Review: My Hero Academia 3 – Episode 1: Game Start

Review

My Hero Academia takes place in a world where more than 80% of the population has a power known as a Quirk.” These can range from flight and invisibility to being essentially part frog or bird. Some use these powers for evil, becoming villains. To counter that, others rose up as heroes, which soon became a legitimate profession. The story centers around the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, a fan of the greatest hero, All-Might. Born Quirkless, he eventually began to despair, thinking he would have to give up his dream of being a hero just like All-Might. However, an encounter with the great All-Might himself changes the path of his future, and before long, Izuku has a powerful Quirk and is attending the best-known hero school, U.A. High. The series follows *All-Might voice* “young Midoriya” *normal voice*, his U.A. classmates, the pro-heroes, and the main villains.

My Hero Academia Season 3 picks up where Season 2 left off. After the crazy events of their first year, Class 1-A of U.A. High is looking forward to summer, including their class training trip. The episode opens with a brief recap (as per Season 2) by Midoriya, followed by an insert song by Uverworld. (I am actually a big Uverworld fan purely based on their music in Blue Exorcist, so I may be a bit biased, but I thought it was a great opening.)

The episode starts with a quick focus on the main villains, Shigaraki and his assistant, Kurogiri. Shigaraki is continuing to blame everything on All-Might, as he grows increasingly distressed, vowing to fix things himself and show the people how “fragile” their “justice” is. We’re given a brief glimpse back at Midoriya, who’s continuing individual training for the upcoming class trip when Mineta and Kaminari show up to suggest some “training” for the summer camp at the school’s pool. Cut to the teacher’s lounge, where Eraser-head is talking with another staff member about some secret changes to the camp’s location, due to fear of the League of Villains showing up, like they did during the class’ training at the dome. This also leads into a quick overview of all of the class 1-A students covering their names and Quirks. As they discuss, Midoriya, Mineta, and Kaminari show up to confirm they can use the school’s pool. Given the okay, they head off.

My expression after Mineta and Kaminari revealed their real plan.

Now, I said the boys wanted to “train” earlier, because once we get to the change rooms, we discover Mineta and Kaminari only wanted to “train” because, of course, they wanted to see the girls in swimsuits. Mineta overheard a conversation before break. The girls were upset as the school gave them an order against extended travels (again, related to the League of Villains and their targeting 1-A) but some of them had new swimsuits they wanted to show off. Being as pervy as they are, Mineta and Kaminari devise a plan. Using Midoriya (thinking they’re training) to get teacher permission, they’ll get into the school pool and spy on the girls there. However, they show up to two disappointing things they didn’t expect: 1) The girls are all in their school swimsuits (almost-full-body leotards) and 2) the rest of 1-A is there, ready to train, invited by Midoriya (who legitimately believed they were going to be training).

Under class rep Iida, training begins, and (almost) everyone seems happy. Iida, Todoroki, and Midoriya all have a flashback moment, strengthening their resolve to pursue their individual goals. The mood takes a turn when Bakugo shows up, and training turns into a challenge—a race to see who can freestyle 50m the fastest. The girls merely score as the boys all compete in heats. The three heat winners are Bakugo, Todoroki, and Midoriya. Just as these three are about to compete, Eraserhead interrupts, reminding them it’s 5pm and the pool is closed. The students reluctantly leave. Midoriya heads to the beach, rather than home, and is joined by All-Might. He says he’s there “because this is where I started.”

In summary, this episode is a balance between about half recap, half new show/content. I did find the episode to be a bit slow, honestly. This was especially in contrast to the end of Season 2, with how much went on during the exams. Some of the recaps may have been better-spaced across the upcoming episodes. For example, the Stain recap during Shigaraki’s vent may have fit better into an episode that was going to give the villains more screen time and a better explanation as to what the point of their comments are. I did appreciate the reminder of all of the students’ names and Quirks, though.

Eraserhead (Aizawa) is not a teacher you wanna mess with.

Despite feeling a bit slow, the episode maintains the balance between dark/serious and light-hearted/comical energy that I’ve appreciated in this show. We have more serious moments like Eraserhead’s clear concern about the League of Villains attacking class 1-A, contrasted by the hilarious moment when Kaminari and Mineta realize the success of their plan (inviting Midoriya for “training” in order to ensure staff approval) was also the flaw of their plan. This balance helps portray the darker content of the show without feeling gloomy, and the comedy keeps it feeling cheery, without taking away the gravity of the darker situations.

As I binged the first two seasons in a few weeks, watching a couple episodes a night, it feels weird having to wait for the next episode. I’m hoping things pick up and there’s not so much time devoted to recap. I also noted Gran Torino in the theme, so I’m hoping to see him return. The biggest thing I’m worried about this season is that Shigaraki won’t be developed well as a character/villain. However, I’m currently in way too deep to abandon this show.

Content Guide

Spiritual Content: None to note.

Violence: There’s no new violence portrayed in this episode. However, there are some violent scenes contained in the flashbacks/recaps (which you would have already seen in Season 2). For example, we see snippets from the fight with Hero Killer Stain, as he stabs Iida’s arm, or Midoriya pounds his face in. We also see snippets of Bakugo and Todoroki’s arena fight, where Todoroki is bashed up and hanging against his ice wall. 

Language/Crude Humor: Just noting, as the Episode 1 dub was delayed, this language count is based on the official sub. There were 4 or 5 uses of d*mn, and 3 or 4 uses of b*st*rd. These were all from Bakugo, as he calls Midoriya “d*mn Deku” and Todoroki “half-and-half b*st*rd”.

Sexual Content: Nothing more than Mineta’s usual fantasizing. He and Kaminari fantasize about the girls in bikinis. There’s no blatant nudity or anything, just the guys’ fantasizing the girls.

Drug/Alcohol Use: None.

Other Negative Themes: Mineta and Kaminari’s pervy attitudes are certainly negative, as is Bakugo’s general attitude (but who are we kidding, it’s been that way the whooole time) since he insists on causing conflict and anger between himself and his classmates, especially singling out Midoriya and Todoroki.

Positive Content: This particular episode has a really great, positive moment between Iida and Midoriya, as they encourage each other. It also has less direct positive themes of teamwork and bettering yourself (e.g. flashbacks, and Midoriya’s return to the beach to remember how far he’s come).

The Bottom Line

 

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Emma

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