「1年A組」 (Ichi-Nen Ei-Gumi)
“Class 1-A”

Even if they’re not physically there, their presence raises the standard for the whole class.

This episode, better than I could have stated it otherwise, explains what makes Izuku and Katsuki different. Comparing them to the others who have gone off and gotten into trouble on their own—Iida and Shouto against Stain, and those two plus Kirishima and Yao-momo to rescue Katsuki—reveals what makes them special. Iida is a leader, Shouto and Yao-momo are the honor students, and Kirishima is the mood maker/best friend, but what Izuku and Katsuki do is provide a moral center and driving force to the rest of the class, even if they don’t preach it. Well, Izuku preaches it, and it shows how much of an effect he has, the boy who was once quirkless and looked up to heroes, even more than the boy who now wields One For All. It’s that big beautiful brain of his that makes him to stellar, both in his plans and the reasons why he does what he does. That’s why Yao-momo took inspiration from Izuku when she came up with her plan, and why she and the others were all but quoting Izuku when they had their big damn heroes moment. He’s the emotional, moral, and philosophical core of the class, and that’s going to lead to him having an outsized impact on the next generation of heroes, just as All Might did on the last.

Katsuki is trickier. It almost feels forced, to put him on the same level as Izuku in this. Yet it’s undeniable that Katsuki is driven from within. He doesn’t worry about what others think like Yao-momo, he doesn’t angst about his family like Shouto, and while he’s not above a little revenge like Iida against Stain, he will never let it get in the way of his central goal: to be the best. He’s such an Endeavor in the making, isn’t he? Though in a way, that’s not true. He might develop into an Endeavor, if he gets bitter with age and inability to top Izuku. But for now, he is another philosophical and passionate driving force of Class 1-A. Where Izuku is selfless, Katsuki is pride. A heavenly virtue and a deadly sin. Rather poetic, don’t you think? That’s what drives 1-A, to be the best, but to also be the best in the right way.

As for the actual text of the episode, this one went down a lot smoother than the odd kilter previous episode, since it had a real cohesive arc. I especially like how Yao-momo didn’t choke and defied her adversary’s assumptions, and how Ochako has such unwavering faith in Izuku. Yeah, I’m shipping them, but that’s also some heady nakama stuff. That’s what I’m here for, here in shounen action land. (Also, this dude is gross, and hibernating Tsuyu-chan is cute.) As for Shouto passing after all, I kinda wish he woulda gotten smacked upside the head for his presumption, but it was also nice to see him triumph over those who thought they had his number. I’ll take it. It was fun. Let’s do this again next week, ne?

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  1. In before a mountain of comments complaining about the anime-original content…

    I thought the episode was fun, some decent focus for Momo again made for a really nice surprise.

    1. As an anime-first fan it never crossed my mind that this was an original episode. I loved the focus on Momo since she’s had some of the most self-doubt and slow growth in her character arc so far imho.

      I also loved the focus on Deku’s and Bakugo’s impact on class 1-A. I can’t wait for Pikachu and King Murder Explosion to take Captain Flesh-blob down a peg (and rescue the best hard boy).

      I’m so curious as well to see the other schools’ Quirks and strategies. This arc is shaping up to be really fun and exciting!

  2. Hibernating Tsuyu is freaking weapons-grade adorable.

    I like how the author mixes groups up as we can see different dynamics. Very fun with such a large cast. And these four just happen to rank among my favourites. (First Present Mic, and now the amped-up amps- I hope Jirou’s quirk will eventually develop to where she can redirect soundwaves or something, or else her brain is gonna get liquified by further attacks like that).

    Since they have cameras everywhere, wouldn’t Camie get ousted for not having her sensors on? I don’t think censors count.

  3. Horikoshi Kouhei and Oda Eiichirou did a recent joint interview; here’s some highlights:

    – Horikoshi sees Oda as his biggest mentor/influence to become a mangaka.

    – Oda’s slightly concerned that Academia’s large cast results in not enough characters getting developed/intergrated into the storyline, “However, Horikoshi-sensei’s characters tend to be both recognizable and popular, so I’m probably overthinking it. ”

    – Deku is modeled after Horikoshi himself, a combination of his “social anxiety, tendency to overanalyze, and some optimism…”; “I wanted to draw a character who was as free-spirited as Luffy, but I couldn’t seem to pull it off.”

    – Horikoshi wanted to be more involved in making the new Hero Academia movie, but Oda believes their weekly serials are of greater priority, otherwise “…the work will never end”.

    – Early plans were for Hero Academia to be 30 volumes long, but Horikoshi’s unsure if he can stick to plan since “the more you draw, the more things you want to add.”

  4. … it’s official. There is now an episode of MHA I HATE.

    It figures that the antagonists Momo and Co fought this episode were filler, as well as much of the villains Todoroki fought. They look uninspired, they do not feel like they belong in the show, the tea girls’ quirk sounds ridiculous even for this anime, they barely have an introduction, and of course we’ll never see or hear from them again! Todoroki defeated the entire ninja group in the first minute, and it felt needlessly tacked on.

    It is totally horrible?? No. Momo was able to strengthen her quirk and put it to go use. And they were using their heads to figure out how to best defeat the girls, thanks to Deku’s inspiration.

    1. I don’t hate this episode per se, but I do agree this is the first time the Anime-Only content in MHA feels like “filler”. I still think it’s good that the AO content being made for MHA is more supplemental (expands on the characters and the canon) rather than additional (make something up to make time for the source material to move further ahead), but this time I think it was repetitive.

      Todoroki’s fight in last episode and this one was pretty much a “showing” of what Todoroki “told” the rest of the cast (and the audience) about him separating from the team not out of cockiness, but because the way he’s using his quirk right now involves a wide area of effect (he’s not focusing on precise use in his training after all, he’s focusing on using both “sides” at once). I always prefer that fiction shows instead of telling, but if you already told it, do you need to show it immediately after?

      As for Momo’s side of the equation, I do agree that Momo getting more development is great, but her AO opponent(s) are completely uninteresting – not to mention that the named one, Saiko Intelli, is the most uninteresting of all – in a show where several characters show realistic feats of intelligence by way of problem solving and quick adaptation to different situations, we get a character whose “super-intelligence” basically involves reading ahead on the script right until the part where she gets her ass handed to her. I can think of one other work where “reading ahead on the script” is used without the pretense of super intelligence, and in a creative and engaging way (yes, JJBA. Boingo’s predictive comic book shenanigans might be silly, but you can’t deny it was creative).

      And on top of that, Momo’s entire sequence was meant to “show”, rather than “tell”… …what Eraserhead later tells Ms. Joke at the end of the episode – which is what happens in the source material, and cutting out of the adaptation would mean we wouldn’t get the peek inside his mind and feelings that we get from that scene… a shame that said scene ends up being redundant as well.

      All in all, it did feel like padding.

  5. Love how Izuku is becoming more and more like a hero in the eyes of his entire class, not just a select few. Also, Momo has now cemented herself as a bonafide tactical thinker, and with her quirk that allows her a very large range of application, I just couldn’t be happier.

  6. https://randomc.net/image/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia%20-%2055%20-%2015.jpg
    Go, Momo-chan! Her time to shine. But I realized with this episode: Momo-chan has limits??? She can only produce so much, and then she runs out of lipids? And I keep wanting to change Momo-chan’s outfit. She needs a bikini/sports bra top, with gym shorts or bicycle shorts, and concentrate on using her back and belly as wide-area creation points. Or make parts using her thighs and stomach, easy to assemble.

    Yes, this guy is disgusting. Instead of Compression, what is this called?

    1. How are you supposed to come back from that let alone survive being turned into something like that? These quirks that they are coming up with are starting to get silly.

  7. https://randomc.net/image/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia%20-%2055%20-%2012.jpg
    Once again, we have potential future allies treating each other as competition. This is the wrong type of competition, in my opinion, and leads to the Endevour vs. All Might jealousy being copied in the future by in Deku and Katsuki, or even with Shouto and Iida. A potential weakness among all future heroes in Japan. See “Superman vs. the Justice League” or “Wonder Woman vs. all the other female heroes in the Justice League”.

    Instead of a “pecking order”, teamwork exercises would advance the fledgling heroes so much better. Even a scavenger hunt is better than “I can beat up everybody here; that makes me the best.”

    1. There are 2 reasons why this makes sense in-universe, and 1 reason why it’s to be expected out of universe.

      The out-of-universe reason is: This is a shounen anime. MHA is not breaking new ground or setting new trends, MHA is simply an exercise on how to make the best possible shounen within the boundaries of the genre.

      The 2 in universe reasons were very bluntly stated at the beginning of the exam. First by the announcer: there are way too many people wanting to enter a field of work in which the pros are very damn good at what they do – the incident response time is almost immediate. They’re trying to earn a license to start doing field work, therefore they need to prove they already have what it takes to do so. By the way, give it one more episode: it’s all gonna make much more sense by then.

      Second, this is a universe of superheroes and supervillains. Only UA has had the luxury of facing real supervillains, and they’re complete outliers – for everyone else in this test, this would be the very first time they’re allowed to combat against people with superpowers, and mastery of them to boot. The UA kids have it rough because they were thrown into a battlefield of people with mastery of their powers, knowledge of the powers of the entirety of UA, and a plan. The rest of the test-takers has to face seasoned power users that have known real combat. So whoever doesn’t pass this test sure isn’t ready for the real thing.

    2. If you have thousands more kids applying than the industry can support each year, then you have to thin the herd SOMEHOW. And shonen gonna shonen, so it was always going to be by way of a battle.

  8. I think Bakugo is more ‘ambition’ than pride – the same sort of ambition that led All Might to decide to single-handedly fix hero society by becoming such an overwhelmingly powerful force that villains would be too afraid to organize. Which is not to say he’s not prideful, just that his pride isn’t the attribute most worth emulating.

    Izuku is currently lacking in this department – he’s relentlessly driven when it comes to rescuing anyone he sees that needs saving, but hasn’t given much thought to protecting/inspiring those beyond his immediate reach (which is what made All Might so exceptional, even among previous One For All holders).


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