With the truth of One For All and All For One still (relatively) fresh in our minds, there is only one thing that can lift our spirits back to acceptable Shonen levels: Exams. Wait…exams are awful. Getting away from them is one of the major reasons people watch anime (don’t bother fact checking that, I’ve already done the research and am a trustworthy source). I mean, such an inclusion could only be forgiven if, say, the series blazed past the boring written segment and dropped us smack bang in the middle of another cool combat scenario…and also if Yaoyorozu got some more screentime and was absolutely adorable.
So check your fears at the door, my friends, because that is exactly what happens. Reminding us once more that our cast of heroes are still very much at school, a new batch of tests loom over 1-A, a far greater threat to some than even the Hero Killer. Not literally, of course, on account of pieces of paper holding no ideological views and a single minded desire to see them rise in a torrent of blood that will drown the corruption of society and force the masses to realise their own self-destructive greed and complacency…that we know of. Possible impending papyric apocalypse aside, this situation allows Yaoyorozu to insert herself into audience consciousness by offering to tutor her fellow classmates. Though lauded as rather prodigious, given her recommendation into Class 1-A and overall abilities, Yaoyorozu is still yet to receive her fifteen minutes of screentime. Her fight with Tokoyami in the Sports Festival was over swiftly, her place in the earlier race existed as part of a joke reminding us that Mineta is still perverted and her internship consisted of her comedically coping with the idea that looks can be a major portion of a professional career. This particular point is unexpectedly brought up once more this episode, with Mount Lady and Midnight discussing the values of sexiness in the hero business. Of course, this amounts to an offscreen fight when Mount calls Midnight old, but the idea is interesting nonetheless. This is especially apparent when Midnight raises the very valid point that some Quirks require a degree of freedom granted by less clothing. Yaoyorozu for example would be supremely hindered by a more conservative ensemble, providing an in-universe example for her display of fanservice. I think Kirishima just likes showing off the goods though.
*Smash cut to exams being over* and we find ourselves in a much more action packed setting: Practical Exams. With previous physical lessons bringing us some of the series’ highest points, this next batch has quite a lot to live up to. Doubts are almost immediately dissuaded, however, when it is revealed that this exam will involve students graduating from robotic foes, to live ones. Namely: The Teachers. Already established as powerhouses in their own rights, the size of this hurdle the students much traverse is tremendous…and awesome. Having seen the damage that Aizawa and Thirteen can do when they get serious, the episodes to come promise some lofty occurences. None, however, are more awaited than the clash between Midoriya, Bakugo and All Might. Though intended to round out some of their rougher points, this odd couple pairing of Deku and Kacchan carries a hefty risk. It’s honestly a crapshoot whether Bakugo’s wounded pride and seething fury win out and damage both his and Midoriya’s chances of victory or his desire to prove himself sees him help who he proclaims as the biggest thorn in his side (though he is essentially the one who drove it in there). Even the series knows that this is the duo people want to see, revealing their team up second in the class line up, despite the fact that it will take place last. Though if every fight goes by as fast as Kirishima and Sato’s, we might reach that goal sooner, rather than later.
I highly doubt this, however, and predict another Sports Festival situation, rushing past certain match-ups to give us more time to focus on the fan favourites, or whoever the story decides to develop. My money’s on Yaoyorozu. The upcoming Tsukoyomi/Tsuyu team seems interesting though, especially considering they are versing some sort of cloning ghost man. I’m pretty sure frog girl is higher on the food chain than scary reploid though, so we might see a student victory in the near future…lest the Tsuyu fans revolt. At the very, very least, these exams provide us an introduction to the powers and fighting styles of a few more pro heroes, opening the door for them to return to action in future stories without the need for timely introductions, which is an exciting notion. Though that does remind me of the Quirk bios that have been popping up this entire season. A quick way to remind an audience who is who to be sure, but this episode brought up nametags for Iida and Uraraka. Do we really not know who they are by now? It’s not a major gripe, it just becomes a little cluttered when three students take to the screen and comic font demands our attention. And it’s not like the names of Quirks are always that helpful…or inventive. I do dig Sugar Rush though, that’s a cool name.
Loquaciousness aside, this was very much a breather episode. With a bubbly Yaoyorozu bringing essentially the first part of the episode home, the second was relegated to setting up the Practical Exams. Yes, Kirishima and Sato fought, but they were simply an example of what not to do. Which is a little bit of a shame, Kirishima’s cool. Regardless, we are once again on the precipice of a learning experience that will either teach our cast how little they actually know, reveal how much they have learnt so far, or be interrupted by a plethora of villains looking to prove a point by beating up a bunch of school students…because of evil. The odds are pretty even in My Hero world, if you’re not being plagued by ne’er-do-wells, you’re learning a lesson that will better you as a person. It’s a very extreme way to live.
It’s fine now. Why? Because My Hero Academia is on Crunchyroll