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Boku no Hero Academia – 27 »« Boku no Hero Academia – 25

Boku no Hero Academia – 26

「名前をつけてみようの会」 (Namae o Tsukete Miyou no Kai)
“Time to Pick Some Names”

It’s not just the Izuku show anymore.

Not that it was ever all about Izuku. Other characters have always accounted for much of the appeal of HeroAca, but it’s undeniable that, up until the Sports Festival arc, the show lived or died on Izuku alone. And it lived, gloriously! But now the previously-important Bakugo and Uraraka have stepped into their own character arcs, as have Shouto and Iida in a big way. This episode is another reminder that, in an episode where Izuku is active, other characters can steal the show.

It’s those “chills up the spine” moments that I so love from shounen anime. It’s something that HeroAca has been able to do in spades. This episode, there were two of them, and Izuku’s was eclipsed. First, Izuku’s: the unveiling of his hero name. The reason he chosen Deku are touching, and meaningful to him on a personal level. It’s the combination of Katsuki (bully) and Uraraka (friend) coming together to give unknowingly give him his name, as the two sides of his development (and since he couldn’t take All Might, for so many reasons—it might give away the One For All game, to say just one). That moment of grower and gratitude (to Uraraka) that his announcement showed was a beautiful moment, and heartwarming to the core. I could have happily feasted on that moment alone.

But Iida stole the show, for reasons that probably won’t work out to his benefit. His beloved older brother, Ingenium, paralyzed below the waist. A plea to his beloved younger brother to take on his mantle. That moment, of the little brother shouldering his brother’s legacy and continuing his mission, and in doing so accepting that his shining older brother’s career was at an end. That moment, when he was writing down Ing—, got to me in a big way.

And then it didn’t happen. He wrote Tenya instead. He wasn’t yet ready to accept that his brother was done, and that he would have to take up his mantle, with the Ingenium name or otherwise. That the overly-stiff class rep character is able to steal the limelight from Izuku is a sign of good writing, of good characterization, and of a struggle that touches a livewire in the human psyche. We’re going to see Iida-kun go down some dark paths—it sounds like he’s going Stain hunting to me. Not smart. But compelling, certainly.

The rest of the episode was fun. Just good fun! Seeing all the different characters toss out their names, some silly, others fitting, some just fine. It was a break of sorts, though the undercurrent of drama with Iida, Shouto, and others kept it from being fluffy. What I would like to draw attention to, though, is a few things that characters said. First:

“The stronger I get, the more possibilities I’ll have! If I only do what I want, I’ll have a narrower Perspective!”

I’m practically old by the standards of the medium’s fanbase, so if we have any younger readers (teens/early 20′s) around here, pay attention to what Uraraka just said! Seriously, if I have any regrets about my younger years—and I have a ton, but then again, who doesn’t—it’s that I didn’t spend enough time learning different things, experiencing different things, and generally filling up my database with as many disparate experiences as I possibly could. The age of specialists is over; it’s the jack-of-all-trades time to shine once again. (Note: in reality, there’s need for both. The world is vast, and we need some people to be ultra-specialized in their fields. But not most of us, and probably not you.) Uraraka’s idea to intern with a battle hero even though she wants to become a rescue hero in the future is super wise. It will give her more options, and if she should get in a situation where a rescuse requires defeating a villain, she’ll be able to assist in ways other rescue heroes won’t be able to. Follow her example, young’uns (‘cept with, like, books and stuff. Don’t go all vigilante justice on me).

Here’s the other:

“He who follows two hares catches neither.”

Or, to put it another way:

“Don’t half-ass two things, Whole-ass one thing.”

Those two pieces of advice might seem contradictory, but trust me. They’re not. When you’re doing something, go ALL IN—learn an instrument, study a subject, do a job, be in a relationship, whatever. When you’re in it, give it 100%, and if you can’t give it your fully attention, quit something else you’re doing. But don’t go so deep into one thing that you become no better than an ant. (In my experience, that equals out to about 60-65hrs of “work” a week—so, one full-time job + 2-3 serious hobbies or interests. You can do a lot with that.) I love that shounen anime can give out real life lessons, if only we accept that silly Japanese cartoons can speak to important things, even though they aren’t “serious art.” What nonsense. One could do a lot worse than living by the ethos of Izuku and crew, believe you me.

Next time, more life lessons, as Izuku gets schooled by a crazy old man. The Sports Festival arc was a good one, but it’s time to move on and shake things up. Let’s see what the old man’s got.

Random thoughts:

  • Kaminari got the fifth most offers?? This world is mad too. Burn it all down.
  • One thing I really like about HeroAca in general: none of the characters with really strange physical features seem to be bothered by it. Take Ashido, who offered up the hero names Alien Queen and then Pinky. It wouldn’t be strange for her to have a complex about her looks, and ditto for someone like Tokoyami. That doesn’t seem the case. That’s a fertile narrative vein that could have been mined, but choosing to make it a non-issue says volumes about the story Horikoshi-sensei wanted to tell. Sometimes, it’s the things you don’t do that are most important.
  • All Might has some things in common with Deku, too. Like student, like teacher.

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: I get it now!; Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; and The Carcer Principle.

 

Preview

June 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm
22 comments »
  • June 24, 2017 at 10:20 pmyoloalchemist

    I am worried about Iida. I don’t think he’s going into the dark side per se, but I fear his judgement has been clouded by recent events. This will be a good opportunity for his character to grow, but what a dark turn he’s taken to get there. Just goes to show how vulnerability can fester even in someone known for his charisma. Not to take away attention from him, but now I’m left wondering what would’ve happened if Deku was in his shoes.

    If I haven’t said it already, I might as well say it now. Uraraka is definitely one of my favorite female shounen characters. She just keeps astonishing me with how real she feels and how sensible she is capable of being, while still being upbeat as always. Such respect to her character is so thoughtful of Horikoshi-sensei.

    Agreed on the Deku name part. Just want to add that, when Izuku picked it, I think he knew what it entailed. Ever since his battle against Katsuki way back in that battle trial where they were pitted against each other as hero and villain, Izuku knew he still has ways to go until he reaches the best level he can possibly achieve as a hero. Part of that is trying to triumph over Katsuki, who he admired as a formidable rival. When Uraraka said it means to do his best, it basically became the very definition of his character as we’ve seen so far. Of course it’s the name he picked for himself. Very touching.

    • June 24, 2017 at 11:16 pmGuile

      I wished I believed that Iida’s arc could be about hunting down Stain solo, succeeding and using it as an affirmation of his own power, but also his own goodness. Like Batman hunting down the Joker during a crime spree, and deciding to send him back into the legal system- because a moral man, even a vigilante, doesn’t just kill because it’s convenient.

      But this is Japan. It’s probably going to be learning about the Power of Friendship and shit. I dunno, if he could somehow leverage Ing’s hero agency (who is probably also chomping at the bit to get at this guy) in the manhunt and learn Friendship that way, that could be good too.

      • June 24, 2017 at 11:24 pmStilts

        I think Iida is going to get his ass kicked, and nearly die, and while friends will probably save him, that won’t be the lesson he’ll learn. He knows he has good friends already. If he’s going on a Stain hunt, he’s got other lessons he needs to learn.

      • June 25, 2017 at 6:03 pmTopbanana

        Power of friendship? are we watching the same anime here?

      • June 25, 2017 at 11:20 pmRavenlord

        Iida going after stain and succeeding? What? Stain would wipe the floor with his severed limbs. They are in way different leagues.

  • June 24, 2017 at 10:25 pmUrahara

    The crazy old man looked SUPER COOL when he was young , surprised Deku did not hear of him
    maybe he left the hero business abruptly for some reason

    • June 24, 2017 at 11:27 pmStilts

      He was from two generations of One For All users back (All Might’s predecessor’s generation), so he might just be before Izuku’s time. Not that Izuku isn’t nerdy enough to go back and learn about some of those older heroes, but he strikes me as more of a current-season sports nerd, not a history sports nerd.

  • June 24, 2017 at 11:17 pmGuile

    Aw, you could see how Deku’s little speech really got to Uraraka. How her hair kinda… fluffed out, and that cute noise she made, kind of a little ‘hnng!’

    • June 25, 2017 at 9:14 amstarss

      Dekuuuuuuuuuu. Ma-rree heeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  • June 25, 2017 at 7:16 amchurroz

    It’s officially start of new season so I’m hoping that there’ll be new opening/ending songs for the next episode. Pretty please Studio Bones??? :3

    • June 25, 2017 at 6:29 pmHanabira.Kage

      There will be, they’ve already been announced. OP is “Sora ni Utaeba” (If You Sing to the Sky) by amazarashi, and the ED is “Datte Atashi no Hero” by LiSA (I’d translate the title, but without the lyrics I have no context).

      • June 25, 2017 at 10:47 pmchurroz

        Whoa,that’s cool! Thanks for the info dude! LiSA’s singing the ED? Now I’m getting hyped!

  • June 25, 2017 at 10:21 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    • June 25, 2017 at 11:21 pmRavenlord

      Still hoping he’ll call himself Master Explorer one day.

      • June 25, 2017 at 11:22 pmRavenlord

        Master EXPLODER, dammit. Swype and me ain’t seeing eye to an eye it seems

      • June 26, 2017 at 6:08 amNickWright

        He will be known as dora best friend with anger issues XD

  • June 25, 2017 at 11:10 amRedRocket

    I love how this superhero story is hitting all the good points. And that is not normally what you expect a superhero story to do, yes it been done but fairly rarely.

    I wonder about this snap surprise hero naming thing. Yes, a lot of students probably have been toying with name ideas for a long time. But I would think this would be an over the weekend homework assignment minimum. Also in a world that has Super Hero agencies, I am surprised the school is even dealing with the name thing at all. I would think that it Super Hero marketing including names would be a Super Hero agency thing cooked up by the marketing department or the agent in smaller firms. And I would think that Super Hero marketing would be a side of the Business course at the school. Yes people can do great on their own, and professional marketing people can lay eggs, but people who have studied marketing I strongly believe have a much better chance to get it right. I might worry too much the Super Hero agencies might treat these names as sidekick names that can be expected to be lame from time to time and go with something better when they move a hero up to main hero status. And a name the public as a whole agrees with coming from the media or the masses might overrule all.

    • June 25, 2017 at 12:39 pmStilts

      Good point on the agency/marketing students being involved in the naming, or at least letting them think over the weekend. The only justification I can think of is that the industry is still fairly young all things considered, but it stills seems mature enough for this kind of thing to have permeated down. Though it would have slowed down the narrative too, and that side of the business isn’t the story’s focus.

      Granted, I was surprised that all of them didn’t already have names picked out. They’ve all been dreaming of being heroes for how long? But that’s another thing.

      • June 25, 2017 at 11:24 pmRavenlord

        Didn’t they also mention that these names may be somewhat temporary, with them being un-licensed hero students and all that?

    • June 26, 2017 at 6:12 amNickWright

      Maybe it’s treated like a celebrity nickname? I remember a talk show that have K-pop idol on it where he said that every member of his group choose their own name but it needs to be consulted with the president of their own company first

  • June 26, 2017 at 10:18 amKiritsugu

    I have this eerie feeling that Ida’s might be headed for a meeting with death! That ominous Deku narration, the fact that he chose a hero agency on the same place of his brother’s attack, and ultimately his stern face lead me to think that he’s going to challenge Stain with predictable consequences. The sad thing is that he is too blinded by rage and revenge to see such what’s coming. Given the build up and the feels train that this show manages to unleash whenever it fits the story, I’ll probably keep some handkerchief nearby, in case of extreme tear duct activity.

  • July 1, 2017 at 8:05 pmMatroid

    Marketing 101 for superheroes– pick a name that can “brand” yourself appropriately !

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