My Review Academia S6 E8: Stratagem of the Gnats

For all its ups and downs, season six of My Hero Academia has been fairly strong so far. But this episode? This is the first time I’ve been so engaged by the show since seasons two and three! It has a few issues, but they’re small and easily forgivable given how gripping the rest of it is.

With Gigantomachia and the League leaving the pros in the dust, it’s up to the first-year students at UA to stop them! But even with Yaoyorozu’s most carefully constructed plan to date, will they be able to do it? Meanwhile, Shigurake goes beyond his limits, sweeping Deku and the others aside through the sheer determination of his malice. Casualties are mounting on both sides; could things possibly get any worse?

The first half of this episode is absolutely fantastic! The animation is great, featuring tons of small little details that make even the still shots come to life. The pacing is buttery smooth, allowing a good chunk of the action to go by without interruption. Each character gets to contribute, heroes and villains alike, making the whole scene feel like the world’s largest game of tug-of-war you’ll ever see. It’s an incredible setpiece.

They even brought back ‘You Say Run’ for the OST. That’s how you know they’re really trying. I feel like I haven’t heard that song in years.

Alas, the second half isn’t quite as strong. The animation is noticeably rough in a few places, though overall it’s still good. Unfortunately, flashbacks once again rear their head to interrupt the pacing. There aren’t nearly as many as in previous episodes, but when only one of them was truly necessary, they still feel like a waste of time.

Still, I’m just glad to see a fight that relies more on strategy than brute force or power. It’s exciting to see our heroes overcome a more powerful foe using more creative and intelligent use of their powers. It brings me back to the early seasons before Deku was a swiss-army knife of Quirks.

It’s also filled with wonderful character moments that pay off things set up several seasons ago. Ashido and Kirishima both get their turn in the spotlight as they each confront a shared ghost of their past, which pays off in one of the most hype moments in the whole series so far. We also get some of that later on with Gran Torino and Shigurake. It’s nice to finally start seeing seeds planted seasons ago start to grow and bear fruit.

As a whole, this episode is very strong! It has a few rough edges, but those are easily forgiven in the face of how good the complete package is. This one is a strong reminder of why My Hero was so exciting.

Next up, we have a Bakugo episode. Which, given this show’s track record, is either going to be incredibly awesome or highly disappointing.

If I remember right from the manga, it may very well be both.

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