OP3: 「空に歌えば」 (Sora ni Utaeba) by amazarashi
「怪奇！グラントリノ現る」 (Kaiki! Guran Torino Genru)
“Bizarre! Gran Torino Appears”
Quirks are not tools.
Gran Torino (Ogata Kenichi) is a lot of fun. A good mentor is like a story shortcut, able to give their pupil exactly the lesson they need and blaze past what would otherwise be a long and bumbling path. Is that cheating? Totally, but as long as it’s used properly, I’m all for moving on past all the boring parts. A mentor can’t solve the character’s problem for them—Best Jeanist can’t take away Katsuki pride and rage, for those are obstacles Katsuki must surmount himself—but they can absolutely kick them down the road a bit faster. Which is what Gran Torino did for Izuku.
It’s obvious, in retrospect. Watching Katsuki fight is enough to make it obvious that quirks are not tools, but an extension of one’s own body. They’re not supernatural, they’re natural, which means they can be used in multifaceted ways. Thinking of them as called attacks (trope!) is limiting, because what they really do is make the quirky more effective in between the attacks, as Gran Torino did when he was bouncing off the walls. The trick is getting Izuku to realize this.
The key realization for me is that Izuku ≠ All Might. He’s a different person, which necessitates a different way of doing things. Compared to the natural Toshinori, who was able to do it normally from the start, Izuku has to learn it the hard way, but it also has to be his way. It reminds me of a quote:
“Way back in the 1940s there was a very, very funny man named Jack Benny. He was a giant star, easily one of the greatest comedians of his generation. And a much younger man named Johnny Carson wanted very much to be Jack Benny. In some ways he was, but in many ways he wasn’t. He emulated Jack Benny, but his own quirks and mannerisms, along with a changing medium, pulled him in a different direction. And yet his failure to completely become his hero made him the funniest person of his generation. David Letterman wanted to be Johnny Carson, and was not, and as a result my generation of comedians wanted to be David Letterman. And none of us are. My peers and I have all missed that mark in a thousand different ways. But the point is this: It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.” -Conan O’Brien
Izuku is never going to be All Might. He won’t be able to do things in the same way Toshinori does, which is why they’re taught differently—Izuku through thinking, Toshinori by beating him the hell up. So the more Izuku tries to act exactly like All Might, the more he will fail. But that also means that Izuku has strengths that Toshinori does not, like analysis and prediction. Which, to me, is way more exciting. Rather than getting another All Might, Izuku will be an entirely different hero. That’s way cooler!
I liked the glimpses into what the other students were doing, especially Katsuki and the Hardening boys. Oh, and Mineta-kun, because hah! Serves you right, ya perv. Most surprising is perhaps Shouto, though, who went to his father’s agency after all. That and Stain’s rejection of the League of Villains has my interest piqued the most. Izuku will learn to control One For All better, this is all but assured. What these others do, though, is more uncertain.
- The new OP is pretty cool, but I really loved the ED. The music is cool, but it’s the sequence that gets me. It tells this awesome little alternate world story, it’s just like The Tower of Druaga OPs that I so enjoyed. I wish I could have included like 24 screencaps :X So cool!
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.
ED4: 「だってアタシのヒーロー。」 (Datte Atashi no Hero.) by LiSA