If you have ever once dreamed of being a superhero, chances are high that you have also pondered how you will deal that decisive blow. Will it be a single punch? Perhaps a flurry of blows, accompanied by a hearty shout? Maybe nobody can even see your move, completed with such speed that there is only time for a pithy one-liner before your enemy hits the ground. Whatever the case, I am certain that it is something fully suited to your personal tastes and screaming with the voice of your honest inner-child. And in the end, isn’t that what really matters? Apart from actually beating the bad guy.
With the violent reunion of the Musketeer motto fading into history and the dorm room competition summarily concluded, it is time to once again enter the hallowed halls of U.A. and get back to some schooling. I know, I know, you’re all excited to see some good ol’ fashioned learning, but we’re going to have to put the classroom in our rear view mirror and traipse on over to TDL. Now, before a legal department of sentient brooms break my door down, these three letters in fact stand for Training Dining Land, not Tokyo Disney Land. Still, both promise high levels of fun and an experience you’ll never forget. I mean, one might have you fight a skeleton man in order to secure your dream job, but the other one is relatively safe; it is a school after all. Ha, classic misdirection; just when you think I’ll zig, I zag. Okay, so my Ultimate Move could use some work…but I’ll get there.
Speaking of incremental progress, those crazy cats in Class 1-A continue to inch forward on the path to heroism. Despite being called on account of forestrial terrorism, the U.A. Training Camp still managed to beat some physical training into everybody, pushing their fledgling abilities towards maturity. As with every stage of human development, the rate at which the students take to these lessons are supremely varied and showcase where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Take Ojiro, everybody’s favourite background character; despite his martial arts training and powerful physique, his predictable movement severely hamper his combat efficacy. After all, it’s not hard to dodge an opponent with a muscular tail when you realise all of their moves revolve around striking you with said muscular tail. It’s not exactly an exciting criticism to devote time in an episode to, but not every part of the process is noteworthy. I mean, Uraraka’s ability to manipulate an object’s gravity is awesome; however, watching her mitigate nausea is less so. Still, I would be lying if the minutia of this series didn’t excite me; showcasing how tremendously cool and self-confident I am. Allow me to elucidate…about the minutia.
The evolution of Midoriya’s Quirk has been a long and arduous one. From a kid who couldn’t save a notebook, Deku has transformed into a burgeoning hero whose tenacity rivals All Might himself. The advent of Full Cowling pushed his self-destructive style aside and saw the rise of a protagonist who could actually stand after throwing a punch. But it wasn’t enough. When it really hit the fan, Midoirya would always fall back on a full-powered Smash and turn his bones into a not-so-fine powder. Sure it was cool, but damn were the empathy pains strong. So, where to go next? How does one avoid damaging their arms when their entire fighting style revolves around punching? Simple: stop punching. An answer so basic that a child could have thought of it…and therein lies the brilliance. As we have seen time and time again, not every breakthrough is a telegraphed event, not every advancement comes from focused thought; sometimes, things just click. Did you think that Mei talking about running with you arms would lead to the creation of Full Cowling: Shoot Style? Because congratulations if you did, you are a smart cookie and I applaud your out-of-the-box mentality. Regardless, watching Midoriya’s preconceptions literally shatter was immensely satisfying. I wish I could physically perceive my cognitive process…actually, no I don’t. That sounds like a frighteningly introspective Quirk.
One a more present tangent, this episode also throws some pretty decent moments with Mei and All Might, separately. With all his time now able to be given to U.A. and its students, it would seem that All Might is brushing up on his teaching skills. Okay, so he read a book about teaching that he keeps in his back pocket; but hey, at least he’s trying. And I really mean that. As simple as the joke is, it shows that All Might was not lying when he spoke to Mama Midoriya. Though he cannot fight on the front lines anymore, he is still a wealth of experience and knowledge for the students he inspires. It definitely helps that his advice is vague and non-threatening, but who am I to criticise? After all, our visit with Mei provides us all manner of quotes that deride the profiling of knowledge. Who would have thought that common sense itself could be the bane of intellectualism? Einstein, apparently. That aside, the ever-bombastic Mei never fails to liven up an episode, or thoroughly endanger those around her. I can’t exactly see the use of a suit of armour that snaps its wearer’s back in seven places, but I think that might be that pesky common sense creeping in. It’s probably best to just enjoy whatever happens whenever Mei explodes onto screen and take each philosophical lesson in stride. Unless you’re Uraraka, because that inventor laid hands on your not-actually-but-maybe-he-will-be-one-day-man. Well, not so much hands…
Can you hear that bell a’ringing? It’s the end of another few days of school and we are ever so much closer to the Provisional Hero Licence Exam. No longer will our boys and girls be illegals in the eyes of the Hero community, merely untrained, which I think is better. Still, it’s what’s happening and there is at least one student ready and raring to blow something up, not naming any names. Status as a Provisional Hero also has the potential to open up a number of future plot lines, to speak in a meta sense, mixing a large amount of intrigue into the proceedings. But we shall power-slide across that bridge when we come to it; for now, let us simply enjoy the fact that Class 1-A is back on track and out of immediate danger. After all, All Might beat the villain-to-end-all-villains into the dirt and there’s no way anybody is still mad about that, slowly biding their time until the perfect chance to strike back at the children who are so often at the heart of their myriad failures. No way at all.