「烈怒頼雄斗」 (Reddo Raiyuuto)
Once again: stellar episode. Horikoshi-sensei again used the heroes and the villains to juxtapose one another, though in this case it was only the powers of the villains that were relevant. Instead all the surprises came from the heroes this time.
Perhaps this episode’s greatest master stroke was in using another character we’re already familiar with, Mina, to flesh out Kirishima’s story. It’s a buy-one-get-one deal, building background and characterization for two characters for the price of one. That also makes it not feel so pulled-out-of-thin-air, because while we’ve only seen hints of Kirishima’s regrets before, it’s not like they had to introduce crazy amounts of information and characters to make it work. Just a little, just a little. Superb.
I also appreciate how Kirishima called himself out as a boring guy, haha! His powerset is rather bland, and what’s more his personality is nothing like someone like Izuku, who excels by brains as much as brawn. Kirishima just ain’t that clever! But what he is, is wise. Wise beyond his years, and contemplative for such a simple guy. It’s fitting that his battle is as much internal as external. It exposes his rich internal life, and a primarily exteral battle wouldn’t be as fun with his currently limited toolset (& mindset). Well played.
Also loved how Fat Gum turned the tables, revealing that this wasn’t a spear & shield vs shield & shield battle, but spear & shield on both sides. Him turning out to be a conventionally attractive and muscular guy beneath the fat may send a warped message to fans of similar body types, but remember: Fat Gum didn’t win despite his fat, he won because of it. Fat Gum ain’t gonna be thin from here on out, he’s going to gain it back as fast as he can so he can get back to work. But what I most love is how the reveal of his quirk’s true ability not only served as a stirring & surprising turn around, but also it wasn’t that surprising really. I mean, he always said his quirk was Fat Absorption. His fat was absorbing all that energy. Where’s it gonna go? Turns out, now we know.
Kirishima standing up at the last second and facing his fears was a wonderful climax to this battle, as was Fat Gum blowing the competition away. Though maybe the best part was revealing that Kirishima’s red hair is an affectation. Hey, nothing wrong with a high school debut, eh?