「何をしてんだよ」 (Nani o Shitendayo)
“What’s the Big Idea?”

I loved this episode. It did so much right, and it’s an exemplar of good writing in many ways. Chief of all: characters made mistakes, informed by their established personalities/histories, and without making them seem ridiculous or stupid, in a way that heightened the tension and led to growth. Most stories don’t manage this even once, and Boku no Hero Academia has done it many times over. This episode is its strengths in microcosm.

Yoarashi’s grudge against Shouto could so easily have been shallow. Endeavor is a dick, he doesn’t like Shouto because he’s Endeavor’s son, done. Most stories would have stopped there. But Yoarashi tried to look past that. When he met Shouto, he didn’t like his eyes, but he tried to be friends with him in his own loud, hamfisted way. Shouto was a dick, and thus the grudge was born. Good. Personality informed their decisions and actions, and Shouto’s past mistakes came back to haunt him, all without Yoarashi seeming petty.

That the two of them then went on to become what they hated—to let their egos and personal bullshit interefere with their jobs and heroes and role models—is a special bit of poetic justice. I loved them squabbling, and suffering for it. It was deserved, and it put them in a bind. That they then realized their mistakes and tried to make amends—that Shouto remembered Yoarashi, and felt bad, and the two of them finally worked together, without words needing be spoken—was a stirring moment. I won’t say I teared up or anything. It wasn’t that sort of scene for me. It was heartening on a more fundamental level. Here was two people, making mistakes, and then doing their best to make up for it. They might not pass the exam—they’re both in serious danger of failing, though maybe they’ll squeak by—but they’re definitely grown as people. I wonder if now, the two of them can be friends. I actually think they have quite good chemistry.

All of this happened while Izuku kept his eye on the prize. Even Shindou did, even if his pleasant face fully fell away. He proves that you don’t have to be pleasant to be a hero, you can even be a conniving sonofabitch, but you’ve gotta focus on what’s important: saving people. Izuku sometimes comes across as too perfect, so it’s good when he struggles, like when he was struggling with his ultimate move, or last episode (canonically) when he wasn’t assuaging the HUC kid’s fear. Here, though, it was electrifying to have him shout some sense back into his idiot contemporaries, and to steadfastly do the right thing. He’s not perfect, but he’s a hero through and through.

I’m totally hyped for next episode. The serious talk is finally coming? One of the greatest questions of HeroAca has always been whether Katsuki will turn into the Endeavor to Izuku’s All Might, and next episode may shed light on the answer to that question. I can’t wait!

Random thoughts:

  • I love the Heroes Public Safety Commission’s plan. Rather than waiting for/depending on the singular individual (such as All Might), they’re going to build a system that’s more resilient, even if its individual parts aren’t as outstanding. That’s exactly the correct answer.
  • The framing in anime can sometimes be uninspired, but it’s illustrative that this frame showed Shouto’s right side, that of ice/his mother.
  • The flame spiral was damn cool, right?

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.




  1. Oh god its finally here!! The last 3 episodes are going to be HHHYYYPPPEEE!!!. Ok in all seriousness when season 3 was first announced, I knew that there had it had to include 3 of my favorite moments in MHA to make this my favorite season of MHA thus far, possibly ever:
    Deku’s fight with Muscular and the 1,000,000% smash, All Might and All for one’s final confrontation with the United States of Smash, and what is coming up next. I won’t say too much but the moment they chose to bookend to season with is perfect, since it ties everything that happened in the season in such a nice bow. Show Spoiler ▼

  2. What makes this episode powerful was that you can AND cannot blame those 2 for what happened. Like it was inevitable. That demerit system is bad news though.
    I can’t believe this season is coming closer to its end. I actually read the next story arc in the manga and seriously, they have to adapt that in the near future.

  3. I thought this episode was excellent for the same reasons as Stilts and it was great visually, in fact, I think it’s the best in this season. It’s my favourite after Deku and Shouto’s fight in Season 2.

  4. I feel like they didn’t give enough time to build up Yoarashi for this to have the impact it could have had.

    Overall I really didn’t like this arc at all, but I’m happy we still have time for a few more episodes before the season is over.

  5. I dunno, I found this to be a weak episode. When I looked back at the season, it’s the only episode that I rated a 1.

    I found Yoarashi to be obnoxious and unlike say with Bakugou, without any redeeming features. As such, I don’t really care about him or his childhood trauma. The way that it was presented also didn’t appeal to me. I thought it wasted half the episode and turned this part of the story (the rescue test) into something dull and sort of disconnected from the rest of the story.

    They had a test here which turned into something weird because they catered to something this tedious. They introduced a potentially fascinating hero in Gang Orca, who strode onto the scene exuding menace, charisma and power. And then nothing. As a contrast, consider how All Might performed when he faced off against Midoriya and Bakugou in the escape test (in ep.37). And the nameless faceless henchmen just dragged things down further. A great hero should be able to make a great villain and they failed utterly here.

    While they didn’t spend even a minute on the rest of the rescue activities, they did occasionally show us a bird’s eye view of some of it, and what I saw was depressing. All Might and Endeavour didn’t become the heroes they were because they walked a little old lady across the street once. And having one hero for every civilian and walking each and every one of them to wherever, makes no sense to me. It just made them look wholly unsuited for the task at hand. I can’t help but feel that the show’s creators really had no idea how to portray any of this, just as the characters had no ideas for dealing with the test (except do something any random non-hero might do if they didn’t think deeply about it).

    Was there any silver lining to the episode? Maybe. Maybe Todoroki grew a little as he realised that despite the antipathy he has towards his father, he had actually been travelling down the same path even as he endeavoured (pun intended) to disassociate himself from his father. That said, it was a pretty steep price to pay for such a small morsel. Offhand, Midoriya probably earned his provisional license. I don’t think anyone else did.

  6. What made All Might huge was the huge number of people he rescued in a disaster. I have no clue how most heroes can handle more than one assisted carry and there was no other way to get the people out.
    Oops answering someone named Mockman a troll by naming.
    I am actually into the story of hero’s in training and it seems many want it to be graduated hero’s fighting only. Exams like this let characters fail without dying so are important.
    Nice review.

  7. Not every shonen clash of ideals has to be this enormous thing you base your life around.

    Inasa didn’t like Todoroki’s face, and then Todoroki was mean to him because he was a fucked up little Sasuke at that point in his life. I appreciate that just because Todoroki has changed, that doesn’t immediately make everyone realize that. People aren’t just going to automatically become friends because Todoroki got Protagonist Speeched at.

    The audience gets in his head; Inasa has had like a day of looking at him from the outside, and Todoroki isn’t exactly a big emoter.

  8. Wow! The animation! Anyone knows who the animators are in this episode? Did Yutaka Nakamura also animate some parts? I think I’ve seen his signature style, impact frames, somewhere, like when Todoroki started using his flame combined with the wind guy to create a tornado.


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