Being popular can sure be a drag. I think, I don’t know from personal experience, but fiction has led me to believe that it can, in fact, be a drag. This is most especially true when pitted in direct competition against those who hold feelings of animosity and envy towards the popular and even doubly more so especially true when said animositous and envious can shatter the earth itself with a single open palm.
So, as we learnt last week, having your Quirk broadcast across the country does not for a subtle Hero make. Combined with the general bubbling fury each other school feels for U.A. and the unstable nature of teenage hormones, a perfect storm of chaos is a-brewing in the Provisional Hero Licence Exam. You know, it’s moments like these that call the teachings of Stain back into the mind. What was it again? That Heroes have forgone the ways of altruism in favour of compensation and recognition? Well, though I definitely can’t abide his murderous actions, one can’t help but think there may be a modicum of truth within his words. I mean, a literal thousand and change high-schoolers are throwing pain at each other so that they don’t ruin there future career prospects. I don’t claim to be any kind of psychologist, but that has got to be confusing for a young mind to perpetually endure. These kids have spent longer pretending that their fellow classmates are villains than they have actually helping the general public. That is one heck of a skewed ratio. Of course, this line of thinking is not dominant in this particular outing, but this is the type of series to call everything back at a later date, so be forewarned. Like, remember when Yoarashi took out 120 competitors? The dude only needed to take out 1 to win, see that number? 1? It’s missing the 20 after it.
Speaking of taking out competitors, that shape-shifting stalker lady really should have bought Midoriya dinner before she got all up on him. Kind of taking a page out of Midnight’s book with her sensuality-forward combat style. I feel like the almost crazed fervour with which she referenced her opponent is a new twist though. I mean, she could treat all of her enemies like objects of intense affection, but I feel like that would get a little tiring…for all parties involved. Also, disguising yourself as another girl in a guy’s life is a pretty weird move, even if your goal is to knock them out of an exam…maybe especially if. I don’t know, I just wasn’t expecting another lady with Midoriya on the brain to enter the fray. What’s that? One who likes him and two who creepy-like him? Forgive me if I sound callous, but pinning somebody to the ground and interrogating their motives for attaining their dream is rather unsettling. Did I mention the shape-shifting into a friend thing? Because I feel like I mentioned the shape-shifting into a friend thing.
On a more upbeat note, we are once again given the chance to follow along with Midoriya’s thought process in the ever expanding explanation for why learning to kick is such an important moment in his development. With a truly impressive amount of reductive reasoning, Midoriya has come to the conclusion that All Might may have still been a Hero had he already learned to vary One For All: Full Cowling. By his logic, his inability to fight Muscular without shattering his body resulted in it taking longer to take Koda to a safe place, which resulted in it taking longer for Midoriya to warn people about the Villains, which resulted in Bakugo engaging in combat, which resulted in Bakugo being captured, which he was unable to stop because of his shattered body, which resulted in the rescue attempt for Bakugo, which resulted in the appearance of All For One, which resulted in All Might fighting, which resulted in All Might losing One For All. And all of this could have been avoided if Midoriya could handle his Quirk and didn’t have to rely on spectacular, once-off moves to win. Is it a long way to travel to reach such a simple conclusion? Yes. But it definitely continues the trend of seemingly basic answers turning everything on its head. After all, the idea behind Full Cowling is not complex and yet it revolutionised Midoriya’s entire fighting style. One can only fathom how far Shoot Style will take him.
Just to leave us with a little hook, as well as remind us that characters other than Midoirya exist, we are given a brief glimpse into the trials of our ol’ pal Todoroki. Opting to go it alone all cool guy style, it seems our hot-cold-headed Hero is in for quite a struggle. Though claiming that his power works better when he is alone, a certain rival school of, I think, ninjas begs to differ. Even if he does believe he is free to go all out by himself, his though process does carry a certain amount of arrogance with it. With a few hundred students still currently active, Todoroki must believe he can win by himself, otherwise he would’ve stuck with the group. Though only the hint of realisation thus far has surfaced, I am definitely interested to see if this calling out causes Todoroki to shift his tactics. I mean, now that I think about it, most of Todoroki’s attacks are wide-ranging strikes and I doubt they have to be. Pillars of ice and flame rise whenever he fights, so he’s right in wanting to keep his allies far away. but why doesn’t he change his style? Why not focus his fire? Why not condense where his ice strikes? He’s the genius of the class, right alongside Yaoyorozu, so why haven’t we seen him try? Hmmm, methinks this is not the end of Todoroki’s mental growth. We started by working on those daddy issues; so, what comes after?
Well, not a whole heck of a lot happened this episode if I’m to be entirely honest (and I see no reason why I shouldn’t be). We saw a creepy girl made of goo and questions, we witnessed a tornado ruin the dreams of over 100 students and we watched a tungsten nut shatter a wall of ice. See, this is the kind of stuff that makes people cock and eyebrow at anime. This was a slow episode and my last sentence referenced goo, tornadoes and nuts. What a world we live in that has worlds other people made up in it. Still, I can’t say I’m not excited for what happens next, because that would be lying and I don’t intend to break my mentality from five sentences ago. Regardless…I honestly have no idea what I’m even talking about anymore, so I’m just going to peter out and leave you all with some playfully disarming closer like usual. Although, that’s a rather self-aware thing to say. You don’t think…am I a shape-shifted copy just pretending so that I can deceive you and win the exam? No, that couldn’t be right…right?