Anime, My Hero Academia, My Review Academia

My Review Academia S5 E10: Blackwhip

**Major Spoilers Ahead!**

The plot is finally starting, guys. Now, if they can blend it with the incredible visuals of the last few episodes, we’re in for a great time!

It’s time for the fifth and last match. And more importantly: the long awaited rematch between Deku and Shinso! But there’s an ominous feeling in the air! In Tartarus, All For One feels a shift in the air, and Gran Torino calls All Might to inform him of a strange dream Shimura once told him about. Just what is happening to One For All, and how will it affect Deku?

I absolutely love how the beginning of this episode builds tension. Ominous music plays throughout all of the first two scenes, which feature the aforementioned All For One and Gran Torino cryptic warnings. It gives this episode an entirely different tone from all the other ones. Right off the bat, you can tell that this is a very different match from all the others in that something big is about to happen. It’s surprisingly refreshing.

The episode also does a good job of subverting your expectations. There are those early ominous first two scenes, yes. But up until the big reveal, the rest of the episode plays just like the rest of the arc. Student commentary from the other kids, complex strategies, all that stuff. If you’re not paying attention, you may think this match will just be like all the rest.

Plus, there’s a fun little visual gag where Jiro has to jump to share the frame with the much taller Sero. That’s not important or anything, I just thought it was really cute.

Ignore my punchable face and focus on the watches on my fingers.

On the subject of cute, let’s talk about the exact opposite of it: Monoma. Surprisingly, he isn’t the worst thing ever this episode! He has a pretty good scene with Shinso where we get a little glimpse at his backstory and personal philosophy. And watching him play mind games with Deku is surprisingly exciting.

The other class B kids are pretty cool, too. Sure, one of their Quirks is basically just telekinesis. But the others are cool! There’s Monoma’s copy, of course, as well as a cool shrink/grow power and one that makes each impact a double hit. They all put our four class A friends in an interesting jam. Plus, all their designs are rock solid.

Now, before we get into major spoilers, let’s talk about the presentation. The music in this episode is great! Rather than bombastic and exciting, it goes for a darker, more frightening feeling. It’s especially good during the rampage; it makes Deku seem genuinely dangerous to both himself and everyone around him.

As for animation, it’s pretty strong! There are some really well-animated and dynamic shots this episode. No mind-boggling explosions of sakuga, unfortunately. Still, it’s a really good episode, featuring great direction.

Okay. Last chance to avoid…

***SPOILERS OF THE MAJOR VARIETY!!!***

Are they gone now? Cool.

Now, we can talk about this.

POWER… OVERWHELMING!!!

Deku has spent the last four seasons struggling to master One For All. And for the last two seasons, it’s felt like he’s made substantial progress! By the end of season four, our boy felt like he was finally starting to become the hero he had always wanted to be.

Imagine how terrifying it must be for him to completely lose control.

The appearance of Deku’s new Quirk, the Blackwhip, is absolutely incredible. As soon as it appears, all the strategies and mind games completely disappear. Suddenly, a friendly sparring match between classes becomes an intense struggle for survival! Seeing the pure terror in everyone’s eyes as Deku goes completely out of control and destroys everything around him is super intense!

Not to mention how it perfectly pays off several seasons of buildup! This moment has been getting set up all the way since his first match with Shinso back in season two! For years now, we’ve been waiting for this moment! And it does not disappoint!

But Deku isn’t the only character dealing with this. Two others get to share the spotlight with him. Love interest Uraraka and better-rival-than-Bakugo Shinso.

Uravity leaps into the fire to save her boy-toy

Uraraka’s scene is pretty good. We get a super cute flashback of her childhood, when we see where she was first inspired to become a hero. Plus, we get a nice little montage of all the times Deku himself inspired her. And it’s a nice change of pace to see her rushing to save Deku rather than the other way around.

Even if Shinso ends up doing all the actual work. Uraraka sort of just carried him down. And made him feel bad for hurting her. Which he should; no one hurts this precious little gravity marshmallow and gets away with it.

Hey! Guy who is currently knocking a city block down without even meaning to! FIGHT ME!!

Speaking of which: this Shinso scene is one of the best in the season. The pure terror on his face when Deku’s rampage begins is perfect; of course the kid with no hero training and no defensive powers would be scared shitless! We also learn just how excited he was to fight Deku again and seeing him step up to save Deku from himself is amazing!

And this leads to my favorite scene in the episode: the return to the dream world.

Here, we learn a few things. One: One For All isn’t just super strength. It’s got several other Quirks baked into it, one for each predecessor with the exception of All Might. And now, for the first time, a successor of OFA has access to all of them. This makes perfect sense; given what we know about how rare Quirkless people are, it’s obvious that the other predecessors would have Quirks. Why wouldn’t they pass down to the others? The question is: why didn’t All Might get these powers? Could it have something to do with the singularity mentioned earlier this season? I guess we’ll find out later!

Also, we meet this guy!

Hey! Quit screwing with my power, kid!

This dude is awesome! He’s gruff, he’s loud, and he’s tough. But he’s also friendly and a good mentor. Sort of like one of those aggressive-supportive people who yell at you to do it because you can. He’s a fun character who drops some big knowledge bombs on Deku.

I do wish we got a name for him, though.

After all this dramatic plot progression ends, we get right back to the match. Only now, everyone is piled up on each other. All plots and strategies are completely forgotten and the match devolves into an all-out brawl! Honestly, it’s kind of refreshing to see the match devolve into something so simple. Hopefully it’s dramatic climax next episode will look as good as some of the others!

And… that’s everything! Man, this was a densely packed episode! After almost a whole season of the plot sitting still, it went into god damn overdrive! But it was worth the wait!

Man, we thought Deku was gonna be overpowered before. Kid is gonna be nuts by the end of the series.

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