Since the previous episode of the anime ended with a cliffhanger, I’m sure most of you, like my brother and I, scrambled to watch the continuation of My Hero Academia this week! We’re truly in for a suspense as quirk, strength, and emotions clashed! You really couldn’t have helped but wonder if Deku’s goal to win the sports fest would be cut short here!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 勝ち負け
I don’t think I can mention a lot about what happened without spoiling something, so if you’re reading this review without watching the episode first, then please do watch it before proceeding! MANGA.TOKYO wants to bring you exciting reviews that are not heavy on jargon and overanalysis. We generally assume that you have seen the episode before reading the review, so you have been warned!
This episode was a battle that managed to fit half of the episode, but sparks flew nonetheless, especially since Shinso’s and Deku’s resolves went head-to-head! As for the battle between Sero and Todoroki, it was even shorter than the first one but even more intense! I was just so blown away!
Shinso vs. Midoriya: First 5 seconds of their battle and it already went haywire because Izuku let his emotions get the best of him! While I do admire him for defending his friend, I think it also would’ve been more appreciated if he followed Ojiro’s advice instead. I guess that’s what makes our protagonist such an admirable person, though, even if it does get him in trouble often. But, if it weren’t for the miracle vision that Deku got, Shinso really would have won! That was such a close call! And even while they duked it out, Shinso still seemed close to winning once they got by the edge of the ring! Just so happened that Deku intentionally led Shinso by the nose to do that shoulder throw he also did to Bakugo! The people in the show thought that was a pretty boring first round, but I bet we can all agree that it was totally the opposite! It was short, sure, but it was just really so nerve-wracking, given that Deku was already set to fail from the start!
Vision of the ones before: We finally got some new info on One for All, however vague it was. It seemed even more of a unique quirk now, as it somehow had a mind of its own? Since the quirk has been passed down from one person to another over the course of time, it’s like a part of them also got passed down to their subsequent successors! The predecessors are more illusions than mentors, though, and they don’t really give any power ups. Plus, when All Might said that it was a good thing he’s there in Izuku’s visions, it sounded really cryptic. Could he have meant something deeper with that? Anyway, the vision ended up helping him out in a huge way, so that’s that for now!
Venting Frustration: Since Deku already secured his place in the second round, Todoroki needed to win as well so their planned fight would pull through. Now, while I would’ve loved to see a longer battle between him and Sero to see the latter’s moves and tricks a bit more, I also knew that Todoroki would have really won by a landslide, or in this case, an avalanche made of ice. Sorry, Sero! Didn’t even help that his dad, Endeavor, just riled him up even more, forcing him to let out his rage on his poor opponent! ‘He’s such a scary guy’ is what I would’ve thought If he just left Sero there, but as he seemed quite regretful of his action and even took the time to undo the damage he caused, it totally shed a different light on him. As Deku even said himself, Todoroki seemed quite sad. It doesn’t change the fact that their battle could definitely be quite a rampage though! Brace yourself, Izuku!
Themes & Trivia
Similarities:Shinso envied Izuku because he thought him fortunate to be born with a powerful quirk, when in reality, Izuku used to be a quirkless, someone who envied others because they have quirks. Shinso has often, if not always, been suspected of using his quirk for evil, so he resented those who could easily become a hero because of their quirks, just like Deku who used to long for a quirk of his own and be a hero himself. Shinso never got to pass the practical exams because his quirk was useless against the robot villains, while Izuku had felt powerless for most of his life. They actually seem quite similar, right? That’s why this became a more interesting fight for me, as it once again reminded us and our protagonist of how truly blessed he has been.
Legacy: Izuku’s power was something passed on from eight generations of One for All users, including All Might. If you think about it properly, that sounds like a really huge pressure, even more since the fledgling Symbol of Peace had to live up to his mentor’s title! In contrast, the legacy that got passed on to Todoroki was only from his father, something devious that was made the reason for his birth. But he constantly tries so hard to fight and reject it, only relying on his mom’s quirk instead of both.
Brainwashing: Mind control is one of the most common powers in stories and often used by villains. It would totally make the heroes’ job easier if they had this kind of power, right? That’s why it’s an intriguing thing to have a person aiming to be a hero have brainwashing abilities. It was also inevitable that the pro heroes would recognize the advantage of a hero having this quirk!
If I’ve already mentioned it before and I’ll say it again: One of the best things I love about My Hero Academia is how it mixes the action with the emotion. I’m honestly an emotional person, so you’d need to touch my heart, soul, and mind before I get totally invested. That’s why this show became so endearing to me, even though I rarely fawn over shonen anime or manga. For other fans, they might be more interested in the action! A boring show isn’t worth tuning in to, after all. But I personally want to be able to support the characters too, because if I didn’t, I’d just eventually ditch it if the story and the events stop becoming interesting to me. I also think it’s important to get a grasp of a character’s motivation, so telling the audience how the character feels about something allows them to make sense of the motivation. That’s my point of view, at least!
All that’s left is to wait…
The fated battle between Midoriya and Todoroki is now set, so who else will join them in the second round? I’m super curious to know how each competitor has thought of their strategies against their opponents, and how they’ll fare!
As always, do leave your thoughts on this episode below! Make sure to take a look at our other Spring 2017 reviews too!