The Pro-Hero Arc is finally here.
After many weeks of speculating whether it would be adapted in this season of My Hero Academia, the arc finally began with the second to last episode, “Japanese Hero Billboard Chart.”
The only question left to ask is whether or not the entire arc can be adapted in just two episodes, or if they will leave the season off on a cliffhanger and adapt the rest of the arc for season five?
Either way, this storyline is off to a solid start in “Japanese Hero Billboard Chart”, with Endeavor’s new role as the number one hero finally being focused on and about to be put to the test at the end.
Endeavor is a character that a lot of people, understandably, despise because of how he treated his family but this arc will see the beginning of his redemption arc that has made him among my, and many other people’s, favourite characters.
This journey to redemption begins with the titular Billboard Chart of the episode, where the top ten heroes appear in a televised award ceremony.
Many of these heroes are largely irrelevant or joke characters, like Wash for instance, but, alongside Endeavor, two do stand out among the rest.
First there is the number five hero, Mirko, the rabbit hero, who vows to kick every villain she comes across.
You can expect to see more from her this arc and potentially the next season as well, with her thighs of doom taking center stage recently in the manga.
The second standout hero is the one ranked number two, Hawks, who is a fan favourite character and one that you can also expect a lot from going forward in the story.
This is quickly made clear by him hijacking the ceremony, and talking about the problems of it, pointing out that he has a higher approval ranking than Endeavor before handing him the microphone.
However, this snide comment was just Hawks trying to motivate Endeavor to make an impression as the new number one hero.
And make an impression Endeavor does, telling the crowd to “just watch me”, intending to make his actions speak louder than his words.
The audience is not quite sure what to make of this but Hawks is definitely impressed, being the only person in the room to clap for him.
Endeavor, however, is less than pleased with Hawks as seen by him humorously grabbing him by his jacket but when Hawks mentions rumors of the Nomu it gets him to listen.
From here, the episode cuts to Dabi with the new and improved Nomu, named High End.
I was quite surprised they revealed Dabi this soon into the arc but it does make sense because they couldn’t disguise his voice, like Horikoshi could in the manga, so they had to show him.
The next day, we see Endeavor heading to Hawks’ agency with the winged Pro-Hero who shows off his Quirk by using his feathers, which he controls telepathically, to save a dog, help an elderly woman with her bags, and even knock out a streaker.
One important thing to note is that this streaker brings up a book about meta-liberation, which will be very important next season.
While Hawks helps out the citizens, Endeavor tries to act more like the number one hero by offering a fan his autograph.
In a comedic turn of events, the kid is horrified by this, liking Endeavor because of his lack of fan service.
The humor does not last though, as Endeavor and Hawks are attacked by High End when they reach Hawks’ office, beginning the epic fight that will be finished in the next episode in the best of ways.
The preview for this episode looks like it has excellent animation, which is a good thing because I was a bit concerned while watching “Japanese Hero Billboard Chart” because the animation here is lacking in some areas.
I understand that they had to save money to make the final episode of the season better but, while watching this episode, it was a little off putting.
For example, there is one shot of Hawks in the background that looks oddly drawn and the reintroduction of the Wild, Wild Pussy Cats felt a little lackluster in comparison with the manga.
Still, the slightly lacking animation did not ruin any of the scenes, like the Pussy Cats meeting Class 1-A again, which managed to be both hilarious and dark.
Hilarious because Kota is revealed to now be a fan of Deku, having bought the same shoes as him, and is very embarrassed at being exposed.
Dark because Ragdoll has still not got her Quirk back from All For One, who looks as sinister as ever in his prison cell, still in complete control of the situation despite being behind bars.
Ragdoll does seem happy though, despite losing her Quirk, so I guess there is that.
Another positive is Eri being taken in by UA, with Aizawa and Mirio acting as her primary caretakers.
This will likely provide the sweet girl with many more opportunities to shine her dazzling smile.
And, if the finale adapts the rest of the Pro-Hero Arc correctly next episode, then I am sure we will all have a smile on our faces as well.