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My Hero Academia Episodes 59 & 60

Episode 59

The final round of the exam is well underway, as Gang Orca makes his move. This episode does a couple of different things, and the first one it does properly is examining the thought process of the actual exam committee. You’d think watching something like “a board room meeting for the testing committee” would be dull, and it’s literally just a bunch of suits sitting around talking about balls, but we do learn what the committee is aiming to build.

All Might, societal pillar and symbol is no more, and despite being made of fire, Endeavor cannot hold a candle to him. So rather than rely on one dominant hero like in the past, the committee hopes to create a small army of competent heroes who work together well and can make up for their lack of overwhelming strength through teamwork. Interesting, and practical.

We also see how the kids are graded, each starting with a total of 100 points and gradually decreasing with every error made.  All the while, students are trying to take the (mock) injured civilians away while simultaneously holding off Gang Orca, and he’s a pretty badass whale! The scary looking Orca-in-a-suit takes Yo Shindo out in one hit, so Todoroki and Inasa face off against him, while the others rush Yo Shindo to safety. Now Inasa and Todoroki seem like a great combination: two of the strongest offensive players against someone like Gang Orca, right?

As it turns out,  not so much.

Both are more than a little hot-headed, and can’t resist fighting one another in the face of a dangerous villain. Todoroki’s fire and ice attacks keep getting blown aside by Inasa’s winds (they effectively cancel each other out) so Orca’s henchmen are able to take them apart. As the two keep foolishly clashing with each other, Inasa reveals his prejudice: he thinks that Endeavor is a shitty guy who’s arrogant and angry, the opposite of a proper hero. When Inasa first saw his rival at the entrance exam, Todoroki reminded him strongly of Dear Old Dad, and it was pretty much hate at first sight. They’re infighting gets so ridiculous that finally, Deku yells at them to snap out of it.

Despite all their talent, the two are being held back by personal vendettas: Inasa’s festering grudge against Todoroki, and Todoriki’s issues with his own father, Endeavor. Fortunately, the two of them are smart enough to realize their error before they’re completely incapacitated, and manage to pull off a fantastic tag-team Fire/Wind attack to trap Orca. Amusingly, since Orca is basically a whale in a suit, he’s vulnerable to drying out, so being caught in a fiery vortex is a really bad situation for him; even more amusing, his solution to this problem is to just dump some water over his head. How much water is even in that bottle? Is it enough to keep an adult whale hydrated? The mind boggles.

All the while, the other students are finishing the evacuations, and some of the students (including Deku) head back to Gang Orca to serve as reinforcements for Inasa and Todoroki. We even get to see Tsuyu fight, and she has a nifty new camouflage technique! It’s a nice upgrade for our favorite frog girl. Unfortunately for fans of hot-blooded action, before Deku can really lay into Gang Orca, the exam ends in mid-battle. Everyone lines up, awaiting the results, praying that they passed. The results of the test will be revealed….

Episode 60

…Right now! Pretty much everyone from Class 1-A succeeded in passing with the notable exceptions of two heavy hitters: Todoroki, and Bakugo. Todoroki clearly failed because of the huge stunt he pulled while fighting Inasa, and Bakugo probably failed for yelling at all the people he was saving. It’s interesting seeing some of the oddballs make it through (particularly Mineta and Hagakure), but it is what it is; sometimes, the people who pass any test are not the most talented or the most worthy. However, Deku and Tsuyu passed, so do we really care?

Fortunately for our underperforming prodigies, anyone that failed in the second round (which includes Bakugo and Todoroki) will have the opportunity to take a special course and then re-take the exam in three months. So Bakugo, Todoroki and Inasa can still obtain their licenses and become proper provisional heroes, but their out-of-control egos roped them into doing a lot of extra work.

It’s a big moment to see Deku and his classmates gain their licenses; they really have come so far, and we’re not even up to three-digit episode numbers yet. [Editor’s Note: Take THAT, frickin’ Naruto!] Meanwhile, Inasa apologizes to Todoroki while still admitting that he  doesn’t like him. The boy’s honest to a fault, but hey, there’s something to be said for being able to speak your mind…hopefully speaking his mind doesn’t usually involve going up to random people and shouting at them that he hates them, otherwise he’s going to be pretty unpopular on campus.

We then get a huge reveal about Camie, who apparently isn’t Camie in the first place. Himoko Toga, who has the ability to transform into someone by digesting their blood, has been posing as Camie. The real Camie’s fate is left up in the air, but we do find out that Himoko has snagged some of Izuku’s blood as well; that can’t be good news for anyone. Her shapeshifting ability is really menacing, and creates a huge amount of possible ways for the villains to screw with our heroes.

All Might, despite no longer having a muscle form, decides to visit with an old “enemy” of his by having a chat with All For One in prison. The discussion establishes how scary and smart AFO really is, and the imminent threat of his successor. Even in solitary confinement, behind glass, with gun turrets trained on him, AFO still does a great job of picking All Might’s brain and pushing his buttons. Nothing like a bit of good ol’ psychological analysis to show that a defeated foe is still a force to be reckoned with. The fact that AFO plans to pass his legacy onto Shigaraki shows that while Deku is growing and evolving as a hero, Tomura will rise as a great villain soon as well. Will Deku be ready in time? Well, probably yes, otherwise there would be no show, but you know what I mean.

Probably the biggest revelation of this entire episode (outside the fact that Tenya Ida sleeps with a giant cartoony snot bubble) is the fact that Bakugo now knows that Deku’s quirk was given to him by All Might. When he confronts Deku about this and explains how he deduced this information, Bakguo shows that while he can be thick-headed and temperamental, he’s actually quite intelligent, and observant of his surroundings. It’s a great scene leading up to the two of them settling their conflicted feelings in the way they are contractually bound to do in shonen anime: beating the ever-loving snot out of each other to get their feelings out. Okay, so maybe it’s not the most original direction the world, but it feels earned, and we have a great battle to look forward to next episode.

 

My Hero Academia: Episodes 56-58

It’s been a hectic week or two, with big trips and settling back in, so expect a big ol’ My Hero Academia review catchup!

Episode 56

After seeing several members of 1-A  pass the exam last week, we see the continuation of everyone else’s battles. This episode is basically split three-ways. First up, the battle with the Human Meatball-Maker, as Bakugo and Kaminari continue their assault. What’s interesting about this particular battle is that you would assume that Bakugo would be the one to get the MVP title of this match, but that’s not the case; he quickly gets taken out and turned into a creepy meatball man.

We learn more about Seiji, AKA Meatball, in that he feels the need to take it upon himself to thin the herd of those he deems unworthy to be heroes. That said, he’s arrogant and in need of a little lightning in his face, and that’s where Kaminari comes in. Now better able to aim his electricity, thanks to some cool new gadgets, he can properly control his power. He also finds newfound respect for Bakugo’s ability to control his powers in order to protect his friends. Not inclined to let a little thing like being turned into meatballs stop them, his two friends deliver the final blow.

Elsewhere, we get to see Deku, Sero and Ochaco all come together to capture their prey. There’s a scene I love where one of the captured heroes tries to plead to Deku that he really, REALLY needs to pass this year and gain his license. Now, on another show (or perhaps earlier in Deku’s character arc), the hero would’ve hesitated, wondering whether or not he truly deserved to pass instead of the other guy. But Deku is resolute; he just tags the guy out stone cold, saying that he himself needs to pass, and it’s pretty great.

The last leg of the race features the 11 members of Class 1-A that have yet to pass. Laser Bellybutton Boy Aoyama has all but given up, with 2 of his 3 targets out, but Ida tries to reassure him. Bolstered, Aoyama pulls off a last ditch “suicide” attempt, drawing attention to himself so Ida can escape. Arguably, Aoyama could be considered someone with disability in a superhero society, since he can’t use his power without injuring himself unless he has support; a small, but touching glimpse into his life gives us reason to consider this under appreciated character. However, his sacrifice play has an untintended effect, as his laser serves as a beacon for all of 1-A to reunite, plan a counterattack, and pass the exam together. It’s a great moment all around, where we even get to see Toru’s actual quirk in action: Light Refraction. Now all of 1-A has passed, finally!

Episode 57

This one veers away from combat and focuses on a less flashy, but no less important element of heroism: rescue. The exam field is turned into a disaster zone, with innocent “civilians” (actually paid professionals) caught in the debris; naturally, the 100 students who passed the first part of the exam must save them. The idea that the Help Us Company, or H.U.C., works with the superhero industry to train heroes how to react to crises by providing people to rescue is a logical bit of world-building that fits very nicely. I’m interested to see what else H.U.C. gets up to in the future.

There’s a radical shift in tone as the kids go from fighting one another to working side-by-side, setting aside their differences for the greater good. Unlike the second-years, our 1-A kids are very inexperienced in this area, either unsure of what to do or making rash decisions that cost them. It’s interesting to see Inasa– a boy extremely gifted and in control of his abilities– struggle to perform rescues because he’s so impulsive. We also learn a little more about what his damage with Todoroki is, and it may just have something to do with Endeavor; the plot thickens.

Real quick, let’s touch on Ochaco. I feel like she gets a lot of criticism thrown her way for being lovestruck for Deku, but…it makes a difference that she herself is aware of this. She’s aware her feelings for Deku and jealousy towards Camie are interfering with her goals, and ultimately decides that she has to suppress those feelings, at least for the time being. It’s a much more admirable approach to the problem than many viewers are willing to give her credit for.

Not only must the kids work to save people, they now have to attempt a task considered hard even for pro heroes: fighting foes and saving civilians at the same time. Gang Orca, The Number 10 hero is on the attack, and posing as a villain. We’ll soon see the results of this….

Episode 58

…but not in this episode, because this one is a filler TV-special. For Japan’s Save the World With love Day, all the programs on the channel ran an episode relevant to the theme, so MHA gives us a side-story.  This episode is two things. One: a pseudo-advertisement/setup for the My Hero Academia: Two Heroes movie (which I’m going to see later this month). These were easily the weakest scenes, but they weren’t offensively bad, just kinda meh. Two: a test exercise featuring Deku, Ochaco, Bakugo, Ida, Tsuya and Todoroki featuring a hostage situation.

True to form, Ochaco is recon, Todoroki is talking with the kidnapper, and Bakugo rushes in and explodes stuff. Then the episode turns into, of all things….a murder mystery. The kidnapper (All Might in disguise, great design btw) is KILLED, and the three hostages are the suspected killers. We go straight Ace Attorney/Danganronpa as we interview the there hostage teachers, all played by Present Mic, Midnight and Cementoss, all of which are sporting amusing fake personas and casual wear.

It’s a lot of questioning as Deku goes full Sherlock Holmes to get to the bottom of things, before deducing that the Kidnapper and Midnight’s characters had a relationship, that she called the cops and he took his life before this secret was exposed. However, it turns out the villain was still alive and fled, meaning Deku was wrong, meaning…meaning it’s not clear what the point of any of this was, actually. This episode felt like a premise the show was mandated to do and tried to get it over with as soon as possible, and it’s just not that interesting. I’m looking forward to getting back to the fighting-while-rescuing action of the exam next week.

My Hero Academia: Episode 55

As I noted last week, it appears we’re spending time with several other members of Class 1-A to see how they’re faring during the exam. While technically “filler” to some, this is more like expanding upon content that wasn’t shown in the manga, and I for one enjoyed it.

First things first. Todoroki fights a bunch of ninjas. He fights them and comes out on top by using his surroundings and catching them off guard. After that, we get a glimpse at some brewing tension with him and the Wind Boy Inasa. Wind Boy  gives IcyHot a mighty dirty look, and proceeds to pay him no mind. Hmmm. Curious.

NINJA FIGHT!

After that we focus on a small group within the class, consisting of Tsuyu, Jiro, Shoji and Momo, as they begin a battle of wits with All Girls Hero Academy. The girls group is led by a a tea-drinking ojou-sama ringleader in the form of Ms. Sai. For an anime-original character, her design is really cute, and it’s kind of amazing watching her cool, composed personality turn into full-on sadism; meanwhile, her classmates are totally into it. Also, her quirk is literally making herself smarter by drinking different blends of tea, so that’s a fun ability. [Editor’s Note: Why does this not work with coffee? WHY??????]

This moment of strategic genius brought to you by Darjeeling Tea: when you really need to double your IQ to destroy your enemies, accept no substitutes.

As for her plan, effectively it’s a strategy of rendering her four opponents’ quirks unusable, or immobilizing them entirely. Jiro and Froppy are specifically targeted, while Sai plans for Momo to overexert her quirk while trying to salvage the situation. It’s pretty interesting to watch this play out: it gets tense for our group, and Momo has to adapt fast and come up with a plan that will get them out of this messy situation, while also ensuring they pass the exam.

Don’t freeze Froppy, that’s mean.

It’s a big scene especially for Momo, who last season feared her own  intuition facing off against Aizawa, and to see her come into her element both as a leader and a strategist (under a ton of pressure, no less) is great. She’s inspired by Deku’s iron will, of course. To see that level of personal inspiration shown among many of the students, but in a big way for Momo in particular, was fantastic. And when she does succeed in finally getting the best of the team from Girls Hero Academy, it’s a great, satisfying moment. She incapacitates all the opponents camping outside the door with a giant soundwave, opting to attack rather than defend. Seeing her fend off Sai once again with a clever trick, at the last minute, is just icing on the cake; all in all, great character development for her this week.

I care too much about you to let you become a meatball! I will take one for the team and become a delicious entree! **slurrp**

We then see Bakugo, Kirishima, and Kaminari cross roads with a guy from Shiketsu, who has a gross ability to turn people into meatballs. [Editor’s Note: WHAT. Just WHAT.] Kirishima sacrifices himself for Bakugo’s sake, showing how much he cares. All the while Deku, Ochaco and Sero are busy formulating a counterattack to try and pass this exam. I really love how– even setting the romantic element aside– Deku and Ochaco now demonstrate so much trust and respect in each other’s abilities. Meanwhile, we see Aizawa explain to Joke that he’s not even worried for his students, because he sees that every time Bakugo or Deku are involved, the entire class works to match their level, bringing out the best in all of them. He’s not scared, he’s excited to see it all play out, and that’s a nice beat that works really well on top of all the other character development we see this episode.

Next week: More fighting! More unconditional trust between Deku and Ochaco! More of that gross Meatball guy! Well, not so much looking forward to Meatball guy, but you get the idea.

My Hero Academia: Episode 54

As the events from last week alluded to, the battle between U.A. against the world commences in the tournament. Everyone holds their ground against opponents from Ketsubutsu with some really neat powerups that range in effectiveness. One of the dudes can stiffen items, and is able to stiffen his balls (no I’m not giggling, you’re giggling, shut up) to make them more powerful and effective, while a dude who looks like Android 17 can Boomerang objects back and forth in a really cool animated sequence. And then there’s a cutie who can fold her body in and out just like that of a turtle which is, uh….man, you really gotta wonder how some of these abilities work. The class manages to fend them off real good with new upgrades and additions to their costumes, like Jiro’s cool sound gauntlets and Mina’s Acid Veil.

And then there’s Dark Deku Boy, Yo Shindo who’s quirk is basically to make giant earthquakes with the neat side effect that the strength of the aftershock transfers back to him. It’s a very powerful, very excessive display of strength.

And SPEAKING of excessive displays, let’s talk Inasa. The passionate gust of wind who’s SO PASSIONATE he decides to just…steal the balls of hundreds in a giant tornado and just…knocks out 120 people in one fell swoop, showing just how strong and crazy this enthusiastic mad man really is. Time starts ticking down as people start passing the exam filling up the 100 person quota quicker than anticipated, making the entire thing feel like a real rush for time.

Deku finds himself recovering from the aftermath of Inasa’s attack, tangling head-to-toe with a femme fatale from Inasa’s school. She succeeds in overwhelming him, messing with him, and potentially coming on to him all in one fell, acrobatic swoop. He’s narrowly saved by everyone else coming to attack her.

I’ll say this: as much as I enjoy this show, this feels like an episode that they definitely had to pad out a tad. They were cutting in and out of flashbacks we’ve already seen, some as recent as just a few minutes prior. It’s not a major detriment to the show, but MHA has managed to do better than this for so long that if feels genuinely distracting when they do pad for time this way.

Ochaco runs away with Uraraka, but she’s on the move to ATTACK! That said, Deku ain’t no dumbass and is aware that she’s trying to pull something. He KNEW that she would be able to make herself float, and wouldn’t be dumb enough to reveal herself out in the open with no plan whatsoever. Camie, the femme fatale who had been hitting on Deku, shows off her ability to transform into other people, even if it meant transforming her clothes into an admittedly kind of awkward-looking white bodysuit (for broadcast censorship purposes, I imagine.) Deku is then saved by Tape Boy Sero and the real Ochaco, Uraraka, who manage to get him out of a pinch as they plan their counteroffensive.

What’s interesting about the last segment with Shoto Todoroki is that it’s actually material that was not in the manga. One could argue this is technically “filler” material but to be honest, in a giant tournament event where everyone is doing things on their own, there’s a fair bit of material to be explored and expanded upon. So seeing Todoroki get to face off against a ninja clan is actually pretty entertaining and cool to watch. And if next week’s episode preview is to be believed, we’ll get a little more hands-on with the rest of Class 1-A as they get to do cool things on their own, and frankly, it’s ALWAYS exciting to get more of that.

Pacing issues aside, this was still a pretty fun episode with some cool fight sequences, and I’m psyched for next week.

My Hero Academia: Episodes 52 and 53

Episode 52:

Going to be doing a bit of a double duty catchup for this one. The new cour of My Hero Academia’s third season has started and we begin it, like any other, with a brand-spanking-new opening: Make my story, by Lenny Code Fiction. It’s got a really sick opening riff, along with a lot of really cool foreshadowed visuals and some nice bits of animation. Good tune and strong visuals, so I give this one a Plus, not necessarily a Plus Ultra.

We begin the first episode with a demonstration of life going back to normal, while the students adjust to their new lives at UA’s Alliance Heights dorm halls. Classes resume, and the first thing on the docket is to work towards achieving provisional licenses. One of the first things they need to do towards that goal is doing the very thing this episode is called: “Creating Those Ultimate Moves.” In practice, this means that the teachers offer students advice about how to reinvent their own understanding of the quirks.

A superhero’s ultimate move is about more than just looking cool and flashy. It’s also about cementing your identity, refining your abilities, and showing something that represents what you are as a hero. It’s like how the Kamehameha wave is so ingrained with the image of DBZ and Goku; you want a move that’s so synonymous with who YOU are that making a move is equivalent to screaming out out “I Am Here!” to the world, and that’s a really neat thing.

Some of the students are able to gradually come up with new cool uses of their abilities, like Bakugo’s AP Shot, Mina’s Acid Nozzle, Tokoyami’s Shadow Stand, and Mineta’s…Sword of Grapes (which honestly just looks suspiciously inappropriate in it’s design, and was super intentional). But we’re shown two major conflicts in the form of both Deku and All Might’s recent developments.

All Might has to deal with the fact that he’s officially a teacher first and foremost, not only to Deku but also to the other students of 1-A, as he does his best to offer critical advice without overstepping his boundaries and showing favoritism. He even got himself a copy of a  Teaching for Dummies. But you can definitely tell it is still rather difficult for him to adjust to his newfound role as a mentor while being completely retired as a superhero.

As for Deku, he’s trying to find a new way to both be a hero and stop imitating All Might, especially with news that if he overexerts his arms any more he’ll have permanent, irreversible damage. That problems leads him to rediscovering an old friend from the Sports Festival, Mei Hatsume. She’s at the center of this episode’s comedic levity, leading to some solid visual gags, expressions, and potentially even some romantic tension in the mix for Deku and Ochaco. She’s a mad scientist excited to use any and all available test subjects for her experimental “babies,” and she’s just an absolute riot every time she appears.

After spending some time with her, Deku has a breakthrough about how to both reinvent his own fighting style and his costume: Instead of trying to just be All Might, he decides that he should try being Sanji instead, by fighting with KICKS! While kind of silly, it’s actually a genuinely cool moment where he has to step in and save All Might from falling debris, revealing his a snazzy new costume in the process. Deku’s new SHOOT STYLE technique is a logical reinvention of his fighting style; it both makes sense and works within consideration of his weakened arms.

This episode features a lot of setup, but it’s still really neat to see the way these characters continue to evolve regularly as this show goes on. It’s pretty standard fare, but there’s some solid jokes and visual gags, plus interesting stuff about the importance of Ultimate Moves and how one goes about updating one’s costume. It’s a lot of worldbuilding, but very importantly, it’s good worldbuilding.

Episode 53:

We see the aftermath of Deku’s reveal, alongside quick reveals about Kaminari and Kirshima’s new costumes (and I especially like Kirishima’s new design) but they don’t have time to explain it as Class-B has to train now. They’ll take the exam while at a different location from others in the school, so that no group has to clash too much. Monoma, the ass face from the Class 1-B, is both happy and relieved by this.

Plus we also get some casual banter among the ladies of 1-A about their training, while they don some casual garb, with Momo’s hair down and Tsuyu’s froggy bun style, alongside some romantic conversation. Ochaco admits to spacing out a bunch while Mina is able to tell clearly that yeah, she’s got feelings for someone, and she floats away in embarrassment. Small thing: while we, the viewers, know it’s Izuku she’s into, I appreciate there’s enough plausible deniability here that the girls feel it could be either Izuku or Tenya, as the trio all hang out regularly together. That’s just a nice little detail that could have been easily overlooked.

As the day of the exam arrives, there’s several new characters to introduce; naturally, since this exam has about 1500 applicants from all over the place. [Editor’s Note: Oh my God, how long is this series gonna be? I thought I could catch up!]

First up: Inasa. An eccentric guy who jumps into the conversation, and SLAMS HIS HEAD IN APOLOGY from a super popular school in the West: Shiketsu, one that rivals UA in its elite hero program. He’s got a splitting headache, but he’s strong and impressive enough to have been considered to apply to UA via recommendations, much like Todoroki and Momo. Goofy and charismatic, but strong enough to have been considered for UA, he has potential to be interesting.

Next up: a pro-hero who serves as the bane of Aizawa’s existence. She enjoys messing around with him, constantly expecting a major reaction out of him and often asking to get married. She’s eccentric and goofy, while he’s stoic and tired, and they make a great comic duo. She herself is a teacher at another school, Ketsubutsu Academy with a class of second-years, with slightly more experience than 1-A.

Then there’s one of her students, Shindo, A friendly guy with a pretty face (who kind of looks like a Dark, Cooler version of Deku in a weird way). He tries to be friendly and spark a conversation, but Bakugo quickly catches on that he’s being disingenuous and doesn’t truly mean what he says.

This arc is big with a lot of moving parts and new characters, and some weird exam rules. There’s a lot to digest, and the first round of the exam is revealed to be even crazier than you might have thought.

Everyone gets 3 mini-targets, and 6 rubber balls to hit the targets. Once all three targets on the body are hit, you’re out. Students need to knock out a minimum of two opponents to pass onto round 2. By the end of the exam, only 100 are expected to pass. The building opens up to reveal a major colosseum of obstacles, and everyone’s off to the races to embark on a time honored tradition (albeit one that Aizawa felt no need to mention to his students.)

At first it looks like things are going to play out a lot like the Sports Festival, but Aizawa knows his children: they’ve improved and can kick some major ass. As some students depart, Deku finds himself in a position of leadership to rally the class and take on the world as the episode ends. The two episodes have laid some important groundwork, but get ready for the real action to begin next week.

Connecting with My Hero Academia

[Hey guys, this is Andrew’s first post for Otakusphere. He’s a life-long anime fan with eclectic tastes who’s going to be covering My Hero Academia for us. Before getting caught up in episodic posts, we wanted to take a moment to let Andrew talk about what first drew him to the series.]

“Young Man, you too can be a hero.”

A phrase so simple, yet so powerful. Both in the context of the scene  itself, and what it’s come to mean to fans of the show. This was the moment that I felt this was going to be something very, very special.

But let’s start from the top.

My Hero Academia premiered in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine about 4 years ago, the magazine home to such monster hits as Naruto, One Piece, Dragonball, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and many more. Written by Kohei Horikoshi, MHA tells the story of a world where 80% of the world have superhuman powers called Quirks and Superheroes have become a regular profession; they have about the same level of authority as civil servants, like firefighters or police officers.

Izuku Midoriya is one of those 20% born without a quirk, despite his dream to be a hero all his own, much like his idol, All Might: a symbol of peace and one who represents the very best and brightest of heroism. One day, the two have a chance encounter that changes his life.

That’s the initial premise, and after some gradual buildup it becomes a Battle Shonen school setting with all of the friendships, rivalries, tournaments, awesome fights and major conflicts that are typical of the genre. But to say that MHA uses bog-standard genre trappings feels dishonest, in a way; the implication is that the show is uninspired because of the use of those tropes, or perhaps uses them poorly. I feel the opposite: To me, this is the show that reminded me what good shonen anime is truly capable of, and why so many classic series worked so well in the first place. It’s not the awesome action scenes that made the show resonate with me; it’s the show’s emotional core, which is always front and center.

Izuku Midoriya, given the nickname Deku, is effectively judged at a young age to be worthless, broken, and strange. He has no power or ability, therefore he’s seen as an outcast. His struggle to reach his dreams, despite not having powers, feels real, painful, and inspiring, all at once. The powerful All Might seems like the opposite of Deku, but he’s revealed to be much weaker than he lets on; His muscular form can only be sustained for so long, and he reverts to a skeletal stick figure of a man when not saving others.

All Might at first writes off Izuku as someone who has no chance at being a hero without a superpower.  However, during a major fight with a kidnapped student from Deku’s school, All Might cannot sustain his muscle form long enough to help. Everyone is helpless and has no clue what to do, until little Izuku– the powerless, quirkless little boy– rushes into the fray, to save a kid who has bullied him for years. He selflessly rushes in, when those with powers around him are unable or unwilling to rush to his aid, prompting All Might to act.

Which leads to the scene we started with: All Might commends Deku, even if no one else will, because while what Deku did was reckless(or even stupid), All Might saw something no one else did. He saw that Deku is the kind of person who is willing to rush in and react before he could think, all for the sole purpose of saving another. And in that moment, this kid…this kid, who had been told all his life that he could never reach his dream, that he could never do anything, that he was never going anywhere. Now someone he respected deeply had told him that he had the power to reach his dreams, and become a hero in a way that no one else could.

There’s so much I could write about when it comes to My Hero Academia, but that one moment spoke to my very core. I hadn’t felt that strongly about anything in a show for a long time, then this scene hit me in a way I didn’t think was possible. Izuku is sympathic to anyone who has ever felt loss, felt lesser, or looked down upon by society. No matter what your particular challenge is; be it a disability, mental illness, or a history of bullying– Izuku is someone you can see yourself in. And when All Might (so proud, noble, and respected) told him he could achieve his dreams?  It melted my heart. And I knew I was in love with My Hero Academia from the start.

Early on, the show endears you to the main character’s struggle. But even as the story goes on, you’re so engaged with him the whole way that it makes the entire journey, from zero to hero, so gratifying. All the battles, all the friendships, all the amazing moments he earns feel rewarding in a way that’s truly unusual. In a few episodes this show does to me what other series struggle to do for their entire runs.

There’s enough aspects of the world, characters, or the way the show tackles storytelling that could warrant their own article. [Editor’s note: I want that article. Get busy!] I am just here to say that I am a big MHA fan, caught up with the latest manga chapters, own all current English volumes of the manga and the collector’s editions for both Seasons 1 and 2 of the anime. Obviously, this is a series I’m greatly invested in, and I know that it has many more great stories to tell in the coming weeks. I hope you’ll join me.

My Hero Academia Simuldub Enters Two Week Delay

Sad news for those of us who are watching the simuldub of My Hero Academia on Funimation. Earlier this weekend it was revealed that the simuldub is undergoing a bit of a timing change.

While up to this point Funimation has been fantastic about releasing the new dubbed episodes the same day as the subbed episodes, this streak is now coming to an end.

According to the announcement, My Hero Academia will now be released on a two-week delay starting with episode 50. That means that the next episode of My Hero Academia won’t be hitting the website until July 7 with future episodes being posted weekly after that. Womp womp.

This is understandable, but still a kick to the gut for those of us who have been watching this series week to week on Funimation. I’d like to say that hopefully, Funimation will be able to get back on track for same-day release, but that doesn’t appear to be happening at any point in the near future. I guess the rest of us will just have to tiptoe through the wilds of the internet to avoid spoilers from here on out. How sad for us.

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Movie Reveals New Trailer

I’m not going to do it. You can’t make me and if you think that looking at me like that is going to change my mind, you’ve got another thing coming.

…..

Fine. PLUS ULTRA!

That’s right, a new trailer for the upcoming My Hero Academia: Two Heroes movie hit the internet yesterday and it is a glorious 92 seconds of everything we love about this show.

The trailer is more than just a 92-second sizzle reel though, as it also reveals a new cast member: Rikiya Koyama playing the villain, Wolfram. If you’re listening not-so-closely, you’ll also hear the movie’s theme song Long Hope Philia by Masaki Suda kick in at about the minute mark.

Is your appetite sufficiently whetted? Good, because there isn’t much time left before this movie premieres around the world. It gets its world premiere at Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 5th before hitting the big screen in Japan on August 3rd.

Funimation holds the license to this series and describes this movie as:

The climactic finals are over, and U.A. is getting ready for the summer training camp. Deku and All Might receive an invitation from a certain person to go overseas to a giant artificial moving city called I-Island. This island, a kind of “science Hollywood” that gathers the knowledge of scientists from around the world, is holding an exhibition called I-Expo showcasing the results of Quirk and hero item research. In the midst of all this, Deku meets a Quirkless girl named Melissa and remembers his own Quirkless past. Out of the blue, the impregnable security system the island boasts is hacked by villains, and all the people on the island are taken as hostages! Now, a plan that could shake hero society has been put into motion! The man who holds the key to it all is the number one hero and Symbol of Peace, All Might.

Via Gigazine