Holy hell, everyone! My Hero Academia just gave us a jolt of energy the likes we’ve rarely felt before (since the third season, anyway)! Find out why with our latest rendition of the Visualist x100!!!! collab, available now for your viewing pleasure!
Last week, I made the declaration that if the season did not improve dramatically, I would drop the series at its end. It responded by giving us what I thought was the season’s best entry yet.
Funny story: I inadvertently spoiled myself with this episode by logging into Twitter this morning. All that needed to happen was my seeing the name “Mirio” trending, with about 4,000 tweets referencing the name. I didn’t look into it or anything, but it gave me the expectation that the episode would heavily focus on him. Finally getting to the episode, the very first scene chronicles the yakuza’s secret weapon: a bullet that eliminates one’s quirk. Needless to say, I connected the dots.
So what makes this episode better than the rest? Well, it feels more consequential, first of all. Mirio is facing off against the main baddie and the entire reason the operation happened in the first place. We got to see Mirio show off his heroic attributes in front of the girl that inspired those feelings to rise. Perseverance, empathy, and dedication to overcoming personal adversity; he was pretty cool here. I was kind of wishy-washy on his character before this, but if the author has shown anything, he can make a pretty good hero if given the right elements. He’s no All Might, and was never given the same build-up, but this is this season’s “All Might’s last stand” episode, only with Mirio.
If one fault remains, it’s the one that has been an issue the entire season: exposition. While cute that I spoiled myself with the very first scene, I also didn’t care for the first scene. Is it so hard to keep big things a secret in Shounen? Why show all the cards before the pivotal moments? I always preferred reveal scenes being foreshadowed, instead of a plot outright telling us what to expect (exceptions apply). This season has told us everything, from a person’s origin story (occasionally during battle, which is disorienting) to what exactly the villains are up to. The big reveal that happened in this episode was that Eri wasn’t Chisaki’s daughter! Wow… totally didn’t guess that… There’s just a lot of talking. Cut down on the talking, please.
Even the ending was pretty good. Faced with inevitable death, in comes the savior: our good pal Midoriya! The next episode looks to be another, as the kids say, “banger”! It’s the high point of the season thus far and it only took 11 episodes for me to get excited again. I don’t know how impressive that is in hindsight. Will Eri be rescued? Do they even want to rescue her, if what Chisaki’s words mean is true? We still don’t actually know too much about her disposition. That’ll be something to watch for, and I’ll do so willingly.
We probably could have just skipped through the last three episodes and gotten to this one. In terms of something with actual meaning happening in this whole chasing down the yakuza thing, this is the first time it has felt in any way like it will have a lasting impact. Sure Tamaki and Kirishima wouldn’t have had their moments but given their moments occurred against disposable villains and they padded out those episodes with way too many flashbacks that were totally unnecessary to get the point, we possibly could have combined the last three episodes into one and gotten onto this, the actual meat of the story, so much faster. Not that I mind stories taking their time but I do mind feeling bored by them.
On that note, episode eleven is pretty transparent about where it is going. I managed to avoid spoilers but the title of the episode, the explanation of what the new bullet does, and everything else just set the scene for exactly what was going to happen. That doesn’t make it bad. It means from the moment Mirio began his attack against Overhaul the viewer is tense and anticipating a moment that you logically know won’t happen too early in the episode and yet every time someone potentially takes aim at him you wonder if this is the moment.
Objectively this episode is the same as the ones Tamaki and Kirishima had. Student faces off against villains in a real life situation. And yet this episode had so much more weight and impact and it kept me engaged. Part of that is the anticipation of the consequences that were likely to come from the fight. Part of it was that even though we did have a brief flashback sequence, the majority of the time was spent in the here and now actually keeping the audience’s mind on the fight. And part of it is simply that it finally felt like we were pushing the story forward rather than just padding out episodes.
I’m going to be honest: I don’t like Mirio’s character. He came along at the end of season three and we were all supposed to care about him. Then we had the revelation that he was a candidate to be All Might’s successor and he was so much better suited than Midoriya. He works within the story but I have no personal stakes attached to his character arc. Yet I still felt every moment of this fight. This episode made me care about the effort he had put in to be here, about how he’d learned to use his quirk so precisely and he really was pulling off some fantastic moves in a really tight situation. The episode made me want him to get through the situation, even if he didn’t save Eri. Finally, the episode made me genuinely respect Mirio as a character. I still don’t like him much and would rather spend time with Iida or Todoroki or any of the characters the first few seasons built up, but I definitely respect what Mirio has done.
I do have to wonder why it has taken eleven episodes to get to this point. I get they needed to set up some plot points and characters but realistically season four has so far felt really bloated. We could easily trim it down and get to this point significantly faster without losing much of substance. That said, episode eleven reminded me that when My Hero Academia gets it right, it does a very good job and leaves me wanting more (which is why I’m watching it four seasons on). Fingers crossed that now that we’ve got things moving the story keeps going and doesn’t stall again.
(To see all posts concerning this collab, check out my Collabs page!)
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.