The third episode is upon us, and with it even more of the action-packed, character-inspired, heart-racing moments that have—okay, I won’t hype it any further. The fourth season is still trying to find its groove—Karandi and I are still trying to find our patience for it. A return to form remains to be seen, but for more details, our thoughts on the third episode:
Officially three episodes in, and still this coat of “introduction” permeates throughout each scene. Set-up, set-up, and more set-up, my patience is starting to wear thin. When an episode spends three-fourths of its runtime having one character trying to pass some trial to take a step further into his journey—all within the span of about ten minutes of in-scene time—that crawling pace becomes apparent when the content bores you. I can only recall fondly when Boku no Hero Academia didn’t fall victim to the expository dumps that its genre is known for.
Granted, it’s been some time since I’ve seen the previous seasons of this anime. I don’t typically re-watch things unless I feel my opinion of them could change or I absolutely adore them, but I never remember an episode quite as exposition-heavy and slow as this one. It would be one thing if the stakes were insurmountable, here we have Midoriya trying to get someone (whom I find annoying based on this one episode) to approve of him, even when the context implies he’ll be approved of, anyway. When the halfway transition played and the three-minute-trial was still playing through, I could only smirk and think, “Wow, this is still going, huh?”
In a word, it feels forced. Initially, I believed Nighteye Grey was taunting Midoriya to build his resolve and observe his actions when his emotions are pinned. Turns out that he’s just a dick and doesn’t believe Midoriya was the right choice to inherit All Might’s abilities. While understandable from a humanistic standpoint, the payoff of the scene, where he becomes impressed that Midoriya… avoided all of his All Might memorabilia, is almost laughable. Wow, an aspiring hero can multitask?! Absolutely astounded. Ah well, I was planning to approve you from the start, lol.
After about twelve minutes detailing a scene that could’ve been covered in a third of that time, the episode returns to the school where a bunch of our beloved heroes finally get a little screentime. Very limited as it was, it was nice to see my dude, Iida, be focused on for a sweet thirteen seconds. Todoroki, Bakugo, Asui, Ochaco, Kirishima, and many others all gather in the same room and have a couple lines or two to build upon the group of people we’ve come to cherish by this point. And the fact that I am complimenting an episode based on showing other characters for more than a minute is, frankly, very sad. Bakugo telling Todoroki to shut up after almost saying the same thing three times actually made me chuckle.
In a teaser for the next episode (not the preview), we’re shown a glimpse of something actually happening when Midoriya comes face-to-face with the baddie that took out a member of the League of Villains. Along with him, a cute little girl with horns that is shown at the very top of the cover image for this season, implying her importance to the series. What I expect to happen is that the baddie says some threatening things and carries the girl off with him while Midoriya goes, “Wow, that guy’s pretty scary!” Or perhaps the girl will escape and end up in the company of the group of heroes. Basically, I think nothing substantial will happen because that’s what has happened up to this point and many, many times throughout season three, so I’m not getting my hopes up.
We’ll see how it goes, but thus far, this season isn’t doing it for me. I said the same thing for season three before the action and stakes starting picking up around… episode seven, was it? It’s such a blur to me that it’s hard to remember anything other than Bakugo getting kidnapped, the All Might fight, and the pointless preliminary tournament. It will likely pick up and I’m currently frustrated with the slow pace and the plot ignoring characters I like. Guess I need some patience. I wish I didn’t.
I think what I took away from this episode is that three seasons on Midoriya is still failing upwards by being a nice guy and fan-boy and that doesn’t bode well for his career as an actual hero. Certainly he has done heroic things and in a pinch he’s sometimes quite awesome, but watching him here just reminds me of how ill-suited he is really for the career he’s been pursuing.
Season one he almost failed to get into the school of his choice despite having a quirk because he couldn’t beat a single thing in the entrance test but then managed to save Uraraka for zero points but his saving her apparently got him in anyway. Season two he doesn’t win the sports tournament that he sets out to win to make a statement because he saves Todoroki (though whether Todoroki is really saved given his self-destructive behaviour in season three remains to be seen). Season three All Might saves the day while Midoriya assisted the designated damsel in distress, Bakugou, to get away though we could probably thank Kirishima for that. So yeah, failing continuously and yet somehow moving forwards anyway.
The reason that is relevant here is that as soon as Nighteye set the terms for signing the contract I knew Midoriya was not getting that seal. I knew that he was going to do something else that would somehow get Nighteye’s attention and given the only thing of note in the room was all the All Might merchandise as soon as Midoriya started bouncing around I knew he wasn’t going to touch it. So to echo Kapodaco, by the time this had been going on for as long as it had, I just wanted to sigh.
This wasn’t a high stakes situation, it wasn’t a particularly visually interesting combat and honestly by My Hero Academia’s usual standards it was kind of dull to watch, and with the brief introduction we’ve had to Nighteye I legitimately didn’t care if Midoriya ended up working there or not. Three episodes in and this show is very much still in introduction mode but it hasn’t had the charm or humour that slower episodes in previous seasons have had to compensate. The end result is that I’m wondering if maybe Hero is losing its edge and becoming just another generic fighter (I really hope not and I hope now that the internship is set this picks up).
As we move away from Midoriya and Nighteye it was nice to have that brief scene with the rest of the class as they discuss the difficulty finding an internship and then se wee a few of them have offers or opportunities. I feel Todoroki and Bakugou have been moved into a comic relief space rather than a character one over the last two episodes and I’m a little disappointed if this is all we’re going to get from them. Hopefully they come back soon as more than just the peanut gallery.
Though, I did learn one thing in the after credits scene; Midoriya is apparently a villain magnet. Instead of looking for villains the police and other heroes really should just let Midoriya wander around and then they can arrest anyone he bumps into. It would probably save them a lot of time.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.