Anime, My Review Academia

My Review Academia S4 E2: Plot is Happening!

One episode in and the show is already getting super dark! This is going to be a rough season. Not in terms of quality, mind you. I was talking about emotionally!

This episode picks up right where the third season left off: the introduction of the new villain, Overhaul. Honestly, this scene is a bit rough. Initially, it’s all just monologuing, with the League of Villains explaining Overhaul’s backstory and connections to the Yakuza. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t super interesting.

But then Overhaul’s crew shows up and fights Shigurake’s. And all hell breaks loose!

So far, I don’t think Overhaul is a super interesting character. At least not yet. He has a fascinating design, but the show hasn’t given us enough of him to tell whether he’ll be another classic villain or not. But what the show has done is establish him as a force to be reckoned with! Within one scene, he’s already achieved one of the most brutal murders in the entire show, outwitted Shigurake completely, and established some sort of mysterious plan. I am excited to see where he goes, but he hasn’t won me over yet.

I do, however, really like how Shigurake is developing! We see how he handles things differently with All For One out of the picture, and it’s super interesting! He’s still clearly clueless, as Overhaul correctly points out, but he’s definitely on the right path (or the wrong path, I suppose). His self-control has clearly developed a great deal, which makes him all the more threatening! It’s obvious that he won’t be the primary antagonistic force of the season. But if he keeps going on the path he’s on, he will definitely be a terrifying force later in the story.

This scene is rough thanks to the exposition, but it is definitely a solid scene overall. It’s gorgeously animated, incredibly exhilarating, and it establishes a terrifying new villain. Overhaul may not have had enough screentime to make him interesting yet, but I’m certainly interested in seeing where he’ll go.

After this, we spend the rest of the episode with Deku as he tries to find a mentor for Hero Internship 2.0. In his efforts, he sets his eyes on All Might’s former sidekick: Sir Nighteye. But he has a mild problem: All Might won’t help him get in contact! Luckily, he has another in! With help from Mirio, one of the Big Three at UA, he manages to land himself an audition with the straight-faced, deadly serious hero. But can he win him over, or will Deku need to find a different teacher?

There isn’t a whole lot to talk about here. Most of this part of the episode is spent setting up Deku and Nighteye’s first meeting. Everything up to that is all table-setting. Most of which was already done at the end of the third season!

Mirio’s character has already been established, and he’s just as lovable as he was when he was first introduced. His interactions with Deku are like two fanboys gushing about their favorite show together and I love it!

We also see how Deku has developed after his battle with Bakugo! When Mirio asks him what kind of hero he wants to be, Deku initially goes straight for his typical answer of ‘Save people with a fearless smile’. But he remembers the lessons he’s learned and articulates his thoughts much more clearly: ‘He wants to be a hero who always wins no matter what, who saves people no matter the cost; to be the number one hero’. It’s incredibly cathartic and gives an extra bit of impact to the prior season.

The bulk of the episode comes right at the end, with the introduction of Sir Nighteye. This guy, unlike the mysterious Overhaul, is already close to my heart! His character is introduced perfectly! He’s straight-faced, serious and intimidating as hell. But he also loves a good joke, even going so far as to punish those in his service for not adding a bit of comedy to their services or reports, and he’s a clear fanboy of his mentor All Might! He’s basically King Kai but more intimidating! He’s only had a few lines so far, but he’s already one of my favorite characters! He’s fun, interesting, and I can’t wait to see where he goes!

Plus, he’s got a super interesting design! Most heroes in this world are designed like your typical American superhero: buff as hell, clad in tights and bearing a flowing cape. Nighteye, however, is tall, lanky and kind of normal! His superhero costume is a normal ass suit! He’s a complete departure from your typical My Hero Academia superhero!

But best of all: they gave an actual story to Deku’s All Might face! That’s right, they brought it back! Two seasons later and it’s back!

On a technical level, this episode was surprisingly impressive! For an episode that’s almost all talking, save the first scene, the animation is spectacular! Each and every action is smooth and natural, without a janky movement to be seen! My personal favorite was the spiral shot of Deku and Mirio climbing up a spiral staircase; the camera flowed smoothly, Deku and Mirio’s walk cycles were natural and smooth, and the stairs themselves, despite being CGI, look fantastic!

All and all, this is a very good episode. It establishes a dark tone for the season while still being light-hearted and super fun to watch! Overhaul’s introduction was marred by exposition, but he still managed to establish himself as a terrifying threat pretty well. It isn’t a flawless package, but it is a solid one.

Why do I have the feeling that we’re only going up from here?

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