Score: A-

This episode really got the exam ball rolling. As one would expect from the title the main focus was on Momo and overcoming her issues. They’ve built this up since the sports festival. That didn’t go great for her in general. Mineta almost literally slowed her down which lead to an ok, but not great finish. She wasn’t quite suited to dominating that kind of race anyways though. After that came the 1v1 matchups and she didn’t do great there. It wasn’t an excellent matchup with Tokoyami being capable of striking quickly and Momo needing time to build things. Obviously that didn’t comfort her very much. She felt as if she failed and that hit to her confidence never fully restored. It didn’t help anything that she picked poorly for her internship and ended up with someone just selling their image and not really doing anything heroic.

It took an event like this to really help get her confidence back. I’m glad in the end Aizawa took more care to act as a teacher and not just an examiner. There is no doubt in my mind that he could have ended that test so much faster if he wanted to. Frankly he could have really knocked out Todoroki to make sure he wasn’t coming back into the test and he could have caught Momo before she backtracked to Todoroki. I do think he wanted to give a chance for Momo to regain her confidence through this examination. And even when she screwed up he intentionally played into it in order to not sabotage the confidence she just regained.

His excuse wasn’t too bad, but I still don’t buy it. When he saw what she was doing he initially moved in and yet when she messed up he pulled back. If he was that wary about Todoroki he wouldn’t have gotten close once he saw that setup. Nothing against his intentions though. Momo really needed this. She needed to see one of her plans play out well and work almost perfectly. The sense of relief to the point of losing her composure told the whole story there. Though I do think they played up Todoroki’s errors in this test a bit much. He should know pretty well that he couldn’t realistically hold back Aizawa in close combat without being able to use his quirk. And couldn’t he burn the restraints and then freeze the caltrops while falling?

There is an interesting element in how both Iida and Todoroki initially went with a running solution. It feels like they’ve taken away the need to play it safe from their experience with the Hero Killer. They know what it is like being up against someone out of their depth and how risky it all is. And that was with someone who was judging and reacting to them for the first time. Their teachers know just about everything about their personalities and their quirks. And yet that doesn’t mean victory is impossible. They have a numerical advantage and their teachers are handicapping themselves. If the teachers weren’t weighing themselves down I’m not sure Dark Shadow would have been able to get those cuffs on even with the surprise of that tactic.

Still the tactics were pretty solid. You can see the teams that actually tried to plan things out properly. Iida and Ojiro knew what they were up against and didn’t see a good way to actually fight off their teacher. So they didn’t. They just went full tilt for the escape and didn’t give their teacher time to really respond to them. And it was some clever work done by Tsuyu and Tokoyami. It was a solid plan against them and a good plan of theirs to win. Tsuyu is a good all-rounder who doesn’t really lose her cool. She isn’t ever going to finish near the top of the class though because she doesn’t excel at many things. But Tokoyami has great strengths, his weaknesses are also more obvious. He needs a good teammate to cover for them and she did that. A smart move with the cuffs too.

Well done, team.

This episode did a nice job making you feel the aftermath of previous episodes. The obvious bit was Momo’s confidence needing regeneration. More than that though there was Aizawa’s physical condition. Sure he’s mostly healed up, but he’ll never be the same after that fight. The show didn’t kill him or make him unable to fight ever again, but his abilities are impacted. If he was the same as before that incident he probably has an easier time in that exam even though I still think he was pulling punches at points. And that is probably a good thing for the story. Actions do have consequences and you don’t have to kill a character off to leave an impact on the story.

I pretty well enjoyed this episode. The focus was pretty much on Todoroki and Momo and I’m good with that. Both characters are likable and it was interesting to see how things have changed them. Todoroki just going along with Momo’s plan was some growth anyways. He was a guy who first wouldn’t have wanted to use his flames at all and probably would have just done his own thing regardless. Momo needed all this to get her groove back. And it was clever that while she wasn’t confident she still had plans. She filled those things with flash grenades on her own logic and planning. She is a smart character who can do some crazy things. It is true that her ability isn’t the best in sudden attacks, but she’s got her strengths and shouldn’t neglect them due to failing once or twice.

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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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  • Eli

    The only real notable expansion in this episode was Iida and Ojiro’s battle. In the manga they only really showed the result after it ended, where Ojiro had crossed the gate and Iida had his body stuck in the ground. Shame we didn’t get to see more of the beginning of Uraraka and Aoyama’s battle, as it starts in the middle just like in the manga.

    Funny for how dense Aoyama can be, even he can pick up on Uraraka possibly having feelings for Deku.

    And speaking of ships, the fight with Todoroki and Momo vs Aizawa is where my second favorite ship of this series was born, TodoMomo.

    • FlareKnight

      Well, we’ll see what they do with Ochaco’s match. They might have just cut to that middle point for an entertaining cliffhanger and then build back up to it. At the very least I’d expect to see a quick scene or something of Ocacho and Deku before she heads off to her match. It is rather surprising that Aoyama could pick up on something like that considering he’s….well a narcissistic idiot.

      I can see how that kind of ship might take off. Though really you could say that Aizawa was more important to helping Momo through all this than Todoroki was. But hey a good ship is a good ship.

      I’m not sure whether that picture is adorable or scary considering now I can’t help but imagine those things are all full of flashbang grenades!

      • Eli

        Aizawa definitely was the one who planned this whole thing out for the two to grow, but it was still a nice event that felt like Momo and Todoroki actually got closer. Especially with the revelation that Todoroki voted for Momo for class rep way back near the beginning, way before this battle.

        It also helps that this helps highlight a different guy to pair Momo up with besides her constant harasser Mineta.

    • Just wanted to say that I agree, I found myself shipping TodoMomo rather hard this week.

  • Man, another solid episode. Firstly, I agree, Aizawa’s excuse was pretty poor, and I think Recovery Girl all but confirmed his holding back when she called him a “softie”.

    If nothing else, this arc has really shown how great of a teacher Aizawa really is, and how much he cares about his students. This final exam has really shown that he knows just how to push them and help them mature.

    Having said that, I was actually surprised at how many people ended up succeeding this time around. I had expected nearly everyone to fail somehow, but the “top” students have all passed with flying colors thus far.

    It makes me wonder if Deku and Bakugo might succeed as well? XD

    • FlareKnight

      I know he was handicapped and obviously hampered by previous injuries, but I do think he threw in the towel. Recovery Girl putting the stamp on that theory. His reasoning was good enough for his students to buy, but probably not the truth. Which is fine. They still did a good job and as a teacher it was important to help Momo get back on track.

      He really is a good teacher overall. If he cuts people it’s because they couldn’t hack it in that job anyways. But those that can he wants to help and push to succeed. Of course they wouldn’t have done these sorts of exams if not for the previous incidents, but it is good for them. They need to grow faster to handle what might happen in the future.

      It is surprising how well some pairs did here. Of course the ‘kind of dumb’ pair didn’t do very well. But the others seem to understand what they need to do here. Iida took what he’s learned and applied it to this test. But really proud of Tsuyu and Tokoyami who had to pull out a gutsy win.

      I’m looking forward to that test. The big thing for these wins has been teamwork. Momo and Todoroki worked well together at the end and they won. Tsuyu and Tokoyami worked well and succeeded. Even Ojiro and Iida relied on each other for the win. But Bakugo and Deku? I can’t even comprehend those two cooperating. That might also be a problem for Ochaco and Aoyama. At this point her best chance seems to be to pretend she’s doing this by herself.

  • GreyLurker

    Tsuyu really is a nice back up for just about anyone. Powers of sort of characters may seem pretty simple on the surface but mother nature has a lot of wierd tricks up her sleave. Case in point – Frogs can use their stomach as a handbag.
    Gross but handy

    • FlareKnight

      No doubt. While she really shines in aquatic spaces, she’s a good support hero for most to work with. Some good mobility on her own and with that tongue she can get people moving around pretty quick as well. And well…while it’s not a power I’d want (the stomach thing) it was a helpful ability. She can keep particular things safe and bring them right back out when necessary.

  • Omar Salman

    Yeah a very good episode which got the exam really going. That initial combination of Tokoyami and Asui was really good and enjoyable to follow. The manner in which they supported each other through their individual quirks was quite brilliant and the end was also interesting especially since they had been restrained.
    Iida was also quite superb when he used his boosters both on the ground and then in the air to give his partner a huge push when the ground beneath them was completely shaken.
    But the main focus was Momo and Todoroki facing off against Aizawa. And this was a really good encounter. Momo was seriously short of confidence especially because of her overwhelming defeat against Tokoyami in the Sports Festival and things did get a bit harsh initially when Todoroki tried facing off against Aizawa and asked Momo to run and she got completely confused and uncertain. However when she went back to him and Todoroki gave her confidence, asking her to describe her plan, she really did come up with a lot of brilliant things. First the flash was an excellent idea and gave her time to free Todoroki. Then the whole plan involving Todoroki using that ice wall to give them protection, cover and time so that they could then come out and restrain Aizawa using the special alloy that Momo created was totally outstanding. And passing this test really made Momo gain a lot of confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
    And I totally agree that Aizawa really displayed some outstanding skills and behavior as a teacher.

    • FlareKnight

      I didn’t think Asui and Tokoyami would be able to make their quirks work so well together. They really showed some interesting mobility being able to basically throw each other to different locations. Even pulling out the win despite being restrained like that.

      Good work by Iida. You could say that maybe it is natural that he’d think ‘run’ than fight after his mistake with the hero killer. But this was a good plan. They couldn’t realistically fight someone who could stay underground and set up pit falls like that. It was good use of his quirk to help Ojiro escape.

      I’m glad things worked out for Momo here. They built up her crisis of confidence well and it paid off. Just nice to see how happy she was to regain her confidence and succeed.

  • bigfire

    Aizawa is also really pulling his punches, unlike some of the other examination teacher…

    • FlareKnight

      Yeah, I’d agree there. Though I get the reason why. The point of these exams is to push these kids to be stronger. It isn’t just about testing, but preparing them for possibly bad situations that they might find themselves in. Just knocking Momo into the ground wouldn’t do any good. The issue is her confidence. So he couldn’t help pulling his punches to give them a chance to win.

      Some other students do need a harder lesson. Guys like Kirishima need to realize that recklessly charging forward without a good plan is going to get you in trouble.

      • bigfire

        The teacher not pulling his punch I mention hasn’t been show yet. There is one that don’t know how to pull his punch, literally.

  • Killsqu4d

    Awesome review. I loved Froppy’s plan and Todoroki’s demeanor