The climax to the Provisional License Exams has come to a close with the fate of many heroes hanging in the balance of whether the judges thought they were competent enough in trying to save the lives of the actors under siege. Who will become provisional heroes for the time being? Find out next week! But for now, let’s talk about what led up to this actually-interesting development, with Karandi and I being your sour grapes for the morning.
While this was definitely better than a filler episode and they seemed to at least tease the prospect of some of the class failing with their constant reminders about the various arbitrary point systems in play during this exam, I just have to wonder where the fun My Hero Academia went that managed to pull off sequences like this and leave you smiling.
Todoroki gets a moment this week that is so incredibly reminiscent of his fight against Midoriya from the sports carnival. The difference is that here he is arguing with someone we don’t care about (and they break the pacing of this confrontation by giving us a childhood flash back nobody is going to care about) and that Todoroki isn’t supposed to be fighting this guy. It is so incredibly stupid and as hot headed as Todoroki can be sometimes, he’s very serious about becoming a hero. It just felt incredibly out of character for him to stuff up that badly mid-exam. Even if you want to argue childhood trauma and daddy issues, the bottom line is that Midoriya confronting Todoroki ended up being an amazingly selfless act by Midoriya to help a classmate. It was full of heart and spectacle. Here we kind of got the spectacle without the heart.
If we throw in the fact that most of the rest of the class got maybe one line or scene in the entire rescue sequence, about three students from any class outside of the UA had any screen time, honestly my care factor about who gets this licence thing is more or less dead. And then of course, they flip the names up on the screen at the end and leave us waiting until next week to know for sure. If I was in any way still invested in this arc, that might make me scream with frustration, but instead I just kind of shrugged and said, ‘of course it will be next week’.
To give credit where it is due though, from a world building perspective there’s a lot of merit in the changes to the exam with the focus on teamwork. The police wanting heroes more concerned with unity and cooperation rather than a solitary hero is a logical reaction to the loss of the symbol of peace. So at least one aspect of My Hero Academia is still rock solid even if a lot of the rest of it is on shaky ground.
I woke up this morning to this tweet from Karandi:
I figured I was in for a good time.
It turned out to not quite be the level of incompetency I expected, but it was still certainly a low point in a chain of events riddled with rusty links. This episode has the same collection of issues I had with episodes past (sans last week’s) in that there’s a lot of filler dialogue, the pacing is super-slow, and there isn’t much actual content in-between it all. This episode’s claim to infamy is that Todoroki and Wind Guy™ have a petty argument because Todoroki was kind of a dick to him a couple years ago. And by the end, they seemingly make up… kind of? What I remember most vividly is Wind Guy™ actually said, while within his own flashback, “This is why I yadda yadda yadda.” Hello, point-blank-obvious writing style that I loathe.
But now the big question is: Who passed? The exam ended rather anticlimactically and there’s some tension with whether Todoroki and Wind Guy™ passed the exam with their stupid squabbling. After all, they said this was a test based on how few mistakes you make, not how cool you look when you overcome them. Of course, with how the writing has went in this particular arc (such as Bakugo getting points for yelling at civilians), I wouldn’t put it past them to use this excuse. Unless Todoroki and Wind Guy™ don’t pass, I expect everyone to pass. Because God forbid anyone doesn’t and fans start crying about their favorite character falling behind everyone else. There were quite a few names up there, too.
It’s an episode. Mildly entertaining, somewhat frustrating. Continuing to observe the type of writing style that I don’t care for in a typical Shounen series, and yet I still like these characters enough to hold out for content with actual substance.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)