「新技即興オペレーション」 (Shin Waza Sokkyou Opereeshon)
“Operation New Improv Moves”

After last week’s bout came to an end, the remnants of Class 1-B must be raring to prove that they’d be worthy equals to Class 1-A. And this episode proved no exception – focusing on Shihai’s obsession to overcome Tokoyami as the Academy’s King of Darkness. Let’s jump right into it!

The Second Fixture

So what do we have here, Tokoyami vs Shihai? I just love how this is the battle of teenage edge lords. We all know how powerful Tokoyami is. Coming third at the Sports Festival. Yet in some ways, he’s a wild card too, since Dark Shadow is something of a mysterious variable that’s difficult to gauge. We all know it’s stronger in the dark, and weaker in the light. Fortunately, the Joint Training doesn’t take place in open space. There’s plenty of dark areas underneath pipe structures that Tokoyami can take advantage of. However, the same can be equally said of Shihai.

Initially it looked as if Shihai had the edge in this encounter. Not only can he nullify its scouting ability. He can actually hijack Dark Shadow and turn it against Tokoyami. Sure, it makes sense because I guess you can say he’s the strongest member on the team and Dark Shadow’s reconnaissance abilities are probably the best.

But be honest, I thought it was kind of dumb of the 1-A team to being their outright attack by using it when they either know that Shihai can wield the dark, or are aware that his ability has some correlation with the darkness. Nevertheless, it makes for an interesting situation where Tokoyami ends up pulling out his trump card – his newly developed flying ability, which he came up with during his internship under Hawks.

Tokoyami’s Internship with Hawks

This was a truly fantastic segment which encapsulated both the character development and powering up that Tokoyami went through. First off, Tokoyami was excited to intern with Hawks – one of the most respected heroes and right hand man of Endeavour. However, the internship does not turn out as he would have expected. His frustration only builds up as he realises he’s nothing more than a glorified errand boy, and he feels so much frustration. Who hasn’t been there before? I certainly know how that feels.

At the very least it didn’t seem that Hawks did this in bad faith. Was this all part of Hawks plan to make Tokoyami stronger? Who knows. The look in Hawks eye makes me believe this is honestly the case, where he intentionally made Tokoyami pent up frustration so he could push himself to become stronger. Once Tokoyami gains Hawks respect, this is when the true training begins – where Hawks tells Tokoyami that for a fellow avian derived quirk user, he has so much potential that’s wasted because he doesn’t know how to fly.

Concluding Thoughts

And that’s how power up narratives should go. A well-developed and justified backstory building into the moment. Ultimately, that trump card allows 1-A’s squad to maneuver out of a tricky situation – with Tokoyami flying around while Yuga fires off laser beams to dispel the shadows that Shihai was lurking in. However, that opens them up to the next step in 1-B’s plan. They seemed to anticipate Yuga would eventually resort to blasting light everywhere, and it causes mushrooms to sprout up everywhere, activating Kinoko’s trap cards.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see y’all next week!

One Comment

  1. I think Kendo has always been a strategist. The Training Camp arc proved as such. But for her strategy to go this far in terms of how she read the whole situation and got prepared accordingly goes back to my point about how class 1-B always had class 1-A as a wall to overcome, a goal in other words. For all 1-B gets frustrated about how 1-A is more recognized than them, I think they have their rival to thank for all their development as well.

    I think Tokoyami is among the class 1-A students who deserve even more spotlight than the amount he got before this episode. I imagine that, like Katsuki, he blamed himself for going out of control then getting captured for the whole situation to escalate into All Might being forced to retire. Which is why this episode was good for him. I hope for even more for him.

    I personally don’t think Hawks’ intent for Tokoyami was for the latter to build up frustration as a driving force so much as it was simply a reward for his patience with his seemingly careless mentor. In his own words, Hawks doesn’t seem to care about training the next generation. It could’ve been anyone from 1-A to tell him about the League of Villains, and he could’ve ditched that student as soon as he got what he wanted out of them had they run out of patience. Investigating the League is his primary job after all and it made his plate full. He doesn’t have the full capacity of a mentor.

    But what he saw in Tokoyami of all people back in the sports festival is someone who can be at least a bit like him in terms of how he uses his quirk. Hawks has fully mastered his quirk, which he uses in various ways, including flying. During all that time he took Tokoyami under his metaphorical wing for the main purpose of extracting info out of him, he still had curiosity from the beginning and noticed how the student used his quirk every now and then, and he just noticed how far the gap between their applications of their versatile avian like quirks was, and so became motived to train him at last. In other words, as Hawks said, birds of a feather. Training Tokoyami was completely secondary to him, but he still pulled his weight just fine because he didn’t want to come off as a jerk in the process by “wasting” his student’s time. It’s also likely that, in an effort to discreetly gather info on the League, he wanted to talk to one of the 1-A students without arousing suspicion from them because he was already undercover with them. So playing mentor was the best way to do it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *