My Hero Academia Ep. 84: There’s a fine line between genius and madness

We all know about Deku and his wholesomeness. He’ll do anything to protect people. He’s our little Green Shrubby Jesus. Similarly, Gentle Criminal won’t stop at anything in order to achieve his dreams… but that’s where the comparison stops. From a certain perspective — a very cynical one — Deku’s hopes and dreams can come off kinda hokey. Corny. Lame. But any way you look at it, Gentle Criminal’s hopes and dreams are just stupid and dumb. How can two individuals share so much tenacity and yet be so far apart in their aims? I dunno, really. I guess Gentle Criminal is just mad. Oooh, but don’t lump him in with the League of Villains. He just wants, uh, U.A. to be more resourceful or something…? I think that’s why he wants to crash the festival?

What’s particularly galling for me about this chump is that he still has strong memories of his youth. He remembers what it was like to pour his heart out for an endeavor — to be so emotionally invested in something that you might even cry if your plans fell through. Nevertheless, he’s willing to take a steaming dump on these kids’ joy because — again — something about resourcefulness and readiness. Sure, he could “attack” on a less important day, b-b-but his views! And just like that, we understand his madness. It’s just selfishness, really. Selfishness with a strong dash of social media fueled vanity. Whereas Deku is selfless, Gentle is selfish. Whereas Deku can be heroic in anonymity, Gentle has to broadcast his petty pudding crimes to the world.

Still, he’s not… he’s not like totally evil. After all, he’s mostly target practice for Deku’s new gloves. Isn’t it convenient? As soon as our boy has a new toy to play with, a villain shows up. Why can’t this arc just focus entirely on the festival and making it bomb-ass awesome? Because fight, fight, fight! So while Gentle will more than likely go to jail (Deku’s not gonna lose to this guy), I bet he’ll get a chance to reclaim some of his dignity once the dust settles. He and La Brava do seem to genuinely care about each other. She’s maybe a little nutso about it, but she’s no Toga. We’ll see what happens, but I bet he’ll try and find some clemency for his equally deluded partner. It’d be the only selfless thing he could do.

Stray thoughts & observations:

— I honestly had very little to say about the start of the episodes. The kids are working hard, they’re full of dreams, yadda yadda yadda.

Hmm…

— But seriously, those are the eyes of a crazy person.

— Deku will be aided by the advancement of technology, so there’s a good chance that his career will last much longer than All Might’s as a result. He could guarantee it if he could somehow convince Mei to become his personal engineer for life… but I know most people are rooting for Uraraka.

— Hell, if All Might had held off for a bit in recent years, he could’ve waited for the same technology to aid the twilight of his career. He’d never do that, though. He’d never hold off on saving anyone even if it meant he could save more people in the future. You either believe  that future lives hold equal weight to current lives or you don’t.

— Speaking of which, I think a spinoff series where a bunch of engineers work at supporting heroes might be interesting. Drawing up the designs, putting together prototypes, testing them out, finding hilarious bugs that nobody expected, iterating over and over until everything works just right, etc. Maybe Mei is a special kind of genius, so when she whips up one of her babies for Deku, there are never any critical flaws. But engineers know that this is rarely the case in reality. Hell, from a software development standpoint, you’d be extremely suspicious if your program passes every single test on the first go.

— I guess it’s kinda amusing how bad Gentle Criminal is at being a criminal. Kinda. Yeah, nothing suspicious about wearing this outfit at eight in the morning. Nothing peculiar at all.

Man, people in this neighborhood are not early risers at all, huh?

— So we finally get to see Gentle’s quirk in action, and it’s the ability to make things elastic. Even air! I guess this is how he can bounce away from obvious criticisms of his actions. In any case, I’m trying to imagine how that would work on a chemical level but… ah, it’s just a cartoon. I mean, we got a girl who can make machinery out of lipids…

— A lot of this week’s episode involves buying time, so before Deku can even engage Gentle in a proper fight, he’s gotta reflect on why he’s doing so. You guys, he’s fighting for Eri! He’s fighting for his friends who rarely get the spotlight so they really don’t need some C-tier villain crashing the party! Blah blah blah…

— These battles usually follow the same pattern, so for now, Deku is still trying to learn how to predict Gentle’s movements. And when we return next week, the villain’s powers will be enhanced by La Brava’s love Quirk. As a result, Gentle will no doubt land a few successful hits on our hero. And every so often, we are shown the clock in the corner of the screen as a way to ramp up the tension. Deku has to win, but he also has to win fast or his class’s performance will be negatively impacted!

— But despite all of this, it’s hard for me to imagine anything but success for Deku. We’re gonna get that performance. So I dunno… I feel kinda disengaged. It just feels like Deku’s victory is assured. Oh well, until next week’s episode!

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