Despairing over his cowardice about not jumping in to save Mina Ashido's friends, Eijiro Kirishima scratches out U.A. High School on his aspiration report card, having realized that he was simply putting up a facade and when the time came to lay down his life, his true personality emerged: that of a coward's. Eijiro's Quirk first manifested at three years old, when he went to the bathroom and inadvertently cut his eye with his hardened hand. Afterwards, the young Eijiro hated his Quirk for hurting him. However, his Hardening Quirk was what inspired him to become a fan of Crimson Riot, a Hero who not only had a Quirk similar to his own but someone who was willing to put his life on the line. Angry at himself, Eijiro throws a book at his bookshelf, causing a book of fall from the shelf which drops a hologram projector on the floor.
The hologram projector opens up, revealing Crimson Riot in an interview. Eijiro notes that the hologram projector came from a book called "Outstanding Heroes" his parents brought him a few years back. Eijiro watches the interview; the reporter asks Crimson Riot if he feels no fear when throwing himself in harms way due to his reckless Hero image. Surprisingly, Crimson Riot replies that he does feel fear when putting his life on the line and condones any who does not feel fear whenever they put their lives on the line; this catches Eijiro's attention.
The hologram projector is a recording of an interview sometime during Eijiro's elementary school days and due to his young age preventing him from understanding Crimson Riot's words, they didn't sink in and simply the sight of seeing Crimson Riot charging in recklessly into battle inspired Eijiro to become a fan of his. Crimson Riot explains that he has failed to save countless of people and because he has experienced this is why he charges into battle. The reporter asks what a "manly spirit" means to him. Crimson Riot explains that a "manly spirit" is the attitude one carries with in their soul and has nothing to do with being confident or fearless.
Crimson Riot continues saying that he saves people because he is a Hero and making that decision means he must follow through with it no matter what obstacles come his way. The interview ends with Crimson Riot explaining that a "manly spirit" is a life led without regret, Crimson Riot's interview brings Eijiro to tears and is guilty for now no longer wanting to be a Hero.
Encouraged by Crimson Riot's words, Eijiro rewrites U.A. on his aspiration report and decides not to repeat the same mistake. At middle school, Eijiro apologizes to Mina's friends for not saving them, to which her friends do not mind. Afterwards, Eijiro continued training himself, eventually taking U.A's Entrance Exam and passing it. On his first day at U.A., Eijiro heads to the building as Mina shows up questioning about Eijiro's change in hair style which looks similar to horns like Crimson Riot's hair. Eijiro tells Mina that he will never regret his inaction again and will be a Hero who can protect people. Mina berates Eijiro for beating himself up over that incident and tells him to overcome his insecurities first before telling her.
Back in the present, the barely conscious Eijiro knows that while there are frightening things going through his mind at the moment, there is one thing that puts all his other fears to shame; the one thing he deeply feared was reverting back into a pathetic coward, and never wants to feel that regret again. The slim and muscular Fat Gum takes hold of the badly injured Eijiro and remarks to Kendo and Hekiji that they along with him underestimated Eijiro which is why they will lose. Tengai raises his barrier to maximum, but Rappa notes the futility.
Fat Gum tells the villains to taste the manly spirit of the Hero, Red Riot, and with his immense strength, Fat Gum delivers a punch that smashes through Tengai's barrier with ease and the sheer impact blasts both Rappa and Tengai back, heavily injuring them.