When traipsing down the arduous path of heroism, one must learn an important lesson: Not every problem can be solved with a punch, no matter how powerful and able to change the weather. There are times when it is more important to save those in danger than pursue those causing it, to show that the truest offence against evil is a solid defence of the innocent. Of course, when a punchable threat appears every ten seconds, it can be easy to forget this simple fact, but that is why we’re here. Remember the basics, champions-of-justice-to-be, working smarter towards your goal and never forgetting those who look to you for guidance and protection. Even if they’re really annoying…
Having passed the first round by the skin of their teeth, Class 1-A have joined the ranks of those standing in shock as the arena around them explodes. However, rather than heralding the appearance of the League of Villains yet again, said detonations are merely part of the (probably very expensive) second round. With such carnage around them, our Heroes-in-training must pivot their focus and turn to the less destructive portion of their dream vocation. Populated by the Help Us Company, a group of professional victims (in an not-creepy, acting type of way), the scene laid before our intrepid cast is perhaps the most intense thus far. From the onset of this series, heroism has revolved around defeating Villains and developing Quirks to do so more efficiently. Definitely the more Shonen approach, but not the most inclusive it would seem. As we rather swiftly learn, even those who possess powerful Quirks are not necessarily the most capable when it comes to calming and assisting the masses. Sure you can lift rubble with the flick of a finger, but how will that affect the man trapped beneath? Was the rubble you moved structurally important? Was it holding a grievous wound closed? Was it blocking a flow of water? Crucial questions that may not be on the forefront of a rescuers mind, though they most assuredly should be.
In addition to providing the necessary personage for the Rescue Exam, the Help Us Company (H.U.C.) provides another glimpse into the wider world of My Hero. With Heroes taking such a large role within society, it is only natural that some would utilise this to build a career of their own. On top of the job stability found in aiding this Hero economy, the H.U.C. also play a pretty major role in the training of future Heroes. As bratty as some members may be, their harsh criticism is exactly what Midoriya needed to remember the moment that drove him down the path of heroism in the first place. Heck, we all know the moment when All Might revealed his brand of support to the world, it was just lost in the scramble of the Provisional Hero Licence Exam. More than that, ignoring the letter of a test is what got Midoriya into U.A. in the first place, opting instead to focus on the essence of being a Hero. Save not only the victim, but their heart as well. Smile in the face of insurmountable odds and stand as a bastion of justice in troubling times. Be a good guy and don’t mess up tactical decisions that could aggravate somebody’s concussion or fractured spine. That last one is a little less poetic, but it remains true all the same.
As an aside from the intensity of the situation exploded before them, an surprising amount of time is devoted to reminding us of Uraraka’s feelings for Midoriya. Between a clawing jealousy at Camie’s confusing relationship with him and an overall uncertainty as to when her emotions shifted from friendship, our poor girl is practically beside herself with doubt. It’s severe enough that she even recalls the words Toga spoke to her (and that girl was trying to drain her blood and kill her). Still, her reminiscing does have an affect, as Uraraka resolves to bury her feelings for the time being and focus on becoming a Hero. Combined with the fact that she aspires to emulate Midoriya’s drive and ambition, her fear of ruining their current relationship stands as quite the hurdle before her. It isn’t exactly the cute and heartwarming outcome we may have been expecting, but there is a sombre realism to her decision. Of course, when surrounded by people who can grow girders out of their chest and fire tape from their elbows, sombre realism may not be enough of a justification to sate your vicariously romantic desires. Regardless, something tells me Uraraka’s feelings will not be forgotten so easily, let’s just hope that their repression doesn’t cause too much trouble in the future. Like, say, if Camie continues her oddly insistent pursuit of Midoriya…or if Toga comes back…or if Mei gets handsy again. Man, the ladies are all about Midoriya, aren’t they?
Though I’ve already mentioned the pivot from combat to rescue, I feel it necessary to throw a little more light on how this change affects the usefulness of Quirks. With creativity and necessity having driven characters such as Uraraka and Koda to use their Quirks offensively, we are now given the chance to witness their abilities in a less strained scenario. Zero Gravity’s reliance on objects becomes its greatest asset in a rubble-filled zone and whilst communicating with animals has its limits in attack, it is a tremendous ability when it comes to searching a large area quickly. Yaoyorozu is also able to stretch her capabilities further, combining her Quirk’s adaptability with her inherent intelligence and knowledge of matter. In fact, the tables are essentially reversed, with combat-types forced to creatively use their comparatively simple Quirks. Bakugo, for example, may have some trouble fixing a problem caused by explosions with more explosions. But I certainly would like to see him prove me wrong, it’d look awesome.
And thus, with a rocky start and a ever shaking confidence, our Heroes-in-training strive to strengthen their rescuer’s knowledge and aid all who lie before them. Unfortunately, nothing is ever simple in this damn fictitious world and now a group of Heroes are about to rock the house by playing bad guy for a while. You thought rescuing an injured old woman was difficult? Try doing it when an awesome-looking killer whale/man is wrecking shop. Even Eraser Head notes the exceeding difficulty this addition presents, making us all realise just how seriously the arrival of Stain and the departure of All Might has affected the licencing process. Though we most assuredly still support our beloved Class 1-A, it seems as if the government is separating the wheat from the chaff in a certifiably extreme manner. Man, things are certainly getting rough, if only there was an exactly one episode long break in this story, to give us all a chance to exhale. If only…
P.S. There totally is a random episode coming out next week. I know it and you know, I’m just trying to be cute.