Who doesn’t love a good competition that pits students against one another in a no-holds-barred fight to the finish line that will ultimately guide their path to the careers of their dreams? Probably those who don’t do too well honestly, but let’s not get bogged down in sombre semantics. Instead, why don’t we see what a bunch of superpowered adolescents can do when you group them all together, wind them up and let them go nuts.
Sparing us from having to sit through weeks of preparatory exposition, this episode opts to express the two week period before the UA Sports Festival as a brief montage, cutting between the faces of Class 1-A and giving us an idea of their unique development. Though nothing too major on that front, it’s nice every now and again to see what unique powers the other students bring to the series. Though expected, given Midoriya’s prominence and the bombastic nature of Bakugo, the other students do not receive as much time to shine as they could. Heck, the simple fact that Mineta, despite his comedic character flaws, earned his place in 1-A is worth noting on its own. The same could actually be said for most of the main group, whose powers aren’t unfathomable physical strength, the ability to cause explosions at will or subvert one of the fundamental forces of physics. One guy just has a tail, not that he let’s that deter him from being pretty darn effective. Thus, one of the great hopes of this competition arises; Let us see some other guys do more stuff. Speaking of which…
Did you know there are 11 classes at UA? That’s 10 more than the only one we have ever followed, though I guess it explains why the campus is so big…and why all those people in school uniforms are there. Anyway, with the training montage leaving some extra in this episode’s runtime, we are granted a brief altercation between 1-A and there rest of the student body. Long story short; People do not like them much. With their position so highly prized, those not skilled enough to make the Hero Course are vying for the tournament’s apparent ability to shuffle the deck, so to speak. Those who excel may rise in the class rankings, while those who fail may find themselves dropped a letter or two. Obvious important characters Sleepy Blue Hair and Loud White Eyelashes who make their debut this episode, carry a desire to improve their standing and all the Bakugo arrogance in the world can’t dissuade them. Although, as we learn through Midoriya’s observation, our resident jerkbag has apparently pivoted slightly in his reasoning. Rather than believing himself to simply be the best like no one ever was, he is willingly placing a target on himself, striving to become stronger through the challenge of taking on a world he made mad. A little intense, but ultimately Bakugo and an attitude that will prove interesting in whatever events the Sports Festival throws forth.
Starting with a race it would seem, a 4km “get to the end and win” extravaganza that sees powers being used in all manner of locomotion. Todoroki skating on ice he used to freeze most other competitors in place, which is somewhere on the scale of sportsmanship, Yaoyorozu firing a staff out of her hand as a vaulting mechanism, Mineta bouncing on his hairball thingies and Bakugo just blowing up a lot in one direction. Of course, this still falls into the trend of Class 1-A being in the forefront, but we are merely at the beginning of this festival and there are plenty of hints that some new faces will take the limelight as their own. Though probably briefly…because that’s how stories work and, despite the predictability, Midoriya possesses a slightly more interesting personal story than the perv whose hair is made of jelly. Just to list an example. Although Todoroki certainly brought himself forward when he outright challenged Midoriya, stating that he is better and will win, the first part of which is true and the second which remains to be seen. Still, it certainly is nice to see the unbridled powerhouse that is Todoroki begin to step forward. Even if it is to impress(?) his mysterious father, who he does not seem fond of.
Despite the aforementioned speed up of the pre-festival fortnight, this is still very much an opening episode. Yes the event has begun, but we have only received a taste of what is to come. The first steps in the race, both literally and metaphorically. A few prominent figures have shot out of the gate, whilst hundreds of faces lag behind as the crowd. Midoriya is in thinking mode, the irate class 1-B members have yet to shine and the episode ends just after the first hints of combat. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see where this goes and I understand the necessity of building up a story, I just understand that said moment is now and hopefully we can start to rev things up a little in the weeks to come. Seriously, Midoriya hasn’t even punched something so hard his arm blows up. Which is, like, totally his thing…unfortunately.
It’s fine now. Why? Because My Hero Academia is on Crunchyroll