In the previous episode of My Hero Academia, Tenya shocked Juzo with his Super Move: Recipro Turbo. Passed down through the Ida family, the technique requires the user to remove their mufflers (🤢), which are then regrown, allowing the user to gain new mufflers that are more durable and faster. Tenya specifically states that the move increases his burst period from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. In My Hero Academia Season episode 8, Tenya explodes with speed, breaks free from the ice. He lacks control but is still able to overwhelm Juzo enough for the latter to flee. It may seem small but I like that instead of fighting regardless of his chance of victory, Juzo decided to leave. This should happen more in anime.
Meanwhile, Mashirao is having a difficult time handling Sen Kaibara’s Spiral Quirk. Hand-to-hand combat in My Hero Academia tends to take a back seat to the more flashy Quirks. While brief, Kaibara and Mashirao fight was refreshing. Kaibara’s Quirk, in addition to his fighting skills, makes it difficult for Mashirao to counter. Sen’s drills are capable of piercing his opponent, and at one point in the fight appears willing to “kill” Mashirao. It’s a moment that can be missed, but what would have happened if Tenya didn’t show up. Regardless, Tenya drags Sen and he’s the first to get imprisoned.
Class 1-B continue to impress
Elsewhere, Shoto is having a harder time than usual. Most of us would assume that Tetsutetsu wouldn’t stand a chance against Shoto, but his Steel Quirk makes Shoto’s Ice and Fire ineffective. The value of this arc for the audience is to show off not Class 1-A but Class 1-B. Juzo, Kaibara, and Tetsutetsu’s Quirks and strategic skills are put on display in this fight. Tenya and Shoto have their moments, only to fail. The lesser classmates, Pony, Mezo, and Mashirao have smaller moments but show their potential. Mezo’s Quirk is better for scouting. Pony’s Quirk first appears to be nearly useless. It’s so linear it’s hard to imagine that she would do much in a fight.
Mashirao is able to stop her from using them simply by holding her horns in place. Despite her limits, she’s the reason her team doesn’t lose. The intense battle ends with most of them out of commission. With no time left, Class 1-B and Class 1-A will have to settle for a draw. After the battle, Jurota makes a point that I think is the primary theme of this round, “in a real-life situation fleeing and waiting for backup is a valid and logical strategy.” The next round features Katsuki Bakugo, can he be a team player?
My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 5 continues the joint training arc, between Class 1-A and Class 1-B. I was particularly interested in the clash between Shihai Kuroiro and Fumikage Tokoyami because they reminded me of the trope “Bad Powers, Good People.” Generally, darkness is associated with evil. While this has been deconstructed in series like Black Clover (the Black Bulls) and Bleach (Arrancar and Quinces wear white), the association still lingers. Fumikage’s Quirk, Dark Shadow, can go on a rampage when in darkness. Shihai’s Quirk and how he appears can lean into this trope as well. Shihai can “merge his body into anything that is dark-colored, whether naturally dark, or dark via external circumstances, such as shadows.” His black skin and the flatting of his facial features make him appear evil. It doesn’t help that his mannerisms give off villain vibes. Unlike, Hitoshi, Shihai doesn’t seem to have any hang-ups regarding his Quirk.
The analytical skills of Momo and Kendo
My Hero Academia seems to deliberately pit certain characters against each other. In this arc, we’ve already seen Jurota versus Tsyuy, and now Shihai vs Fumikage and Kendo vs Momo. Usually, their Quirks must be similar but in the case of Kendo and Momo, it’s their high intellect and strategies that are compared. This episode reminds us of Kendo’s analytical skills. During the fight against the League of Villains, she was able to deduce the limits of Mustard’s Quirk and counter it. Momo is considered an S-Class intellect. She was ranked 1st in Class 1-A, she’s quick on her feet, and can develop plans on the fly. The other Class 1-B members are the little-known students, Manga Fukidashi and Kinoko Komori. Manga is the weirdest designed character in this series. His head is a literal “pale-white speech bubble,” that can change shape and display his thoughts. My Hero Academia never explains what “race” its characters are if they have raced at all. It’s probably for the best.
Class 1-B’s Plan B
Shihai attacks Class 1-A alone. Using his Quirk to control Dark Shadow, he punches Fumikage. Momo tells Toru to use Warp Refraction, a Super Move that redirects sunlight in all directions. Doing so weakens Dark Shadow enough for Fumikage to regain control. It turns out that Shihai’s intended target was actually Yuga. He grabs him by his cape and drags him through the pipes at high speeds. Suddenly, Fumikage appears with Dark Shadow under his cloak and grabs Yuga. Using his Navel Buffet Laser, Yuga lights up the area, forcing Shihai out. When it appears that he’s outnumbered, mushrooms appear on Momo and Toru. Kendo has predicted Shihai’s failure and has developed a plan B.
My Hero AcademiaSeason 5 opens with a mostly anime original episode. Or a filler episode. Is that fair? Maybe. All filler episodes aren’t bad, but they usually lack something. It’s often the animation that suffers and the story rarely makes sense or matters. All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A adapts some pages from manga chapters 190 and 191. However, that’s mostly what happens at the end of this episode. This is common for this series, but it never harms the overall seasons. Regardless, how you feel about filler, the first episode of a season usually aims to reintroduce the audience. The students in Class 1-A head to Ground Beta after the emergency alarm blares.
They designed the exercise to both tests the students’ readiness and to remind us of the large cast of characters. Anima, Earphone Jack, and Tentacole take the role of surveillance. Ingenium, Shoto, Tsukoyomi, Sugarman, and Can’t Stop Twinkling focus on extinguishing the fire. Froppy, and Grape Juice target rescuing a civilian “drowning” in the river. That civilian is Mirio Togata, whose carefree personality adds some levity to this episode. Elsewhere, Deku, Pinky, Creati, Invisible Girl, Tailman, Cellophane, and Uravity take on two of the Big Three, Nejire Hado and Suneater. The conflict between them isn’t very intense for obvious reasons. Suneater doesn’t even want to fight. However, after remembering that Mirio wanted to help the students, he prepares for battle.
Who’s side is Hawks on?
Deku still is hesitant. He activates his Quirk but refused to hit Suneater. However, when the always intense Katsuki arrives the dynamic shifts. Katsuki drives up in a speeding car that is powered by Chargebolt. Red Riot blasts forward, clashing with Suneater directly. Suddenly, Katsuki blasts himself forward, instantly scaring Suneater into submission. In a typical Katsuki manner, he’s unsatisfied, and shoots off a massive blast, frying the hair of nearby classmates. The last portion of the episode is the reveal that Dabi started the attack by hood and Hawks is working with him. I’m a manga reader so I know how this arc unfolds, but I can’t wait to see My Hero Academia Season 5 animated.