I’m all out of buffer posts now. Meaning that I’m going to to have start writing these the day of posting. Which, all things considered, isn’t too bad going on my part. Considering how many posts I committed myself to writing over the course of the month. It’s a good thing I’ve got some time off work now to catch up on life, the anime I’ve missed and all the blog posts I want to get written before I fall too far behind.
#3: My Hero Academia (Season 4)
Originally aired 12th Oct 2019 to 4th April 2020 | 25 Episodes | Based on the manga by Kōhei Horikoshi | Superhero, Action, Shonen
While the 4th season of My Hero Academia technically did begin in 2019, I didn’t feel super strongly about it until its second half, which coincidently, just so happened to get going in the early parts of 2020. I wrote a pretty lengthy piece about my feelings of the Shie Hassaikai Arc.
A story that took up 14 episodes of the 25 episode season, while it was one that ended explosively and on an impressively high note in regards to both its animation and it’s character drama, the vast majority of the storyline just wasn’t doing it for me. At least in comparison to the franchise’s historically high standards in my estimation.
The final ten episodes, which told a shorter collection of stories were the episodes that resonated with me much more. Which isn’t me disregarding the earlier parts of the season mind you, It was still a class above a lot of the other anime I watched this year. Again, you’ve just got to compare it to the earlier seasons of this very franchise that were able to make the most simple school task seem like the most important event in the world.
Somehow, in Deku finding himself in a real hero situation, one he is supposed to be in, we somehow lose some of that desperate, out of his depth approach to the situations he’d found himself in before that added so much more drama. Although when we reach the conclusion of that arc and get to see Deku cut loose for the first time ever, it’s a pretty incredible sequence. One very worth the wait that lead up to it.
From this point, where Deku absolutely wrecks Overhaul, I became very invested in the story, mostly because it started focusing more on individual character development as a priority, rather than the gauntlet of fights which made up a big chunk of the series before this point. I’ll admit, the Fat Gum/Kirishima fight was great, as they’re both characters I enjoy a lot. And I would be remiss not to mention Togata, who is the best new character featured in this series.
His last stand against Overhaul and overwhelming power as a hero, even without his powers is an inspiring sight to behold. One that even made me think he was the one more deserving of One for All. His bright, optimistic attitude really is inspiring, despite the heavy sorrow he suffers at the conclusion of the arc.
Which is maybe why I felt so much more invested in the episodes that followed. It was a “I told you that story so I could tell you this one” kind of situation, one in which Togata and Deku are both so invested in helping Eri start to recover from the horrible abuse she had suffered at the hands of Overhaul, that the entire School Festival/Gentle Criminal arc had me on the edge of my seat far more the prior arc managed at any point.
My Hero Academia does impactful, emotional stakes better than any other recent anime I can think of. And throughout this arc, I was invested in both Eri and Gentle’s salvation, despite the fact that their desires are totally opposed to one another. I’ll admit that seeing Eri smile at the end broke me, making me into just as blubbering a mess as Deku seems to be at the drop of a hat.
And to top it all off, we got the beginning of a redemption arc for Endeavour, something I never knew I wanted until it started happening. While I’ll freely admit that this character has a much greater hill to climb than many others who may start down this path, I love a good redemption story and seeing a character who was this despicable before really try to start changing themselves is just the thing to push my buttons.
My Hero Academia is a great shonen, one that is so consistently good than I have to sometimes remind myself that it is as impressive as it is. When I started writing this entry, I felt like I was struggling to things to say about it, mostly because it ended so long ago, even without the 2020 time dilation. But when I started writing about the things I liked from this season, I suddenly remember what as good-ass show this is.
And I am more excited than ever now to see the fifth season when it starts next year.