I know that they made it a joke when the character was introduced, but what the hell is the Principle? This episode revealed that he was a genetic experiment, much like Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon, but what the fuck is he?! A bear? A dog? The traitor? All of the above?
That aside, this is a very up and down episode. Most of it is action, but the quality of it varies wildly. Most of them are short and sweet, but the animation is highly inconsistent from fight to fight. For example, the Uraraka fight at the very beginning is very pretty, given how quick it is. Meanwhile, the Kaminari/Ashido fight that comes right after is only a little longer, but the animation is really rough.
The third fight of the episode is probably my favorite. That being Koda and Jiro’s fight with Present Mic. It gives Koda his first real moment to shine, shows off both Jiro and Present Mic’s abilities and weaknesses, and its really creative in its execution. It even has an extra little boost of drama thanks to how badly Jiro gets injured and Koda overcoming his fear of bugs. The art and animation is really solid, the score is perfect (though they do sort of cheat by using ‘You Say Run‘) and its paced perfectly. Of all the fights in this episode, this one may be my favorite.
Though the next fight, with Shoji and Hagakure, can hardly be considered a fight. Its more of a brief joke than a battle. And frankly: not an especially funny one.
Luckily, its made up for by the next fight: Mineta and Sero (but mostly Mineta) VS Midnight. Sure, it has the narrative drama of Mineta’s past, which reveals part of why he is the way he is. But frankly… I can’t get past everything else. Said ‘everything else’ being… Mineta. Still, it is nicely animated (though its far from the best), features some creative tactics on Mineta’s part, and it is as perfectly paced as the Koda/Jiro fight. Its a nice fight that shows that, despite him being Mineta, he is still a decent contender and a worthy hero.
Much more the former than the ladder.
As an episode for the side-characters to shine, this one is pretty good. I do wish that the art and animation were a little more consistent. But aside from that, it is a perfect little slice of action. One that leads into the grand finale, the Deku/Bakugo VS All Might fight, perfectly.
But lets be honest, that’s the fight we’re all looking forward to.