「災害歩行」 (Saigai Woukaa)
It may have been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon (I assume – there haven’t been any updates lately) but it was a hell of a week at Bones Plaza. Between Mob Psycho 100 and Boku no Hero Academia those animators had a load of work to do – some of the biggest action sequences of the year. That stuff is less common in MP100 than BnHA of course, and no question that was a flashier and more auteurist sequence. But the action work in this show – like so much about it these days – tends to get overlooked. Now that they’re not competing with a theatrical version of the series for staff the TV anime is consistently producing some real gems, fitting tinged with American comic book accents.
When Gigantomachia isn’t even your biggest problem, you know you’ve got it tough. And these heroes have it really tough at the moment, to say the least. Shigaraki’s enhancements have left him preposterously overpowered, even without One For All in the golf bag. He’s loaded with stolen quirks, his own quirk is basically unplayable (he can indeed control it well enough now to spare (mostly) the nomus), and even when his quirk is canceled out he’s as strong and mobile as All Might. As Gran Torino will confirm, having some sparring experience on that front.
Also, Shigaraki is clearly no fool. He knows who the key to all this is, and that’s Aizawa-sensei. Eraser is the only one enforcing the difference between ass-kicking and wholesale annihilation. And he doesn’t have it easy – he can’t even blink, and he’s not really in a position to defend himself when Shigaraki comes gunning for him. Eraser’s current bodyguards are really more eye drops and crutches than muscle, so this looks pretty grim – but Deku takes matters into his own hands, as usual. He flips Torino’s own words back on him – losing Aizawa would be the real “worst thing that could happen”. And he’s got a personal stake in this anyway, given how much Aizawa has done for him and the other Yuuei students.
Shigaraki is still hearing that voice in his head – the one that leads him to call Izuku “Otouto” – but he’s pushing back against it now. He seems quite sane and focused at the moment, but it’s worth remembering (as Dabi clearly does) that this all hasn’t gone as Garaki planned it. Shigaraki awoke earlier than he was supposed to, and while we haven’t really seen that manifest itself in any vulnerabilities yet it seems very likely it had consequences. For the moment it’s just a matter of all hands on deck – Izuku, Bakugo, Gran Torino, Endeavor – all the big guns are in on this battle, trying to take this enemy down while Eraser is giving them the chance.
Meanwhile, the B-plot is providing no shortage of drama either, and for once in HeroAca, it’s the female heroes (and cadets) who are at the heart of it. Starting with Mt. Lady, who quite naturally gets thrown into the vanguard when Gigantomachia starts moving. She’s the only one theoretically big enough to stand a chance against him, but in truth even Mt. Lady is barely Hillock Girl when facing this monster. Re-Destro and the other Paranormal Liberation types understand what this means – their leader is awake (early). Dabi decides to take Skeptic along when Gigantomachia gathers everyone up for a ride, interesting given his abilities (basically hacking and making copies of people).
We haven’t heard much from this group of students, but their time on the sidelines is coming to an end. With Mt. Lady unable to stem Giganto’s march and Midnight taken down while trying to put him to sleep, the behemoth heads inexorably towards them. Momo is the one who Midnight relies on to take command, and gives her the option, flee or stay and fight – with anaesthetics Momo produces, trying to do what Midnight was unable to do with her quirk. Preventing Giganomachia and the elites of the League and PLF from rendezvousing with Shigaraki is obviously and absolute priority. But I still see a disconnect between what Re-Destro wants and what Shigaraki does, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of it.