My Hero Academia s4 ep68 – I Want to Be Strong

Laughing Rini

I’ve never spoken about this before but did you guys know that Crow is the one that adds in all the links in these posts? Even when I’m the one hosting, Crow just goes through my paragraphs and adds all the relevant links without ever being asked and without ever even mentioning anything. He just sort of naturally does it. To help me out and give you all a better experience. Some people are like that. They gravitate towards helping whenever they can in any way they can. If the rest of us are lucky enough, we can meet someone like that. There’s a name for it…

Thank you Crow, I do appreciate these little things. I’m sorry it took me so long to say something.

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You’re most welcome! I don’t even notice I’m doing it anymore; it’s kinda automatic. In the back of my mind, I worried that I was taking liberties with your text, which wasn’t at all what I intended to do! Glad it came across in the right spirit!

Oh, I’m bold, there will be spoilers, etc…

 

I’m writing this before Crow reads it but I bet he’s gonna hem and haw and play it down. Of course he is. He isn’t the sort to hoard credit. And he’ll find some excuse to blow it off, like say that I must be in a particularly good mood. And maybe I am, ‘cause this was a fantastic episode! Doesn’t change that I really appreciate what Crow does.

So, do I send the small, unmarked bills to the same address as usual? You were even more kind than usual, so I feel like I should include a bonus or something…

 

 

One thing I appreciate is when a series has some reverence for its own lore and history. This is why I love subtle throwbacks. Like the opening scene of this episode which recalled the first moments of the series. Just that already had me in a happy place. But when I saw that Froppy and Uraraka were in fact fighting and holding their own, well I just cheered.

It was fantastic to see the ladies front and center like that. And kicking behind at it! The scene was a short opening tag but it gave me all I needed. The action was fluid and fun to watch. The girls were efficient, powerful and worked very well together. And their mentor, Ryuko, who was on screen for less than a minute, somehow manage to come off as one of the best hero mentors in the series. She gave encouragement and tangible practical advice that was easy to follow and understand. Plus she let the students do the actual work but made sure everything was under control. I am impressed by this agency! One of the best pro heroes, possibly aside from Eraserhead, I’ve seen so far!

It was great to see Froppy and Uraraka again! Froppy was her usual cool, efficient self, and even though she was nervous, Urakaka showed how far she’s come in her training too. 

I’d read some Tweets where fans were talking about Ryuko, and I tried not to pay attention because I didn’t want any spoilers. I came away with a vague idea that we should expect great things from her. Based on everything you noticed about how she handled herself and the students that were her responsibility, I think I see signs of greatness.

Or tragedy. They could be setting up a non-core cast member who we grow to love. Just before her final encounter with Overhaul. Seriously, the more I see of that guy, the more worried I become on behalf of our heroes…

That was a lot of text about the little scene before the opening credits. This episode wasn’t about the girls. And normally I might think that’s too bad. The fact that I don’t should clue you in on how this post is about to go.

If you remember, 3 1-A students had been contacted by members of the Big Three. Tsuyu and Uraraka by Neijire (who seems delightful) and Kirishima was contacted by the usually reserved Tamaki. It seemed odd from the start for someone so introverted as to feel the need to constantly hide his face to reach out to someone, and someone as loud and boisterous as Kirishima at that. Only it wasn’t, because as it turns out, Tamaki is smarter than me… But we’ll get back to that.

Tamaki is currently under the tutelage of pro hero and Totoro lookalike, Fat Gum, and he has enlisted Kirishima to join the agency. And what a time to be a professional hero! Behind the scenes Overhaul and Shigaraki seem about ready to strike a deal.

 

Watching these two together was chilling, but what struck me most was just how calm Shigaraki was. I thought the loss of All for One would have broken him, but it doesn’t even seem to have phased him. In fact he sounded more confident and mature than ever before. I have a feeling that’s a very bad thing…

I think his earlier encounter with Overhaul affected him quite a lot. I got the sense he actually felt responsible for the survivors like Himiko and Mr. Compress. Instead of hurling himself in a despairing fury, he’s regrouped and has begun to exert some self control. As you said, that’s a very bad thing!

In order to secure his place in this wild new world and protect his assets (I have a feeling this guy doesn’t really have allies), Overhaul has devised a plan which would let people considerably boost the power of their own quirks for a short period and also render other incapable of using their quirks for some time. Both through the use of drugs. A devious plan indeed. Super strengthened villains against powerless heroes. I guess we’re about to find out if the quirk makes the man.

Or woman!

But at least the heroes know about this plan now. Now that Fat Gum, Kirishima and Tamaki have been confronted by it. In their first actual chance to work as a trio, our heroes easily catch a group of villains trying to escape after a robbery. Well Fat catches most of them and Tamaki takes care of the one that manages to get through. It’s a very smooth operation, both heroes are obviously quite skilled.

Everything should have ended there. Bright headlines the next day and Kirishima feeling a little bummed he didn’t get to do anything. That was all it should have been really. It was dumb stupid lack of luck that made it so that one of Overhaul’s minions, some guy so far down the line that Overhaul’s probably never even herad of him, happened to be in the crowd of onlookers. Just some guy frustrated by his lack of power, bitter at the display of skill right in front of him, and possessing the one thing that could destroy that power, at least for now. A gun capable of shooting drug capsules. And one manages to hit Tamaki straight on. Of course there are two more Heroes there and Kirishima immediately jumps in to avoid Tamaki getting hit again. Kirishima’s hardening skills makes him ideal as a human shield and the second capsule bounces off him without having the chance to inject anything. This is when I started realizing Tamaki was smarter than me. Kirishima really is a hero, wouldn’t you say?

 

Yeah, and we see that in all its awesome glory in a few moments. He moved almost like Izuku, before he even received his Quirk, had moved to protect Bakugou. It’s not something he did to look good. It’s something he did simply because of who he is.

At this point the situation isn’t quite clear. The first batch of villains have been handed off to the police. The gunman has run off and Kirishima took to the chase. Tamaki seems unhurt so Fat is about to follow the other two but suddenly it becomes apparent that the boy can’t summon his quirk. It just won’t work.

I’ll give it to Tamaki, he was upset, of course, but he really reacted calmly all things considered. I must say, I like Tamaki a lot. The cast needed an Eeyore to even it out!

Not only that, but did you notice that Fat Gum listened to him instead of continuing to speed off? I’m really glad we got to meet both Fat Gum and Ryuko this episode. They seem like the middle class of heroes — people trying to live up to their calling and pass on their wisdom to the young ‘uns. Just good folk!

It will be nice to have someone like Tamaki to balance the relentless (and sometimes exhausting!) positivity from Izuku and even Mirio and Neijire (or maybe especially those last two!). 

The focus changes to Kirishima and this minor villain. He’s just some guy with a weak quirk who saw his team of villains get taken down without being able to do anything. He’s a bad guy, for sure. He’s also just a guy who wants to help his friends and needs to get stronger to do so but doesn’t know how. His fears, and frustration perfectly echo those of every UA student. And Kirishima is a big softie, so his sympathies get immediately engaged.

But there’s a job to do and a confrontation to win, and villains don’t play fair — what would be the point? When Kirishima obviously has the upper hand, the other guy (I should really look up his name I couldn’t find it; even in the Fandom Wiki, the closest think I could find was a page about Trigger, the drug) decides to play his trump card and injects himself with something that immediately makes him way stronger.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Utena, Crow, but seeing that guy with all the blades through him really reminded me of the symbolic imagery in that show.

It was impressive. Even more impressive with that it cut into Kirishima! I admired how calm he remained, even as the blades were cutting into him. His calm under pressure it going to serve him well!

 

So this is it. Big decision time. The proper thing for a student hero with no real practical experience would be to fall back and get reinforcements. That sounds reasonable. But there are bystanders around and this guy doesn’t look like he’s about to go peacefully anywhere…

I always liked Kirishima. I like nice guys and he was a bright smiley good natured type. I figured that’s why I liked him. Also I like redheads. That wasn’t it, though. I was a bit slow to pick up on it but, Tamaki knew all along. There are a few general types of heroes in My Hero Academia. The cool and reasoned ones like Eraserhead and Tamaki, the efficient result oriented, slightly power hungry ones like Endeavor and Bakugo, the practical ones like Uraraka and Froppy; and then there are the optimistic idealist dorks like Mirio, All-Might, Deku and… Kirishima.

This kid is a hero to the core and it’s completely unrelated to his ego or circumstances. He’s just an uncomplicated straightforward good guy. The type I scold for their lack of foresight and roll my eyes at their single mindedness; and hold in my heart relieved that there are still heroes out there. Determinators are not a particularly interesting character archetype but I don’t hate them. Not at all. I always liked Kirishima, this little sequence, made me admire him.

He not only stayed put to actively protect the bystanders. He tailored his attack to attract the villain’s blades! Sure, he had just powered up and was reasonably sure the blades couldn’t skewer him, but only for another 30 or 40 seconds. And he had no way to know for sure that his strength was enough. Yes, he was so dedicated to protecting everyone he just did it. 

Did you notice the minor flashback we got? The one where he drew inspiration to charge “forward like a horse?” To me, it was the most astonishing thing I saw in this episode, and it ranks right up there in the whole series.

It was Bakugou! He actually inspired someone! I was absolutely astounded.

You what? The very few instances of Bakugo we’ve seen have been mostly positive. His presence also seems to have calmed down Deku  and spur on Todoroki. I wonder if the writers are trying to make a tiny character rehabilitation.

Kirishima manages to hold his own but it takes pretty much everything he’s got. At the very end, Fat manages to catch up and cut off the bad guy’s escape. It was an exhausting fight but a very enlightening one. Not only did Kirishima get a chance to figure out what type of hero he wants to be, but it also got everyone a little closer to figuring out the villain’s plan. But is it already too late?

The first step to thwarting a trap is to be aware of the trap… I think I learned that in Dune.

 

During those last moments of the evening, Kirishima and Tamaki get to chat a bit. Tamaki clearly tells Kirishima how much he reminds him of Mirio. I don’t think Kirishima caught on though. It’s a nice compliment for sure, but coming from Tamaki it takes on a whole new meaning. Tamaki idolizes Mirio and considers him an example of what a hero should be. He didn’t randomly pick some loud first year to help with their internship, he chose someone who he thought worthy. And he is saying as much. Even if Kiri might not understand it just yet. I hope these two can partner up for a while. They make a good odd couple.

They’ve certainly learned that they can rely on each other. There’s nothing like a dangerous fight to learn someone’s character!

This whole quirk nullifying storyline has a lot of very personal implications for Deku. On the one hand he is potential the most experienced and best placed person to fight without a quirk, having grown up quirkless. On the other, gaining One for All is possibly the most important defining moment in his life, and losing it again might break the boy. Either way, it would make sense that having his quirk locked up would hit Deku drastically differently than anyone else. Man! I can’t wait to find out which way he goes!

I’m betting this is how it’d go: His emotional devastation would almost overwhelm him, even as his tactical mind was working out alternate solutions. Plus, there’s that burning desire in his very soul to be a hero. He charged that blob that was attacking Bakugou, after all! He’d end up being less effective but really well organized — while being depressed about it.

I know I was subtle about it but this was my favorite episode so far. I am pumped! What did you think Crow?

I thought it would be hard to beat the exhiliation I felt during Izuku and Mario’s confrontation with Eri and Overhaul, but you know what? Kirishima’s fight was vintage My Hero Academia. Not only that, but seeing some of my other favorite characters back in action was a joy. Outstanding episode over all.

I’m also dying to see what Ryuko’s power is! 

My Hero Academia ep68-7 (4)

me too

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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4 Responses

  1. Redgeek says:

    One of the best episodes of the season. Makes me happy to see certain other future scenes animated.

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