To partially quote a man of great wisdom and import, “It’s dangerous to go alone.” Though a technically incomplete statement, it is one that will serve the students of UA well in this latest of challenges. With their success now riding (for some literally) on the shoulders of others, our heroes-in-training are sure to learn the benefits of allies and the simple fact that teamwork makes the dream work. Which rhymes, so you know it’s true.
With his recent come-from-behind victory placing all attention on his fuzzy green head, Midoriya has found himself at the mercy of a heroes greatest foe: Popularity. Through the intense pressure that arises from having all eyes focused on him, Midoriya comes to understand the true weight of All Might’s presence. Though his smile sparked a joy and fire in his heart, these series has never really stopped to make you realise that Midoriya, in that regard, is one of many. Hundreds, upon thousands of intense citizens who admire All Might with an unfaltering reverence. That alone is enough to send most shaking in fear, however, that alone is not what heroes face. I speak not of the hatred that flows from villains the country over, but of the competition that blooms within other heroes. With All Might ranked firmly at number one, every hero seen thus far stands below him. Though Kamui Woods, Mount Lady and Desutegoro discuss how their duty to justice takes precedent over their personal desires to advance, it is still their job to make themselves famous in their own right. The prime example recalled is Mount Lady’s introduction, which was in turn her first day on the job. Stealing the final blow and capture of a villain, she was able to make a name for herself and remain relevant enough to work security at the UA Sports Festival, as well as continue her hero career off screen, along with Kamui. Though clearly played for humour, it goes to show how there is a certain selfishness inherent to the hero business, hinted at more recently by the reveal of Uraraka’s motivations. It’s an interesting concept that has been fleshed out without too much attention being called to it, until now of course. Even that cutaway joke regarding the Business Class added to this particular pillar of world building. And speaking of the other classes…
Mei Hatsume is back, which we all totally knew was going to happen because of her attention grabbing design. Accompanied by a really funny music track, she surprisingly volunteers to join Midoriya’s team for the Cavalry Battle, a position most have avoided due to the simple fact it will make them a target of every other team, owing to the ludicrous point value assigned to numero uno. Bringing up the mentality of self-interest, Hatsume is banking on Midoriya’s popularity in order to show off her inventions, lovingly referred to as her babies, drawing yet another aspect of heroism into the forefront of our thoughts: Support. Midoriya himself fawn over Hatsume’s Jet Pack (not a strange euphemism), based on a Pro Hero known as Air Jet. Combine this with every hero seen thus far, professionals and students alike, and you are forced to remember that costumes are damn iconic and pretty much a requirement in this line of work. And, unlike a majority of the Western heroes presented by comics, not everyone has the ability to sew an inherently unique and useful costume. Remember Spider-Man in the Sam Raimi trilogy? His costume sucked, then after sketching some ideas (another skill that is handed out entirely too easy in fiction), he somehow made the suit we all remember. How? I mean, I know that isn’t the point of a heroes journey, but it is a little refreshing that My Hero presents a viable reason for the personalised weaponry of every hero. Simply a benefit of a more public existence I suppose. To cut a long paragraph short; Hatsume is a fun character.
Speaking of underused characters, Tokoyami surprisingly gets a turn in the main rotation this week. Rounding out Team Midoriya, along with Uraraka, the mysterious crow guy finally gets a chance to demonstrate his power. Though still not completely defined, his ability seems to be containing a shadow monster who erupts from his stomach, abiding by orders he gives it. That being said, its possession of a voice, along with previous appearances, hints at it having a mind all its own, which is an interesting tidbit I’m sure will resurface sooner or later. Combined with Uraraka’s Personal gravity Manipulation and Hatsume’s inventions, this haphazard team stands as a surprisingly cohesive unit. This again leans towards Midoriya’s strategic strength, having chosen Tokoyami as a defensive bolster. don’t get me wrong, the other teams are no slouches either, the team of Mineta-Shouji-Tsu stands out as a unique threat, albeit a humorous one, and seeing Bakugo with anyone is always cause for concern. The episode also goes to great lengths to show that Class 1-B pose a serious threat as well, currently standing above most of 1-A in points, though I”m sure that will pivot ever so slightly by next week, given Bakugo’s explosive declaration against a particular 1-B strategist. This may be overshadowed however by Todoroki, who has allied with Yaoyorozu (another 1-A powerhouse) and is gunning for Midoriya. Still, as noted by the wonderful background trio of Lady, Kamui and Desutegoro, this entire event is yet another simulation of life in the pro circuit, teaming up with unknown variables in order to defeat unknown threats. Heck, even Eraser Head notes the strangeness of some of the team ups, which says a lot. After all, who saw Iida standing against Midoriya?
This week stands as yet another simple event that conceals a much more intricate lesson. Of course, it could simply be a simple Shonen series and my various detailings of the truths which lie beneath could all stem from my inherent love and bias towards this series, but I prefer believing the latter. It makes things simpler and more inclusive. Midoriya has gotten a taste of the life he strives for, Class 1-A has received a startling reminder that threats lies on both sides of the Hero-Villain border and the world at large has seen the new talent that will one day protect them all. Still, a discernibly personal element made a powerful resurgence when the eyes that glared at Midoriya before the Cavalry Battle were directly compared to those that drilled into him before his time at UA. No longer looking down on him in hatred and pity, they fixate up at him, their loftily pointed goal and the one they must defeat. That’s one heck of a cathartic transformation and all the Bakugo exhalations and Todoroki stares can’t change that.
It’s fine now. Why? Because My Hero Academia is on Crunchyroll