Anime, My Hero Academia, My Review Academia

My Review Academia S4 E8: One Who Devours the Sun

I’ll be honest: this episode was pretty rough. It was definitely good, don’t get me wrong. It had some strong character moments, fleshing out a character that hasn’t had any time to shine yet in an interesting way. But the animation was pretty rough and the action was short-lived and underwhelming.

After having broken into the grounds, our heroes all make their way into the underground labyrinth where Eri is being held. They’re quickly put against the wall, as the hall around them begins to shift and everyone, save Mirio, falls through a hole in the floor. Here, the rest of the group is confronted by a trio of villains. Eager to keep them from wasting their time, UA Big Three member Suneater steps up to plate, telling everyone to move on without him and that he is all they need. The rest of the episode is spent with Suneater’s battle against the three villains, with a few flashbacks here and there to give Suneater’s character a little depth.

The main focus of this episode is entirely on Suneater. While Deku and friends to contribute by kicking down a wall and… that’s it, he is certainly the main character of the episode. That isn’t a problem on its own, I love episodes starring side characters. But there really isn’t much depth given to Suneater’s character.

There are two flashback scenes, showing a younger Mirio and Suneater (I don’t know his real name yet, give me a few more rewatches) meeting and spending time with one another. These scenes boil down to ‘Mirio encourages Suneater, revealing where his hero name came from’. They’re sweet and cute, but they don’t have a lot of gravity or depth. While I do like them, they don’t really add much to either Mirio or Suneater’s characters.

Now, the majority of this episode is spent with one fight, that being a three-on-one battle. It is fun in concept; three villains with perfect synergy going up against one hero with a versatile and powerful Quirk is a brilliant setup! And this fight does make good use of that… kind of. There is a great back-and-forth between the two sides, but the end is a bit anticlimactic. It isn’t a bad fight by any means, but it isn’t the best the series has ever had to offer. It’s clear that the animators are saving their best efforts for the climax of the arc.

Because they sure didn’t during the hallway scene. Initially, this was a cool setpiece! Watching the environment twist and contort around our heroes is a bizarre and interesting visual! But then it’s just… dropped. The hallway becomes still again, though it is far from smooth, as Mirio runs through it and the rest of our heroes fall through a hole in the floor.

Sorry. But after watching Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, my standards for scenes like these, wherein the environments twist and contort around the characters and throw them off balance, have risen.

This is a fun episode, despite all my gripes. It gives an interesting character some time to shine, giving him some decently cool moments, and delivers a brief and interesting bit of action, even if it doesn’t have the most satisfying conclusion. It isn’t My Hero’s best, but it is certainly not their worst. As the opening act for the bulk of the arc’s action, this is not bad.

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