My Hero Academia – Episodes 79 & 80: Really digging into a post All Might World

Apologies for the lateness of this one, but my job has made finding time for blogging exceedingly difficult these past couple of months and I can only catch up on my days off. Which also happen to be the days I’m totally dead on my feet from work. I’ll try to do better going forward. But updates are going to be a little more sporadic for the foreseeable future.

After moaning that I wanted something a little more lighthearted out of My Hero, we got two episodes back to back that did just that, and kind of bored me as a result. I fear I’m turning into one of those impossible to please ‘fans’, but while the actual content of the episodes was enough to stop me writing an individual episode review, the message behind them is really what caught my attention.

While I enjoyed the idea of a little arc focusing on Todoroki and Bakugo doing makeup lessons for failing the provisional licence exam, having them deal with a bunch of bratty kids isn’t as fun an idea for me as I first thought it could be. However, once I understood the message and the theme at the core of this little story line I was much more interested.

One thing I really like about Horikoshi’s writing in My Hero Academia is his delving into society and how the world responds to things happening in this reality. Y’know, one where people have superpowers and a giant shark man could kill you at a moment’s notice. In particular, this episode continues to deal with the loss of All Might as the nation’s symbol from a broader perspective.

In particular, this episode comes at the issue from two angles. Firstly, it shows how this class of young kids respond. They’ve lost faith and respect in the heroes of the “adult world”, because why can’t all heroes be as powerful and as effective as All Might was. It’s a message of the younger generation feeling resentment to the older generation for the world in which they need to deal with that I can really empathise with.

Not helped by the fact that all of these kids seems to have pretty powerful combat quirks. It’s one more aspect of this society that Horikoshi never needed to delve into, but did anyway. This aspect of a “Quirk Singularity Doomsday Theory”. The idea that as generations pass, more quirks combine and they become more complex and powerful as they do so.

The eventual conclusion of Bakugo, Todoroki and the others showing the level headedness and maturity of real heroes in order to deal with the kids without making them feel like they’re been squashed down by an older generation is… whatever. The actual visuals on display didn’t do a whole lot for me, as opposed to the message and themes behind them.

The point of this little story was to show that there is more to being a hero than combat, something both Bakugo and Todoroki struggle with. As their personalities are the main thing holding them back from being amazing heroes.

The other aspect of the story line that really did draw me in was the perspective on the loss of All Might coming from the new number one hero; Endeavor. Before now, every time we’ve seen the elder Todoroki, he has come across as a monstrous human being. Abusing his family in pursuit of his goal to produce a child that could become a greater hero than All Might.

It’s an interesting approach to his character; that you can be a great hero in this society, but also a horrible human being. So, going into this talk between him and All Might, I was expecting things to be a lot more… fiery. In the end though, the conversation was much more candid and open than I’d have expected from the two.

Taking the number 1 spot by default, Endeavor was much more humble than I’d have expected from him. Openly admitting than he realised that he could never hope to approach what All Might stood for during his time at the top. And openly asks All Might how people are supposed to go on without him.

To which All Might responds by saying he doesn’t want other heroes to try and be him. Rather, he simply wants them to become the best version of themselves. While he did become the symbol of peace he wanted to be, he never really thought far enough ahead to a world after he was gone. I guess his goals to inspire people and heroes to be better didn’t work out in exactly the way he wanted it to.

In the end, I feel like Endeavor came out of the talk with a massive weight lifted from his shoulders. One that might change his personality and approach to being a hero for the better. I don’t begrudge his son for angrily brushing him off again, but I suddenly feel like there might be a brighter future for the hero of hellflame now than there was when All Might’s shadow loomed over him.

Then the second half of the episode shows Midoriya and the navel laser guy; Yuga Aoyama becoming friends after Aoyama feels a connection to Deku over the fact that both of their quirks seem to mess up their own bodies. All in the format of a horror story. It’s fun, but not really the focus of the episodes for me.

The episodes themselves are just kind of there. What really drew me into them though is the thought and world building that came about as the subtext of the episodes. Horikoshi obviously puts a lot of thought into the world he has created and dedicates time to fleshing it out. The inner workings and mechanics of this world are thoroughly thought out and the core themes of society and personal responsibility manage to shine through within practically every story he tells.

My Hero is a series where I am more invested in all of the side characters and their personal stories than the main character’s. Not that I don’t like Deku, but the humanity and lack of main character armour makes there stories much more interesting, given how much the managka invests into developing this world i feel like I might be enjoying these episodes for the wrong reasons. but the fact that there are that many levels to how this series can be enjoyed it a real testament to how good it is.

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