In terms of plot, there’s not a whole lot going on here. We spend the first majority of it with the Class 1-A kids deciding the Class Rep, then the set up for the final arc of season one: the USJ attack.
Aside from that, the only thing worth mentioning is the substantial development of Iida’s character. We learn his motivations, his backstory, and we see just how level headed and mature he is as a person. Honestly, the first time around, I didn’t give a shit about Iida until this episode. Now he’s among my favorite characters in the series.
Since we’re sort of lacking in a plot to discuss, I want to take this opportunity to discuss something I’ve hardly touched on up until this point: the production values of My Hero Academia.
Now, I’ve already been over the superb music and animation about a hundred million times over these reviews. But that’s the obvious stuff. Today, I want to focus on the more minute details that make the setting feel real and engaging.
For example, the crowds. There are many instances through the shows run where the camera pans over a large crowd of background characters. In this episode alone we get several of these shots, both with the crowds of press and the massive student body. What makes this production so special and impressive is the variety of faces within that crowd. Each of them look unique, and some of them just look downright bizarre, which is fitting for this setting.
Sure, if you’ll look closely you can see a few pallet swapped characters, such as the Haunter looking dude at the top middle and bottom right of the shot. But the huge variety of people in that crowd, copy-pasted or no, is still impressive. And the variety will only increase further in the show, such as the crowds watching the UA Sports Festival in season two. This attention to detail is good, and it only gets more impressive as time goes on. Improvement like that is the mark of a great production.
And even so, the copy-paste background characters are only noticeable if you do what I did: pause and actually start looking for flaws.
Aside from that, this episode still has tons of fun character moments. Watching Midoriya’s world collapse simply because Bakugo is getting teased and everyone likes him is hilarious and adorable, as is watching him panic to explain away how his and All Might’s Quirks are similar to Tsu (although her line of dialogue about her ‘saying what comes to mind’ is really forced and doesn’t need to be there. You could just as easily replace it with ‘Hey Midoriya, I’ve been thinking about something.’ and it would do the job so much better.) Of course, the expression work completely sells each interaction and gives you clear insights into each character.
And that’s about it. It’s a solid episode, but if you’re rewatching the show again like I am, it’s very easily skipped. There’s really no merit to watching it again with the knowledge we have at this point in the series. Still, it’s fun and packed full of cute interactions.
Can we just get a sitcom-style spin off with these characters where they just hang out and do stupid teenager stuff? I would actually kill to see that!