Turn experience into power. Don’t let yourself believe there are geniuses; there are a few, but not many. The best work for it. They always do.
It would be rather repetitive to say I loved this episode, because that’s true for almost all of them. But I did. It went the whole gamut, from the themes explored to the characters who embodied them. HeroAca season three left us off on a hopeful and a dire note, each of which whet our appetite for more. I’m happy the season four announcement was immediate, because I already need more! But before I get on with my withdrawal symptoms, let’s break down this episode.
The Big Three are a lot of fun. Each one is quirky and funny in their own unique way. There’s a lesson in that. Sometimes, it takes giving yourself over to your own (non-destructive, non-hurtful-to-others) eccentricities to excel. Fitting in means trying to erase/hide your weaknesses rather than elevate your strengths, even as the latter is how you becomes great. It seems an un-Japanese lesson, to encourage oddities who so thoroughly stand out, but they’re all still working toward a shared goal (a more just, safe society). It fits. Remember this lesson—just don’t become a villain in the process. Shigaraki and co are plenty eccentric themselves, after all.
But best of all was the fight between Mirio and 1-A. He almost reminds you of a rogue-type character, right? Always popping up behind people for the
backstab punch in the gut. I figured fairly quickly that his “warp” was an offshoot of his impermeability quirk, but the actual details of what he was doing were way better. And it tied in with the theme well: it’s not what you’re born with. It’s what you do that matters.
Listen! I hate it when people talk about others who are “genius”, or “talented”, or even just “smart.” Who cares? I’ve met lots of people who were smart and who didn’t do shit with it. I’ve met people who were better writers than me, and have never published a book, much less two … and I’ve also met people who were weaker writers than me, and who have published more books in the same time it took me to publish my two. “Talented” doesn’t matter. “Smart” doesn’t matter. It’s helpful! It’s undeniable that Katsuki got lucky in the quirk roulette wheel of life. But he’s also made good of that luck, and built it into something great, something which can keep growing from here.
The biggest thing I think of with Mirio is, his power is like Kitty Pryde’s. And in the incarnations I’ve seen at least, Kitty Pryde isn’t that big of a deal. Being able to phase through things is a useful power, but it’s not like One For All or Katsuki’s Explosion. It’s more like Best Jeanist’s quirk. It’s useful, but what makes Mirio so good is all the hard work he’s put in to leverage his ability, and to learn more. Like Eraser Head, like Gang Orca, like Best Jeanist, and ultimately, like Kitty Pryde. I hear she ended up as a big deal in the comics. She worked for it. Mirio has as well. 1-A didn’t realize how much work he put in at first, but they figured it out eventually.
Plus, you know, Kitty Pryde had it easy. She didn’t have to laboriously unphase parts of her body at a time, nor was she blind, deaf, unfeeling, and unable to breathe when she phases. Oh, and she isn’t always flashing her dick. Mirio worked for it, hard, and it shows.
(Hur hur hur!)
But this episode had more life lesson aside from those! Listen well, young readers: Gran Torino is right. You’re supposed to use connections from the sports festival? Yeah, sure. Use ’em if you’ve got ’em. But if you don’t, get in touch with people however you can. I’ve cold emailed people, called up alumni from the same school, met people for coffee who a friend of a friend of an acquaintance knew. Leverage whatever you’ve got, and take a shot in the dark if you don’t. There’s no harm in getting help from your master, for instance, or from his old sidekick. Do what you gotta do.
I can’t wait for next season!!! Final impressions below.
- Sometimes Mirio reminds me of someone…
- It’s notable that, while the others were whining about Mirio being a overpowered, Izuku was trying to figure out how to win. He’s already got someone most of the others don’t have. Though what was he doing with his hands?
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 last two posts: An Author’s Review of: Freelance Heroics, & An Author’s Review of: Wage Slave Rebellion.
It seems silly to do final impressions of Boku no Hero Academia, because it’s so clearly not over, and it’s not even pretending this is an ending. It’s a small cliffhanger, to whet our appetite until the next season returns. (Or to encourage us to read the manga, for those who can’t wait.) So instead I’ll just look back on the major arcs, and say complimentary things about them, because almost every episode was awesome.
The training camp was great. The Wild, Wild Pussycats were great of course, but what I most appreciated was how quickly the arc turned from training to a crisis. HeroAca don’t waste time. And his 1,000,000% Delaware Detroit Smash? It might have screwed up his body good, but damn! So cool.
Rescuing Katsuki was phenomenal. Both from an action perspective, and a tense near-terrifying perspective (as the students became aware just how in over their heads they were), but also from a character perspective. It was one of two times where Katsuki’s character was thrown into doubt, or at least, forced to prove himself. He passed the test with aplomb, just as Eraser Head knew he would. People underestimated Katsuki, but this is where it began to turn around.
And the climactic battle between All Might and All For One? Ho. ly. Shiiiiit. Just dnymatie, all the way through. Hardly has there ever been a better one, and with that bittersweet ending… Oof.
The provisional licensing tests featured some of the only truly weak episodes, though they were more of middle book/children than actually bad efforts. And even then, I don’t want to overstate: I still loved that arc. Even the anime original additions were super cool and exciting, and how all of Class 1-A passed, up until the last person… *shudder* And the fight against Gang Orca? Shouto and Yoarashi’s plotline was so cool. It really showed how characters can make obvious mistakes without being infuriating to watch.
Then there was the heart-to-heart, fist-to-fist between Izuku and Katsuki. That was … wow. Just basically everything I was hoping to see for a long, long time. Katsuki is one of the most impressively written characters in HeroAca, he’s a bully with a good heart and an iron, unbendable will who is neither forgiven for his missteps nor damned completely by them. The battle between him and Izuku, when they finally become real rivals, is the other time when Katsuki’s character is tested, and he shows himself to be a fundamentally good kid, and a damn tenacious one too. He may have an anger problem, but he uses it to excel. He’s going to be an amazing hero.
And the series ends, as it always does. This time with an arc halfway introduced, setting us up to get moving quickly once HeroAca returns. I wouldn’t expect it for a couple seasons—spring or summer 2019 is my guess—but I can’t wait for it to come back. Watching, and writing about, Boku no Hero Academia is super fun. I can’t wait for more. Plus Ultra!