As you have no doubt ascertained from your own life experiences, challenge is what spurns us onward. It is a driving force that demands us to improve, lest we be left behind. It’s like some sort of selection, perhaps natural in nature and since nobody has ever flown such a theory before, I shall claim it as my own. Brilliant. Anti-social Darwinism aside, challenge also holds a myriad of forms, some more entertaining than others and others…well, others are sometimes a literal punch in the gut.
Since he first popped his face through a solid stone wall, Togata has been a…noticeable presence. Standing as the numero uno of U.A. and all those within (perhaps even the faculty), he is a new major player in the make-up of this world. Apart from possessing the same lustre and dynamite hairstyle of one Symbol of Peace, Togata brings one element to the table that our Class 1-A lacks: Experience. Okay, so they’ve dealt with some serious Villains and found themselves on the wrong end of a decades long feud, but they’re still only first years. If all of this could happen to our cast in one year, imagine the kind of talent they’ll form in another two. Shoot Style will seem like a distant memory and, like, Uraraka will learn to magnify gravity, Bakugo might even calm the hell down. Can you imagine? We’ve already come so far since Midoriya exploded his limbs and Iida learnt that logic can hinder his compassion…of course, then he went mental and fought Stain, but then he learnt to tone down the emotion, so I think we’re fine now. It may sound like the most basic of concepts, but that’s only because it is. My Hero loves reminding us that not every step forward is dramatic and violent in nature and that sometimes the most valuable lessons are simply forgotten, overshadowed by the ones where cloud patterns are altered…which has happened at least twice.
To showcase this invaluable experience, Togata manages to Worf Effect the entirety of Class 1-A, decking all our favourites in a single punch. Sure they’re not the best when it comes to combat, but damn, nobody stood a chance against the naked dynamo. Oh, all of Togata’s clothes fall off when he uses his Quirk…so that’s funny. Well, the part where he actively hides his nudity and apologises profusely to the girls is. It’s also rather polite and does a quick job of establishing the type of guy Togata is: goofy, but aware. And whilst that may sound only nice, it is also the basis of his tactical abilities. Exploring the concept of utilising a Quirk to its highest potential, Permeation stands as an interesting nut to crack. Robbing its user of all sensory feedback, bar a sensation of falling, this Quirk paints a rather horrific experience. Keeping in mind that they can be active since birth, it’s a wonder more characters haven’t gone insane. Can you imagine learning to walk when there’s a chance you could fall through the ground? That’d be traumatising. Still, it goes to show how far Togata has pushed himself, transforming even the weaknesses of his Quirk into an apparent strength. Though the science seems…complex, the notion of ejecting himself from matter as a type of faux warping is, simply put, rather cool. Combined with his fake out techniques that don’t actually make contact, Togata stands as a rather unpredictable force. Combine this even further with the fact that he is shredded and a capable fighter even without his Quirk and it’s easy to see how far Class 1-A has to go.
With the focus of this episode so heavily geared towards Togata, the remaining two thirds of The Big Three receive a rather flimsy amount of screen-time. Shown to be a socially inept bundle of joy and questions, Hado is in prime position to climb a number of people’s list of favourite characters. Apart from this hard-to-hate demeanour, her Quirk and combat skills remain a mystery, as does her motivation and overall meaningful traits. The same can be said for Amajiki. who, due to his apparently severe stage-fright, relegates himself to the background. Though I’m not exactly complaining about their lack of impact on this episode, Togata simply possessed such an impact on the story that I’m curious. How will Hado and Amajiki affect our characters? Will they? I don’t know…but I want to. Togata turned a literal nightmare into a tremendous power, what did these other two accomplish to stand on the same level? Whatever it was/is/will be, I bet it’s impressive. Weird…it could also be weird. Maybe not to the same degree as spontaneous nudity and the apology thereof, but perhaps something close.
Not to leave us feeling too good about the hopes and dreams of Heroes-in-training, My Hero once again decided to plant the seeds of terror and uncertainty. With the chance meeting that ended our Twice retrospective last episode, the Villain known as Overhaul finds himself face-to-face-to-hand-covered-face with our old pal Shigaraki. Though another unknown piece in this ever expanding puzzle, nothing good ever comes when Shigaraki takes an interest in somebody…on account of him being evil. Seeming as how two even less known characters seem aware of who Overhaul is and even Shigaraki himself noted what a “crazy big fish” Twice had reeled in, it would seem that something big is about to go down. And by big, I mean evil…and also big. Big and evil. Look, the guy wears a plague doctor mask, drones on about uncleanliness and was last seen fusing organic matter with a totalled car, everything about him screams bad news…loudly. It loudly screams bad news. Also, what is the deal with bad guys looking so damn evil? It just seems bad for the whole clandestine nature of Villainy. It’s mainly the hands…I’m mainly talking about the hands.
So, another season has passed and what have we learnt? Well, for starters, you should never underestimate the impact of a dumb idea. Sometimes even the most ludicrous of suggestions can free your mind and allow inspiration to strike. In that vein, perceived strength is not always true and inherent ability can falter before honest effort. Remember how Todoroki didn’t get his Provisional Hero Licence? Everybody though his power an insurmountable wall, an unfair advantage that would see him through to his dream. Sure, the ability to command two elements is bonkers strong, but remember how he himself limited its usage. I’m not the first person to run these ideas of self-development, nor am I the most qualified or succinct, but isn’t that the beauty of fiction? Whereas some may spend their time disassembling historical writings, or exploring the intricacies of human interaction, we are free to do the same without all that pesky degree nonsense…and with so many more explosions. We can glean some form of knowledge from watching interactions that never happened between people who don’t exist, simply because we are interested in them. Hell, I’ve prattled on incessantly about them week after week, for no reason other than I like this series. And I will continue to like this series. For all the time we must wait until the next seasons rolls on by, the questions raised in this episode and well before will ever rattle in our brains. Until My Hero answers them and then throws some other crazy nonsense at us. Because, despite all we have seen and all our Heroes-in-training have experienced, this journey is far from over.