Boku no Hero Academia – 16
「みんな個性的でいいね」 (Minna Kosei Tekide ii ne)
“In Their Own Quirky Ways”
OMG, Izuku is so cool!
If the previous two episodes could be called a slower burn, with more setup and less of the signature action that makes Boku no Hero Academia so thrilling, this episode was a true return to force. Not that those were bad, not in the least; they were necessary to set this up. But it’s not like I’m going to pretend that the payoff wasn’t so much sweeter. There’s no two ways to slice it: this was awesome, and Izuku was so cool!
I like how they showed off all the other characters getting ahead, and talked about how Class A acted first because they’ve been in combat before. Next to facing down a bunch of villains, what’s a bunch of dumb robots? It’s not a lack of fear, but a familiarity with fear, and putting it into context. Not that the others couldn’t manage this—some among Class B were charging ahead immediately, proving that training has a large part to do with it as well. But having been in the line of fire, Class A didn’t hesitate. That gave an edge, even to unlikely heroes like Mineta.
Speaking of, Mineta-kun: stop it. Whatever you’re doing, stop it. No! Bad. Leave Yaoyorozu alone, you devious genius.
But nothing tops what Izuku did in the minefield. He’s right that he was lucky; had he not seen the armor plating, and had he not gambled by bringing it along, and if the last obstacle hadn’t been what it was, he wouldn’t have been able to get ahead. Yes, he certainly was lucky. But! Luck is made as often as it is given; the lucky put themselves in positions where serendipity is possible, and are on the lookout for it, which is why some people seem to get lucky so often. (And yes, sometimes it’s just bullshit luck. That’s just a smaller percentage than most people would admit.)
He got lucky, but he was also smart. Izuku thinks like a weakling, which is actually a huge advantage. Rather than blasting into the field like Katsuki did, he didn’t depend on his strength, opting to use his wits and his will instead. All that, combined with how far behind he was at the time, came together in a moment that was just so. damn. COOL! Izuku flying through the air, the little runt who used to get bullied hurling himself ahead of the competition into first place, and, when it seemed the natural talents would reclaim the lead, he did not let them. Bam! Seeing the crybaby, with his eyes filled with determination, winning the race and taking the gold—wow. To see the kind kid push himself to win, and to do so, was just a treat. This show is so good.
This is why I love tournament arcs!
That was the highlight of the episode, but it got better. Izuku got lucky to win the race—but did he? The cavalry battle is sure to delight, because the bonus for taking down the top-place finisher in the obstacle course race—ten million points, compared to a lowly 110 for last place—made sure that Izuku would get another chance to prove himself. He’s in everybody’s crosshairs, even his friends. This is going to be great! And while the preview revealed some of the teams, it kept Izuku’s hidden. If I didn’t delight so much in relishing the coming reveal, I’d be itching to know who he’ll pair up with right now. (Spoil it for me and I’ll rip your legs off and beat you with them.) (Related: remember to tag and label spoilers.) This arc is already great, and it took a leap in a direction I didn’t expect. I can’t wait for more!
By the way, if it wasn’t clear, I’m blogging this series. I mean, obviously, right? Not like I was ever going to let this one pass me by. That would be like Izuku letting his friends down. Not gonna happen!
- Looks like I was right, and the little pre-OP scene is actually part of the OP. They’re still doing a fair bit of summarizing from the previous episode before the action really starts, though. I don’t mind, if it helps keep the pacing so spot on.
- More good characterization with Katsuki: rather than blasting through, he blasts around. He might be determined (and incensed) to the point of giving himself a hernia, but he’s not stupid.
- No, All Might, I don’t think your worry was misplaced. Izuku needs a fire lit under his butt on occasion. He has the potential to both help others and strive for the top, though. You got lucky as well, in your choice of proteges.
- One thing that confused me: did purple hair make it? He didn’t seem to be among the 42 shown. Or is the cavalry battle the chance to prove themselves that Midnight-sensei was talking about?
- I think my favorite screenshots are this one, because Izuku looks so strong and yet so aware of his tenuous lead, and this, because he’s standing on their shoulders to put the hurt on them. If Izuku really were a wimp, he would never do something so mundane yet outrageous. What a kid.
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; The Carcer Principle; and Fire, further.