I forgot about how this episode started. That being with Midnight and Mount Lady on a talk show discussing sexy costumes then breaking into a fight, all while Mineta watches on and salivates. Initially, it gives an interesting insight into the world. But by the end, I can’t help but ask: why?
After that, the majority of the episode is spent with the class preparing for the exams. We see where each student places in terms of studying capabilities (with a surprise upset from Mineta, as well as a bit of foreshadowing towards Yaorozu’s character growth in this arc) and how they’re coping with the stress. Yaorozu has an absolutely adorable moment where she prepares her house (well, mansion) for a class study group. Though Bakugo and Kirishima go off to do their own thing.
Which may include Bakugo snapping at Deku. Again. For the quintillianth time.
After a brief study montage, which encompasses the written exams, the practical exams arrive. Everyone splits into teams of two to face off against one teacher, though the teachers will be fighting with a handicap. Among these, our boys Deku and Bakugo will have to face none other than the Symbol of Peace himself: All Might.
The rest of the episode is spent setting up for said exams. We see the teachers decide how to pair the students up, who they’ll be fighting, and what the rules are. The setup is incredibly creative, as the rules for a victory aren’t just ‘beat the teacher’ or ‘get beaten’. The characters are given several different methods in which they can win, all of which play into the real hero work.
Quick aside: this shot is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.
Not to say that this episode is without action. Deku and Uraraka gather to watch Kirishima and Sato’s battle with Cementoss. Here, we finally see what Sato’s Quirk is all about, as well as the combat capabilities of Cementoss. It’s a very simple fight with solid enough animation, straight-forward choreography, and it serves as the perfect tone setter for the other battles to come. After this, we get the setup for the battle with Tsu and Tokoyami. Unfortunately, that fight will have to wait until the next episode.
This is another solid episode. It has plenty of great character moments, it sets up for the final arc of the season perfectly, and it even gives a splash of fun action at the end to wet the audience’s appetite. The art and animation is a bit rough, but that should be alleviated now that we’re getting into the action.
This show does love to save it’s production values for the big moments. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s worth pointing out.