Coming into My Hero Academia‘s season four finale, many manga readers, including myself, were hoping beyond belief that the adaptation of Endeavor’s fight with the Nomu, High End, would be done justice.
Well, those hopes were definitely fulfilled because “His Start” is not only a fantastic adaptation of the battle between the two but also one of the anime’s best episodes, right up there with “Infinite 100%”, “Lemillion”, “Shoto Todoroki: Origin”, and “One For All.”
The episode starts off with Endeavor’s two oldest children, Fuyumi and Natsuo, visiting their mother, Rei, in the hospital she now resides.
It is here that Natsuo brings up many of the terrible things Endeavor did in the past, showing that even though he is now trying to change, that does not fix all of the horrible things he did to his family.
This is an important thing to note because many have accused Horikoshi of trying to force the readers to forgive Endeavor but Natsuo mentioning Endeavor’s crimes proves that viewers are being given the opportunity to judge him for themselves.
In any case, Rei does counter Natsuo’s belief that Endeavor wants everyone to forget what he has done by pointing out the flowers that she believes he sent her while she was in hospital.
But did Endeavor really send Rei the flowers?
I have a theory that it may have been someone else but that may turn out to be a spoiler so I won’t say who I really think sent them.
However, even if it turns out that Endeavor did not send those flowers, His Start still makes it very clear that he is trying to face his family and what he has done, as Rei says.
This is put on clear display in the fight between Endeavor and High End, where clear parallels between the two are made.
High End has been designed to fight the strongest opponent and beat them no matter the cost, just like Endeavor wanted to best All Might as the number one hero and hurt his family to try and achieve this.
Endeavor himself points out this parallel by telling High End, right before he puts him down, “you are me… from the past… or another future. Burn up… and be put to rest.”
This can be viewed as Endeavor literally killing the abusive part of himself to move forward as a better person and hero, as the new symbol of peace.
Such an interpretation is further established by the amazing adaptation of Endeavor’s pose after defeating High End, with him rising up from the fire, first in the air, as the music swells.
The emotional weight of this scene can also be felt in the build up to this epic moment, especially with Endeavor getting his scar, which I’m sure resulted in many anime only fans thinking it was the end for him.
Helping these impactful moments is the fantastic animation and music, which is just as good as it was in “Infinite 100%”.
Props to Endeavor’s voice actor Tetsu Inada as well for his fantastic performance, with his shouting of Plus Ultra and Prominence Burn.
Hawks also shines both through his fighting skills and in his character development through the showcasing of his admiration for Endeavor, as he could see that the flame hero was the only one seriously trying to surpass All Might.
Although, if he ever does learn the truth about Endeavor this admiration will quickly sour.
But, for now, this is Endeavor’s moment and he has truly begun his path to atoning for all the wrongs he has done, a journey that will surely be expanded upon in Season Five.
Speaking of the next season, we get a great tease in a post credits scene where Deku has a dream, seeing the past users of One For All, including the first user, One For All’s brother, who calls Deku the ninth.
This is a scene that will have monumental importance, not just for the next arc, but for the entirety of My Hero Academia’s story, and it will be interesting to see how it is adapted in Season Five.
As for the season finale though, “His Start” was a fantastic way to conclude season four.
I was a little worried that it would end at a different point, creating a cliffhanger that ultimately wouldn’t amount to much, but, thankfully, the episode ended at just the right moment.
This ending, Endeavor’s character development, and the brilliant music and animation of the High End fight make “His Start” one of My Hero Academia‘s best episodes, and a perfect way to conclude Season Four.
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.
I felt that, after the average sixteenth episode of the fourth season of My Hero Academia, the seventeenth episode would be about the same.
So, imagine my surprise when I found that episode 17, “Relief for Licence Trainees ”, was actually pretty great.
I have read the manga and I don’t remember being particularly engaged during this section of it but something about the way it was adapted in the anime made me invested.
Starting off, the beginning moments of Todoroki, Bakugo, Inasa and Camie trying to win over the children ends great with the aspiring heroes using their quirks to create a playground to entertain them.
This resulted in some fantastic animation that really surprised me.
I would say that, while “Infinite 100%” has the best animation of the season so far by a wide margin, “Relief for Licence Trainees ” has the second best animation.
The use of Camie’s quirk to create illusions, along with Todoroki’s ice slide make for a beautiful visual.
Another thing that I greatly appreciated is how they kept an important piece of Bakugo’s development.
Last episode, one of these moments was cut, so it was great to see Bakugo grab the lead kid’s hand and tell them not to look down on others or they will never realize their own flaws.
This shows just how Bakugo has changed from the arrogant bully of the first season, even if he is still incredibly aggressive in his actions.
Meeting outside the building, we then get a continuation of the beginning of Endeavor’s redemption.
In a scene that visually resembles Deku and All Might’s conversation in episode four, Endeavor tries to make up with Todoroki, telling his son that he is proud of him and will now try to work towards being a hero that he can be proud of.
The change in the pro-hero even seems to spark Inasa into action because, after punching himself in the face, he tells Endeavor that he will be cheering him on.
This moment both shows great changes in the character of Endeavor and Inasa and also provides brilliant humor, which can also be seen through Camie’s illusion of Todoroki and how Bakugo reacts to it at the beginning of the episode.
But it is with Aoyama’s weird behavior that the true humor of this episode lies because he starts trying to befriend Deku in what are pretty creepy, yet funny, ways.
From his feeding Deku cheese when he is not expecting it, to sneaking by Deku’s dorm room and leaving a cheese message for him.
The horror music during this second event really sells the impression that Aoyama has some kind of sinister intent, which is what I felt when reading the manga because, back then, I though this was Horikoshi hinting that Aoyama was the traitor.
Thankfully, this was all just Aoyama’s unique way of trying to become friends with Deku because he found them to be similar because they both have trouble controlling their quirks.
So, all in all, “Relief for Licence Trainees ” is an episode that surprised me because of how enjoyable I found it to be.
With fantastic animation, some great growth for Endeavor and Aoyama and some hilarious moments, it definitely left more of an impression than I thought it would going in.
In the sixteenth episode of My Hero Academia’s fourth season, Todoroki, Bakugo, Inasa and Cammie began their provisional licence course and came up against the most dangerous, manipulative and evil foe they have had to face yet… children!
In all seriousness though, “Win Those Kid’s Hearts” is an average episode of My Hero Academia because it serves as a clear example of when the manga is better than the anime.
This is evident through a lot of the humor, which were much funnier in the manga, like when Gang Orca throws Todoroki, Bakugo and Inasa away while screaming, “disciplinary action!”
On top of this, the character development is not as good as the manga because a minor flashback that helps Bakugo grow is left out entirely.
And then, there are the kids whose hearts they are trying to win over.
While their oddly very good psychological manipulation is very funny, the episode acting like they are some kind of big threat with intimidating music is very cringey.
The saving grace of “Win Those Kid’s Hearts” is definitely the humor and Endeavor.
Now, while I did say that the humor is a downgrade from the manga, a lot of it is still pretty funny and will honestly be hilarious for anime only viewers.
And then there is Endeavor, who has excitingly begun the character arc that has made him one of the manga’s best characters.
When I made my Top 10 My Hero Academia Characters list, Endeavor barely missed out but, with all that’s happened in the manga since then and looking back on prior chapters, he is clearly a better character than I gave him credit for and should have been on the list.
If you are an anime only, you may be confused about this since Endeavor is an abuser and are probably wondering how any character arc could make him likeable.
Well, to you, I say wait until the end of the season and then you will understand.
As for the current episode, Endeavor’s scenes are definitely the best because we get insight into his character, and already see how he has started to grow through seeking All Might’s help by asking him what it means to be the symbol of peace.
Endeavor asking All Might for advice is something he would never have done when he was first introduced, showing the pressure he is now under now with his new title as the number one hero.
This growth makes him the most interesting character of the episode.
Also, him constantly shouting “SSSSHHHOOOOOTTTOOOO!!!!!” is just really funny.
Overall, “With Those Kid’s Hearts” is an average episode of My Hero Academia.
It is definitely down there with “The Scoop on UA Class 1-A” as one of the weakest episodes of the season.
Still, it is a good episode what with the humor and Endeavor’s character development.