By Eli Sokeland
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of My Hero Academia
Looking back at the rest of the season so far, this episode had a lot of hype to live up to: the chaos that was started by the League of Villain’s Vanguard Action Squad at the summer training camp. The previous episode left our heroes confronted face-to-face with multiple villains who already took down the pro hero, Pixie-Bob.
This episode opens up with the flashback to Mandalay talking to Deku about the death of Kota’s parents. While this originally felt redundant because the previous episode just covered this, the show focused on the missing whereabouts of Kota. Deku then insists on bringing him back safely, despite the direct order that students should head to safety. This creates a plot hole as to why another student didn’t pair up with Deku in case they ran into a villian.
When the students leave, the fight between Mandalay and Tora is interesting, but it sadly wasn’t finished in the episode. Instead, we got to see the interesting introductions of two villains, Magne and Spinner. While the show didn’t really show off any special abilities of Spinner, Magne shows off some form of telekinesis. Even though the show has previously showed each quirk’s abilities in full detail, this approach created a better and more suspenseful approach.
Spinner, on the other hand, appears to be a mutation lizard quirk and is the more interesting out of the two villains. The show largely presents the outcome of Stain’s persuasion on other villains. For example, Spinner wears a red scarf and white bandana to mimic Stain. Also, it was pretty neat to see Spinner using Stain’s beliefs to justify whether or not Pixie-Bob should die.
Scenes quickly change in this episode, switching from class 1-A to the class in 2-B. This secondary class appears to be having trouble making their way back through this pink (presumed) sleeping gas. While class 1-B doesn’t see any action, Tetsutetsu points out how class 1-A has had more real-life training than them. Knowing this, Tetsutetsu creates more excitement by deciding to jump into the fray.
Since the students were spread out by the activity, the episode does a good job at highlighting the chaos that unfolds with each team. For example, the show presents Shoto and Bakugo because they ran across the creepiest villain, who is in black straight jacket and only has his teeth showing. Using this tactic, the episode expertly sets up the next battles in the series while not taking too much attention away from the main conflict.
This main conflict takes place at Kota’s hideout above the camp. Coincidentally, Kota runs into the strongest villain of the Vanguard Action Squad, Muscular. The shows does get a little ambiguous because Muscular states that he had to wear a mask because, “I was new.” Which leads me to believe that the League of Villains has an evil reputation to uphold.
The show conveys a strong sense of loss from the beginning flashback of the death of Kota’s parents, the Water Hose Heroes, because Muscular killed them. Luckily, Deku saves the shocked Kota when Muscular attacked. Muscular is definitely the strongest villain of the series so far, and it is made very clear.
Muscular’s quirk allows him to freely manipulate his muscle fibers without restraint. Honestly, it feels quite overpowered. The animation for this particular quirk is pretty amazing. Each of the villain’s muscles wrap around his arms and tighten greatly. Overall, he is the most intimidating enemy that the series has seen. Deku tries to use full cowling to beat Muscular, but he ends up breaking his left arm by simply taking a single punch. Being the hero he is, Deku grossly gets close to Muscular by wedging his broken arm in between the villain’s muscle fibers.
Deku then decides to use his other arm for a full 100% Detroit smash. Even this doesn’t phase Muscular as he proceeds to crush Deku. It’s only until Kota decides to use his own quirk, the one that his parents passed down to him, to help out Deku. Motivated, Deku decides to do something that hasn’t been done before in the series, a 1,000,000% smash. This smash gives such an incredible sense of the struggle and sacrifice of the protagonist’s goal to save others. To top it off, Kota now has a hero to look toward and appreciate. This was such an incredible highlight of the season that viewers have been anticipating.
Featured Image from OtakuKart
‘My Hero Academia’ Season 3, Episode 4: “My Hero”
The episode fulfills so many needs the season has been leading up to. Overall, the episode was carefully crafted with beautiful animation and a great use of a soft piano to really pull on the heartstrings. This is definitely the episode to not miss.