencies and drafted the Armored All Might as a love letter to Iron Man. Even All Might's souped-up A.I. vehicle, Hercules, is a nod to Iron Man's A.I. system, Jarvis, and is utilized to activate the Armored All Might capabilities. The battle, while brief, is stunning with all of the whiz-bang punch that is to be expected with every chapter of My Hero Academia. If the battle had to be summed up in one phrase, it would have to be "larger-than-life." Even though All Might is at a disadvantage, his new suit can have him go toe-to-toe with the strongest of villains.
But with every cheer, a begrudging jeer is to be expected. Much like many recent chapters of My Hero Academia, this chapter feels like it could have been fleshed out more. Luckily, there is still more action to be had, and the most faithful fans will see their favorite hero's exploits to the end. Waiting on pins and needles is the name of the game, and if this chapter is any indication, the finale will be one for the ages.