After the preliminary race and the epic cavalry battle, My Hero Academia proceeds with a deeper and more personal one-on-one battle for the finals. Episode 20 titled "Victory or Defeat" focused on the first fight of the bracket which is between Izuku Midoriya and Hitoshi Shinso. Shinso was the dead-eyed purple haired kid from general studies who made a declaration of war against Midoriya’s class. Shinso’s quirk was not revealed in any of the past episodes, but Ojiro teased that it is probably activated when someone verbally responds to Shinso. With no information on which to base strategies, Midoriya is now forced to improvise. However, as he tapped his One for All powers, he saw a strange vision.

Shinso the brainwasher

The first match kicked off with Shinso blabbering about Ojiro’s pride to taunt Izuku into talking to him. Out of anger, Midoriya rushed forward but he carelessly responded to Shinso and activated his unique quirk. The audience was confused as Midoriya froze in the middle of the match with a blank look on his face. Good thing Eraser Head had done his homework and explained to the audience and his partner Present Mic, the nature of Shinso’s quirk. It turned out that Shinso can brainwash any person who responds verbally to him. He can also order his victims about as he pleases but if the victim is shocked in any way, Shinso’s control will stop.

Going back to the battle, Shinso ordered Midoriya to walk away to out of bounds and Midoriya obediently followed the instruction.

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Midoriya was inches away from the boundary and the eerie background music matched the tensest moment of the situation. Suddenly, we were transported into a colorful neon display that highlighted eight shadow figures in the arena entrance. Midoriya then used his two fingers to break free of Shinso’s brainwashing. With no more tricks upon his sleeve, Shinso lost to the physically fit Midoriya.

Mysterious figures explained

While on the verge of defeat, Midoriya thought that the Mysterious Figures that he saw were the ones who saved him and activated his powers. After the fight, he mentioned to All Might his mysterious visions and asked him what it was. He initially thought that it was the previous users of One for All as he saw someone that looked like All Might among the shadows. All Might confirmed that it was the remnants of past users of his quirk and he mentioned that it is a good sign that Midoriya has a better grasp of his quirk. However, All Might added that those figures don't have a will of their own and Midoriya is the one who got rid of the brainwashing. Though not a proper explanation, we can expect to learn more about One for All in the future episodes of season 2.