My Review Academia S4 E14: A Tearful Victory

*Spoiler Warning*
*I kind of can’t talk about this episode without spoiling it. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d advise you go watch it before you read this. You have been warned.*

Last episode brought the hype. Now it’s time for the opposite. We’ve had our fun. Now it’s time for the tears.

After a brief recap of Deku’s victory of Chisaki, we’re treated to the ending of the Rescue Eri/Overhaul arc. Eri’s Quirk flies out of control, threatening to destroy Deku completely before a rescued Eraser Head manages to disable her and save them both. All of our heroes are pulled out of the Hassaikai’s base and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, one hero is too injured to make it. Meanwhile, Shigurake and the other members of the League of Villains strike the truck transporting Chisaki, taking the Quirk-erasing bullets and leaving this arc’s villain permanently crippled, thus taking their spot at the top back in bloody fashion.

While there weren’t many events in this episode, they did leave a lot to talk about. So let’s unpack this bit by bit, shall we?

Let’s start with the big one: Nighteye’s death. If you have special eyes, you may have been able to see this one coming. He has kind of looked like this for the last couple of episodes.

Oof… Too soon?

Still, simply seeing a scene coming doesn’t necessarily lessen the impact of it when it happens. While this scene may be highly predictable, it’s still a fantastic send-off to the character! It sports some simple but nice animation, a perfect choice in music, excellent direction, and best dialogue we’ve seen this whole season!

My favorite exchange is Nighteye’s final words to everyone. Even knowing that he’s about to die, he implores everyone to keep laughing and smiling. A society with laughter is exactly what a hero should strive for. Then, while everyone else is crying, Nighteye smiles brightly. Then, still smiling, he flatlines.

Everything about this is perfect! It shows just how brave and kind Nighteye really is. Even on his deathbed, he’s thinking about others! Plus, having him die with a peaceful smile is a great way to end his character arc! He’s lived tormented by the belief that All Might was doomed to die horribly. But now, in his final moments, he has hope that his mentor’s fate can be changed.

I do have a few complaints about this scene though. One: Nighteye’s explanation for Deku being able to change the future is stupid. He goes on about how everyone’s determination gave Deku the ‘energy’ to change it. That’s stupid. We don’t need an explanation on how Deku changed his grim destiny. All we needed to know is that he did and that the future can change. Explaining it only makes it feel less impressive!

I also think that Nighteye was killed off a bit early. Yes, it makes perfect sense in this story and the scene definitely got a tear out of me. But I do feel that Nighteye could’ve benefited greatly from some extra screentime. It would’ve greatly increased the impact of this scene if we had a stronger connection to the character than the few episodes that we got.

Still, it is a fantastic scene. One that I’ll recall fondly for years to come. Much like the other big scene in this episode: Shigurake’s attack.

It’s been a while since Shigurake presented himself as a genuinely powerful force of evil. His last few scenes have been chilling, yes, but he hasn’t really proven to be much of a physical threat. But here? He and the rest of the league show off just how dangerous they really are!

There is a fight here, but there isn’t much to talk about. The sand-powered hero they have to fight is cool, but he goes down almost immediately. It’s cool as hell to watch Shigurake and the others jumping out of a moving truck to attack, sure. But the fight is over almost as soon as it started.

But that’s not the highlight. Oh no! The highlight is what comes after the fight: Shigurake’s complete dismantling of Overhaul.

This scene was an odd blend of chilling and cathartic. On one hand, it feels oddly satisfying to watch a helpless Overhaul get his ass thoroughly handed to him! On the other, it’s downright terrifying to watch Shigurake cut his fucking arms off with a murderous, gleeful smile on his face! He doesn’t kill Chisaki! He destroys everything that he had left and everything that he’d worked for! Then they just walk away with a confident stride, ignoring the agonized cries of the dismantled villain behind them.

Shigurake was always creepy and bone-chilling. But thanks to this scene, he’s become genuinely intimidating! He has completely solidified himself as a threat to our heroes and the world! The helpless man-child we met in season one is long gone! Now, a truly terrible villain is on the rise!

This episode is a fantastic closer to the Rescue Eri/Overhaul arc! It perfectly sets the stage for the arcs to come while wrapping up all the plot threads we had left in a nice little package! It’s thrilling, chilling, and heartbreaking all at once! This has got to be one of my favorite episodes of the show to date!

And we still have more episodes to come!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: