It occurs to me that I have no sense of seasonal orientation when it comes to this season of My Hero Academia. Other series seem to be ending so the season must be close to an end, yet I still feel like we’re in the opening episodes. That can be either a good or a bad thing. Still, to me, it’s like season 4 of My Hero Academia is still in its opening arc. Crow, do you get what I mean?
It’s funny you ask — I was just wondering about that today. For the other shows I’m reviewing, I’m preparing to close out the season and write the episode guides. For this one? It’s like it’s beyond mere seasons… Which, of course, is a hopelessly hyperbolic thing to day. Oh, I’m bold this week, there will be spoilers, and such…
And no shock — but you were right. Horribly, horribly right. Unless you think we should put this sentence later, since it’s pretty momentous and it might be better for later…
Ok, I said it could be a good or a bad thing…for me, it’s usually a good thing. Opening arcs and intros are often my favourite part of the story. I was that weird kid that really loved the Harry Potter series before he even learned of the existence of Hogwarts. I loved it after as well, but those early Dursley days have a special place in my heart.
assume a season’s worth of buildup could be frustrating for some viewers but I’m eating it up…
I think it’s the potential. Before the story gets underway, anything could happen. Once it chooses a route and gets moving, though, each plot point eliminates one or more possibilities. The closer to the end, the fewer possibilities. At least, that’s how it is for me.
I was planning to make this point in my closing paragraph. Crow, I’m sorry. It’s a good thing you’re here to keep some order!
Not sure I’m helping in that regard this week! Or if indeed I’m the one keeping order in general!
Oh guys, Crow is here and awesome as always. He’s also bold like our heroes. And we’re probably going to spoil episode 74 of My Hero Academia so if you haven’t seen it yet and want to go in blind, please go watch it now. Ok, one spoiler, it’s a great episode…
Are you sure you should have let that slip so soon? Just kidding.
The narrative framework of this week’s episode was pretty simple in fact. A brief opening tag reestablishes the context of the cooperation between the league of villains and the yakuza, then quickly moves on to the doublecross, allowing EraserHead, Nighteye and Deku to take out Irinaka fairly easily. Then the focus switches to Mirio/Lemillion who has to fight a number of yakuza solo in order to save Eri. In the process, we get a few brief flashbacks establishing both Chiaki and Mirio’s respective backgrounds and motivations rather effectively and showing how they are funhouse mirror images of each other.
That’s all really. Yet that’s not even scratching the surface.
I mentioned this before but Overhaul’s voice actor is doing some tremendous work this season. I thought so yet again in the opening scenes of this episode as we see him talking with Twice and Toga. He sort of chews his words and talks from the back of his throat for a uniquely menacing effect.
So much of the delivery in MHA is theatrically earnest and straight forward for obvious reasons, it’s part of the show’s identity after all, even in the villains, so the contrast is almost enerving. And really successful in my opinion.
I think the voice actors did a great job in general this week, but I gotta agree that Overhaul’s voice actor, Kenjirou Tsuda, did a fantastic job this week.
I was curious about both Twice and Toga being able to easily resist confession when asked about Shigaraki planning a double-cross. I’m not sure if they got off on a technicality. As in Shigaraki never used the word “betrayal” or something like that, if they have some type of ace in the hole against this quirk, or if their singular devotion to the league has made them immune.
I had the impression that Shigaraki never told them to betray or doublecross Overhaul. Shigaraki just said he trusted them. I took that to mean in the literal sense, which is why they’re so loyal to him. I also took it in the more broad sense that he trusted them to be themselves, and let’s face it: being themselves meant getting revenge for Magane.
Considering how insubordinate they both tend to be, and how loose an organization the League of Villains is in general, the latter seems unlikely. Then again, they both got immediately angry when their fallen friend was misgendered by Chiaki. And not a cartoonishly exaggerated rage either. A genuine show of pain and solidarity and protection for Magne. It was a small human moment that reminded us that what holds the league together is something that may ultimately prove much more terrifying than simple greed, vengeance or ambition.
Um yeah, so that was the first few minutes… Let’s move this on.
I was a little disappointed that we really didn’t get a chance to see Eraser Head in action at all, or how he works with Deku. All of Deku’s Big Hero Moments in the series so far have been solo. I was looking forward to seeing how well he plays with others. It would be a pretty big subversion of his archetype if it turns out that Deku can’t share the spotlight. I might be here for that!
But the real meat of the episode was of course Mirio. I really like Mirio as a name by the way.
I didn’t know how to feel about an episode dedicated to Mirio. I mean, he’s sort of redundant with Deku so why not just give us some Deku character building. Our series’ protagonist has been largely absent all season, that’s a little weird.
I keep wondering if that’s the point — that Deku’s One for All is expressed very differently from All Might’s was, or Mirio’s might have been. That might be a bit too meta for this series, but maybe not.
So first off, Mirio gets to square off against Shin Nemoto, the creepy old timey doctor guy who can make people tell him the truth when he asks a question, (By the way, plague doctor designs seem to be in this season…) as well as Deidoro Sakaki, who has contagious drunkness.
You know, as soon as we saw his Quirk, I immediately wondered if he was a fan of your site. Or whatever form your site is in that world.
You would think drunk guy’s quirk would be right up my alley but I must say, he’s my least favourite so far. He basically makes you skip the fun part of drunk (i.e. pleasantly buzzed, when you and everyone around you are both beautiful and fascinating. The point where you should absolutely switch to water and make sure you are not even getting near car keys for a good long while) and plants you right in the bad part, you should never drink again, drunk. I have to imagine, this must be one of the most unpleasant quirks to be a victim of, especially in a tense and dangerous situation.
I thought that confession was a pretty great quirk, to begin with, as we saw it used early on, for its information gathering purposes. But I hadn’t considered that it could be used as a mind break. To force someone to confront a truth they’d rather ignore. That was brilliant! And it probably would have been devastating on anyone else. I think it could have easily stopped Deku for instance. But Mirio isn’t Deku…
So Mirio managed to get past the first two and unexpectedly catch up to Chiaki and Hari Kurono, his henchman, as they were taking little Eri away.
Ok, let me try to organize my thoughts here. This was a pretty epic fight and a lot of things happened. For one, Chiaki insisted that he had no children, therefore Eri isn’t his daughter. Which made sense to me as I really couldn’t imagine Chiaki in a romantic relationship. But then why would Nighteye assume this? Is Overhaul just playing mind games? I was thinking about this for embarrassingly long before I realized…of course, Chiaki isn’t Eri’s dad. Regardless of any genetic context, that’s just not what a dad is… duh… I’m slow sometimes…
In your defense, there are a ton of bad dads out there! I don’t know of any who would subject their daughters to the kind of experimentation Eri had endured, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility!
To me, this entire fight showed us two men who could have been friends. Who in some ways, were very much alike. Both are very skilled physical fighters who obviously dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to training because they felt they had to. Both are smart strategists, able to adapt their quirk to the situation and use it while considering both the context of the fight and the surroundings. And both understand that winning doesn’t come down to destroying the opponent as fast as possible.
Did you notice how Mirio, Overhaul, and Kurono all mentioned, at least in passing, how much time the other must have put into their training? I think that supports the point you’re making. So much so that I wonder what else they’re going to do with that idea.
Beyond that though, I sort of think that they would have gotten along if they grew up together. Chiaki is obviously someone who is filled with gratitude and actually fairly selfless. An idealist, His motivations have nothing to do with personal gain and his position of leadership is uncomfortable as he is awkward and clumsy with expressing emotions. Not completely unlike Tamaki… or Deku. But he’s also dedicated and willing to work tirelessly for a cause he believes in. Sound familiar?
On the other hand, Mirio is, well, a product of failure. Having had the privilege of being surrounded by love and support, Mirio doesn’t take any of it for granted. When something was twice as hard for him to do, he simply worked twice as much. He considers his challenges blessings and his setbacks accomplishments. He cannot be broken by facing his flaws because he never thought of himself as perfect and that was never even the point in his mind. It’s not about being worthy, it’s not about him, he doesn’t want to be a symbol. It’s about helping others whatever way you can.
In the end, Mirio’s power had absolutely nothing to do with his quirk.
I thought that was a beautiful thing when Shin asked, “What is he?!” about Mirio. Even Quirkless, he didn’t lose his close quarter combat skills. They were never part of his Quirk.
Speaking of losing his Quirk, shouldn’t we mention that happened? Nemoto caught up with Mirio, even though Lemillion thought he’d knocked the villain out. Overhaul threw Nemoto a single Quirk-stealing bullet. Nemoto, though, had seen how fine-grained Mirio’s control was. He had no idea where to shoot him so the bullet wouldn’t just pass through.
Did you see what he did?
He deliberately aimed straight at Eri. And fired.
Was it just me, or for an instant, did you also think that Eri might herself be happier without her Quirk? But of course, Mirio, being who he was, could only make one decision and stay true to himself. He put himself between her and Nemoto, and he took the bullet. And lost his Quirk.
I have to say, it’s something that to me, My Hero Academia’s heroes are always at their most impressive when they are at their “weakest”. And those quotes are very important! Mirio is nothing like Deku. He needed his own episode. And sadly, I think he needed to be limited in this way. Because Mirio’s heroism was plot destroying.
My Hero Academia is the story of how Deku became the world’s greatest hero, and that simply can’t happen as long as Lemillion is around. He is the better hero. He is the better symbol in a way because he doesn’t want to be. It’s a tour de force that really enhances Deku’s underdog status if a fangirl like me is willing to admit this. And that’s a brilliant bit of story building right there.
With all this said, I can’t lie, my heart jumped for joy when Deku burst through that wall after the credits. I simply cannot wait for the next episode.
I haven’t felt that kind of relief for a long time. I startled my poor cat when Deku burst through the wall — and it didn’t help that he wasn’t alone. Goodness knows they’re going to need all the help they can get!