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Boku no Hero Academia – 41 »« Boku no Hero Academia – 39

Boku no Hero Academia – 40

「ワイルド・ワイルド・プッシーキャッツ」 (Wairudo Wairudo Pusshiikyattsu)
“Wild, Wild Pussycats”

Just a brisk walk through the forest, no big deal.

Now this is the HeroAca we were waiting for. The recap episode was fine, but this showed all the hallmark action, humor, camaraderie, and thoughtfulness of this series. This story is shot through with shounen cliches, but they’re done so well that I approach them with excitement rather than any level of exasperation. Case in point: the summer training camp.

Class A getting dumped into the forest and forced to fight their way to camp was no surprise. As soon as they stopped at that lookout point, it was probably clear to every viewer what was about to happen. But this series isn’t built on surprises (usually), it’s built on damn fine execution, and the romp through the forest delivers. Not only because of the action, but because of the teamwork A-gumi shows as they all work together. It’s one of the most heartwarming aspects of HeroAca, how everyone treats each other fairly and equitably (with one small exception), no matter if they’re boy or girl, pink or six-armed, bird-headed or completely invisible. Take a small moment later on, when Mina asks Sero if she can come by and see the boy’s room later. There’s no joke, no hint of scandal because a girl wants to see their room. It’s just a friend asking another friend, because they’re in a bigger room and she wants to see. It’s unremarkable, as it should be. Character is built in the little moments, as is camaraderie, and it’s in these moments that HeroAca shows us what kind of story it is.

The comedy was as on-point as always, whether it was led by Mineta’s antics or through the small actions and reactions of everyone. This is why I love big cast stories, even if the storytellers feel compelled to constantly throw up signs to remind us who everyone is. There’s so much life and humor to be found in the different ways people react to a situation! And embarrassed Uraraka is always good. Shiiiipping!!

Finally, there’s the matter of Kouta (Yamazaki Michiru), a “precocious brat” who’s the orphan of a pair of heroes who died in the line of duty. His views of heroes, along with those of Shigaraki Tomura, show a willingness on Horikoshi-sensei’s part to question the very premise of his world. There are heroes. Should there be? It also shows how Izuku is willing to consider conflicting viewpoints, since he doesn’t thoughlessly object to Kouta’s view. The thing about HeroAca is that it’s no Watchmen. It’s not going to fundamentally reject the idea of heroes. We know it’s going to come down on the side of “heroes are good,” or at minimum evolve in a way that doesn’t repudiate everything that heroes like All Might have done. It isn’t going to turn away from some of the nastier implications of its premise, though. Endeavor still exists. Stain still exists. Shigaraki Tomura still exists, and is going to make sure you know it. It’s a level of thoughtfulness that elevates the whole.

Next week it looks like we’re going to get into Kouta’s head some more, along with have a bunch of training montages. See what I mean about shounen cliches? But I don’t care because I want to know how Aizawa-sensei is going to train everybody up. Plus Ultra!

Random thoughts:

  • Don’t you know that lightning types are weak to earth types, Kaminari?
  • “Before learning to be a hero, you need to learn about being human.” Agreed, boyo. Hah!
  • Eraser Head is smiling. Run away!!

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 updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Book 3 Progress Report.

Full-length images: 28.

 

Preview

April 15, 2018 at 3:00 am
23 comments »
  • April 15, 2018 at 4:57 amOne Pinch Man

    • April 16, 2018 at 5:16 amFunkatronic

      Mina is best girl.

  • April 15, 2018 at 5:36 amTFL

    Honestly surprised that this episode covered as little as it did, though i guess they wanted to give Kouta’s small arc a bit more weight which is fine, im pretty sure THAT is going to happen next week and the week after that will be spent on THAT. Show Spoiler ▼

    I think it has less to do with the fact that Kouta has an approriate world view that Deku accepts and more the fact Deku just sees the tragedy of the story. Kouta is only 5 years old, and the accident that took his family away happened 2 years ago meaning that he was only 3. He may not be very respectful of heroes and those who risk their lives to help others, but is is just a very childish outburst at a world that made him an orphan at 3.

    Stilts edit: Fixed that tag for you.

    • April 15, 2018 at 5:39 amTFL

      Shit sorry really meant to put tgat last line in paragraph 1 under spoilers, sorry

  • April 15, 2018 at 7:01 amWanderer

    We know it’s going to come down on the side of “heroes are good,” or at minimum evolve in a way that repudiate everything that heroes like All Might have done.

    I don’t think “repudiate” means what you think it means, here.

    re·pu·di·ate
    rəˈpyo͞odēˌāt/
    verb

    refuse to accept or be associated with.
    “she has repudiated policies associated with previous party leaders”
    synonyms: reject, renounce, abandon, give up, turn one’s back on, disown, cast off, lay aside;

    deny the truth or validity of.
    “the minister repudiated allegations of human rights abuses”
    synonyms: deny, contradict, controvert, rebut, dispute, dismiss, brush aside; gainsay

    • April 15, 2018 at 2:04 pmStilts

      Don’t be sassy. I know quite well what it means, I just left out a word by accident. Fixed.

  • April 15, 2018 at 7:42 amhjerry

    I’m hoping this arc will give us more time with class B. I’ve really wanted to see more class interaction, and development of those characters, going forward.

    • April 15, 2018 at 10:59 amShadow074

      some guys in class b will have some development, and we will learn more quirks. But not as much as expected. But you have to give the mangaka some time, it’s hard to manage so many characters. To date he has done a great job when others fail with the number of characters so far in the manga.

      I bet the anime will give a little extra to students in class b. I believe that this first part of this arc will have a lot of extra material to give the life that the first episodes of this season need, and to complete the animated experience.

      • April 15, 2018 at 1:47 pmhjerry

        I’d love to see the girls inter-class slumber party side story get animated, if not in anime, at least as an OVA

  • April 15, 2018 at 9:09 amHalfDemonInuyasha

  • April 15, 2018 at 9:37 amzztop

  • April 15, 2018 at 9:46 amRedRocket

    Mineta would not have a problem, or cause humor if it was not for the un-Japanise nudity taboo that the West has infected on Japan recently. For most of Japan’s history, Mineta would find the girls good looking but no big deal as he saw them nude in the communal bath every day since he was small. For that matter, traditional Japan Mineta would have had at least mercy sex many times by now from many females and so that would be no big deal. What would Mineta be into if his Japan had traditional Japanise values? Romantic love?

    Are they trying to kill Momo? It is best if she was always nude if she wants to live in a surprise fight but at the very least her school battle uniform should be basically a bikini. Some of the guys have parts of the school battle uniform cut off to accommodate their quirks, why not her? Why total nude, she can’t make a kite shield instantly, huge insulating blanket or widebody length weapons instantly unless she is nude. She can make them not totally nude by pulling them out bit by bit after she opens her shirt or something but it’s still slower.

    A very fun episode.

  • April 15, 2018 at 11:49 amGuile

    I like the Pussycats. It’s not like ‘middle-aged woman on the prowl’ is a new idea or anything, but the comedic timing between her and Deku is on point.

    And I appreciate that the blonde’s power has nothing to do with her idol outfit or her big fluffy paws with clearly deadly nails, that’s just her costume. Her power is ‘enough earth golems to fight like 20 other superheroes-in-training’, which is nuts.

    Kota is not my favorite type of character (I didn’t like him any better when he was Inari from Naruto), but it is probably good to explore the concept of heroes dying in the line of duty.

  • April 15, 2018 at 12:28 pmyoloalchemist

    Man, the Kouta part hit me. The implication that the death of those heroes was praised as something wonderful is most likely part of the hypocrisy Shigaraki was referring to at the end of the last season. And I can see why. It’s also the death of human beings, which means someone will indeed be left behind. The ideal situation is that no hero would ever die, but we can never hope for something like that. And the problem is, one hero is likely never to be able to change that flaw in society (the praising part I mean), because this is society, it’s generally an immovable object (at least so far in this story). It doesn’t mean everyone in society thinks the same, but the majority is unfortunately likely to have this flaw and will cull the minority that thinks otherwise. And I think an even smaller minority will think of Kouta, the pussycats (and now Izuku) included. And why would the majority think of Kouta when there is no connection between them. Society just wouldn’t bother. I think that’s part of what was swirling around in Izuku’s mind when he pondered on it. Someone like him grew up thinking the world of heroes was ideal, never thinking it had this kind of implication. I’m sure he too found that part unpleasant, and wished he could change it for the better, but realized that was gonna take a lot longer than getting his grip on One For All, and not on his own. Horikoshi-sensei is doing it again, and it’s really thoughtful.

    • April 15, 2018 at 6:25 pmyoloalchemist

      Actually, now that I think about it some more, the term “immovable object” may not apply to society as a whole. Some minorities certainly are immovable, holding steadfast to their ideals and convictions in the face of storms (i.e. heroes and villains, and also the police), but then the majority can be moved by the words and actions of people whose presence is powerful, or by events that are related to how their peace is protected. Kouta’s parents’ deaths moved people who considered them honorable and even wonderful instead of sad(maybe because those heroes weren’t as famous as All Might, who, if he’d ever die, would make rivers of tears instead). But some time after that, Stain’s message threatened to convince people of some of the fallacies of the current hero profession, which is why the video featuring it kept being taken down again and again, and even then, someone was fascinated that a store was selling a Stain eye mask replica as a merch, besides the league of villain gaining a new army. And of course, one cannot forget the impact All Might had on society as a whole. Now I’m reminded that society can be fickle, which means Izuku may be able to change it for the better after all, but then perhaps that change will not last. That’s why the heroes should always hold on to their convictions, because they will show society the light every now and then when it needs it.

      • April 15, 2018 at 9:54 pmStilts

        Society doesn’t often change, but sometimes it does. Often it happens gradually—the kind of overnight success that’s actually ten years in the making—but other times the pressure builds up and builds up until BAM! It bursts all of a sudden, and sentiment has changed forever.

  • April 15, 2018 at 12:32 pmyoloalchemist

    On the comedy side of things…
    http://randomc.net/image/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia%20-%2040%20-%20Large%2021.jpg
    I really appreciate how Iida followed it up by being as direct about it as possible.
    “Why would you do that to Midoriya’s scrotum?!” LMAO
    Oh Iida, never stop being who you are.

    • April 15, 2018 at 2:07 pmStilts

      Amen! Iida-kun is best when he’s being his own unique ridiculous self, haha

  • April 15, 2018 at 1:29 pmVoid

    Apparently UA takes teaching philosophy from Beacon Academy. Even though it obviously can’t be in the original manga due to the age, I wish they had thrown in a line about Landing Strategies.

  • April 15, 2018 at 11:05 pmNex

    Man, I guess this episode really shows why the students get separated in most arcs, they make such a badass team! The anime just continues to be great at expanding on segments like that, and really let some of the underused students shine too.

  • April 16, 2018 at 5:40 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

  • April 17, 2018 at 10:54 amKurik

    Slow burn episodes so far but I am enjoying the heck out of it regardless. I know the brown stuff will hit the fan soon enough. Can’t wait.

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