The second part of the U.A. Sports Festival has begun, and it’s turned out to be quite the bloodbath, if I may say so! My Hero Academia really knows how to keep the excitement going, and things are turning more and more intense by the episode! It’s no wonder I’m always already looking forward to the next part of the story as soon as the latest one ends! Pretty sure you guys feel the same way, right?
Japanese Original Episode Title: 策策策
Since the first year classes are a mixed bag of quirks (actually the whole world in general), it’s incredibly hard to pick the right teammates, especially for something as crucial as this cavalry battle! You’ve got to figure out whose quirk would help out greatly in the game, or even just complement well with yours! Deku seemed to have it harder, though, as no one really wanted to team up with the most wanted target in the whole event! It’s a good thing there are a few people who see things differently, and were more than willing to do their best in keeping the ten million points!
A preview of the actual situation: The fact that the organizers of this festival deliberately made this kibasen resemble what it’s like out there in the professional hero industry is truly a feat! It kind of makes me wonder how many realized this fact since normally you’d only just get caught up with the fun of it all, or even just winning it. Deku, however, was quick to catch on, as All Might noticed. Even though it still wasn’t the actual thing, he already got a first-hand experience of the pressure of being on top, and even the loneliness of trying to keep your position. A lot of people want to be known as the best, after all, and even your own friends want to shine. Now I’m curious if All Might, as the number-one hero, has always felt that way!
Picking teammates: What a surprising turn of events this was! You’d really think that the Deku-Uraraka-Iida trio would team up, but Iida had other plans! It did make me quite sad that he thought he’d always be stuck in Deku’s shadow, but also quite happy because he wants to pave his own path! And, like I said last week, friendly competitions are okay! On the other hand, I laughed so hard at Bakugo because it truly seemed like he thinks of nothing but being the best! He didn’t even bother knowing his classmates’ names and quirks! I wonder what he thought when he picked Ashido, Sero and Kirishima to be his teammates compared to the others who tried showing off? Last, did you guys find it weird that Ojiro and Aoyama are in the purple-haired gen-ed guy’s team? Normally you’d think that those in the same class would team up, right? Could they just have been lumped together because no one else would take them? How curious!
Game start! And so, the test of strategies has begun! Uraraka’s quirk and Hatsume’s gadgets helped their team in terms of mobility, while Tokoyami’s Dark Shadow proved useful in terms of offense and defense! It was indeed a great plan for running away! What’s surprising, though, was that the least likely person you’d think would cause major damage to anyone, did indeed cause problems for Deku’s team! Well, Mineta’s sticky grape-like things are useful for slowing or capturing, so it worked pretty nicely against them. It’s really just another test of how well they use their quirks against different kinds of opponents, huh? The games are just halfway through, so we have yet to see how the others work up their strategies, especially Todoroki’s team!
Class 1-B’s plan: Another thing nobody saw coming because everyone was so focused on the 1-A students! To think 1-B deliberately played it cool during the first event, not only to check out their competition’s quirks, but also to not make theirs stand out! It’s also true that if the underdogs suddenly pull through and come out on top, it’d catch more attention! Most of the teams would also be too preoccupied with taking Deku’s bandana that they’ll be too distracted to focus on their defense! It’s very ingenious really!
Themes & Trivia
Teamwork:Cooperating with each other not only shows team spirit, but, more importantly, calls for each person to set aside their differences and work for the greater good. Not only did the kibasen demand this, but even 1-B as a class had to agree on their plan for the first and second games.
Kibasen: Literally translated as ‘cavalry battle,’ this is one of the most commonly played games in sports festivals in Japan. The mechanics of the game are quite the same as what we’ve seen in this episode. However the most common rule of elimination is that, once a team’s bandana has already been stolen, that team is already out of the game. The same is true once a team member has been separated from the group, or if the whole team has been knocked down. It’s quite a popular event, even though the risk of injuries are high.
One of the things that stood out to me the most in this episode of MHA was the animation! You could barely see any off-model drawings (at least as far as I noticed), and even the animation looked so solid and well-drawn! The subtle details were also fun to keep an eye out for, like the one with the speech bubble as a head, and the faces of Ojiro and Aoyama as the ged-ed guy’s teammates. Another thing that amazed me was the writing! Horikoshi Kohei really does an incredible job setting up symbolisms and parallels without making them looked forced. Now, every time you get to notice these things, you’re just left dumbfounded!
It’s time to get serious!
With half the time left to take and defend their bandanas, how much rowdier can this cavalry battle get? Can Deku’s team manage to keep their ten million points? Who will end up victorious, thus earning their spots in the next round? We’ll just have to wait again for next week! For now, let us know what you thought of this episode in the comments box below!
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