This morning I watched two season finales. I watched the last episode of the currently airing Haikyuu and I was delighted to see a strong ending to what has been an overall very strong season of one of my favourite animes. Haikyuu To the Top has been exceptional so far. Why am I going on about this? Well, you know how when you watch an episode of an anime you really enjoy it can sort of affect your experience if you watch an episode of a different anime right after?
I watched the last episode of this season’s My Hero Academia right after finishing up Haikyuu. It was a very tough act to follow.
Crow how are you? I have been following your blog so I have a clue but I still want to know. Is there anything you would like to say about this episode before we begin??? Other than, there will be spoilers, of course!
And I’m (uncomfortably) bold? I’m doing well with social distancing. It’s the idea of going back to work that makes me pause. Hope things are well with you!
I had a pretty strong reactions to certain moments in this episode. I’m dying to know if they coincide with yours!
Throughout the season I have been grumbling about Endeavour’s character a lot. It felt like they were whitewashing him. Like they were redeeming him out of the blue without putting in the work. Like the borderline monster of past seasons had just been forgotten. It annoyed me on several levels.
I dislike seeing children hurt, so I really could accept seeing someone who violently beat his small children just forgiven and having everything that happened forgotten. I also didn’t quite like the idea of creating just another All-Might clone as Endeavour, as horrible and unlikeable a character as he might have been, was also completely unique and brought something to the table no one else could. Something that has largely been lost this season.
I was a touch apprehensive when I realized the season would be ending on an Endeavour episode. What did you think Crow?
Took the words right off my keyboard! I kept wondering what the writer was up to, because I wasn’t seeing it.
I was all grumpy about it and was going to scrawl another tirade in my notes about how the character is being completely misused when the episode just turned around and acknowledged Endeavour’s horrible past openly. Even showing flashbacks of some of his worst moments. Well that’s a twist. How are we going to get the audience back on the side of this jerk?
I was proud of the series for going there and put my pen down. Since the show wasn’t taking me for an idiot with no memories, I would also give it a chance. Did you think it was a good move to remind us of just how deeply flawed Endeavour is?
Looking back on it, I think it’s the best thing to do to respect the readers. And also to respect the characters. Shouto Todoroki and the rest of his family had been through too much.
I’m going to skip through most of what happened because most of what happened was a single fight. A long, sumptuously animated fight that recalled some of the most powerful moments of season 3 (a season I really enjoyed). Endeavour is a deeply flawed and selfish man, but he is trying. Endeavour values power above all else, but he does want to protect people. At some point the reckless young man blinded by ambition grew up and figured out that he wasn’t enough. That he needed to be more to become number one. And that more isn’t always brute strength or powerful quirks.
A few episodes ago Endeavour asked All-Might what it meant to be number one. What it meant to be a symbol. I don’t know whether All-Might is that great a teacher or Endeavour is just a fantastic student but for the first time I can remember Endeavour wasn’t just a superhero, he was an actual Hero.
Did you notice he couldn’t do it alone? Was that a powerful, kick-in-the-gut lesson, or what? But in support of your point — Endeavour learned it.
Now it’s possible that I was slow. Crow and I were wondering why Hawks had approached Endeavour in the first place last week. I threw out a few theories. Occasionally we weren’t that generous to Hawks. But it seems the man was just more perceptive than we were. He wasn’t going to Endeavour for his own ends, he was going to a man who he genuinely believed could be a hero.
Seeing young Hawks watching a desperate younger Endeavour was amazing. The idea that Endeavour was the only one actually trying to surpass All-Might sort of perfectly sums it up. It doesn’t really matter why at this point, Endeavour was the only one seriously trying to become number one hero when All-Might was still around and that’s why he’s the only one who deserves to become number one hero now. Hawks understood that way better than I did. And he called the man awkward which was just charming. Hawks is kind of charming, I get what the hoopla is all about!
Hawks impressed the heck out of me this week. Without him, Endeavor would have fallen. And without Hawks, a lot of non-combatants would have died. He done good.
Now this huge fight in which Endeavour, occasionally aided by Hawks and a few others, struggled against the upgraded Nobu was framed by scenes of the spectators. The fighting itself was brilliantly animated and Endeavour sure took a beating. It was an ultimate break the haughty moment (warning TV tropes link) and the episode milked it for all it was worth. However, seeing Endeavour’s children all individually react to seeing their father getting pummeled. Seeing Shoto show rare signs of emotion at the possibility of losing a father who was finally starting to act a bit like an actual father, watching Endeavour’s fan refuse to give up hope and Toshinori worry about his ex rival. Watching all this made the fight feel personal. It wasn’t just a hero and a villain fighting. It was a father, a husband, a co-worker. An actual human being who has failed and lost and is trying. Someone who despite it all, would be missed. Am I being overly sensitive here?
No. That sums it up well. I think it’s a tribute to the wonderful complexity this writer brings to his creations — here’s this horrible, horrible man who brutalized his children and his wife, who’s now trying to protect those same people, and the rest of the world, at tremendous personal expense.
That question has a lot of implications for our systems of incarceration. To a lot of personal relationships, too.
I think it’s partly the dad gene in me talking, but as Endeavour fought so hard, all I could think was that “Of course he’s fighting hard. His family paid a high enough price for that performance.”
My Hero Academia season 4 has had ups and downs. A lot of fans would not count it as their favourite. But last episodes are important, they can redeem a season if done right, at least partly. They can also sink a season when clumsy or not thought out. I watched the last episode of My Hero Academia season 4 after watching an absolutely fantastic episode of another show. Along with Bright Future, this was probably my favourite episode of the season and one of my favourite episodes of the series. I cannot wait until season 5. If this episode is any indication, it’s going to be absolutely fantastic!
You know, I’ve read a lot of negative comments about this season, but honestly, that’s not at all how I saw this season. I saw it as a necessary risk if the series were to maintain its integrity. I thought it paid off in a big way. I’m really looking forward to season 5, too!
There was an after credits teaser for the next season. It was pretty cryptic but it does seem to mark a strong return (did he ever leave in fact) Shigaraki. I’m really not sure what that dream was about or what the ninth refers to but I really want to find out. I said last week that it was sort of mean to set up such an interesting arc right at the end of the season, well this week I’m going to say it’s downright villainous! But oh man did it work. I want to know so much more!
What about you Crow?
I seriously think Deku is turning into the equivalent of Dune’s Kwisatz Haderach. If I’m breaking out the Dune references, then you know what that means: Yes, it worked. I want to know more! Now all we have to do is wait… Sigh…