「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!
- 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.