A return to action, after some talking, is where we are now. Join Karandi and I in our quest to find what used to be a pretty good series with My Hero Academia‘s fourth season!
Shocking as it is, the episode did not end on a cliffhanger promising for more substantive content in the future. I mean, it did, but it actually showed something before that, even when it could’ve declined to. That doesn’t stop the episode from taking its sweet time to get to that point—they decided to skip the funny business and just pinpoint the villain’s location almost outright. And with a little action sprinkled in, the stakes are suddenly back in play. Only question is if it’s too late.
What I mean by the previous point is that even when things were happening, at most I felt relieved. “Thank God, things are finally happening.” An elation not born from genuine concern for the heroes, but from the series finally baring its fangs. I think I groaned at this episode more times than I found reason to enjoy it. Consistently, without fail, this season continues to pound it into our heads that All Might might die, that Nighteye loves him and wants people to learn from their mistakes, and most recently, Midoriya and Mirio regret not saving Eri sooner. Let it be known that the series wants to make absolutely sure that you know these things, and they will continue to pad out these episodes with obvious monologues until you do… and then more.
I’ll be fair, though: this episode was fine outside the constant issue of slow pace. There was even a quick little scene showcasing the power of Iida’s and Todoroki’s friendship with Midoriya that was nice. It didn’t even amount to much, and still I find it to be the best part of this episode. Sometimes when you’re struggling and are anxious all the time, you just need friends to remind you that you can have that extra body to rely on. The callback to the best sea—er, season two, was also nice in context. (That was season two, right?)
Otherwise, I think it’s great that the episode didn’t end at the police and all the other heroes preparing to enter the villains’ territory. They actually went ahead and started storming in, with a villain already coming out to greet them (through assault). A nice little dose of “Hey, remember when this show featured life-threatening consequences?” to lead into the next episode, which, unless they randomly decide to do a filler episode featuring Mineta, will almost certainly be one to remember. They’re running into dangerous territory with tons of potentially gargantuan villains waiting. Will they save Eri this time around? We can only wait and see.
I’m honestly thinking that episode 6 could have been entirely skipped at this point. They recap enough of the meeting to get the gist in this episode and with a few additional flashbacks we literally could have started with Midoriya recalling the recent meeting without ever having watched it. And right there is why I’m still not sold on season four of My Hero Academia even though I quite enjoyed this episode. We started with a full recap episode, which was about as good an episode as a filler/recap episode can be, and since then we’ve had maybe two episodes of actual content that have been padded out and presented in a pretty dull manner (okay, Kirishima had a fairly good moment). So despite not minding this episode, it isn’t enough to really turn my opinion on the season around.
However, I didn’t mind that this episode had a slow pace and build up. If we hadn’t had to sit through episode six, the pace here would have been really effective as the characters have that quiet moment of reflection and tension prior to moving into action. Seeing the students react to dealing with police procedures and working in a large group rather than just see a crime and charge in certainly builds on the overall idea of ‘hero as job’ which is something My Hero Academia has done very well over four seasons. It makes the audience question what being a hero is and in this case, if they have to still go through the motions of waiting for the villains to read a warrant it makes you wonder why they aren’t just actually part of the police force in this world.
We also did get to see Midoriya talking with Iida and Todoroki again, which is something this season has lacked. Midoriya working with any of his classmates is usually welcome as they bring out the best in him and likewise he inspires them to be the best they can be. This season has been very fragmented in how the characters have received screen time and the end result is a lot of the characters have felt superfluous to the story being told. And despite including Mineta’s bubbly head in one of the shots, they resisted the urge to have him say anything and so we were spared another pointless Mineta moment. Such restraint for once allowed us to focus in on the characters having a moment.
Part of me feels like it is way too early for Eri to get rescued, but another part feels like the story would kick off a lot better if they did rescue her at this point and then it turned out to be some kind of plan by the villains. Which means this episode succeeded where most of the other episodes this season haven’t: this episode made me actually start speculating about where they are taking this story which means I was actually fairly invested in what was happening. It might be a small success from an anime that in previous seasons had me counting the minutes until the next episode released, but it is a success.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.