備えろ期末テスト」 (Sonaero Kimatsu Tesuto)
“Gear Up for Final Exams”
Two vs one? How unfair! For the two.
You know me: I love me a huge cast. (Or you don’t, and I’m telling you now.) The more protagonists there are, the more funny little events we can have with all of them. Simply seeing where everyone falls on the exam scale—from the unsurprising to the very surprising—was a treat in its own right, and getting to see how they tackled preparation for the written exams was satisfying in an ineffable way. It’s these pleasant little glimpses into their life, you know? Slice of life inside an action-adventure anime, you could say. Not sure it’s accurate, but that’s what the first half felt like.
That and Monoma being terrible. Fortunately Kendou-anego was there to keep him in line. Monoma might be a terrible person, but the rest of his class is all right. Every class has to have a Katsuki, I guess?
(Not every class gets bouncy Yao-momo, though. To their detriment. Bouncy Yao-momo is best!)
All of which was pleasant, but it ain’t nothing next to the bombshell at the end. The teacher’s reasoning for upping the difficulty level on the practical exam is sound; it’s useless to teach with lawsuit/bad publicity prevention in mind if it gets in the way of the students’ future success, and with the potential of the League of Villains to cause a flare up in villain activity, they better get as strong as possible, and fast. I especially love the structure of this test though, because it not only pairs the students with a partner they might not get along with, but it pits them against a teacher that they’re specifically ill-suited to engage. But those weights—oh, how cruel! Giving them false hope, and the impression that they might have a chance. It’s necessary to make the test work, but damn if it ain’t mean. (I love it.)
That’s right, this is less a test about combining their strengths to succeed against a powerful foe so much as it is a test at transcending or mitigating their weaknesses against a foe that’s intent on exploiting them. This is an especially useful test for someone like Momo, who has a great deal of potential that’s being held back by her flaw (and it’s a flaw she can surmount, unlike Kirishima and Sato’s endurance problems—though they certainly could have played that better). It’s also going to be great when Izuku and Katsuki have to fight All Might, of all people. Damn. Even if he’s running on One For All fumes, that won’t be easy.
The first battle was great, if only because it outlined the contours that the rest will follow. I can’t wait to see all of them, though. There’s just something great about a tournament/battle test like this, when it sets up fights that would never happen otherwise, in combinations that are fascinating. Like this one? I want to see it. This? You have my attention. This one?? …poor Uraraka. But still, want to see! I can’t wait to see.
- “If you need to control your quirk, then control it! Idiot!” Katsuki’s not wrong. Yet another sign that, no matter how much of an ass he is, Kacchan is still smart, wise (in a twisted way), and works damn hard for his spot near the top.
- Katsuki is helping Kirishima! That’s kind of cute (in an angry way).
- I think it was super wise for Izuku and Uraraka to watch the other matches. They learned more in the first match (and from Recovery Girl) than they’re liable to get in benefit from overly planning. Though the fact that their two teams probably won’t be able to plan at all is a disadvantage, natch.
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, I’ve begun blogging again! The latest post: Help Houston.