Just as victory seems assured for the heroes, the tide begins to turn. Shigurake awakens, now armed with power beyond any normal person. Meanwhile, Tokoyami swings in to save an injured Hawks from Dabi, and Deku is given a warning from an old master of One For All.
On the writing front, this episode is among the weaker. It has a solid ending, but the road to get there is incredibly up and down, filled with massive leaps in logic and characters making decisions that just don’t make much sense.
Note: the following two paragraphs could easily be seen as me nitpicking. I get it if that’s what you think and you don’t mind. But they bothered me quite a bit, so I thought I’d bring them up anyways.
Shigurake’s resurrection made for a solid cliffhanger last time. Unfortunately, the actual series of events that lead up to it were pretty disappointing and somewhat contrived. A character we know nothing about/ don’t care about decides to blow up a machine for no reason, and in doing so wakes up the main villain. There were plenty of ways this could’ve been handled that would’ve been more dramatic or interesting; this was not one of them.
Tokoyami doesn’t make much sense this episode. He sees blue flames, and he just somehow knows that’s where Hawks is and that he needs help. The latter part makes sense; he knows Hawks is weak to fire. But how did he just instantly figure out that’s where his mentor was? Aren’t there hundreds of heroes in this fight? It could be literally anyone. They clearly just wanted Tokoyami to be a part of this scene and couldn’t bother thinking of an excuse.
Luckily, the ending is incredibly strong. The final scene is incredibly intense! Characters start dying (even if they’re characters we don’t care about in the slightest), there’s a super-tense chase scene, and Deku and the rest of the evac team finally get to actually do things. It leaves off on a fantastic cliffhanger, making it a very clear turning point in the battle and the whole story. It’s all very well done.
Animation-wise, this episode is fairly impressive. The first few minutes alone are jam-packed with some beautifully animated action shots. Shigurake’s Decay is animated beautifully, wonderfully blending 2D animation and 3D effects to create a sense of massive scale in the destruction. All around, it looks fantastic!
The music is also really good. I’m unsure if any of the tracks are new; the OST has been so unnoticeable – and not in a great way – for the last few seasons that I’ve stopped keeping track. But all of them, new or returning, work really well.
Overall, this episode was decently strong. It has some phenomenal animation and the ending is really strong. But the writing in getting to that ending is very up and down, filled with some glaring plot conveniences and nonsensical character actions. As a turning point for the story, it does a pretty good job.
Five episodes in and it’s been pretty consistently decent. Do I dare to hope?