On this week’s Big Hero 6: The Series, Hiro wanted to go to a lecture on campus by robotics pioneer Trevor Trengrove (Andy Daly), but it turned out only those over the age of 16 were allowed to attend, so Prof. Granville asked him to help children’s educator Wendy Wower (Riki Lindhome). This is being a superhero show, this episode is also bookended by a couple of battles with an enormous samurai robot as well.
1. King Yama
Said oversized samurai robot is the latest scheme from Hiro’s oldest enemy, Yama, who blackmails Trevor into repairing him, and who places the age limit on the lecture to stop Hiro from being alerted to what’s going on. Like Fred says, it’s surprising Big Hero 6 haven’t faced off against a huge robot yet, given the storied legacy of mecha in Japanese animation, but it could’ve been more exciting. Trevor recruits Wasabi, Go Go and Honey Lemon into showing off their engineering work, and he incorporates Wasabi’s energy weapon into Yama’s robot, but not something fun like Honey Lemon’s gum.
The robot’s appearance is similarly uninspired, an attempt to capture the general samurai influence on mecha design that comes across as Lugnut from Transformers Animated in cosplay, and he’s not even given a personality: it could’ve been really fun if he had an overly polite voice like Baymax. Basically, it’s like the perfunctory fight scenes written into every issue of a superhero comic, which then come across as really boring when read together in paperback.
2. Gilderoy Lockhart
This was a pretty plodding episode for me, as I sussed out very early on, when Hiro learned Trevor and Wendy went to school together, that he only became famous by taking all the credit, and that’s how Yama was blackmailing him. It does bring to mind Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but let’s be real, every cartoon has an episode where the protagonist discovers someone they idolize is a fraud. It’s an important message to tell kids, “never meet your heroes,” but after the reveal the episode handwaves it, implying Wendy forgave Trevor. The writers presumably wanted to avoid dwelling too much on such a familiar message, which is a shame, as I think more could’ve been made of why Wendy let Trevor take the credit, or that she allowed herself to be dismissed as “just” a science educator.
3. Classroom Voices
I’m quite fond of Riki Lindhome, and it was pretty fascinating hearing her play quite a sincere character. Given she typically portrays rather bitter or deranged characters, I was half-expecting Wendy to go nuts on learning Trevor was around, but that wasn’t the case, and Lindhome continued to give off a real Mr. Rogers vibe throughout the whole episode. I’m very grateful we got to hear her sing with a ukulele in the episode too.
Veteran voice actress Kari Wahlgren also guest-starred this week, pulling double duty as Brooke, a little blonde girl who doesn’t realize she’s become Fred’s rival for Wendy’s affections, and “Weird Little Boy.” Weird Little Boy, who dresses like a punk and has a million goggles, has a delightfully random and creepy commentary over the episode: I imagine the writers just gathered together every off putting question they’ve ever received from a kid and put it in this episode. I really hope he shows up again.
4. Love is in the air?
There’s a brief moment where Hiro expresses sympathy for Karmi after she’s kicked out of Trevor’s lecture, and the two briefly realize they have a connection which is strong enough for both of them to turn away in revulsion. Given how antagonistic Karmi has been since her first appearance, it’s surprising that the notion she may be Hiro’s love interest is still on the table. It’s odd then, that she still can’t recognize him behind his superhero helmet.
5. The Big Reveal
So the episode ends with the shocking revelation that Granville taught Wendy and Trevor at SFIT twenty years ago, and that’s she’s not a new member of the staff, as Hiro believed. That’s not really important, given I don’t know any of my teachers’ professional history, but it’s apparent she’s hiding something, as Hiro discovers the following picture in a student yearbook:Continued below
Why, if it isn’t our big bad Obake. And believe it or not, that’s the first time Hiro has seen his current archfoe. How exciting.
– Well it took us almost half the season, but we finally got to see Baymax as a balloon.
– I leave you all with Fred kissing Herman, the goop he made in class: