The slender and muscular Fat Gum prepares to put all of his great strength in a single punch. Kendo Rappa demands that Hekiji Tengai releases the barrier while Tengai realizes that Red Riot's meaningless display of bravery was so that Fat Gum could initiate his plan. However, a barely conscious Eijiro ponders that his display of bravery was wrong and that he was utterly terrified. He starts thinking back to his middle school days.
At Eijiro's middle school, two middle school students bullied another student into transforming some leaves into money. Eijiro was disgusted with their bullying and reprimanded them for bullying an underclassman. He approached the bullies, but one of them used his Quirk to levitate a rock and smashed it into Eijiro's face. Eijiro yelled in pain while the bully remarked that Eijiro had a simple Hardening Quirk and nothing more. The bullies took the underclassman with them while Eijiro tried getting the bullies' attention but to no avail. Eijiro's middle school friends told him not to bother with the bullies. Determined to save the underclassman, Eijiro remarked on a saying of Crimson Riot's: "As long as you've got a manly spirit, then Quirks don't even matter." Encouraged by these words, Eijiro went to face the bullies.
However, Mina Ashido walked by the bullies and managed to get them to get along with the underclassman before going to see her group of friends. Eijiro's friends remarked that Mina was going to become a Hero and was going to take the U.A. Entrance Exam, believing that she was capable of becoming one due to her athletic ability and her strong Quirk. Eijiro's friends stated that the Heroes in today's society are different from the Heroes of the past; they are all about ratings and approval. Eijiro noted that his Quirk is nothing special and that he is dull and boring. However, after becoming inspired by Crimson Riot, Eijiro began training to compensate for what his Quirk could not do with his manly heart. Eijiro and his friends talked about what future careers they wanted to pursue and Eijiro's friends did not consider U.A. High School at all and instead considered Doroido Technical, while Eijiro stated that he had not decided, but an aspiration report in his pocket suggested otherwise.
Walking back home from school, Eijiro began doubting his manly spirit and wondered if a flashier, stronger Quirk would allow him to brag about wanting to get into U.A. Suddenly, Eijiro spotted Mina's friends across the street who were being confronted by a large bulky figure. The large intimidating man demanded to know the location of the Hero Offices of Springer, but the girls were too terrified to utter anything. The large intimidating man took their silence as offensive and put his hand on a building, which caused the building to start breaking down. Despite being terrified himself, Eijiro tried to move in to help the girls but his body would not listen to him. Suddenly, Mina jumped in and gave the man false directions to Springer's Hero Offices. The large intimidating man thanked Mina and headed off to Springer's Hero Offices while rambling about everything he does is for the lord. With the large intimidating man gone, Mina and her friends broke down in tears. Her friends thanked Mina for saving them. Eijiro was stunned as to why he did not go and help Mina's friends.
At home, Eijiro read the news about a middle schooler resisting a powerful villain, just before All Might showed up, another middle schooler had jumped in to save him and was possibly a friend. Disheartened that he was not brave and manly enough to save Mina's friends like the middle schooler in the news, Eijiro scratched out "U.A." on his aspiration report and concluded that he was not a man nor was he anything else.