「第３試合」 (Dai San Shiai)
Endeavour’s New Leaf
For me, it feels weird seeing Endeavour behaving like a doting father, given what we know of his track record as a neglectful, abusive scumbag. And I don’t think I can really comment on Todoroki’s situation or speak for his mind. However, I definitely think it’s worth appreciating that Endeavour is trying to turn over a new leaf, as opposed to writing off his efforts to become a changed man.
For example, I’m pretty sure the old Endeavour would absolutely conflagrate any fool with wheels for limbs who thought his quirk could somehow keep up with his. Especially when said villain was thinking of running over some young boys or taking them hostage, which no doubt triggered Endeavour’s paternal instincts. Fortunately for our villain on wheels, Endeavour was feeling merciful, meaning it’s only a trip to jail for him instead of permanent first degree burns and potentially being crippled. To surmise, while I believe Endeavour should remain accountable for his past sins and though it’s completely down to his children to decide whether they forgive him or not, it’s still worth acknowledging his efforts to grow as a person.
Being merciful like his father, Todoroki also didn’t finish off Class 1-B in a matter of seconds despite the fact he could have with a mere finger waggle. Of course, Juzo points out that it would have been over had Todoroki used his flame abilities. However, seems like he didn’t want to injure anybody. So that leaves a massive opening 1-B could exploit – softening the surrounding metal and ice, so that they could craft the training terrain in their advantage. But if we agree that the purpose of this training camp is to simulate what heroes might expect from working to contain villains, does it offer a proper representation of that scenario?
Not All About ‘Winning’
To be honest, while I’m impressed with 1-B’s continued ingenuity of innovating around their more limited quirks, I definitely think 1-A could definitely have done more homework. e.g. the way Deku is taking down notes – to figure out the potential strategies 1-B could try to use against them. Excluding trump cards that have intentionally been hidden, everything is in the realm of public knowledge. That said, I can appreciate in a battle against unknown villains, heroes aren’t going to always know what they’re going up against. And from Todoroki’s end, it makes sense to hold back on conjuring an inferno, in case the villains have taken a hostage amongst themselves.
But back to the nature of this training assessment, due to the public nature of their role, it’s very probable the villain will typically know way more about them. There’s no way people from 1-B would have the chance to thoroughly research and formulate strategies to comprehensively shut down villains. So from that perspective, I would say that 1-A are getting more mileage out of the joint training if we’re talking about handling unknown variables and fighting at an information disadvantage.
Plus in the real world, if a villain possessed Todoroki’s powers, they would never ever go easy and refuse to use flames like he did. This is shounen, fans will invariably focus on hype matchups. Yet I dislike how winning is being made out to be the ultimate goal by teachers like Vlad, when training to be a hero and fighting villains is so much more than that. So for this specific 1-B team, even if they were to win on paper, I think they’d come out as losers overall because I don’t believe the training assessment offers realistic experience that matches what they would expect out of a real world situation. Am I being too harsh discrediting 1-B’s efforts? Probably. These kids are trying their absolute best and I understand they need to work with what they have. I guess I’m trying to say it’s not their fault. Rather, the system itself – way the teachers have set up this joint training arc, is somewhat flawed.
Passing On a Heroic Legacy
Outside of Todoroki’s ice abilities being countered, Tenya inheriting his older brother’s legacy formed the focal point of this episode. Now that Tensei is no longer able to stand up, his hero days are categorically over. So he passes down the family secret to Tenya – that removing their existing engines and training extremely hard will cause new, stronger engines to grow in their place. I felt extremely bad for Tenya when he was instantly caught down by the softness quirk, because it looked like he’d been so easily dispatched after having an emphatic flashback to how he wanted to carry the title of Ingenium with pride to honour his brother. Fortunately, he uses his new turbo engines to blast out of the ice – showing that while 1-B might have started off with a huge upper hand, 1-A cannot be considered out for the count and they’ll be obliged to punch back at full capacity.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!