「無敵」 (Muteki)

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.

Random thoughts:

  • 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.



Final Impressions

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!


    1. I do love Mirio’s quirk and his superb application of it, but… if I were a character in BnHA, I don’t think I’d want it as my quirk. Knowing myself, it just doesn’t feel for me. Granted, you’re never born with your choice of quirk, it comes to you on its own.

  1. I cannot it state this enough. This season made me cry TWICE! (no pun intended)

    Honestly, I don’t know whether future seasons are gonna top this one. This is the best one so far. But with someone like Horikoshi-sensei at the helm of the story, I do know I will still enjoy them heartily. PLUS ULTRA!

  2. my explanation to his “kitty Pride” alike Quirk:

    Well, if you accumulate old TV Series, Mangas/Comics and even Movies with an “Quirk” similar to his one, then

    Kitty Pride is for most of us the Base of this.. (X-men comics).

    (TV Series)
    But for me it was “Captain Future!” where some Bad Guy that could slip trough Walls and such…(See Nippon influenced in very young age, thanks for that)

    (TV Series)
    In Star Trek: TNG there was an episode with the same “effect”.. an Romulan, LaForge and some other female got into this effect… and in the TV forums (i think it was Animesuki) they asked the right questions of the negative side effects.. When they could get trough every wall and such… why they do not fall trough the bottom of the Ship? or fall into the Gravity of the Planet trough the ships walls?…

    Also in Naruto there was an “famous” Ninjitsu user similar to this “quirk” and there they found out an possible solution to it. Yes the One with the Eye Hole Mask. Also there was some other “Ninjitsu” that could have ethereal Life and how they handle it..

    In Short this is experience that i accumulate with time

  3. Though what was he doing with his hands?

    Trying to take notes, I believe. Remember that he keeps voluminous notes on everyone around him and all their quirks and how they use them and so on, and every time he learns more he’s scribbling it all down in one of this notebooks. I think it’s become such an unconscious thing for him that he was trying to do it even when he didn’t have notebook or pencil in hand.

    1. That’s a nice way to see it!

      Another interpretation: kanji characters, due to their very nature, contain a lot of information and can be powerful mnemonic devices. I’ve seen some diligent Japanese students and office workers that develop an habit of – if unable to make proper digital or paper notes – summarizing conversations/meetings/explanations into “keywords” corresponding to two or three kanji and just tracing those on their hands with a finger. This helps them remember those keywords (at least for a while until they take proper notes) and seems to work pretty well. That makes sense, given note-taking helps memorization even if you don’t actually read the notes.

      For example, Izuku could have traced the kanjis for “permeation”, “selective” and “repulsion” as an effective memorization aid for how Mirio’s quirk works until he gets an opportunity to write down a full explanation back at his dormitory.

  4. Kitty pride actually can beat gravity. She can “walk on air”, although it’s very hard for her, since she has to do the same thing a Mirio (partial dephasing) to move, otherwise she just hangs there. She also uses that to hit people while staying mostly intangible. She occasionally has used the “earth expressway” to consciously fall through the earth and let the orbital motion of the planet around the sun shoot her out the other side. Its super dangerous since she can’t breath inside objects, though, and if she is slow at all with dephasing she can end up in space.

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia/Boku%20no%20Hero%20Academia%20-%2063%20-%2011.jpg
    Fighting Mirio-kun is like fighting a ghost. It’ll be really hard. But I think Uraraka-chan could beat him – if you’re floating uncontrollably, how do you phase through anything to matter? And Kirishima-kun, Tetsutetsu-kun could withstand Mirio-kun’s human-level punching with their Hardening/Steel. But Endeavor/Todoroki-kun would just ignite the air around them until it was so hot that Mirio-kun would scorch his lungs if he tried to breathe within melee range. So Mirio-kun is not untouchable.

    Looking forward to Season Four with more Momo-chan and Grape-kun!

    1. Yeah, we manga readers have been calling him Tintin and Vault Boy ever since he showed up in the manga.

      The whole falling through the floor thing kinda vindicated the people who’ve been calling the latter though.

  6. There’s not a single episode or arc I didn’t enjoy from MHA. Definitely looking forward for more of it! I really ought to read the manga, but at the same time I feel I should wait for the anime otherwise I’d be going through it way too quickly and waiting feverishly for the next chapter while the anime is still working on chugging out episodes. ^^; And…I don’t know if I’m the only one or not, but when I first saw Mirio…I thought I was looking at a very beefed up Lucas from Mother 3, which made it all the more amusing for me watching Mirio lay the smackdown on 1-A. xD

  7. Extremely underwhelming for a season finale. This felt like an episode 5 or 6.

    Overall I wasn’t really fond of this season at all. Outside of the amazing early on United States of Smash and the Midoriya x Bakugo stuff, there wasn’t much that was particularly exciting or entertaining. I really hope the next season isn’t more of the same.

  8. Parts of Miro’s power do not make sense if looked at too closely. This is why a character Lampshaded it by calling Miro power Broken. I liked the people who made video came references with Miro switching game effects on and off.
    Still, this is a superhero story. A whole bunch of heroes are creating and destroying mass with their effects an no one says a word. Many of the more powerful punches in the fight scenes would send the person doing them backward because their feet are nowhere large enough to actually keep them in place while doing so. So I just going to put Miro’s power into the category of limited reality warping where the limits of the quirk are those stated.
    I saw they did Nerf the one A-1 hero who could have made the battle a lot longer. They made our Invisible Girl wear clothing items and when they did that they probably should have told her to sit the battle out as she has no use with stuff on. I understand why as it would have been Miro taking out all of A-1 but her and then a possibly quite long search for the person you cannot see fight.
    Story events also took two of the better students out of the fight thanks to detention and license problems.
    I love this story and storyline and the movie was great too.

  9. So, let’s get this straight: Mirio’s quirk in Permeation, but it’s the experiences he went through that made him that strong? Huh.

    I’m disappointed Mirio didn’t grab this pun opportunity, really. I guess it doesn’t work well in Japanese.

    Great job as always, Stilts! It was a pleasure to follow you along this ride.


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