In every fictional competition from the 90s onward, subversion has seen our heroes fall short of that gleaming gold trophy that signifies first place. Sure silver can be just as shiny, but it also carries the lesson that there is always something new to learn, some new metaphorical hurdle to soar over. Of course, reliance on this subversion saw that it became just as predictable as our hero scoring first, if not more so; thus, the results of the Provisional Hero Licence Exam come as a wonderful surprise that shouldn’t have surprised anyone.
With exactly who you’d imagine managing to fail the test to begin all provisional careers, this episodic outing showcases the searing pain of consequences. Though Shonen logic dictates that rivals combining their powers to fight a larger threat equals victory, there was no conceivable way that kind of thinking could counteract Todoroki and Yoarashi’s clash. In a real combat situation, their lack of emotional control could have meant the deaths of countless civilians and most likely themselves. I know Endeavour sucks as a human, but still. Also, despite its humour, Bakugo’s violent outbursts are not what a frightened civilian wants to hear when they are quite possibly two steps away from the Villain who torched their home. The decision of Todoroki and Bakugo both to go wandering off alone also probably didn’t help their overall grade, but I think you get the picture already. TL;DR: If you want to be a Hero, don’t be a raging jerk.
Speaking of raging jerks, turns out All For One is still plaguing the world with his existence. Despite his ever tenuous grasp on life and humanity, his ego appears to have avoided the bulk of the damage that left him a vile husk and continues to stand as a beacon of anti-All Might fervour. By the by, normally I’d feel bad about calling somebody a “vile husk”, but when the world believes a prison named Tartarus is a fitting place for you to live and die, I’m pretty sure insults become a forgivable given. Anywho, ol’ No Face is a lot more talkative than when we last saw him (if you can believe it), using his time to rile All Might and try to glean any information about the outside world from the once Symbol of Peace. Though it remains jarring, seeing the world’s most heinous Villain so elated by being a petulant child is rather interesting. Boiled down to its base, All For One despises All Might for wrecking his fun and reminding him that mortality exists. Never has anything sounded so grandiose and bratty at the same time. Even his corruption of Shigaraki was seemingly just to get back at All Might, if not mimic his adoption of a protege. Immaturity aside, it is an intriguing reminder that even the world’s worst Villain is still a human being. Now, whether that makes his actions more or less understandable is really up to you, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that he belongs in a place called Tartarus.
Paralleling, rounding out and leaving a hook for next episode, we are also presented with the (probably forgotten about) return to Midoriya and Bakugo’s conversation about how a Quirkless nobody gained the power to punch a building down. Though it seems a lifetime ago, Midoriya’s comment of inheriting his power has apparently remained burning strong within the mind of Bakugo, another coal to fuel his hatred for the little coward who could. With the intelligence and deductive reasoning everybody forgets he has, on account of the screaming and explosions, ol’ Bakugo Holmes demands Midoriya confirm that his Quirk was given to him by All Might. All things considered, and there is a lot of things to consider, this marks the inception of one of the tenser moments of this series as a whole. Though Bakugo is a major player in this story, having him truly aware of Midoriya and All Might’s connection still seems dangerous. The League of Villains already had him in their sights, imagine if they go after him again. I’m not saying he would blab, but you can’t tell me their isn’t a mind-reading Quirk out there. Even without that angle, I’m pretty sure Gran Torino is the only one aware of One For All’s true nature outside of those in the line of succession. It just seems that Midoriya’s incessant need to befriend/appease Bakugo and Bakugo’s own relentless/aggressive nature now threatens one of the world’s most closely guarded secrets. Hell, it doesn’t seem it, Midoriya outright notes that it’s his fault that Bakugo even caught wind of anything. As it turns out, betraying somebody’s trust in order to make somebody else feel better? Not the best idea. Not by a long shot.
Oh, just before I get into my whole wrapping up spiel, anybody who guessed that Camie was secretly Toga in disguise totally cheated by reading the manga and you shouldn’t give them any of your money…if you bet on who Camie was…for some reason. I mean, why would you? Random creepy girl with a seeming obsession with Midoriya even though the two had never met befo-no I totally get it now, don’t mind me. Man, she really doesn’t hide her urges does she? Also, what is the deal with Quirks that require you to ingest another person’s blood? That’s really gross. Do you think that’s why people with those Quirks are Villains? I don’t think I’d be too happy if I had to go vampire on somebody to use my powers. How do you even discover that your Quirk needs blood to activate? Do you just try anything in this world in the hopes you have a weird Quirk? Are their children biting each other and running into walls hoping to turn their powers on? And how much blood does Toga need to ingest? Is Camie tied up somewhere, or did Toga drink her entirely? How weird is Camie that her creepy behaviour only seemed “a little off” to her friends? Although, actually, now it makes sense how “Camie” was able to turn into Uraraka, given the needle wound from their previous encounter. With that in mind, I suppose Toga didn’t need to entirely drink Camie to transform. I mean, she still could’ve…
So, kids, what did we learn this week? Well, hoping to have a productive conversation with a man whose very existence is devoted to screwing you over will probably not yield the best results. Also, don’t reveal decades old secrets with the sole intention of making somebody who despises you feel a little bit better. Studying is also pretty important, as is not violently launching torrents of flame in an effort to show that you are nothing like your father who violently launches torrents of flame, it tests poorly. What else? Never give Mineta an inch, because he will take a mile and probably make a few girls feel uncomfortable in the process. And I think that’s about it, boy did we learn a lot. Now I know how to act properly in any of these given situations…right before I check myself into a hospital for having hallucinations about a world where evil schoolgirls kidnap other schoolgirls and drink their blood in order to become them and ruin their attempt to further their dream career in an attempt to get closer to the boy that they have a creepy fixation on that they construe as love even though they want to murder them and take all their blood or something creepy like that. Huh, maybe Mineta isn’t all that bad after all…nah, he’s still bad. But not the worst, so…silver linings?