My Review Academia S6 E12: Returning Faces

*I’m gonna have to talk about some of the major spoilers this time around. No vague summaries or anything like that this time. So if you care, go watch the episode first.*

Not gonna lie: I didn’t like this episode. I was mostly on board at first, but the longer it went on, the more I wanted to abandon ship.

I ain’t sayin’ it’s all bad. It’s got some really strong animation and some of the character stuff is really good – even if the rest of it left me groaning in disappointment. A lot of people might think this episode is really exciting and satisfying!

But I am not one of those people.

Best Jeanist has arrived to save the day! But even the sudden reappearance of the #3 Hero is not enough to end the battle. With Machia on the war path and the Nomus closing in, all seems lost. Luckily, Jeanist isn’t the only back-up our heroes have coming!

This episode is all over the place. We’re constantly hopping between characters who’ve all got their own internal monologues and are fighting their own battles. It’s a good way to make the situation feel hectic and intense… y’know, because it is. At the same time, it can be somewhat jarring to actually watch.

Especially since not all of it is actually that interesting. Some of it is great! Todoroki VS Dabi is cool, featuring some incredible animation and the absolute best from both voice actors. Of course, Bakugo is the highlight of the episode, as he always is; even if they rushed his big moment, he still managed to steal the show.

The rest, however, is not so amazing. Deku spends the whole episode whining and dramatically saying people’s names. Endeavor is a statue the whole episode until he gets what is arguably one of the most poorly animation sequences in the whole show.

And then there’s the biggest spoiler of the episode. As well as the biggest dropped ball.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Lemillion’s return. This should have been a big triumphant moment; his fall in season four was one of the most powerful moments in MHA! But his rise just doesn’t have any impact because his story was completely sidelined! As it stands, his arc goes like this:

  • Lemillion is cool
  • Lemillion loses his powers; that’s sad
  • Lemillion hangs out for a bit; he is never in any danger and never does anything beyond babysitting Eri
  • Lemillion gets his powers back

That’s it. That’s the whole arc. It went nowhere and amounted to nothing beyond removing a strong character from the story for a little while. As such, I feel no joy or triumph upon his return. Only disappointment.

You could argue that it’s less Lemillion’s moment and more Eri’s. The helpless little girl finally masters her power and undoes a terrible thing that happened because of them. But that doesn’t work either; it has all the same issues as Lemillion, only compounded because Eri had even less screentime!

In short: I hate this moment. It could’ve been an awesome payoff, but all it did was further prove that season four was a massive waste of time. Some people might be overjoyed by it, and I get that. But for me? It just didn’t work on any level.

Even if he gets an action sequence that is incredibly well-animated. Like, holy shit, Lemillion, save some of that animation effort for Endeavor!

I’m not a big fan of this episode. It definitely had it’s moments, but they were vastly overshadowed by the issues I had with it. This arc’s narrative took a massive nosedive in quality right near the end.

But we’ve still got an episode left. Maybe the arc will at least stick the landing. Or maybe the universe will once again remind me why I’m not an optimist!

It’s probably going to be the latter…

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