With the Overhaul Arc officially over, “Smoldering Flames”, the fifteenth episode of My Hero Academia’s fourth season, kicked off the next arc by introducing an important villain.
As Gran Torino and Tsukauchi succeed in capturing the warp villain Kurogiri, they unwittingly stumble across All For One’s most faithful servant, Gigantomachia.
I’m sure a lot of people got Attack on Titan vibes, due to the naked giant with a radio around his neck having a striking resemblance to that series’ Titans.
Along with this, I am also sure that a lot of people would have recognized Gigantomachia because this is not the first time we have seen him before.
There was a brief tease of him around the end of season two when the new members of the League of Villains were being introduced, and he was seen more prominently in Kirishima’s flashback during the “Red Riot” episode this season.
Although, many people may be expecting Gigantomachia to have a big role given this introduction, I’m afraid to say that this was yet another tease because there are still a few arcs to go before the massive villain becomes important to the story.
Next to Gigantomachia, the second most exciting thing about “Smoldering Flames” is the new OP “Star Maker” and ED “Shout Baby”.
I would say that both of these OP’s are way better than the ones for the Overhaul Arc with both of them having great examples of symbolism and foreshadowing for future events.
My one criticism of the OP is that I wish we had seen more of Gentle and La Brava, who will be the two big villains (although not-so sinister ones) of this arc.
Back to the episode, the rest of it is pretty standard with a few good laughs.
The best of these comes when Iida orders the rest of Class 1-A to leave Deku and the others alone, until Deku says they are fine, which Iida uses an excuse to scream that he was so worried about them while shaking Deku.
We also get the beginning of Bakugo and Todoroki retaking the provisional licence, along with Inasa and Cammie, who is definitely not Toga this time.
There is also Present Mic who provides some good laughs like always, with his repeated jabbing of Baukgo’s head and deciding to grab some coffee to get away from All Might and Endeavor’s conversation, which will happen next episode.
The one bit of the episode that I feel drags things down a bit is the repeated showing of events that we have already seen.
For example, there is an entire scene where Deku basically reflects on everything that happened in the Overhaul arc, and we are shown the whole thing in a quick flashback, as if the director thinks we did not watch the last 15 episodes.
Overall though, “Smoldering Flames” is another good episode of My Hero Academia that may start off tense but ends on a light hearted note that the rest of the season will most likely follow up on.
Unless, of course, we actually get the Pro-Hero Arc this season as well.
We are shown images from that arc in the OP so here’s to hoping it is not a tease for season five and we will actually see this storyline at the end of the season.