As far as I am led to believe, the kidnapping of one’s friend by a dastardly coalition of up-and-coming villains is a tumultuous time in any young adult’s life. Some reflect on what they could have done differently, others question what they will do come the next time and those plot chosen few pick up their shattered bones, forge an unsteady alliance with classmates who lack their ability to forgo logic for the sake of logic and head out into the hustle and bustle of night-time Japan. And yes, we will be focusing on the latter…because it’s way more interesting than the first two.
Between Kirishima reminding us that he is Bakugo’s honest-to-goodness friend and Iida’s proclaimed worry for all classmates he represents, it would seem that our explosive dynamo is not quite as alone as the League of Villains believes him to be. With the intention of turning the obviously prideful and aggressive child to the side of villainy, Shigaraki is on the receiving end of a rather painful lesson. Yes friends, it would seem that being an arrogant jerk does not immediately make you evil. Crazy, I know. Despite his numerous flaws, Bakugo is most decidedly a hero at heart and longs to stand as a beacon of strength, just like a certain hero we know. Despite lacking the obvious connection to All Might that Midoriya possesses, or perhaps because of it, Bakugo stands as a rather strong example of what legacy the Symbol of Peace has left in society. Initially sparking the more negative qualities of overwhelming power equalling justice, Bakugo’s experiences have settled him on the notion that All Might’s strength of will is what truly sets him apart. Yes, the ability to change the weather with a punch certainly helps, but it is the action of never giving up, of pulling victory from the most dire of circumstances that has earned him the stalwart adulation of Bakugo, enough so that the temptations of villainy mean nothing to him. It’s honestly admirable, in it’s own aggressive way…because of when he kneed Twice in the face and exploded the hand off of Shigaraki’s face.
Winding back to beyond the confines of the League of Villain’s bar, the collection of Midoriya, Iida, Yaoyorozu, Kirishima and Todoroki bring a definitive amount of tension to this episode’s events. With Kirishima heading the typical Shonen “Retrieval Arc” mentality, we are presented with the argument that Bakugo’s friends must be the ones to save him, as their failure was what allowed him to be captured in the first place. A valid point, if one painted by grief, enough so that Todoroki is onboard and Midoriya and Yaoyorozu somewhat reluctantly concede. The more interesting side of the debate, however, brings us Iida. Having personally experienced the consequences of disobeying the rules in service of his own emotionally tainted moral compass, he knows full well the dangers of this endeavour. Though perhaps not the never-say-die mentality one wishes to hear from a Shonen character, it is this touch of logical realism that always pushes My Hero beyond what is expected. Both sides wish to save Bakugo, not to mention the rest of Class 1-A who declined Kirishima’s invitation-to-action altogether, and yet Iida punches Midoriya in the face out of sheer frustration. It’s tense, it’s messy and, for an episode with little action to speak of, one of the most engaging sequences of the series’ run.
To inject a little levity into the episode, and make sure we don’t all collapse from drama related heart failure, we are provided with a rather unexpected entry into the art of disguise. With their faces know to the League of Villains, Yaoyorozu decides the best way to travel the streets of Kamino Ward is in the gaudiest outfits this side of a Star Wars reference. I suppose one could technically call what happens next a makeover, though the results are more of a side-step than an overall improvement. Unless your basing it on comedic purposes, in which case they are supreme. The accompanying shifts in personality are also something to witness, although they do make me wonder if this group understands the essence of not drawing attention to themselves. That and the overall state of society if said performances actually work. Not that the episode gives us time to think before it rams more reality into our faces. I mean, I know I said I liked all of the real world complications that affect typical Shonen situations, but they were all wearing funny clothes…and Iida had a moustache.
As I mentioned before, despite not focusing on climactic action as those before it had done, this episode is a rather tough noun to verb. On the one hand, it provides valid reasons for the events that follow, and on the other it derides them. The group in question are all aware that they are behaving selfishly and are most certainly disobeying every mentor they know. This is no brilliant charge into the abyss, nor is it looking to be a situation where all will be forgiven. No, it is a dangerous play by a handful of desperate kids who just want to save their friend, quash their guilt and pain with action and justify it all as heroism when the day comes to a close. Still, if their is anything positive to take from the mess of emotion and ego present in this episode, it’s that the concept of heroism is still burning strong and all of Class 1-A has their heart in the right place. Also, they can look damn fly if they choose to.