I know they put Midoriya and Bakugo together because their communication was dreadful, but that just seemed needlessly unfair. Midoriya was trying, kind of, to work with Bakugo and he is an absolute jerk. I still can’t believe we’re actually supposed to see him as a future hero and not a villain. Though in a world where Endeavor is technically a hero (the number 2 hero) even though he’s also a jerk I guess we’ll just have to accept that hostility and violence are apparently not disqualifying characteristics.
This fight was as explosive as you would suspect with Bakugo in the mix, but I think All Might was the surprise this episode. He really plays the role of a villain well (even if he did provide multiple openings for the students – it wouldn’t really be a test if they couldn’t have done anything). He’s actually pretty scary when you realise that once he doesn’t care whether the city gets destroyed his power is even more dangerous.
And in the midst of getting crushed, Bakugo and Midoriya kind of come to an understanding even if they still don’t like each other and still can’t really work as a team.
Still, I will exhibit no surprise is Bakugo ever becomes evil. Might be a little judgemental, but the kid is dangerous.
Overall, a pretty good conclusion to the exam but nothing overly unexpected except perhaps how good All Might is at being a fake villain. Then of course we got the preview for the next episode and it seems we’ll end the season with the return of the villains so something to look forward to.
Thanks for reading.
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So as I said last week, this post topic was suggested to me by Kendra Ressler as one of my patrons and I’m going to thank her for the very awesome topic to write about. If you’ve been following season 2 of My Hero Academia, you already know it has been running a tournament between its year 1 students as part of their sports festival and this has led to some incredible character match ups and intense fights. I’m going to say this is my absolute favourite tournament arc ever given I usually find them pretty dull. There is no possible way to describe the events in this tournament as dull.
Anyway, I’d love to know which were your favourite matches on the tournament so please leave your comments below.
Please Note – There will be My Hero Academia season 2 spoilers below so if you haven’t started watching it you may want to pass.
Honourable mentions this week:
Shiozaki vs Kaminari
Mina vs Aoyama
Yaoyorozu vs Tokoyami
Tetsutetsu vs Kirishima
Iida vs Shiozaki
Ashido vs Tokoyami
Kirishima vs Bakugo
Iida vs Todoroki
Bakugo vs Tokoyami
Any of the fights I may have forgotten.
Number 5: Mei vs Iida
If you read my episode review featuring this match, you will know I found this whole sequence pretty hysterical. Essentially Mei tricks Iida into helping her sell her support devices. Runs him around in circles while pointing out the various features and once she’s finished her sales pitch she calmly steps out of bounds. While I’m not a major fan of comedy, this was really well handled and is one of the more unique fights in this tournament.
Number 4: Midoriya vs Shino
This first fight of the tournament between Midoriya and the seemingly weaker general course student was intense, or at least as in tense as a fight can be where one character simply asks the other to step out of bounds and then waits for it to happen. Shino probably should have specified speed on that one. Despite that, this fight was excellent at making the point clear that just because you aren’t in the hero course does not mean that your quirk is useless or that you can’t be a hero. If Midoriya’s quirk had been anything else and he hadn’t been the protagonist, Shino would have won this particular fight.
Number 3: Izuku vs Todoroki
For a fight as amazing as this one to be number 3 just kind of goes to show what it was up against. Seriously, my post of this episode was incredibly hard to write because I was just kind of blown away by how intense things got. Keep in mind though, we’ve got broken bones a plenty in this episode, not to mention a near double wipe out explosion. Todoroki seriously let loose at the end there. Absolutely amazing to watch.
Number 2: Uraraka vs Bakugo
When Kendra first suggested this list I thought for sure this fight would be number 1. However, like my top females in shonen list, it appears that Uraraka is always destined to be number 2. That shouldn’t deceive you though. This is a fight you need to watch and rewatch and then watch it again. Going in to this match up I felt for sure Uraraka would make a brave showing and then be swept under the rug but instead she really brought the fight to Bakugo. What was even better is that by the end of the fight he respected her for her strength. Also, this episode brings up a lot of the issues with the world and format of the school so you can deconstruct that as well, or you can just enjoy a seriously amazing fight.
Number 1: Bakugo vs Todoroki
It might be a bit obvious to pick the final as my number 1 choice, but really, this was an absolutely amazing match up and one that deserves respect. Without stretching out the time, inserting random flashbacks to rapidly build a reason for the audience to care about the characters, unnecessary lengthy dialogue about motive or tactics, Bones delivered one fantastic fight sequence and they did it in less than ten minutes of screen time. This was a truly awesome clash between two characters that in season one were well and truly overshadowed by Midoriya but have now been given a bit of free reign to shine.
Alright, over to you. Which was your favourite match and why? Once again, thanks to Kendra for suggesting the list.
What was that? Oh, that was my heart skipping a beat and me forgetting that I can actually breathe. We’re all good. Given this episode gave us a recap, reminding us how angry Bakugo is as a character all the time and a prep room confrontation between the two characters before we got to the fight and it was still all over before the 12 minutes mark, it has no business hitting me that hard. By the way, the next part contains major spoilers for the fight so go watch it first.
Are we sure that Bakugo isn’t secretly evil?
This fight was short but really, really intense. I think all the big shonen titles of the last twenty years could take a lesson from this. Stretching a fight over three, four, five episodes (half a season) does not make it more powerful. Getting the audience invested in the participants, having some emotional drive, and hitting hard and fast, that is going to knock the audience back in their chairs and have them wondering how many times they can watch it before the internet crashes.
Bakugo is angry for most of this fight. Like, furious. Almost manic would probably be the best descriptor. He isn’t angry at Todoroki. I’m somehow doubting Bakugo has actually seen Todoroki as a person yet given I don’t think he’s used his name once. No, Bakugo is angry at himself and the situation. Once again, Midoriya has beaten him at his own self-imposed standard and that is killing him just a little bit inside. And outside. He isn’t given to keeping his feelings to himself.
Todoroki on the other hand is emotionally torn in two. He wants to win and he knows he needs to use his left side. He is hearing Midoriya’s words from their fight and logically he understands their meaning and knows the truth of it. He actually does start bringing out his flames after Midoriya calls out from the stands, and then… Well then reality kicks in. A lifetime of trauma doesn’t just vanish because of one fight and a pep talk.
Before Bakugo’s attack even reaches him, Todoroki has conceded defeat and his flames have gone out. It means Bakugo has convincingly won the tournament but it means his actual victory, showing that he is better than Midoriya, has been snatched from his grasp.
I was kind of glad when they knocked him out before declaring him the winner. He actually looks really peaceful when he’s unconscious.
So, if all that happens in 12 minutes what happens for the rest of the episode?
We have an award ceremony where All Might shows once again he is a giant dork yet everyone loves him. Except maybe Bakugo. That kid does not know when to just let something go and I kind of love him for it. He might be a socially inept, explosively angry, bully at times but his genuine drive to always be the best is kind of admirable. A lot of characters say they want to be the best but they almost always succumb to being ‘nice’ or helping others. Bakugo isn’t hindered by the usual constraints put on protagonists because he isn’t the protagonist. This allows us to see the true personality of someone who strives to be better than other at any cost. Even if he wants to be a better hero which is kind of arguably a good thing.
We also spend some time with Iida and his family in the hospital before we head back to the classroom and the students are told they have a couple of days off class. It’s the final scenes here where we see the reflection and regrouping process these characters go through that takes this episode from being cool action to actually being another excellent building block in this story.
While we see numerous characters I’m only focussing on these two. Todoroki visits his mother. He realises he has to overcome his block on his own and he’s finally ready to take that first step. Midoriya on the other hand has taken Rescue Girl’s words to heart and has finally realised his reckless actions cause others to worry. He is also finally ready to go to the next level and wants to take that first step.
With that, the whole class is fired up and ready to get stronger and with the villains briefly being shown plus the condition Iida’s brother is in, it is clear it won’t take long before the students are going to be thrown back in the deep end.
Seriously brilliant episode of a show that has really delivered this arc well.
This episode is a bit blur like given we get 5 separate match ups and we get a lot of time out of the stadium dealing with the fallout of Midoriya and Todoroki’s fight from last week. I’m not upset about this as everything that is covered is kind of needed to get us to the end of the tournament and I’m glad they didn’t overly dwell on anything in this episode in particular, but it means that this episode works as a transition and not a lot else.
That said, there’s still a few major points that come up.
Firstly, Todoroki is confronted by his father and it seems that My Hero Academia isn’t going for the instant healing of childhood trauma. Certainly Todoroki has a bit of a break-through in his fight with Midoriya but he isn’t about to let go of all of that baggage just because of one fight. My respect for the writers of this show shot up enormously after that revelation.
Secondly, one of the teachers at the school finally acted like an adult and pretty much told Midoriya to stop breaking himself at the drop of the hat. The permanent disfigurement suffered already should have been incentive enough for him to tone it down but this is Midoriya we’re talking about so hopefully he pays attention.
Also, we get a new villain in the mix who I’m guessing will become a bit more relevant after the tournament wraps up (unless the villains actually are psycho enough to attack a stadium full of pro-heroes – that could be amusing but deeply stupid). Okay, he does take out Iida’s brother here and that is probably going to lead to some other character trauma but that point, while made, wasn’t exactly prominent.
Lastly, Todoroki and Bakugo both made it through to the final round (like we were expecting anything else after Midoriya was taken out of the running).
As I said, this episode isn’t particularly good as a stand alone episode (unlike the previous two stories that have been phenomenal to watch just because of what they delivered in the episode), but it works well enough at getting us from point A to point B and has more than enough relevant plot points to ensure it isn’t an entirely skippable bit of filler. Looking forward to the next episode.
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