It’s the start of a new arc! After the neat two-episode story we received as a palette cleanser, My Hero Academia launches back into it’s the larger world and character development it does so well. We get some fun Class 1-A antics, catch up with Eri, and are even introduced to a surprisingly different villain than the like we’re used to. Let’s jump in!
1. A festival for everyone
We start off with a neat refresher of who’s who in UA’s favorite superhero class. Eraser Head is back on his old bullshit as he directs the class all snuggled up in a sleeping bag, which is the aspect of him that I love. From there, the show touches on most of the character’s key personality traits without dwelling too long on any for too long. We get stuff like Iida loudly but nervously assuming the leadership role and the usual pervy business from Minoru, but we also get a bit of character development in people like Kirishima, who is much more aware of the threat of villains considering his role in the last arc.
Whoever you’re here for, it’s nice to touch back in with all these equally interesting characters, and I appreciate that the show can take the time out to do this without getting so bogged down in it that it slows down the plot. Lightning-fast manga pacing, you guys!
2. A wellspring of ideas
Kirishima sensibly asking if having another festival will attract the attention of too many villains is a great example of the show addressing the ramifications of past events. Eraser Head reminds Kirishima that of course, it’s not only heroes that attend UA, but all the support groups and academics and that the festival is for them. Yay inclusivity! Also, the school will make this an in-house event because the threat of villain invasion is still a real possibility! What this leads to, however, is 1-A scheming as to what they could contribute that would really give the rest of the school something to look forward to and enjoy.
Everyone pitches in an idea which, again, touches on each’s individual fancies and personality. Izuku, being the nerd that he is, suggests a hero quiz, whilst my boy Bakugo suggests having a deathmatch which only solidifies my love for him even more.
3. A momentous decision
As usual, one of my favorite things about this series is the focus that it gives to the massive supporting class of 1-A. It happened last week with Yuga, and it’s happening again this week with the class’ resident music buff, Kyoka Jiro. She gets a little spotlight earlier in the episode as Kaminari tries to tell everyone how impressive her music rig is in her room, only for her to get embarrassed and try to shut him up. Later, however, when the class decides that they want to put on a concert for the festival, we see people look to Kyoka for assistance for the event.
Subverting the expectations set up earlier, Kyoka seems to react to the enthusiasm of her classmates positively this time, deciding that “To not do it wouldn’t be rockin’ at all”. I love how casually cool she is, and I’m glad the show is giving her the chance to grow in character.
4. A long-awaited ray of hope
After this discussion, we see Izuku called by Eri to visit along with Togata, who we haven’t caught up with for a few episodes. Not being a show to brush over the detail, Eri addresses the fact that although she found out Togata’s hero name, she never found out Izuku’s even though he was primarily the hero that saved her from Overhaul. It’s a cute scene from Izuku as he tells her and introduces the idea of hero names to her. This is eerily undercut, however, when Eri tries to smile again by forcing the sides of her mouth open but to no avail. It’s an extreme trope, but given the treatment that the narrative showed us over the time we’ve seen her, it totally checks out.
Izuku realizes that Eri is the perfect candidate to go and see the festival then! Thankfully, her powers seem to have come under some aspect of control, and the teachers seem to be okay with her going too. The best part, however, is when Togata tells Eri he’ll take her as his date, before explaining what a date is. I practically melted.Continued below
5. A sweet, misguided old man
Since this is a show about superheroes, it can’t be without some element of conflict, so we soon get a scene shift. We see the police witness a video uploaded by someone who might just have the best villain entrance out of anyone in the series: the delightful, vaguely-aligned older man, Gentle Criminal. The video portrays Gentle Criminal as being filmed by an assumed assistant named La Brava as he holds up a convenience store and robs them. Pretty standard stuff, but the dialogue mixes old-timey chivalry with the casual speak of a Youtuber and I’m very here for it.
Gentle Criminal is interrupted by heroes, however, who he claims he can take on before more come to the scene for support. We see our enigmatic antagonist then tell La Brava to stop filming, only to have her start again later with all the heroes defeated. Gentle Criminal is walking away without even taking his cash, before later revealing he’s trying to build a reputation and spilling hot tea all over himself and La Brava. So great!
That’s it for this week! How did you feel about the fun re-introduction? Or the first on-screen appearance of Gentle Criminal? Sound away below!