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Boku no Hero Academia – 46 »« Boku no Hero Academia – 44

Boku no Hero Academia – 45

「転転転!」 (Ten Ten Ten!)
“What a Twist!”

This episode felt big. Really big. So much happened in it, and they were big events with huge ramifications. Even the littlest tactical moves made a huge difference, like Shouji getting duped by the duplicates, and Aoyama’s attack only managing to shake loose one. There were many a hero moment, but in the end one of the students was still taken away, and now we know better what path this show will go. (Anime-only viewers will, that is. Manga readers knew a while ago.)

Good drama could have been made out of either Bakugou being rescued or him being taken, but I think I prefer this one. The former would have centered on a lot of relationship angst as the fractures between Izuku and Katsuki only grew. This is more unpredictable. I still think Katsuki won’t flip as easily as the League of Villains thinks he will, but he still might, and they’ve structured events so that they win no matter what. Which brings me to another interesting angle of this episode: the media.

This show is showing some of the dangers and difficulties of the media that we’re experiencing in real life as we speak. A free media has an opportunity to report on the events of the day truthfully and fully, because an informed populace is better equipped to hold its leaders accountable … or that’s the idea, at least. And I still think that’s largely true, but there are wrinkles in it that can lead to problems. Take the similarity between villains and mass shooters. By reporting on mass shooters—at least in the US, where we have far, far, far, far too many of them—the media has given these doomed murderers a measure of notoriety, and that can lead to copycats. It depends on how you do it, though. If you center the victims, you deprive the murderer of his 15 minutes of fame. But if you center the killer … and the media in Boku no Hero Academia appears to be centering the League of Villains as they talk about the Vanguard Action Squad and other exciting names. Not only that, the talking heads are giving Shigaraki exactly what he wants—which is what always happens when a society reacts with fear or anger to a terrorist incident. That’s what they want. That’s the point. Yet it’s still the media’s duty to report on what’s happened. These are the very issues media organizations in real life are struggling with, lest they inadvertently harm society or create more mass murderers or serial killers. At least in HeroAca the media get credit for trying to avoid reporting on Stain’s philosophy, before social media (and gaudy vendors) were used to circumvent them.

Another big event that really got me thinking was Katsuki’s last line before he was dragged into the portal. “Don’t come, Deku!” Why did he say that? Because of his pride? Because it’s a habit? Because of his frustration with and hatred for Deku? Or because he’s a smart boy, and he knows that Dabi has a hand around his neck and he’s going into that portal whether he wants to or not, and that Deku doesn’t need to be in danger too? Or, just that Deku would be of no use, beat up as he was. I won’t place a bet on any one of them, because I suspect it’s a combination of several. Whatever the case, it got me thinking. That ambiguity is another reason Katsuki is so fascinating.

The episode sped on ahead after the end of the incident, which is what made the episode feel so big. And it ended with Kirishima giving Izuku a devil of a choice. I think Kirishima mostly wants to go rescue Katsuki because he wants to satisfy himself, when what they really should really do is let the pro heroes handle it, because they’re better at it than these half-trained kids, and because I doubt they have a plan to stop the guy who can just teleport Katsuki and the others away if he so desires. That’s kind of important. (I’d be barking that at Kirishima’s face if I was there.) But offering that option to Izuku when he’s barely functional and still hasn’t called his mom to talk to her is kind of cruel. Kirishima needs to do some growing up himself, because if he were more of a man, he would focus on getting better instead of potentially throwing away his potential here, and on not laying this moral weight on Izuku’s shoulders. The correct choice is clear. I just don’t know which on Izuku will choose.

Random thoughts:

  • Present Mic talked about a traitor, and maybe. Maybe. I wouldn’t be surprised if All For One can track them down without something as tawrdy as an informant. It seems like just the kind of bullshit quirk that man would have.

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Preview

May 21, 2018 at 1:31 am
19 comments »
  • May 21, 2018 at 2:32 amTFL

    I feel like not alot of people are vringing this up, maybe because at this point the hints are less drops in the pond and more anvils, but

    “Too Bad….Todoroki….Shoto”

    • May 21, 2018 at 7:36 amAshen-phoenix

      Oh my gawd, yes! Thank you! I realize the vanguard action squad know Todoroki’s name from the sports festival, but that line still sent chills up my spine. Dabi and the others seem way too well-informed beyond what was provided to the general public.

      Since Present Mic dropped (heh) about a possible traitor, I became very suspicious of All Might’s police officer friend. I get that it’s smart to keep information close to the vest in the media hellstorm they’re dealing with, but it still struck me as odd.

      Cannot wait to see where this plot line goes!

      • May 21, 2018 at 6:31 pmTFL

        Not what i am talking about, but that is a good point. There are alot of traitor thepries running around, personally i tjink present mic is the traitor.

        What i meant by the quote is this, look at dabi, look at his powers, look at his eyes and place them next to Shoto. What do you notice

    • May 23, 2018 at 10:35 amUP

      Okay, are you ****ing serious, dude? This is exactly why people hate manga readers. They don’t know how to shut up. I (and probably everyone else) literally had that part go over our heads because WHY WOULDN’T IT. And now you pretty much spoiled something huge for me. All because you think already knowing what happens somehow makes everything apparent for people who DON’T KNOW. Do you even realize what you’re doing when you point shit out like that? Think about what you’re doing and keep your mouth shut from now on. Jesus dude.

  • May 21, 2018 at 3:20 amMechamorph

    I think charitably, Bakugo would not want Deku in danger because of him. Part if it may be friendship but a heck of a lot of it is pride. Seeing someone hurt on his behalf puts a lot of obligation, “on” in Japanese, on Bakugo’s shoulders.

    As for the spy, yeah All for One is pretty broken. Any mindreading or tracking quirk will do. And hey, guess what? The missing Pussycat’s Quirk is Search that lets her find things…. now the Pussycats don’t look like the kind of crew to harbour a traitor but All for One could just steal the quirk without any niceties involved.

    • May 21, 2018 at 4:49 amHanabira.Kage

      Ragdoll was supposedly using her quirk during the camp though, and the vanguard squad was already making their preparations on-site then. So that couldn’t have been the case here.

    • May 21, 2018 at 12:00 pmcvb

      What I fear is the author turning Bakugo a villain because of his violent tendency and pride in hands of manipulating villains. That would be cheap.

    • May 21, 2018 at 12:08 pmStilts

      @Mechamorph

      Exactly. I figure All For One got one of these quirks at some point, and is maybe comboing them in some way that no one else could do. No traitor required (though fomenting suspicion is a great side benefit).

      @cvb

      That’s why I lean toward it not happening, but I don’t think it’s an impossibility. Which is what makes the whole thing work better. Unpredictability is the spice of story.

      • May 21, 2018 at 1:18 pmcvb

        My problem with this series is precisely its nature, it’s a popular jump shonen and it can fall in it’s tropes easily. I’m bored of jump shonens at this point but this one has been pretty good so far.

        Turning Bakugo into a villain, power level transformations and a time skip would ruin the show for me and it has already fallen into the mandatory tournament crap. I suppose expecting something more like Assasination Classroom is still a chimera.

      • May 21, 2018 at 2:09 pmyoloalchemist

        @cvb
        It’s all about execution man. Just because MHA “has already fallen into the mandatory tournament crap” doesn’t mean the tournament arc was bad. Just because a shounen series follows a certain shounen trope doesn’t automatically make that show boring. It’s all about execution, and within the setting of MHA, the tournament arc was executed as great as it could’ve been IMO. I think you ought to give MHA (and the man behind it) a little bit more credit than that.

      • May 22, 2018 at 11:08 amcvb

        You are right about it’s how the story is driven, but after years of watching anime with the same tropes I’d like to see more diverse settings.

  • May 21, 2018 at 5:22 amstarss

    AAAAAAAAaand UA is officially down the crapper. No one will want to send their child to the school anymore, and they are screwed. Plus with the villains capturing Bakugo, the bad guys have won this round.

  • May 21, 2018 at 5:34 amSv

    All Might’s police friend seems too perfect to be true.

  • May 21, 2018 at 7:33 amjhpace1

    https://randomc.net/image/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia%20-%2045%20-%2030.jpg
    The media only cares about ratings. They are paid by their advertisers and they may be jerked around on a chain that leads to their government-given license, but ratings gives them their paycheck. So media writers and speakers are trained to “stir the pot” and evoke an emotional reaction.

    https://randomc.net/image/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia%20-%2045%20-%20Large%2035.jpg
    I don’t think Deku can go anywhere with those arms. Healers are a serious deficiency in this world.

    • May 21, 2018 at 12:12 pmStilts

      Journalists aren’t trained to stir the pot—but the modern system damn well encourages it, that’s for sure. That model is broken. I just have no idea how to fix it.

  • May 21, 2018 at 8:51 amyoloalchemist

    Thank you for shedding light on Katsuki’s last words. That really intrigued me.

    I was also intrigued by something else. Is Shoto seriously willing to jump on the same boat as Kirishima? Because if so, I just wonder why. As Enzo put it, he’s more of a caution type of guy, so for him to throw caution out the window like that… I don’t doubt his character, but I just wonder why. Still though, from my POV at least, someone as powerful as him would do better as a character than to simply be cautious, lest he become less interesting that way. Iida makes sense due to his past mistake, and most of the others are understandably afraid after what they just went through (all over again, I might add, and this time they lost), but it wouldn’t apply well to Shoto I think.

  • May 21, 2018 at 6:46 pmGuile

    You’re coming down pretty hard on Kirishima. I think it’s more likely that he’s just a standard shonen protagonist and ‘stick by your friends’ is a genre staple.

    The kids going around the adults and trying to solve things themselves is also something you see in every YA novel out there. I mean, it’s dumb… from the perspective of an adult. Not so much from the inside.

    • May 21, 2018 at 6:52 pmStilts

      I’m not really blaming him, or don’t intend to. I just wanted to point out that his youthful gung-ho is actually kind of cruel, whether he realizes it or not (not). Just pointing out what he’s not considering.

  • May 22, 2018 at 1:30 ammemuller

    I love how Mr. Compress’ quirk allows him to perform “real” magic, but in the end what won the day for the League of Villains was good old misdirection, a magician’s best friend.
    “Compress” is such a broken quirk, yet using it was far from being the most impressive thing Mr. Compress did – that’s good writing.

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