Score: A-

This wasn’t an action packed match, but in a lot of ways it was a good one. Some abilities and quirks just create situations where the end result is going to be one-sided no matter what. Even more so since Deku’s natural abilities are frankly better than Shino’s abilities. That should be obvious since Deku did spend so much time working out to become a bare minimum vessel for One for All. Honestly Deku should physically be one of the more fit students in the school. There are some that have Quirks that should make them more fit, but not an overwhelming amount. This was a match that wasn’t going to be very fair no matter who won. Deku could and did win pretty easily (even with broken fingers) while Shinso could have won easily using his brainwashing quirk. Without the help of One for All….that would’ve happened.

In a lot of ways you can sympathize with Shinso’s situation. It is difficult for those who have quirks like that since people would discriminate. I can imagine a lot of people going down the wrong path because of that kind of social bias. I hate that I could see myself struggling to interact with Shinso if I went to school with him. It requires a lot of faith in a person to not worry in the back of your mind “what if”. It isn’t fair to the person, but it’s hard to blame people for worrying. No one wants to feel helpless. I would also struggle to avoid being a jerk because of people treating me like that. But, I wouldn’t like myself acting like Shinso does either. And he should remember there are kids without any quirks. At least his dream is possible. He is still blessed.

And certainly the entrance exam wasn’t suited for people like Shinso. That quirk is powerful, but not against robots. He wouldn’t even gain hero points from interfering with people getting points themselves. Those robots are attacking and people could get hurt if he controlled them. Of course that’s a problem with exams period. Some people aren’t suited to written exams. Some people aren’t suited to a lecture style of education and are better physical learners. That’s just the unfortunate thing of living in a large society. 1 of 300 pass the UA entrance exam every year. This means tens of thousands apply every year. You have to find a moderately effective way to mass test that many people at once. They can’t realistically interview and go through a testing procedure unique for every individual. Guys like Shinso will fall through the cracks…but I’m not sure what else you can do.

Well the obvious answer to Shinso’s dilemma is what we saw here. This event allows various students to show off their skills. It does require you to keep advancing to a certain point to continue having chances to show off, but if you can then you have a shot. The downside to Shinso I think is how he decided to respond to his situation. He didn’t fall off to the point where he became a villain, but he’s pretty lukewarm in having heroic qualities either. The Cavalry Battle is the best example of this. There was no need to brainwash a team (that wasn’t an enemy team). I don’t know how he expects to be a hero and wants trust, but he can’t trust anyone. His quirk was perfect for sneakily stealing points right near the end. But instead of gathering a team with arguments…he brainwashes them.

I can’t blame Ojiro for not being a fan of this guy or doing everything he can to help Deku. It’d be hard to gladly move forward in that competition when you were basically brainwashed onto a team. Ojiro himself didn’t do anything to deserve to move ahead. At least that’s how he felt. In the end I’m glad Deku dunked that guy and knocked him out of the competition. Shinso has his goals, but so does Deku. And he’ll get there by cooperating with others, not just treating everyone like an enemy.

A lot of interesting things did happen in this episode. That One for All vision was pretty crazy, but it makes sense. This is a quirk that passes from person to person. I could believe in some way it adds the personality or spirit of that person to the quirk as it passes onward. It did help Deku out a lot in this match and allow him to break free of that brainwashing. Though I’m not sure how well even All Might understood what Deku saw there. That power in general is pretty mysterious It is almost more of a supernatural ability than anything else.

Todoroki’s arc is continuing on in an interesting way. He’s really struggling to keep his emotions in check and that makes sense. Just listening to Endeavor would piss a person off. He continues to treat his son like he’s a tool and not a person. Heck he even makes note of siblings. Can only imagine what a man who treats his wife and son as tools does to kids who don’t live up to his expectations. I can understand Todoroki wanting to do everything possible to reject this guy. Although it sucks for Sero that he was on the wrong end of Todoroki losing his temper. He was doing his best in this competition to stand out. This wasn’t a great matchup for him either. But in the end he just gets utterly frozen in a kind of scary blast of anger.

“Oops…sorry man”

We got another really good episode here. Deku did a great job bouncing back in this match. Some fair points are made of the difficulty faced by UA’s entrance examinees. And I do think Deku’s matchup with an angry Todoroki should be interesting to see. Though for now we get to look forward to the other matchups in this first round. Some should be pretty amusing like seeing Iida facing off against the tech girl. Some of these matches should be pretty intense in general such as seeing Ochaco face off with Bakugo. I’ll enjoy witnessing how different quirks match up against each other.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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  • Kaingerc

    after freezing almost half the stadium:
    you knooooow… I think Todoroki might have some unresolved daddy issues.

    • FlareKnight

      You know what…I think you might have a point there.

      That got slightly dangerous. Be somewhat ironic if Todoroki was eliminated for freezing the ref.

  • Clinton

    The situation with Todoroki’s siblings is actually really interesting. As we see them later.

    • FlareKnight

      I’m going to hope for interesting as in “they are all really well adjusted and having a grand old time” XD. Will be interesting to see what is going on with them when/if they get to that this season.

  • Omar Salman

    Yeah I agree that this was a really good episode even though it did not contain too much action.

    Your analysis on Shinso’s situation is quite amazing. He has it tough with his distinct and somewhat peculiar quirk since people would end up having various worries and suspicions. I agree with your point that even if is difficult for Shinso to deal with all this, he should not act the way he did and remember that he still has a quirk, considering some people dont have one at all. He should at least have some some trust his team mates or companions. Brainwashing your team mates is pretty harsh and certainly does not reflect the traits that a hero should have. If he cant trust and care for the good people and the people alongside him, then its not going to be suitable becoming a hero of justice.

    I also really like the point you mention about Midoriya being highly physically fit considering the arduous training that he went through in order to adopt the One for All quirk. This was really an advantage in the current battle against Shinso who is not among the physically strong people and thus was dominated when the battle turned to a physical brawl.

    The manner in which Deku managed to shake off the Brainwashing due to the special vision and the special abilities of the One for All quirk was really interesting and pretty shonen style. Though there may be more, one similar variation is Naruto and Kyubi Chakra. In fact this show has some resemblances to Naruto. This whole competition is starting to give off a slightly similar feeling to the Chunin exams especially with the now 1-1 battles.
    Boku no Hero Academia is amazing in the sense that it possesses certain similarities along with its own unique and exciting elements, making it highly absorbing and interesting! The whole Todoroki situation is also becoming highly interesting to follow.

    • FlareKnight

      I found discussing Shinso to be an interesting topic. The situation around him seemed very believable. I could relate to Shinso himself, the students in his class, and feel for Deku as he went against him. Shinso has room to grow. He’s still at a point where he doesn’t really understand people. I felt like he was utterly wrong to act like Deku was blessed while he wasn’t. He’s there. He has a chance to be a hero. But someone like Deku (in the past) had no chance. They both felt pressured and having a lesser chance at their dreams. But one of them really had no chance and the other just had a social stigma, but still a legit hope.

      My hope coming out of this is that Shinso can look at his classmates and Deku. Look at what he learned and realize he isn’t on his own. It may be tougher for him to find people that will trust him, but he can find them. And in response he needs to realize that he has to trust people. He burned bridges with guys like Ojiro because he abused his quirk in a situation he didn’t need to. No one is going to trust someone with brainwashing who doesn’t trust anyone. When push came to shove he controlled his ‘team’ and basically competed alone, missing the whole point of that event.

      Another thing with Deku I didn’t think about though was that some might still be ahead of him in physical fitness. Someone like Iida has probably been physically active his whole life because of the kind of quirk he has. Deku worked like mad, but there is probably some limit to what a person can accomplish in 10 months. He should though be ahead of guys like Shinso who don’t have quirks that would lead them to be physically active. And he’s probably ahead of those that lean heavily on their quirks and don’t keep a high level of fitness.

      I’m with you there with the Naruto comparison. This series seems to be willing to pull from various other shows to its advantage. This kind of event arc certainly can be seen in various shounen shows. I do like how they are keeping it varied. First was a race, so ‘1 vs everyone’ then a team competition and now 1v1 battles. They are seeing how the students adapt against groups of people aiming for the same goal, how they cooperate, and how they deal with an opponent who has a quirk in a fight.

      • Eli

        While from an audience perspective you could say he was wrong about acting like Deku was blessed, in-universe he can’t really be faulted. With OfA’s method of passing on intentionally kept secret, Shinso and almost everyone else couldn’t know that Deku really had no chance of becoming a hero without help. Instead to them, he’s just a kid who was born with a powerful quirk that happens to also be useful for hero work and passing the more typical hero tests.

        • FlareKnight

          I do agree on that front. From his point of view Deku would seem pretty blessed. Though…those fingers being pretty broken don’t seem as blessed to me XD. But he’s acting like he isn’t blessed and that is what annoys me. Brainwashing is an OP power. One with a negative stigma, but pretty darn powerful. I see no sign with this guy that he’s at all thought about what others who don’t even have his problem of having a somewhat stigmatized quirk are dealing with.

          • Eli

            Concerning the broken fingers, how much do you think he knows about Deku’s track record with his quirk? He might not know about the details like how each individual student does in the hero course, like even in reports about the USJ I doubt it’d be as detailed as stating how one student was harmed due to his own quirk, and in the only other recent use where Shinso was around, the cavalry battle, Deku was able to use his quirk without injuring himself. And injuring himself was something he had to do in this battle, since he needed some shock to dispel the brainwashing, and without anyone else like Ojiro had, it would have to be self inflicted. And even if he did know about earlier instances of him getting hurt, how much of that comes off as having a bad quirk vs the owner just not training it properly, since as noted in the cavalry battle it can be used without backfiring (and one would have probably assumed Deku had years where he could’ve been training it vs only some months)?

            Shinso’s quirk is powerful, sure, but the ability to use it ends up becoming limited the more you think about when it would be appropriate to use. Other quirks can have their uses outside of fighting crime, like Uraraka’s gravity quirk making moving things easy, or could just be used normally for fun and showing off what you can do so long as it’s not anything illegal or bad. Shinso’s quirk is something he wouldn’t be able to use at all if he’s not using it on a criminal, since brainwashing anyone would be, if not illegal, then at least bringing up issues of consent and trust.

            And he might have it worst than those who don’t even have quirks (assuming other people without quirks don’t usually have an equivalent to Bakugo in their lives) since he would have to live a life without using a quirk while also having to deal with the social stigma of having an evil sounding quirk. You can almost imagine younger kids could just get away with any trouble they did by saying it was Shinso’s quirk that made them do it, but since this wasn’t actually brought up in the story I only bring this up as an example of how things could’ve been even worse than what the story chose to show us.

            The only way he would be allowed to normally use his quirk, and possibly get rid of that stigma, would be to become a hero. Which he might not even get to become since he isn’t even in the hero course, and it was just his luck that the entrance exam was something that would be completely disadvantageous to someone with a quirk like his. Plus the way he says why he wants to become a hero, I kind of wonder how much he would have naturally wanted to be a hero like Deku vs how much he feels he needs to be a hero just to make his life better.

      • GreyLurker

        One thing to keep in mind is something that Shinso mentioned himself. Kids from General Studies can move into the Hero Course depending on the results of the Sports festival. Year two at UA might see not just Shinso but maybe other students in the class with Deku and the rest. I think he certainly showed his worth at the vey least.

      • Killsqu8d

        Todoroki is really an awesome character

  • What I really loved about Shinso and his whole character arc was the fact that he was proud of his power and wanted to use it for good. There’s something really quite noble about a guy who has the power to control other’s minds, and who wants to use that power to help others rather than become a villain.

    Its a nice little twist, and it shows that a power really can be used for good or evil, despite what it may be.

    I liked this episode quite a bit. Sure like you said it wasn’t action packed, but there were enough great character moments both with Shinso and Todoroki, that made it quite the fun episode.

    • FlareKnight

      I think it is fair to give him props for wanting to use his quirk for good. That he has his goals of being a hero like anyone, despite how society views his quirk. I think something similar can be said for Toru. Most people would think someone who is invisible would use that for crime or mischief. But she’s also very focused on being a hero.

      It is true that powers don’t make you good or evil, it depends on the individual. Some powers may be seen as creepy or evil, but they are just abilities.

      The character moments definitely made this a good ep.

  • Killsqu8d

    So does this mean that Deku is the One For All’s Avatar?….🤷🏾‍♂️

    Either way really great episode