Come on Shigurake! You’re hardly being subtle! It’s a god damn miracle that no one ratted you out sooner!
This episode is entirely table setting for the third season. We meet Toga and Dabi, Shigurake begins to truly develop into a villain, and all the kids are ready to go for the training camp. It has a few cute character moments (and some less than cute ones), but it has little substance on its own. It exists entirely to get the audience ready for the third season.
The second scene of the episode features my absolute favorite thing in the series: the Class 1-A kids sitting around and talking! The chemistry between these kids is as amazing as ever! Once again, I feel the need to reiterate: I’d watch a whole spin off that’s just these kids hanging out.
Then it’s off to the mall! Here, we get a look at more of the kids in a casual environment, which is a) refreshing and b) adds a slim layer of depth, as we see how they behave in a casual setting. Plus, we see Uraraka’s crush on Deku develop even further. God, I need that spin off!
But the cute times are short lived. Before Deku has the chance to do anything, he is nabbed for a conversation by Shigurake Tomura. This is one of the most chilling and powerful moments the villain gets in the whole show! His cold and dread inducing theme begins to play, and he corners Deku with a simple but pertinent threat of mass murder. And that’s before he realizes what he needs to do.
Shigurake’s frustration over the Hero Killer is extreme. He is jealous and confused, as he doesn’t know why Stain has earned the spotlight over him. It’s here, in his conversation with Deku, he figures it all out. He realizes that he hates All Might and the world he’s created, and his drive is pushed farther than ever before. He takes Stain’s ideals and uses them as a stepping stone for his own goals.
Before this scene, Shigurake wasn’t an intimidating figure. Sure, he was creepy. But considering how often he was thwarted, and how thoroughly he’s always been beaten, it was hard to see him as a threat. Now, after this scene, his threat becomes completely believable and real. He has taken the second seat at the villain table.
And, as we’ve seen in season three, he would quickly take the first spot.
With that, the stage is set for the third season. The first semester of Deku’s time at UA has ended. The episode ends on a satisfying cliff hanger, as well as a very pretty shot of Deku and All Might on the beach. Though the pretty aspects are undercut by the post credit appearance of All For One, who reveals his plans for Shigurake: to turn him into the next him.
This is a very solid and satisfying episode. In terms of a season finale, I can’t think of any better. It is the perfect closer for the second season.
Which makes it the perfect closer for My Review Academia. At least for now.