It’s been a spell, hasn’t it? Since we last got to see those crazy cats at UA, saving the day, doing what they do best. Don’t get me wrong, the wait hasn’t been all butterflies and blushing, partly because we’ve all been, like, super busy with our lives and partly because we’ve all been dreading one thing: The League of Villains. Well, in-universe dreading, out here in the realm of the real we’ve all been thinking about the new thread of vicious energy they’ll inject into the story. Like that Stain guy, remember him? Boy was he crazy. Still, a breath of painfully fresh air that really hit hard, like drinking cold water after brushing your teeth. And before any of you get worried, I still want the good guys to win, it’s just interesting to see them beat the bad guys, preferably with their cool powers. Man, imagine all the things you could do with those powers. You could fly around without a care in the world (except for lighting storms and errant Boeings), or lift your car if you were parked in a really narrow space and didn’t want to scratch up the doors trying to get in, or even cook food with your fire breath. What’s that? You want to see Class 1-A spend an episode using their Quirks to swim, whilst simultaneously reminiscing about the major events that led them to where they are now? Well, have I got a treat for you…
That’s right folks, grab your towels and bust out the SPF 50+, because we’re spending a day by the water. Just to make sure you don’t start to shiver and shake, it’s going to be a nice ease back into the tumultuous waters of My Hero Academia and the massing vile villains within. Take Shigaraki for example, bad dude, kind of easy to tell by the way he wears severed human hands like jewellery, but do you remember the part about him hating Midoriya? Probably, right? Still, couldn’t hurt to get a refresher course, perhaps in flashback form? I mean, you liked it once, why not twice? Hell, you could blow me out of the water and watch it a million more times, though I would certainly question you afterwards, thoroughly even. Blinding sarcasm aside, should you open the door numbered thirty-nine, you will find yourself treading upon familiar ground. Flashbacks are nothing new, of course, although I do find it strange that a season would open with one. And even if that was the initial intention of the production team, throw out a warning or two, drop some pamphlets from a hot air balloon, Tweet an Instagram, or whatever the cool kids do. It just feels oddly deflating to kick open the door to your house, triple pike somersault into your favourite chair and find yourself watching Déjà vu (the feeling, not the Tony Scott film). Still, focusing on that silver lining ’til your eyes burn, it does serve as a primer if your memory is a little cloudy, adagistic irony non-withstanding. To shine up that Ag even more, this episode does trickle some new footage in with the old and it isn’t not fun.
With Kaminari having apparently bonded with Mineta over the series’ absence, the duo of hormones cooked up a plan to visit the school pool, having overheard the 1-A girls plans to do the same. Thus, the two enlist the ever trustworthy Midoriya in order to seal the deal for gaining permission to swim. Now, in any other 80s movie, this setup would lead to all sorts of ludicrous hijinks that in all honesty should’ve resulted in a number of fictional characters behind bars, a large number. Hell, sometimes it feels like the audience is guilty by association, but I digress. Unfortunately for Sparky and the Grape, Midoriya invited the rest of the 1-A guys, having believed Mineta’s lie about using the pool for training, instead of inferring the truth about using it for ogling. And so, we are provided with a backdrop for some to reminisce, others to commiserate and a few to race. Sparsity of freshness aside, seeing the students use their powers to shoot through 50 metres is pretty fun. The fact only a few actually swim is a neat way to remind us what each character brings to the table in terms of variety and ingenuity, whilst their few lines of new dialogue shows us the roles they fill in this eclectic class. It’s not a whole lot to go on, but we take our victories where we can find them.
Is this the triumphant return to My Hero Academia that we were all expecting? No, it most assuredly isn’t. However, I refuse to allow that quell the joy that has bubbled within since I learned that there are a bevy of people out there who like this series as much as I do. So we got a flashback episode, no biggie. What’s that, one in thirty-nine? Those are some pretty good odds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that disliking this opening offering is a slight on the series, merely that we should all remember that there is still a long way to go before the curtain closes and that lady of girth starts beltin’ out some tunes. So watch it if you feel the need, skip it if you want, but either way, make sure you tune in for the next installment, because that’s when we begin in earnest. Welcome back to UA.