「THE試験」 (THE Shinken)
Before I get to the meat of this episode: Ochako. OMG this girls got it bad!! I’m totally with Mina here, total shipping mode engaged. I also like how this is a series where the lack of progress in their relationship feels natural. It’s another byproduct of HeroAca’s large, well-utilized cast. If we were spending all our time with Izuku and Ochako, it’d feel strange for there not to be more progress by now, but since there are so many others, their slow pace feels right. Also, there’s their nerdy/dorky personalities. Love it! More!
As for the hero provisional exam, I like how the tall odds draw directly from an actual tactical disadvantage the U.A. students have, not just petty vindictiveness. It could have been different. The others could be going after them simply because they’re from the top dog school, and they’re jealous/petty about that. But the televised sports festival gives them a real, material weakness compared to the other schools, which makes them an excellent first target.
Or does it?
In this case, yes. Eraser Head made a decision: he doesn’t want his class to pass the test. What he wants is for them to become excellent heroes. If they cannot pass this test without foreknowledge of the crushing of U.A., they don’t deserve to pass it. They will have this disadvantage later in their careers. This is excellent training, with the other students serving as villain roleplayers to U.A.’s heroes. This will make them stronger, whether they pass or fail.
Had Eraser Head warned them, though, this would be nearly a boon, provided they could develop their quirks far enough. If your enemy thinks they know what you can do—take the Ketsubutsu kid referring to Izuku’s power that destroys himself—then the advantage is yours, provided you can do something just different enough with their expectations to throw them off and quickly snatch your victory. Absolute surprise would be more useful, but as an advantage that doubles as incentive to develop your quirk really fast, this ain’t bad. And it might have a larger positive effect on your future career than simply obtaining the provisional license.
As it is though, Class 1-A is getting a true trial by fire. Fight back and win, or get crushed. I like it almost as much as Ms. Joke (Nagai Mariko) and her constant teasing of and flirting with Eraser. More! More of her, and more of this! I will ship all the pairings!
- To once again opine on Stain’s philosophy: what a childish person. It would be nice if the world worked like that, if heroes did it for the right reasons alone, but unless society goes full Star Trek post-currency enlightenment, where no one is hungry or has unfulfilled needs or material wants, it’s untenable. You want specialists? You gotta pay ’em. It’s the same for police and soldiers. And if it hinges on a semantic quibble over the word “hero” … well. That sounds like a tiresome reason to become a serial killer right there. What an ignorant, privileged way of thinking.
- Bonus: Commander Izuku. He really is turning out to be different than All Might, in ways that are very Deku. And it makes him all the stronger, as a hero and a character.
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: Risk Tolerance in the Creative Life.