Are Karandi and I seeing double? This episode of My Hero Academia seems strangely similar to the last! See what we thought as the once-blazing series progresses like a balancing act of character development and world-crushing stakes.
You know, I always wanted to know Kirishima’s entire backstory. Really. I thought it would be fascinating. Okay, I’m definitely lying and honestly even after watching the tale of the middle-school Kirishima who regretted not being able to act like a hero I’m still not particularly interested in his backstory. Don’t get me wrong, unlike Tamaki last episode, I actually like Kirishima’s character and so far he’s given us the best moments of season 4, but once again I have to wonder does watching his middle school days add anything to his character now or the situation? And the answer is, about ten minutes run time.
Episode nine continues the assault and Suneater has collapsed after his fight last week (another good reason not to leave a student on their own in a fight against three villains). The rest of the group that had entered the tunnels is still running along though when the walls try to attack Eraser, both Krishima and Fat Gum jump in to protect him and get moved to another undefined area where two opponents await them.
It isn’t much of a duel with one of the opponents more or less just standing still and occasionally making a little yellow ball of light (barrier I guess but honestly it has so little impact on the actual events why worry about it). While there is some flashy animation for the other guy who just punches a lot and we get a lot of time watching Kirishima freak out because he’s worried he’s not strong enough or that he hasn’t changed (blah, blah, blah), it honestly isn’t that interesting visually and given it is clearly just another diversion as the main group continues to run on I just wasn’t that interested from a narrative point of view.
The last two episodes have left me wondering how long they intend to drag out this sequence. Just how many bit characters and villains we’ve never met before are we going to watch heroes – either ones we barely know or heroes who deserve a better opponent – take on before we actually move onto something that has any actual consequence for the overall plot? Alternatively they could just make these smaller fights have more weight or be more interesting but learning that Suneater is obsessed with Mirio and feels inadequate and the Kirishima also has an inferiority complex and having that repeated over and over again within a fight isn’t enough to make these fights feel like they are really contributing much to what we know of these characters. Or at least, not enough to warrant whole episodes devoted to said fight.
I didn’t dislike this episode, but like the last one I struggled to really be all that invested in it and still feel like we’re just kind of listening to music because we’ve been put on hold. The music is okay, but it isn’t what I was waiting for and the end result is a growing impatience for the story to get on with things.
People could literally copy and paste my thoughts of the last episode and put them here again. This is almost literally the same episode as they played last week, except it features Fat Gum and Kirishima instead of Tamaki. Group of heroes running down a hallway, the dude that manipulates the building pushes someone(s) into another room, new villains appear, lots of introspective flashbacks, and a triumphant victory for the heroes. I’m kind of at a loss for words.
A couple key differences, firstly a positive: Kirishima is more interesting than Tamaki. His flashback sequences even feature Ashido of all people as the inspiration for his applying at UA! Almost like a “Hi! Remember me?” moment for her, so that was nice. Focusing back on Kirishima, his past almost parallels with Midoriya’s, who was inspired by a specific hero to go above and beyond his capabilities. Whereas Midoriya had no quirk, but made up with it in bravery, Kirishima had a(n albeit weak) quirk, but couldn’t stop freezing in terror. Otherwise, they’re roughly the same, which one could either see as a timeless development ploy or a lack of creativity in developing separate characters.
Then, a negative: The amount of flashbacks practically smashed together in one sitting. After this episode, I actually prefer that they position at least some of the flashbacks at the very beginning, so that it doesn’t get in the way of what’s supposed to be a fast-paced fight. Here, most of Kirishima’s worries and reminiscing are done in one loooooong stretch, when Tamaki’s were distributed in pieces. This made Tamaki’s fight seem more immersive and realistic, while this episode’s fight was… we’ll say “lackluster.” I did like the barrage of flying fists from the villain, though that’s all the visuals had in store for viewers as a treat.
Otherwise, again, just copy/paste my thoughts from last episode. Fight had a bad pacing because of all the flashbacks, while better than Tamaki, Kirishima still doesn’t have that personal “oomph” that distinguishes him as a major character to follow, and it was generally fine. A fine episode following another fine episode, except it loses a few additional points for copy/pasting itself. Perhaps I should lose points for writing less and relying on the “look at last week” thoughts. Whatever it is, I predict we’ll have a third (and maybe fourth) episode that progresses similarly before the BIG stuff begins to occur.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.