By Kellyn Harrison Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of 'My Hero Academia' My Hero Academia was recommended to me in December by a friend because they knew my appreciation for action anime series. As someone new to the anime world, I dived into the series, unaware of how much it would impact my standards for future viewing experiences. The series plays with your heart by presenting us with lovable characters, while giving us an extremely well-developed twist on what is sometimes an overused hero cliche. Instead of just a group of people holding superpowers, 80 percent of the population is born with a quirk (Note: a quirk is a hero’s superpower), and a “quirkless” fanboy named Izuku Midoriya (Hero name: Deku) meets his role model hero, only to take over the infamous role of his predecessor, the No. 1 hero All Might. All Might, being the “symbol of peace” or someone people could rely on to keep evil away. Or specifically to Deku and many of his classmates in Class 1-A, someone who would influence and encourage the next generation of heroes to not only keep civilians safe, but restore society’s crumbling trust in heroes.
An ‘Icy’ start after a ‘Fire’ endingWhat sets the story apart from others is how the series sets the bar high in the first season and continues to get better the farther you go along. In the previous seasons, we not only followed Deku's journey in building upon his power, but also his classmates and the villains he meets along the way. Viewers are treated to many stories other than just Deku’s that are crafted extremely well and fully tie into the class’s overall relationship development. For example, we follow along on Deku’s journey in defeating All for One (All Mights’s rival), All Might’s journey in making amends with no longer being a fighting “symbol of peace,” Deku’s classmate’s, Shoto Todoroki, journey in establishing a name for himself in the shadow of his No. 2 hero father Endeavor, etc. A deeper dive into the Todoroki family’s background is what fans expect to see within this season due to season four ending with Endeavor officially becoming the No. 1 hero after All Might retired. Furthermore, after he told Shoto, he wanted to be a better father and presence in his life after years of emotional abuse. However, it was slightly disappointing how this episode didn’t continue what we saw in the last episode of season four, “His Start,” by immediately picking up at the end of Endeavor’s fight with Nomu or with Endeavor in the hospital following the fight. The only reference we get to the fight is when Class 1-A discusses it amongst each other at the beginning of class and when Todoroki walks into the classroom to Deku checking in on him. The only taste of story development fans get is after the credits when Endeavor is shown in the hospital contemplating what happened at the end of his fight when Dabi approached Keigo Takami - “Hawks”- and him. Plus, when we see Hawks, the new No. 2 hero, secretly meet with Dabi. The rest of the episode is tailored to reminding the fans of Class 1-A and what their quirks are. After an “emergency drill” is announced, the students are sent to the practice field to defeat the “villains” and save the “civilian in danger.” All of which being UA High School’s “Big Three” students: Tamaki Amajiki, Nejire Hado, and Mirio Togata. The training drill’s sole purpose is to give fans some character development by showing how much the students have grown as heroes since their last training exercise in season two when the students were sent to summer training camp—the proof in character development, showing how beneficial the episode was despite its lack of story progression.
Even heroes need a breakDespite the relatively slow start, the episode held many entertaining and humorous scenes that provided relief to the heavy atmosphere we ended on in season four. These are still kids trying to uphold a relatively fun and normal lifestyle amongst the chaos and pressure the world places on them. We see the spikey-haired trio (Eijiro Kirishima, Katsuki Bakugo, and Denki Kaminari) come in last minute to save the day after hijacking a car using Kirishima’s electrifying quirk. Togata is constantly causing trouble for the students tasked with saving him, among other scenes. The fun and chaotic vibe of the training scene furthers the already strong appreciation we have for the lovable characters and our hope in their collective growth as a class. Despite the hype leading up to the new season, this episode wasn’t much in terms of story progression. It made me even more nervous and excited for the episodes to come because the manga has hit the My Hero community very hard lately as new chapters come out. But overall, the episode’s influence on overall story development was slow and relatively disappointing because of the viewer’s need for more information on the events following Endeavor’s fight with Nomu. Especially his encounter with Dabi. However, the character development and humorous scenes we are treated within the training scene made up for the stagnation. This episode reminded us that despite having their hero licenses, the students are still kids who need a break from the heaviness around them. Possibly also being a reminder for us, for the episode provides us a break, as well.
Sources: Comic Book Images: IMDB, IMDB Featured Image: Crunchy Roll