This is the best My Hero Academia has been since season three. It’s not even close. This one episode is better than the entirety of season five!
Deku and Nagant square off for a duel. Can our young hero survive the relentless assault of a former pro hero? More imporantly: can he save her from falling deeper into the darkness?
Let’s begin with the opening scene. After so many seasons of not doing anything, All Might finally steps back up to plate in the opening scene! And somehow, even without his powers, he manages to deliver one of the coolest scenes in the whole season! The music, the backdrop of the fire, the lighting, his line, it’s the coolest he’s been in ages! I got chills, dudes!
After that, we dive straight into the fight. And honestly, this might be one of the best fights in the whole series! Seeing Deku and Nagant constantly shifting tactics and finding new uses for their Quirks to outmaneuver each other is cool; it’s like if a chess match were an anime brawl! The final blow is genuinely one of the most jaw-dropping animation sequences the series has ever had! It’s a solid 10/10 fight!
Side note: thank god they didn’t censor Nagant’s backstory. After what they did to Shigurake in the last arc, I was worried they’d clean it up. But nope. It’s still here in all its gruesome horror and glory.
On that subject: Nagant’s backstory honestly makes me really sad. Seeing such a cute and idealistic kid get turned into a traumatized killing machine is super depressing. It only makes the end of her story that much more sad.
And All For One’s betrayal all the more horrifying.
In terms of animation, this episode was insane! There are plenty of shots where everything is moving all at once, from the characters swinging through the sky to the environment blurring by around them. Some shots use CGI, and they still look good!
And when the action kicks into high gear? God damn! It’s nuts!
Also, small thing, but I really like the sound design in this episode. There’s a neat little moment after Deku and Nagant exchange blows. Deku is speaking as he falls, asking her questions. The further along he gets, the more the sound of his voice trails away. Then Nagant uses speakers to carry her voice as to not give away her location, and the sound reflects that. It’s a small thing, but one that few other battle shounen ever bother with. It’s a nice touch!
Oh, and the music kicks ass. Lots of tracks using the choir this time around. And I am a sucker and a half for badass choir tracks. Though even those pale in comparison to the theme that plays in the Manchester Smash scene. It’s a treat on the ears!
This episode was amazing! Writing, animation, music, a badass fight scene, it’s got it all! It’s episodes like this one that remind me why I used to love My Hero so much.
Will the rest of the season be able to live up to it? Probably not. But maybe I’m just saying that because Nagant is gone.
I really like Nagant, okay? She’s cool!