「見えない希望」 (Mienai Kibou)
Foreknowledge of the future, much like time travel, is a tricky concept to wield. Once someone says that something is foretold, we as consumers of stories are conditioned to either believe it (if it’s positive for the protagonists) or assume it will be denied (if it’s negative for the protagonists). So it is here. As soon as Nighteye originally brought up his premonition of All Might’s demise at the hands of a villain, we were conditioned to believe it would be denied … but actually maybe not. Because isn’t All Might a mentor figure to the main character, and don’t mentor figures have a terrible track record of staying alive? It was a loop hole that threw doubt on our assumptions. Two competing tropes. Which would win?
This episode is not that. It’s a more straight-forward application of our assumptions: that, when fate promises says that the heroes will lose and deny, we assume they will overturn that fate. I don’t say this with judgment; it’s an accurate appraisal of what will likely happen, because I’m pretty sure Izuku does not die this day. Thus, the devil is in the details, as it so often is. How will they win? And how much losing will they have to endure before they get the W?
What this episode did so deftly was raise the stakes. When Izuku and Eraser Head were sprinting toward the young master with Overhaul’s quirk having been shut off, it was all but done. If not for a few moves by Overhaul and his buddy, they would have lost. But just a few beats later, and Overhaul enters his one-winged angel form (trope!), and everybody is screwed. Speaking of screws: they done been turned. Especially with regards to Eri, I mean holy fuck.
He didn’t just have to cow her. He didn’t just have to threaten her. He couldn’t leave her with some bit of pride. Overhaul has so thoroughly emotionally abused her as to bring her back to her abuser, even as she weeps, for fear of another death on her soul. Holy hell. I’m glad that Izuku is set to defy fate, because this dude needs a beating. He needs all the beatings, forever, and then he needs to take one of those bullets in the eye so he can never hurt anyone ever again.
I’ve never been so happy to see the cavalry arrive. I was just thinking earlier today how unfair it was that all the male students got to have their time in the spotlight but the female ones did not. I’m glad Horikoshi-sensei proves once again that nobody gets left on the sidelines. They weren’t denied their time, they just had to wait, so they could enter at the best time and help save Izuku, and Eri-chan, and save the day. Hellz yeah! I can’t wait to see the next episode … even if “Infinite 100%” sounds plenty ominous when it comes to Izuku’s body staying in one undamaged piece. Ho-boy! It’s getting tense indeed.