Heavy is the head that wears the 10,000,000 point headband, a lesson that poor Midoriya is now all too aware of. Still, if there’s one thing that anime has taught us all: It’s not over until the acoustically superpowered commentator screams. Combine this with the burning hearts of teenagers with a dream and you’ve got yourself one heck of a Round Two.
With the icy stare of Todoroki promising us a continuation of his suddenly spawned rivalry with Midoriya, we are quickly reminded why this is not the best situation for our green haired protagonist. Utilising his teammates for a little offensive and defensive boost, Todoroki is able to freeze a majority of the cavalry battlefield, and the opponents who stand upon it, in a split second. Not only that, he is also able to completely separate Team Midoriya from the rest of the competition, granting him the only chance to steal the coveted 10,000,000. Thus, in one move, we see Todoroki for the tactical, nigh unstoppable powerhouse he truly is. Sure we’ve seen his power before, but it’s never been so…directed before. With his blase attitude and quiet demeanour, Todoroki has always seemed above the usual going on of Class 1-A. But now, now he has a purpose, a motivation, a grudge. Though we do not yet truly know why he has designated Midoriya the focus of his motivations, it is clear to see that he is holding nothing back. Which raises quite an interesting issue.
With his ice powers on constant display, this episode gives us a brief showing of Todoroki’s other side. Literally. As his left side creates ice, so to does his right create fire, a dangerous combination to be sure. However, by his own choice, Todoroki refuses to utilise this power, claiming that doing so will be exactly what his old man wants. Though not outright said, the old man to which he refers is absolutely the pro hero Endeavour, as the episode makes damn sure to cut immediately to the flame bearded guy as soon as Todoroki begins musing about his father. And if this is indeed the case, the reasoning as to why the son of a fire based hero refuses to use his fire based powers is sure to be complex, or at the damn least personal. This lineage also certainly has something to do with Todoroki’s heroic motivations and most likely his clash with All Might’s favourite student. Which, supposition or not, is certainly an interesting way to bring the dramas of the big league into the classrooms of UA. Or at least more subtly than when villains literally kicked down the door.
Speaking of rivalries, Iida indeed managed to carve his own moment in this episode, despite attention favouring Todoroki. And honestly speaking, it was by far my favourite moment of this episode. Revealing a secret move he has told nobody about, Iida manages to move his team so fast that they are able to rob Midoriya of the 10,000,000 in an instant. Even Present Mic was startled. However, what utterly sold this moment for me was the fact that Kaminari, Yaoyorozu and Todoroki were all amazed by this display. Characters who we have seen electrocute scores of people at once, create various weapons from their own body and freeze a stadium with a flick of the wrist, were honestly struck by Iida. It was awesome and it completely validated Iida in a way that has not been seen before. Yes his tactical and orderly mind has been put on display since day dot, but this is the first time we have honestly seen him embrace his personal desire to win. And boy did he embrace it. Also Torque Over: Recipro Burst is a cool name.
Shifting away from the conflict of Todoroki, Bakugo also received his fair share of attention this episode, as he is want to do. Irked by Monoma of Class 1-B, the bombastic badass proceeds to ignore every other team in the Cavalry Battle and head straight for the boasting intellect. Might I say first however, that I totally agree with Bakugo on this one. To rile him up, Monoma teases Bakugo about the Sludge Incident. Do you remember the Sludge Incident? That day Bakugo almost died suffocating in the body of a villain who tried to subsume him? Though I get the more humorous intention of the 1-B rep’s teasing, that just struck the wrong chord in me. Like, a chord that made me want to explosion punch him in the smug face. Thus, I was unassailably happy when Bakugo managed to tear him down a notch through sheer tenacity and a healthy handful of explosions. Also, while we’re on the Bakugo train, I found Mina’s reasoning that he only chose her because of her Quirk interesting. Was she right? Absolutely. Is Bakugo a total ass? Absolutely. But his cherry picking of his team was not unique in the slightest. Todoroki also chose his team based on their skills and even Midoriya selected Tokoyami to fill a gap in his team’s defences. Though Bakugo was no doubt ruder about it, I find it interesting that it is seen as selfishness on Bakugo’s behalf, but tactics on Todoroki and Midoriya’s. Heck, Bakugo even accepted Kirishima after he asked to be on his team. Something to think about is all.
And with all that said and done, the Cavalry Battle is over. With the heroic last moment save going to Tokoyami, Team Midoriya manages to scrape into the top four and show that protagonists are not the only characters who have plans for victory. Props to Dark Shadow. Rather than leave us ready to begin the next round however, this episode trails of with Todoroki confronting Midoriya in a hallway. Friendly enough mind you, it doesn’t look like he’s going to freeze the guy on the spot, but here’s hoping we get a little clarification about this new rivalry thing. Granted the preview for the next episode confirms this is indeed the case, but I think it’s a little more fun to relish in the suspense of mystery, don’t you? Why is Todoroki so defiant against half of his own powers? Why is Midoriya the subject of his frustrations? Why does his father have a beard made of fire? And why has nobody figured out that the skinny guy who sits in the teacher’s stand wearing the same clothes as All Might and disappears whenever All Might appears is actually All Might? Seriously.
It’s fine now. Why? Because My Hero Academia is on Crunchyroll