We’re nearing the end of season four. It’s certainly had its highs, but it’s definitely been a rough one. Luckily, it seems that it’s going to leave off on a banger!
As November nears its end, things begin to change drastically. Eri is officially freed from the hospital and taken to live at UA. Around the same time, the Hero Billboards have been updated for the first time since All Might’s retirement, giving us the official top ten rankings for heroes. Here, we not only meet a whole bunch of new characters. But we also see how far Endeavor is pushing himself to live up to his rank. Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The League of Villains is moving again; now, Endeavor must face off against an intelligent Nomu high in the sky. With the whole world watching, will Endeavor prove himself as the new number one hero?
Let’s get the main criticism out of the way. After the Eri scene (which is adorable, albeit poorly drawn and animated), we get a brief reunion with the Wild Pussycats and Kota from season three. While the reunion is certainly cute, it only really serves as a segway into the scene of the billboards. You could cut it all together and you’d only lose a scene of All For One acting menacingly as if to remind us that he’s still around and he will obviously be back.
*Side note: I watch these episodes twice for these reviews, once before and once during the writing process (I do this because my memory isn’t always the best and it helps me find the things worth mentioning more easily). I paused at the All For One scene to put all of this down right as his theme music started playing. Even after pausing it, the theme kept going in my head. That’s not important to this episode, I just thought it was worth pointing out that this guy has an amazing, chilling, and catchy theme.*
After this, we get a brief explanation of the Japanese Hero Billboard Charts. We’ve always gotten hints about how the hero ranking system worked in the previous seasons. Here, we finally see it broken down into the fundamental system, as it’s explained that heroes are ranked based off of cases dealt with, popularity, approval ratings, so on and so forth. It’s a nice bit of world-building that fleshes out the setting even more than before.
We also get to meet a ton of new, interesting characters! We see more than a few familiar faces, like Endeavor, Rykyuu (dragon lady whose name I can’t remember on my own), Kamui Woods, and a few others (side note: there’s a cute interaction where Mount Lady is hounded over rumors regarding her and Kamui dating, which I feel is a nice touch). All the new characters are super cool, like the samurai Yoroi Musha, Laundry Hero: Wash (who only says wash and I don’t understand him/her/whatever the fuck it is), the All Might fanboy Crust, and my personal favorite: Mirko, the super-jacked rabbit girl.
I’m not a furry, I just have a thing for women with muscles.
Another quick criticism: we see that Best Jeanist is still ranked number three and that he’s currently on hiatus. Personally, I think this sort of sucks away some of the drama from All For One’s attack. Sure, he took out All Might, the most important hero. But it would’ve been a bit more dramatic if Jeanist had died there. For fuck’s sake, AFO blew a hole in his stomach the size of a bowling ball! I don’t care what you say, that mother fucker is dead!
Getting back on track, let’s talk about the most prevalent new character: Hawks. The new number two hero is easily the one who gets the most development in this episode. Not only is he the youngest, but he’s also laid back, kind of lazy, and a bit of an asshole. We also see in a later scene that he’s very capable, using his Quirk to solve numerous cases without even looking or stopping his conversation with Endeavor. He’s an interesting character and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.
Then, of course, there is Endeavor, sporting a new costume that is clearly CGI in certain shots and it drives me nuts. He easily gets the most character development in this episode. We see him trying his best to be warm and friendly to his fans (which backfires hilariously in his face), and we see him trying to control his temper (which he fails a lot at when he’s dealing with Hawks). It’s nice to see how he’s grown from the unbearable asshole we met in season two to the man who is clearly giving it his all and trying to improve.
Oh, and can we take a moment to talk about the Intelligent Nomu? This thing is creepy as fuck! It has one of the creepiest Nomu designs we’ve seen so far and an interesting, troublesome power set. Plus, the fact that it can talk makes it super unsettling! I can’t wait to see how it clashes with Endeavor in the next episode!
It’s the final fight in the season. Please, for the love of God, don’t let it be as bad as some of the others we got this season. No spoilers, manga readers!
While I did have my problems, I do think this was a solid episode. Some scenes felt like a waste of time, but the rest was very interesting and enjoyable. It feels like the plot is finally moving again!
It only took, what? Six episodes? How long was the school festival arc?