It’s here, it’s time! The latest edition of the VISUALIST x100!! COLLAB™ has arrived! Join me and my lovely collab partner, Karandi, as we discuss in intricately-minute detail all the happenings and non-happenings with this season’s hottest returning anime:
Steins;Gate 0 Boku no Hero Academia Three!
I think I’m gonna start relating to this “Kota” character. That is, after all, the name my mother uses with me more often than not.
In all seriousness, this persistent chain of episodes feeling like camouflaged recaps for the sake of it continues with this one. The first six minutes of the episode (outside the 90-second intro) are dedicated to reminding the audience of every hero’s quirks and what they’re doing to strengthen them, followed shortly by another flashback sequence by Midoriya that spans another thirty seconds or so. That’s close enough for me to consider it a third of the episode dedicated to what’s seriously dragging the quality of the anime down in this beginning portion of the season. With the end of this episode, however, we may finally, finally get to pure action-oriented thrills and intrigue. Please let it be so.
Frankly, I’m likely not as optimistic on this episode and the last as my collab compatriot. There’s still this lingering air of familiarity present that kind of drags down the experience. Iida being Iida was fun. The talk between Kota and Midoriya was interesting, along with the short conversation between Midoriya and Todoroki. What seems to be missing, however, are the voices of everyone else in the group. We get some one-liners from various heroes, notably comedic ones, but not much in terms of “We value these characters outside of their one personality quirk.” I’m also not huge on these new heroes that are supervising these heroes’ training. They also seem to be comfortable abiding by a rule of “We’re really weird, but looks are deceiving!” One of the more appealing treats of earlier seasons is how often they emphasized the multiple facets of characters, rather than playing them straight. Not much of that here, but we’re still early on.
All I can say now is I’m looking forward to the next episode. There isn’t much more to say at this point because it’s all felt relatively the same. I think the most disappointing part of this whole episode was that there wasn’t more time spent on the dumb “Test of courage” part near the end. What a perfect opportunity for some goofy antics involving all the characters! If they had cut most of the meat off the all-bone opening seven minutes, perhaps we could’ve gotten some of that. Still, I don’t hate how it turned out. I only wish they used their time more effectively.
One thing My Hero Academia has always done reasonably well is play on viewers expectations. It sets up fairly generic and scene before situations and then manages to execute them very well or gives them a slight twist that just makes them feel that little bit fresh and interesting. The kids going on a training camp idea is nothing new and they already foreshadowed quite clearly that the villains were going to attack and yet this episode doesn’t feel tired and old.
Part of that is the pacing. While once again we get a roll call style round up of what each member of the class is doing to improve their quirk, the episode doesn’t spend very long watching the characters in training. The quick cuts as we see each character and then seeing the action in the background as class B arrive and begin training as well as seeing the training in the background of other conversations, is enough to give us the sense of ongoing training without feeling bored by the sequence. Delaying the inevitable villain attack and making us wonder when they were going to get serious works in the episode’s favour even if it does mean they are once again playing the cliffhanger game. However, unlike some other anime that play at this, My Hero Academia has proven multiple times in seasons 1 and 2 that when it leaves you hanging it will deliver on the expected excitement. Very few of these fizzle so I’m actually looking forward to seeing next week.
The other part that ended up being better than I expected was Midoriya’s interactions with Kota. This didn’t end up dominating large chunks of episode time but was a persistent idea. The conversation between Kota and Midoriya didn’t devolve into Midoriya urging him to rethink but left unresolved with Midoriya struggling to think of how to deal with the situation and seeking outside help. That this sequence of events then connects with the ending where Midoriya realises Kota is on his own as the villains are attacking, works very well even if it does seem like Kota might end up getting over his hero hate if he ends up being rescued. I sort of hope they turn this on its head and have Kota save himself though that might be asking a bit much.
That said, I think it is safe to say season 3 of My Hero Academia has finally gotten going and hopefully we are in for as much of a ride as season 2 took us on.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)