In the years upon years of superhero tales, concepts once unheard of have been explored with tremendous amounts of realism and fantasy. How does one with the power to life a mountain cope with a day job? How does a champion of justice remain impartial to their own desires? How does nobody ever figure out that their closest friend looks identical to that guy who breathes fire? Questions of varying validity, but fun to pick apart regardless. Even villains are not exempt from this treatment, building sympathetic tales of woe and injustice, toying with our emotions and making us realise that even seeming lunacy can have its explanation. Still, there are those well worn tales that breathe once more, surprising us all with their poignancy.
Of all the things I thought would kick off this episode, a subdued monologue by Twice was not even on the list. But this is why My Hero doesn’t use my lists. Having appeared as your standard goofball villain, Twice thus far existed for one gimmick (as ironic as that is). The dude’s name is Twice, he says things twice. First one way, then the opposite. Apart from making it difficult to get a read on the guy, it is a noticeable enough gimmick to warrant a deeper look at the character…apparently. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely loved this half-episode long character study, I just never knew I wanted it. On the roster of mysterious Villains, Dabi and Toga seem to be runaway favourites and their personalities imply a more synergistic connection to Shigaraki than Twice. Regardless, this is the first sympathetic view we are given on the League of Villains, unless you count the truth of Shigaraki’s grandparentage (which I don’t…yet). Sure, it’s easier to feel bad for a guy whose history of activities have been vaguely termed “mischief”, but still…poor guy. It’s a pretty bad day when you decide to kill a you who is you, but also not you; then you can’t remember if you were the you who killed you, or the you who was the you who…wasn’t you? Right?
In addition to providing us new insight into his psyche, Twice’s monologue provides yet another perception of the world of My Hero. Though an inherently complex societal and ethical issue, Twice’s viewpoint of Heroes can be summed up in a single, surprisingly thought-provoking sentence: “Heroes only save good people.” Despite their actions standing in direct opposition to Heroes, a Villain’s perception that their life means less than the average citizen could be an understandable driving force. Linking back to an idea brought about by Shinso (who makes a brief appearance this episode), Quirks can be treated with prejudice. Obviously violent or dangerous Quirks could have a large impact on the development of a child and shape their path in life. Again, this is a complex issue with no general solution; however, it is still interesting to ponder the ramifications. What about all the Quirkless boys and girls who never received the chance provided by One For All? In a world dominated by Hero culture, their lack of power could quite easily twist into jealousy and hatred, emotions that would only be stoked by the notion that they aren’t even worthy enough to be saved by the Heroes who undermined their existence. And where would those emotions lead them?
To the League of Villains. Twice himself notes that he’s really in this for a place to belong. If his mind is too fractured to exist within a peaceful society, he will discover those who are on his wavelength. With that in mind, his interactions with his fellow Villains take on a slightly heartwarming tint…slightly. Combined with the fact that All For One sent the main members of the League to safety during his clash with All Might, Shigaraki and crew have the makings of a twisted family. Sure, All For One is a monster who created the League for his own nefarious ends; however, perhaps not every member is that abjectly evil. Perhaps, also, I’m just being naive and too easily swayed by ten minutes of introspection and unexpected character development. Regardless, I would not be above one of our Villains voluntarily surrendering one day, having been swayed by the forces of justice. It probably won’t be Dabi though…on account of all the burning people alive.
Not to direct our attention away from our main cast for too long, the concluding half of this episode drops them back into the daily grind. Turns out Heroes-in-training still need to learn English, probably Maths and stuff too. Boring…unless you’re learning that and are in school at the moment, in which case it’s totally not boring and, like, really important and stuff. Yay school. Anyway, with their house arrest still in effect, Midoriya and Bakugo feel the detriment of missing three (four, in the latter’s case) days of class. Despite leading to a rather humorously furious Midoriya, their absence serves to remind us how driven these kids are and how even a slight stumble can cascade into falling behind their peers. Personally, having this stressful of a career before you even technically have the career would drive me up the proverbial wall, so it really says a lot about cast that they have stuck with everything this long. Still, they have a long way to go and we are finally catching a glimpse of what that might be. You know, before all that Pro Hero stuff.
Though their appearance this episode is simply to set up things to come, the revelation of The Big Three is pretty cool. Logically speaking, there has to be a best in U.A. at any given time, but seeing is certainly more tangible than believing. Again, though shrouded in mystery, the presence of these talented individuals will certainly add yet another goal to the horizons of our cast. Also, the guy who can phase through objects is weird and has ridiculous eyes that I adore. Never have I ever wondered what it would look like if Lucas from Mother 3 mainlined steroids…but now I know. Now I can never unknow and I think I’m okay with that. I’m also definitely curious how this guy climbed to the top of U.A. with a relatively mundane Quirk. Phasing is definitely awesome, but it usually isn’t considered top tier when surrounded by those who can manipulate elements, transform their physical being or punch really, really hard. Which might be what his fellow top students can do? I don’t know. Reveal your secrets to me My Hero, for I am impatient.
Well, I did not expect this episode, like, at all. Between Twice revealing his face, mindset and literal dependency on his mask (which has been metaphorically supposed of heroes since roughly forever) and The Big Three showing their amazing faces, this was a surprisingly interesting episode to follow the long-fated/desired clash between Midoriya and Bakugo. On top of this, a menacing figure known as Overhaul briefly haunted our screens with a Quirk that seems to put Meatball to shame and will certainly not impact our story in anyway in the future…except that he probably will because we learned his name and Twice seemed rather interested in the guy. But I’m going to focus on the more positive elements of this episode because the ability to merge bodies with inanimate objects is horrifying and I’d much rather be able to sleep in the future….remember that phasing guy? He looks charming (and possibly relevant to All Might’s former search for a successor). Oh, and that foreign exchange student was pretty adorable…nope, still can’t forget that Overhaul guy. Damn you My Hero and your weirdness. I hate it. It’s awesome.