Looks like our heroes messed up. Let’s see how it got to be this way.
— I’m not gonna lie; I’m a little disappointed that this week’s episode starts out by turning back the clock a bit to revisit an earlier moment in the night. I had prepped myself for the exciting conclusion to the arc, so now I’m kinda left hanging.
— Class 1-B’s instructor won’t let the rest of the kids fight, because Aizawa only allowed them to fight in self-defense. They’re only allowed to fight so that everyone could get back to safety. What do I say to that? Look, not everyone’s here yet, so let’s go out there and fight until they are! Eh? Ehhhh? Look, I get it, don’t break the rules, don’t give heroes a bad name, blah blah blah. I guess I just can’t help but feel that 1) Aizawa’s instructions are open to interpretation and 2) if I’m genuinely worried for my friends, I’m gonna do what I feel I gotta do. If these kids want to play it safe, so be it. But if someone actually dies when I could’ve helped them, I don’t think I could ever live with myself. Ultimately, being a hero is a state of mind. Yeah, yeah, if you get kicked out of the academy, you can’t be an official hero later in life, but if I feel like I’m doing the right thing, I could live with that consequence.
— Unfortunately, my bigger point above is rendered moot, ’cause nobody ever really dies, huh? Yeah, sure, Kota’s parents died on the job, but when was the last time someone important died? So if we are results-driven, then we should always follow the rules and play it safe, ’cause everyone’s going to be just fine!
— Luckily for these kids, they don’t have to go to the fight, ’cause the fight has come to them.
— Dabi got the jump on everyone, but no one even got hit. Yeah, it’s a shounen, but I feel like the stakes are never really all that high in My Hero Academia. Even during the Stain arc, I never felt like Iida was going to die at any point. And I don’t think anyone’s going to die here either. At worst, Deku is going to fail to save two of his friends. Big whoop.
— This is probably not the real Dabi, anyway.
— The bad guys want to shake society’s confidence in heroes, but I feel like there are easier ways to accomplish this than kidnapping a child. If I read about this incident in the news, I’d just say, “Oh, that sucks,” then go on with the rest of my day. I wouldn’t be shaken to the core or anything. On the other hand, look at real world terrorists and what they do. They’re pretty much experts at shaking society’s confidence. But again, this is supposed to be an easy-to-digest shounen show about superheroes, not an actual treatise on good guys and bad guys. I’m fine with My Hero Academia being all fun and games, but I wish there was also a show that could scratch that deeper itch for real, cold-hearted villains. ‘Cause let’s face it, Shigaraki is a Sunday-morning cartoon bad guy.
— Dabi: “Look, there are so few of us, and we’re driving you into a corner.” ‘Cause the good guys are so disorganized and unprepared. The instructors never even once considered having the kids fight, and I think that makes them irresponsible. We’re going to train you to be good guys who fight bad guys, but under no circumstances must you fight a bad guy right now! Okay, okay, you can totally fight if you’re in direct danger, but once you are safe, totally ignore the fact that your friends might also be in direct danger. Let them defend themselves!
— If you want to hop into the comments and defend the adults’ logic, go ahead. You’re not going to convince me otherwise, though.
— Aizawa shows up and just repeats the same thing that Vlad had said to the kids. Yeah, they might be after other students as well, but are you okay with keeping yourself safe while your friends fight for their lives?! I wouldn’t be able to do it. I wouldn’t be able to sit tight.
— So we’re finally back to the main attraction.
— Interestingly enough, Todoroki is also on the kill list. I think he’s corruptible. I really think anyone’s corruptible, including myself as well. I’ve always subscribed to nurture over nature, though. The bad guys think there’s something intrinsic to Bakugo that would make him a good villain. They also think that this quality is missing from the other students. I don’t agree. I think you could even turn Deku into a bad guy. I’m not gonna sit here, however, and spell out exactly how one might mentally break a little kid, so use your own imagination.
— Oh hey, sucky sucky girl is in love with Deku. I guess what’s attractive about yandere girls is that we can safely adore them from the distance. Most of us wouldn’t want an actual Toga in our lives, but since she’s not real, it’s whatever. Fantasize about it all you want. That’s why I always find it funny when people look down on women enjoying the weird-ass relationship in the Twilight novels. “B-but Edward is abusive and creepy!” No shit. But he’s also not real. You could argue to a certain extent that something popular like Twilight is helping to normalize his bad behavior, but then that becomes a more nuanced argument that is way beyond the scope of this post.
— Do characters like Toga normalize girls acting crazy? Naaaaaah…
— What is kinda lame, however, is the realization that this girl will keep coming back just because she is a darker love interest for Deku. He won’t ever get with her, but it kinda feels like this is going to be her primary role from here on out.
— So, uh, Mr. Compress compressed himself into a marble to avoid Dabi’s blast. But while he was a marble, what was going on with the other marbles, i.e. Bakugo and Tokoyami? Did they become even smaller marbles within him?
— Shoji claims to have stolen his buddies back, but I bet it’s not that simple…
— Mr. Compress soon reveals that the real marbles are actually in his mouth. But why taunt the kids at all? Shoulda just stepped through the portals and let the kids walk away with the fake marbles.
— When you compress things, logically, they also shouldn’t become lighter. So maybe Mr. Compress is really strong since he can carry two children in his mouth. I know, I know, no nitpicking a silly shounen anime…
— Aoyama to save the day? The scaredy-cat finally comes through with an attack right to Mr. Compress’s mouth. But see? Villains always screw themselves by talking to goddamn much. Shoulda just left quietly. My confidence in them is more shaken than my confidence in our heroes.
— Deku is pretty much far too injured to do anything, so it’s up to Shoji and Todoroki to save their buddies.
— Of course: Dabi swipes the one marble that they were originally going for in the first place. The kids only manage to save Tokoyami.
— All Deku can do is watch his precious Kacchan disappear before his very eyes. I’m not going to make the all-too-easy Thanos joke.
— I’m not too worked up about losing Bakugo either. Like yeah, I hope they manage to save the kid before the bad guys make a Sasuke out of him — because seriously, that would suck — but at the same time, I don’t feel all that emotionally torn up either. I guess part of the problem here is that we’re supposed to sympathize with Deku. He tried so goddamn hard to save his childhood friend, but in the end, he wasn’t strong enough. He pushed his body to the limit, and it failed him. The whole point of this summer trip is that these kids aren’t ready, and he sure as hell wasn’t ready for what the bad guys threw at him. That must suck. At the same time, however, part of that emotional anguish is blunted by the fact that Bakugo’s a giant asshole whom I’ve never endeared myself to. That doesn’t mean Deku can’t feel bad, but it does mean I just can’t feel as bad as I should alongside him. This is our bad end, and I’m just like eh… Maybe if a lovable character had been kidnapped instead (like Uraraka or whatever), I’d be just as gutted as Deku. You guys would just argue, however, that it makes no sense to kidnap anyone else.
— Oh? What happened here? Isn’t that Ragdoll’s headgear?
— Let’s be fair, though. They didn’t completely lose to the villains. They saved Kota and Tokoyami, and nobody else lost their lives… except maybe Ragdoll. But she’s not a major character so….
— Man, they didn’t do anything with Kota’s powers, huh? Deku gave this inspirational speech about how the kid should use his powers to save people, and it never came to fruition.
— According to Deku’s monologue, fifteen kids ended up in serious condition.
— Sure enough, the school is under siege. Oh no, it’s the public’s shaken confidence!
— Of course, the pros blame themselves for their lack of foresight and preparedness, and they should. It always sounded stupid to me that they thought a secret camping trip would actually work.
— One of them even wonders if there’s a traitor in the ranks. After all, the location of the training camp was supposed to be a secret! Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that there is a traitor. Information security is a complicated topic.
— The police calls up All Might, because they believe they might have a lead on the League of Villains’ hideout. But that reminds me… what about that tracking device that Momo had created?
— In any case, it looks like the adults are going to go raid the bad guys’ bar.
— Yo, guys, he just woke up. Let’s not all swarm the kid at the same time.
— As a result, Deku breaks down in front of everyone… but what I said earlier still holds true. If someone more endearing had gotten kidnapped, I’d really feel for Deku. I currently feel kinda bad, but not that bad.
— Yep, Momo saves the day, and both Kirishima and Todoroki overhear her talking to All Might and the police. They thus hatch a plan to try and save Bakugo on their own.
— Man, I’m tired of leaving everything to the adults, though.
— As expected, Iida has a problem with Kirishima’s plan. If Bakugo is Chaotic Good, then Iida is easily Lawful Good. Dude has a fetish for rules.
— I say fuck the rules. Become the Ubermensch and transcend the morality of your society! Look, this world is already kinda anti-egalitarian…
— I’m half-joking, half-serious. A serious discussion on the Ubermensch and how it might relate to My Hero Academia is something I might have entertained three or four years ago on this blog, but I’m too old for that shit now.
— Most of the kids will hang back and be scared. I’m sure, however, that Deku will seize the opportunity to save his precious Kacchan. We’ll just have to wait till next week to see him officially make his decision. Since Momo facilitated this possibility in the first place, I sure hope she gets to join the rescue group.