Prepare for the era of the Red Riot! A hero with little screentime in the past is getting his chance to make a name for himself as a hero. Join Karandi and I as we talk about what we liked about his debut, what we thought was underwhelming, and whether the future is bright for the series. Also noteworthy: Is Fat Gum’s quirk just an excuse to eat a lot? And do I have it? This and more with the latest round of the Visualist x100!!!! roundtable!
(Note: Please excuse the garbage images for this post. I haven’t been torrenting these episodes thus far and the video player I use is kind of dumb.)
I’m not entirely sure what I make of this episode. On the definite plus side we get to spend time with Tsuyu, Uraraka, and Kirishima (and I realise that I’m never going to stop finding their hero names hilariously bad – probably a side effect of so many heroes needing hero names that all the good ones are already taken) On the other hand, I couldn’t help but feel like Uraraka and Tsuyu just got a few minutes of screen time because people like them as their plot didn’t really seem overly essential even if there’s an indication they are going to end up working with Night-Eye’s agency.
The winner this week is definitely Kirishima as he gets the lion’s share of the viewing time and is basically just entertaining. It helps that he has a pleasant personality, is earnest about being a hero, but isn’t dull. Not to mention his hardening quirk inherently makes for a more direct kind of fight. It all works well and it was fun seeing his first mission as part of his work placement and the connection to the overall plot and the implications for future developments are all too clear as the group he is with come under fire from a gun that stops the victim from using their quirk and another character has a drug to boost his quirk.
Shigaraki and Chisaki’s meeting also goes down reasonably well (and yes, I finally looked up the villain’s name having missed it literally every time and finally just gave up). There’s a little too much posturing going on in that small room but it does set an interesting scene as these two groups are coming together and the power dynamic here is interesting at least as it isn’t clear who really has the upperhand just yet. Not to mention, Shigaraki just lends menace to scenes when he’s still and quiet (when he actually does something the illusion is shattered).
Part of me feels that the ongoing expansion of this universe is part of my problem with season four. There’s too many characters and ideas that would be great to focus on and the end result is even when you get something cool, such as Kirishima fighting a guy who is creating blades from his skin, you can’t help but wonder why another character didn’t get screen time or why a particular plot point is taking so long to come back into the picture. It’s a general characteristic of a lot of these long running shounen and My Hero Academia is now far along enough into its story that it is most definitely feeling a little cluttered. The question is whether they can continue to balance giving us these moments and moving on the central plot or whether we’ll start to feel the pace of things dragging and feel this whole thing has become overly bloated.
I do know I’m wanting more Uraraka and Midoriya moments and I’m hoping the joining of the agencies is going to bring that about. Of course, if we could get Bakugo and Todoroki off the sidelines I’d be pretty thrilled about that as well.
I like how in the first ten seconds of the episode, the quality of animation is at an all-season high. Rewatch this episode and look at the fluidity and detail of those two big guys fighting and the copper talking through his walkie-talkie. It took me by complete surprise; was I watching One Punch Man? And then further action began from Tsuyu and Uraraka, and the quality returned to an adequate normal… so… thanks, series? I don’t understand, why show great animation for ten seconds between two nameless baddies and a copper, then revert to normal? That’s gonna be a highlight for the season for the wrong reasons.
Aside from that, there isn’t much to say that Karandi hasn’t already. Kirishima had a cool scene, the bad guys had an interesting scene, the other heroes are there for padded screentime, and the series just doesn’t have the room to fit them all in. A wonderful observation from my collab partner, this season seems to be focused on Kirishima, Midoriya, Uraraka, and Tsuyu among the students. If your favorite character didn’t make the cut (RIP Iida), you’re gonna have to deal with it.
One other thing I will mention is the inclusion of Fat Gum, whom everyone refers to as “Fat.” His figure is one that typically stands out to me when I look at the poster for this season, with its giant eyes and bouncy figure. His quirk is that he can absorb anything into his stomach, and that kind of confuses me. If that’s a quirk, I have it, and I’m living in a fictional world. I’m assuming we’ll be seeing a lot of him because of Kirishima, which also means we’ll be seeing a lot of the Big Three™ member that has self-esteem issues. And let me tell you… I think he’s a bundle of fun. And by that, I mean he can go sit in the “shunned” corner with Mineta.
I’ll serve as the optimist for this particular episode, in that I thought it was decent. Probably not as strong as the previous one, but it still beats out the first three by far. Had a little flair, showed some neat animation, gave Kirishima some likability, and promised some neat collaborations (coincidence?) between Midoriya and Uraraka’s groups, and I’d wager the third group with Kirishima will join them eventually. It may not be the whole class (or anywhere near it), yet the prospect of having Tsuyu, Uraraka, Midoriya, and Kirishima all together as buddies seems like a nice thing. I’ll probably look forward to that more than the partnership between what’s-his-name and what’s-his-name from the League of Villains.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.