I know My Hero Academy was created in Japan but there is some sheer irony about someone who was raised in a football town now reviewing the ironic focus on high schoolers to perform well in sports. Every one of the students are obsessed with doing well in the Festival, which is fair given that their entire existence is focused on a physical attribute and being clever. (Which is more than I can say for American High Schools) We also learn how important this is for everyone else involved in the classes: if someone in the Hero class can be solidly outperformed by someone in another vocation they will be replaced by that person. Of course Katsuki, who has gone a tremendous transformation and learned his own weaknesses. . .promptly says everyone else fucking sucks and he’s going to kick their asses.
Katsuki, the greatest character growth since Sasuke. (At this rate Sasuke might be doing a little more.)
Todoroki makes it a point to call out Izuku and tell him he is better than him and will obtain victory over him, which is fair. Even Izuku comments on how impressive Todoroki is and how he doesn’t take any of this lightly – he intends to shoot for victory as much as possible. Now that Izuku has All Might reminding him how hard he needs to fight he can’t simply sit back and wait for himself to grow stronger.
I think the approach the writers took in this episode is actually very clever. It’s good for us not to have to sit through a bunch of training montages and then see the eventual tournament saga. We all know how those go and at this point it would be like treading old ground in order to show us what we’ll already likely see in flashbacks or just seen shown to us. So the beginning of the Festival starts and it’s a race. . .with an entrance that immediately gets flooded with people. The first test is how everyone gets out and stops each other, Torodoki makes his move and essentially powers through everything and everyone with ease.
The episode leaves off on a cliffhanger as everyone needs to get passed the giant 0-point robots from the exam and it’s a good time to hedge bets. I would honestly be shocked if Izuku couldn’t make it incredibly high in the rankings, but I can also guarantee they don’t want him to get to number one because that is a popular cliche as well. The fun thing about Hero Academia is seeing how they surprise me and do new and interesting things, so I am hoping they will defy my expectations and show me something energetic and fun.
I think with shows like HA the most fun part is seeing how everyone does cool stuff with their powers, so I am all for the heroes with weirder powers to move on farther and do neat things. Otherwise this episode really is only a step above last episode and simply setting the stage for all the neat things we’re going to be encountering. Despite his challenge I do sort of love Torodoki because his power is cool and he never seems to be quite the level of dickhead Katsuki is. So when do I get to see some epic as hell fightscenes, show? The sooner the better. I know we’ve got some Ice v Fire coming soon, gimme dat fight scene!
So who do you think will win, readers? To be honest, I don’t read the manga so I’m trying to hold out hope that it’s not something entirely predictable. (Then again, animu.) Let’s have fun and find out!