WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the My Hero Academia episode "Special Episode: Save the World With Love!," which aired Saturday on Toonami.
My Hero Academia viewers might not have expected the action to switch from the Provisional Hero License to the period between seasons 2 and 3. However, that's what happens when the anime produces an episode that ties into its then-new movie, 2018's My Hero Academia: Two Heroes.
The one-shot depicts a group of students dealing with a hypothetical scenario organized by All-Might to help them train. The faux-scenario provides the core heroes with the opportunity to "save the world with love," as the episode's title puts it, but it also offers insight into Midoriya's worldview that's beneficial to fully appreciating the events of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes.
Time in America
The episode opens with All Might witnessing a television special detailing his time in America, and introducing viewers to his close companion, David Shield. As we learn later in the movie, Shield is a tech genius who helped All Might, and one of the few people who realize the hero's powers are dwindling with each passing day.
Introducing David at this point without going into detail is a wise way to build up the movie, showcasing an original character who isn't yet crucial to the plot.
The Special Class
The episode transitions to Shota Aizawa (Eraserhead) teaching a special class of students, post-Final Exam. The class, which consists of Izuku Midoriya, Ochaco Uraraka, Katsuki Bakugo, Shoto Todoroki, Tenya Iida and Tsuya Asui, requires them to solve a scenario in which a villain holds a group of hostages at a jewelry store. They're warned the class is extra-difficult, but they seem up to the task.
Of course, the "villain" is played by All Might, and the hostages are school faculty. However, once the students enter, they find the villain seemingly dead. The murder weapon? One blood-soaked knife. So who did it?
The "Love Story"
This is where the bizarre love-story angle comes into play. The students conclude that one of the hostages must have killed the villain. After interviewing them, the students deduce that a hostage played by the beautiful Midnight was the last to enter, and, thus, would have had the best opportunity to contact the authorities. However, she had no motive.
Therefore, Midoriya concludes, the villain and Midnight must have had a secret love affair. Midnight killed the villain after contacting the police to keep their affair from becoming known. It's somewhat bizarre that Midoriya jumps to this conclusion based on the evidence, which indicates he either doesn't understand how romance works or he simply over-analyzes every situation.
Still, Aizawa enters the classroom at that moment to inform the students they are wrong. The villain faked his death so he could escape, and All Might, hamming it up as the bad guy, trots off.
Lead-In to the Movie
The episode ends with All Might receiving a note from David Shield's daughter, Melissa, inviting him to an expo on I-Island. Thus, it concludes with the students and teacher making their way to the expo, where the film takes place.
It's somewhat fitting that the episode establishes the idea of saving the world with love when the film would later deal with something remarkable: how love for others can be a constructive or destructive -- especially as seen with David's affection for All Might, and, later, the affection shared by the younger, future generation of heroes for one another (in particular, Midoriya and Melissa Shield).