「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.
- 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.