Still Fighting Overhaul
I’m a little stumped this week. Lots of things happen with the heroes and the police separating, Eraser Head getting slowed down and then captured, Nighteye and Midoriya taking on Overhaul and Eri getting away from the passing out Mirio and returning to the fight before the whole ceiling caved in and the heroes from the surface come crashing in for a cliffhanger ending. So, lots of stuff was going on. Yet, for whatever reason I found myself very much at a distance from the events.
Part of it might have been the flashbacks. Early in the episode we get a look at Lock Rock’s newborn child so that he can sentimentally reflect on how well the students have done. We also get flashbacks from Nighteye talking with Gran Torino and more or less concluding he shouldn’t look at people’s futures because he can’t change them. However, the flashbacks aren’t as prolific or intrusive as they have been in earlier episodes so I doubt that was the whole problem.
I think it really was just how piecemeal this episode was which gave us little to really draw us in. The episode opens with Midoriya marvellously breaking down yet another wall and landing a solid hit on Overhaul and then we go back to see how the heroes got there even taking a few minutes to see the villains having a bit of a planning session about how to get even with Overhaul (yeah, that alliance went well). Even when we get back to the main event, we’re jumping between Eraser Head, Mirio, Midoriya and Nighteye and the fight never really feels like it has anyone’s full attention. Not to mention, Nighteye’s introduction this season hasn’t exactly made me care whether he gets injured in this fight or not.
Which is a bit of a shame because after getting injured Overhaul takes some fairly drastic measures. Despite mostly using his power in this fight to make spiky rocks, he’s shown off a number of diverse uses for his ability and if the focus was on taking him down and figuring out how to neutralise that quirk this probably could have been a pretty epic fight.
Incidentally, does anyone else find it somewhat contradictory that a guy who relies so heavily on his quirk feels that removing the quirks of heroes will somehow improve the world?
There are some good moments in this episode but the episode as a whole just didn’t do much for me emotionally. It really did feel like they were marking time in places and other bits, like Lock Rock’s few minutes just felt totally unnecessary. Still, at least we are still making some forward progress here.
I found the decision to start this episode off with nearly five minutes of recap and a “few minutes earlier” scene where it shows what the heroes were doing prior to breaking down the wall to face Overhaul. This was a significant decision because it sets the tone for the rest of the episode, which was slow and kind of bloated. When push came to shove, I believed the series would start the fight off immediately between Midoriya and Overhaul. It didn’t, and barely had them fight at all, really. No one fought all that much.
Karandi couldn’t place what was so uninteresting about this episode, when for me, it was clearly the pacing, once again. When a story doesn’t have much to say and they’re trying to even out the rest of the season with content, they stretch out scenes as long as they can, which is what they did here. Lots of random cutaways to information hardly necessary for the current moment (including Nighteye claiming he can’t change fate, which I’d call bullshit on). And for good measure, they end the episode in the exact same way as the previous one. That was pretty funny.
If nothing else, this is an episode used to showcase that Overhaul is not to be trifled with, as he cleanly handled just about everyone. That, and Aizawa being captured and inevitably being used for experiments for the bad guys (I predict the heroes will get Eri but not him). Otherwise, it’s a really slow episode that could’ve taken half the full length of the episode but instead threw in a lot of filibuster to keep the viewers in check. Lots of “Har, har, I am evil and you cannot defeat me!” as the heroes grimace in pain/terror.
Feels almost appropriate that after the best episode of the entire season, the story returns to its uneven self once again. Like an alcoholic living across the street from a noisy bar, this season seems destined to resort back to its bad habits of indulging in Shounen clichés (like overextending battles or dialogue) to pummel the pace into the ground. There’s nothing really more to say; the episode ended the same as it did last time, and aside from the heroes backed into a corner, the rest of it felt like a parade of tyranny that tried to fill a time quota. Ho-hum.
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Images from: My Hero Academia Season 4. Dir. K Nagasaki. Bones. 2019.