It’s so weird to think many shows are ending right now. I feel like My Hero Academia just started. I say that in a good way! Oops I started off a post in the middle of a thought again. Sorry about that guys. I’m finishing up the last of my Christmas shopping and I’m on a present high!
Let’s try to start this off right. Crow how are you doing?
I’m doing well, thanks for asking. Just about done with my Christmas shopping, too. It’s a good feeling to get that done! I feel really lucky this year: both my wife and my son told me exactly what they want! That’s almost like a gift in an of itself!
Oh, I’m bold this week and there will likely be spoilers.
Remember when I said last week that I don’t hate the “fight of the week” character build up structure that My Hero Academia seemed to be adopting this season? It’s a bit old fashioned, but it’s stuck around for a reason. Well great news! We got another one of those episodes this week.
But before we jump into the meat of it, that seems like a pretty gross way to put it. Sorry about that, not sure where it came from…
I get surprised my strange muses all the time. I need to do better muse hygiene…
There were a few brief but to me poignant moments in the opening sequence.
In the actual precredit tag we got to see the aftermath of Tamaki’s fight, with the badly injured young man barely able to stand and still beating himself up for not doing better. Hero work takes a big toll on the characters in MHA and I like that the series doesn’t shy away from that. They’ve mostly shown it through scars. We saw Deku in bed earlier this season absolutely covered in them. But this brief scene with Tamaki collapsing to the ground all alone just got to me. It wasn’t glorious or victorious. Just exhausting and a little lonely. And that made it way more heroic to me.
It was an emotionally charged moment. There were no adoring crowds. No other heroes cheering him on. Even the villains nearby were unconscious. It was only Tamaki, urging himself to go on, to help his friends, as his body gave out. That’s a real hero.
The second moment, which was considerably less emotional but rather telling, was Eraserhead working out intel while running down the hallway. He really is a very good hero. No wonder he got targeted!
In order to avoid having Eraserhead get separated from the rest and keep him in the fight, Fat pushed him out of the way. He’s a hero like that. Turns out like mentor, like student. Not only did Tamaki step up last week, but Kirishima once again just dove in this week. I really liked Kirishima’s last episode, and despite the fact that it seemed a bit repetitive, I was more than ready to give him a second turn in the spotlight.
And boy was I right about it.
Turns out the trap was to pit whoever got hit against Rappa and Hekiji in a sealed room. These two villains are quite powerful and very good at working together, so it spells bad news for any hero trapped there. Even worse for Fat and Kiri since they are too similar to truly compliment each other in a fight. I like the parallel that Fat and Kiri essentially have the same power (to absorb damage) but one does it through hardness while the other does it through softness….
I thought it was cool how Hekiji compared his team to a spear and a shield, whereas Fat Gum and Kirishima were a shield and a shield. Also love how it played out toward the end of the fight. But I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves!
Not to mention that Kiri has come a long way, but he is still a kid and coming up against a villain that could truly kill him is a big blow. It’s actually terrifying. So much so, that he is paralyzed with fear.
And this is where the great stuff begins. In a flashback we see Kirishima’s own journey to becoming a hero. It really is very similar to Deku’s. Sure, Kiri had a quirk, but it wasn’t a great quirk, and for a long time he really hated it. And he also failed a lot. Insecurity and fear rooting him in place when he felt he should have acted. Lack of talent keeping him from accomplishing his goals. A normal boy with soft black hair who dreams of becoming a hero while fearing he’s not good enough. Keeping his dream alive through the admiration of his own hero – the Crimson Riot.
First, it’s adorable that Kiri picked his hero name as an homage to the man he admired most. It’s doubly adorable that he also colours and styles his hair as a tribute. Just saying.
Kirishima may be a bit of a crybaby and slightly scared. He might have a quirk that’s only good for one thing and not that flashy. But he really wants to help. That’s what it means to be a hero right?
What I found particularly heart-breaking is how Kirishma beat himself up for not acting — when literally seconds ago he had moved without conscious thought to save Eraser Head. He’s already a hero. His self-perception just hasn’t caught up yet.
As a side note, that interview with the Crimson Riot had one particularly cruel line. He said that he knew the pain of losing and being bound by fear but that he had seen something even more painful. The last expression of a dying man’s face as he stood there helpless… I’m paraphrasing. But still. MHA is getting, for lack of a better word, dark.
And like you said, it’s what makes the series so emotionally impactful. It can give you all the standard shōnen uplifting battle speeches, and then in the next moment, show a hero lamenting the death of someone he could have saved. That’s good stuff.
So as Fats is taking a huge beating after stepping in to protect the boy, it’s Kirishima’s turn to step up. Like I said, his quirk really is only good for one thing. All Kirishima can do is be a shield. And that’s all he needs to do. Because those precious few minutes are all it takes for Fat and Kiri to come together as a team and get the upper hand.
Also Fat looks very different without his costume…
He looked a lot like the emaciated All Might.
Did you like the plan Fat Gum had come up with? Use his own fat to store the kinetic energy from Rappa’s blows so he could unleash it in a single devastating attack? Very cool, too, how Kirishima launched his defense at the critical moment.
That was a surprisingly smart plan and a way for Fat to use his quirk that hadn’t occurred to me at all.
I’m not sure what the plan is after all of this is over, but Fat Gum better take his interns out for dinner or something. They really tried their best!
I guess some fans might have found this episode redundant. It certainly was naive and easy in its messaging. It’s basic audience manipulation… and it works on me every time. I stood there snivelling and grinning and once again being slightly frustrated I couldn’t watch the next episode right away!
I wonder: is it manipulation if we’re willing participants?
In the flash back, did you see how Mina Ashido approached conflict resolution? She taught all parties how to breakdance! That’s a novel way to do it! Also, it was great seeing her in action.
It was really great that they managed to develop Mina at the same time and they made her look like such a natural Hero. That was actually a great touch!
Any predictions for the next episode?
Hmmm, Deku and Eraser are going to catch up with Mirio so they can all move to rescue Eri?