Welcome to this week’s My Hero Academia recap as we look at the final episode of the current School Festival/Gentle Criminal arc. This one proved to be another emotional hard-hitter, with some super positive messages that hit hard and beautifully especially in the current climate we’re living in. Prepare from tears of joy and some great music as we take a look!
1. An honorable man
The episode starts off with the fallout from Izuku and Gentle’s battle last episode, and it’s a doozy. Hound Dog is going off his rocker because he doesn’t understand why Gentle allegedly ‘tripped and fell’ within the UA school grounds, to which we see Izuku make his way back. There’s a neat unspoken understanding in this moment, where we see Izuku reflect on his battle with Gentle and contemplate the man that he is. This leads to Izuku modifying the story of what happened in order for Gentle and Manami to be given a lesser punishment, and it’s really touching to see.
After the two are taken away, we see Izuku reflect on how Gentle is almost a precautionary tale. If Izuku ever strayed down the wrong path, he could very well end up at the same place. This seemed like a little bit of a stretch to me, especially since Izuku is doing the complete opposite and doing pretty dang well in all his UA classes.
2. You’re very very late!
Once all this is over, Ectoplasm volunteers to escort Izuku to find his shopping again and take him back to UA. Such a good dude with an incredibly intimidating costume! The montage that takes place is incredibly cute, especially when Izuku shakes hands with the owner of the tea store (how did they know kind old people are my weakness??). We also get Izuku stumbling upon Manami’s video camera, which is a quiet and touching moment, and interesting considering that Ectoplasm is also watching on with no context.
Everyone back at the school is worried about Izuku because he seems to be pushing it incredibly close to time, with even the innocent Eri wondering if he will show up or not. He arrives at the entrance to be greeted by Yuga, thankfully, and the episode that developed their friendship in the past makes this moment feel legitimate. I kind of love the two of them together!
3. Freed from ghosts
Eri is worried because she can’t see Izuku anywhere on the stage, but the lights go out, and we see her face light up as the show presents a beautifully animated musical number from the class of UA. Now, guys, you know I’ve been emotionally susceptible to MHA’s antics in the past and, let me tell you, this scene had me openly sobbing on my train to work as I watched it. The song is called Hero Too, and the way that Kyoka is animated in delivering the singing is really infectiously exciting! The close-ups make it clear that this is an incredibly validating moment for her, especially as we see momentary flashbacks to her parents encouraging her to be whatever she wants, even though she claimed she wanted to be a hero over a musician.
The really key moment that hit me, though? In the second half of the performance, we see Eri riding on Lemillion’s shoulder, openly smiling and enjoying the show. We get a neat bit of animation that shows a shadow being dispelled around her, the metaphorical shadow of Overhaul’s influence, and she is happy to be smiling. Instant. Tears.
4. A well-deserved break
After this, we get to see the obviously-lesser-but-still-great contributions that the rest of the school has to the festival. The play that was put on from 1-B, “Romeo and Juliet and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Return of the King”, is a great little moment of parody that has fun name drops and pop-culture mish-mashes. We see Izuku after the show also being reprimanded by Hound Dog for everything that happened pre-festival, before he’s told to just have fun, to which we see Hound Dog then move onto All Might, getting so heated up he loses the capacity to form sentences!
The rest of the festival is good, with a bunch of the students congratulating 1-A on ‘passing the test’ and delivering a performance that would rouse the spirits of the rest of the school Bakugo does a great little smirk at this moment, knowing that he would win the festival all along, and it’s so in character it hurts. We also get a super cute moment between Izuku and Eri as she relates her concert experience to Izuku, who’s just glad she was able to break free from her depression, and as viewers, so are we!
5. Partners in crime
The epilogue to this whole story arc comes at the end of the episode, where we see Gentle and Manami being interviewed and interrogated by some delightfully interesting folks at the police station. There’s an interesting character moment, especially in Manami’s interview. Due to the way that the arrest was set up by Gentle and Izuku, she’s being dealt with a lot more lightly than Gentle, with the interrogator saying that they can use her advanced computer skills for good. Due to her overwhelming devotion to Gentle, however, she refuses and continues to say she only wants to help Gentle. It’s sad but considering all the events that happened to her before meeting Gentle, it’s more than understandable.
The scene with Gentle isn’t quite as hard-hitting but does make a good point of saying how he was arrested before doing anything serious, he has the chance to redeem himself and turn his life back on track, to which Gentle can’t help but cry. It’s a touching moment to end the series on, with a light-hearted joke about tea after everything to keep us in good spirits.
That’s it for this week’s recap! Were you hit as hard by Eri’s transformation? Did you love Gentle and Manami as much as I did? Feel free to comment!