I’ve honestly been a bit worried about the Boku no Hero Academia series for the past few seasons. The show has been juggling a lot with movies appearing to take some focus away from the show, reshuffling the plot for the sake of those movies, and making some odd choices in general. So, I wasn’t exactly going into the latest season with a great deal of excitement. It was more just plain hoping that the season could at least be a small bounce back for for the franchise. Thankfully, it has delivered that! The focus on the initial war against the villains and the serious shakeup of Japan’s very society has made for the most engaging season of the show in a few years. So much so, that I’ve found myself wanting to talk a little about it.
This feels like the first season in a while that is committed to just telling a good story. Previous seasons have had some weird if not unnecessary elements to them. I still feel like the Class A vs Class B arc of the previous season was almost entirely pointless. A general update on the powers and abilities of Class B hasn’t remotely paid off even in this current season. And I still think it was a poor choice to move events around to let the most recent movie have its theatrical release in Japan line up a bit better with the currently airing arc of the TV show.
But this season has really cleaned that up. There’s no movie coming out to take away resources from the show, few recaps at all, and the story is flowing a lot better than it was before. It has just felt like a season of Boku no Hero which is really refreshing. Of course, events have gotten increasingly extreme compared to the first few seasons. It’s hard to avoid that with all-out war breaking out and the main bad of the franchise making his move out in the open.
From the start I’ve wondered how the show would handle Deku’s situation. Would it have a major time skip for him to reach adulthood and master the power he’s been given? In the end they can’t quite escape the title of the show. And it seems determined to take Deku to that maximum power level while he’s still attending UA. Honestly, I’m not sure how Deku compares to full power All Might. But he’s at the core of the story right now, he’s traveling around with pro heroes, and is crushing just about everyone he goes up against. Deku doesn’t seem particularly limited by his power either. The concern about breaking his body beyond all recognition appears to be off the table.
I didn’t love introducing several powers for Deku to use when it happened. Honestly, I still don’t necessarily love it. The spirits of the previous users being around seemed fine and kind of cool. But their quirks being used doesn’t quite feel right. But at least I’m more comfortable with it now than I was when they revealed that. I can at least live with it. Since the previous users at least have personalities it’s not like the powers are the only things that Deku is gaining here. At least having the potential for him to converse with them allows for interesting interactions.
I know some have loved the Endeavor arc from the start. But I honestly haven’t really been that invested in it. It’s only finally reaching a point where I can get behind it a bit. Because he’s finally dealing with real consequences for his actions. I’ll give Dabi a thumbs up on this one. The skeletons in Endeavor’s closet are so massive that someone had to make use of It. And now someone has finally done just that. It was a doubly effective move since Endeavor thought his son had died. I don’t really want to pick on people when they are down. But it was nice to finally have him be forced to deal with his past. Now his redemption arc can begin. I didn’t care much about all the other stuff before this point. It is at this stage where his character can face the consequences of his past and move ahead. Took a while, but glad to see it.
The action remains a really good quality for the show. I enjoyed the chaotic battles in the first part of this season and the short brawls in the most recent episodes. We’re talking about a huge operation against Tomura and his allies. It actually delivered quite a bit. So many little moments just worked. Mirko vs the Nomus was a great battle and she had quite the bold personality about fighting. The battles built up wonderfully with the heroes taking on the High-Ends, Hawks dealing with Twice (and getting jumped by Dabi), and of course the team battle against Tomura.
That Tomura battle really established him as a supervillain. He wasn’t all that capable in the past. But at this stage Tomura is just nearly unstoppable. So many heroes threw all they had at him and it wasn’t enough. Even with Eraser Head locking down so many of Tomura’s quirks it wasn’t like they could really beat him. The fighting got worse and worse until the end results spoke for themselves. Deku did everything he could and the fight just kept piling pressure onto him. But the guy rose to the occasion.
I’ll give credit as well to the whole dark hero look that Deku has been going with as of late. That outfit was always leaning towards goofy, but here it really captured a terrifying sight. He really was leaning more towards a Batman type hero. Just presenting a terrifying visage that scares everyone he gets involved with. Honestly a grievance I have with modern live-action superhero movies is the (seeming) requirement to show off their faces all the darn time! It’s kind of nice to have someone trying to hide their face while they go around saving people. Honestly, Deku has never looked cooler. I doubt it will last, but it is a really striking look for him at present.
Honestly this is easily one of the best seasons of the show since the first 2 to 3. It’s finally finding a rhythm and hasn’t been wasting episodes. The story is rapidly racing towards what feels like the climax. There doesn’t seem to be much left beyond dealing with All for One and Tomura. I expect that will take a few seasons still to handle, but at least it feels like we’re on the right track. This franchise has always had the potential to be excellent. The music and animation has been incredible for a lot of the runtime. I hope that anyone that also lost a bit of hope in the franchise during the past few seasons gives this one a shot. It has been a great show in the past and is starting to look a bit more like itself again. I’m definitely having more fun with it now.
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