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.
Spoiler Free Review:
Worst. Baseball match. Ever.
If you have seen the sixteenth episode of Attack on Titan‘s third season, “Perfect Game”, you will understand why I am referencing baseball.
The episode probably gave us what has to be the most horrifying interpretation of the game in, well, ever.
And the characters suffered for it.
This is easily the most desperate we have ever seen them, with sacrifices having to be made.
Erwin in particular has to make a decision that shapes his entire character arc in a brilliant moment from him.
Armin also got more time to shine when he and the other Scouts started to face off against Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan.
Speaking of, thankfully there are some shots of him in “Perfect Game” that are not CGI, and make him actually fit in with the environment.
There are still times when he is completely CGI, and sticks out like a sour thumb, but I am personally glad he looked realistic to the world some of the time rather than none of it.
In any case, the fight between him and the scouts is investing, especially when Eren gets involved, where something happens that I think will shock a lot of people.
The biggest shocks of the episode, though, easily come with Erwin and Levi’s story.
These scenes are full of horrifying moments that actually improved on the manga, which is great because, other than a few scenes, I personally think the last few episodes have been falling under the bar in comparison with the source material.
That said, there are a few nitpicky problems I do have but, as the word suggests, these are minor.
The opening scene reworks the ending from the last episode, which makes it feels out of order somewhat, and a particular scene concerning Mikasa felt a bit watered down in comparison with the manga.
Other than this, “Perfect Game” is a great episode full of character growth, sacrifice, and one hell of a cliffhanger to keep you watching.
Next week’s episode is “Hero” and I am incredibly excited for it because, when I reviewed the manga chapters the episode will cover I game them five stars.
So, I have my fingers crossed it can live up to the fantastic source material.
One interesting thing to note, however, is that there have been rumors that Wit Studio, the ones who make Attack on Titan, will be cancelling the series after this arc.
If this is true, then it means the series will have to be picked up by another studio, which means we will have to wait a while before getting the next season.
While this would be sad, I have to say this is only a rumor.
Who knew that baseball could get so violent?
In all seriousness, the scene where the Beast Titan started throwing crushed rocks at the scouts is somehow made more horrifying here than in the manga for me.
The shot of the rocks crashing into buildings with dust and splashes of blood rising up, along with the agonized screams of dying scouts, is very disturbing.
The manga panels of this scene always felt a little stiff to me so to see it animated with such horrifying ferocity is great.
On top of this, the development that came from Erwin here is fantastic.
Erwin is a selfish person who has manipulated others into giving their lives for humanity, while he alone had personal dreams.
Yet in this episode, he finally sheds this.
He gives up on his dream and finally lives up to the ideals he sprouted, giving his life and the lives of his soldiers so that Levi can have a shot at killing the Beast Titan.
The build up to this moment is well done with Erwin voicing his flaws to Levi, who ultimately convinces him to do the right thing.
The big cliffhanger of the episode sees a rock ripping right through his stomach as he urges his soldiers to fight as they run straight to death’s door.
Along with this, we also get to see how the scouts are dealing with the Colossal Titan.
Unsure of what to do next, Armin passes on leadership to Jean, who initiates a plan of attack to stop Bertholdt reaching the wall.
This leads to Eren attacking Bertholdt but, while appearing to work at first, everything goes wrong when Bertholdt kicks him to the top of the wall, knocking him unconscious and forcing the Scouts to fight the Colossal Titan themselves.
This is where my issue for “Perfect Game” came in.
While Jean, Sasha and Connie attempt to distract Bertholdt, Mikasa launches the Thunder Spears at him from behind, only for him to use his steam to launch them back at her.
In the manga, the explosion clearly hurts her, and it looks like you can see shrapnel marks on her back, detailing how hard this fight is on her and everyone else.
However, in the anime this is watered down.
Mikasa says she took shrapnel but it does not look that bad by comparison, lessening the impact.
Another minor problem I have is Connie’s “eavesdropping” joke, which now does feel a bit out of place.
Not only that but it rearranges some of the parts of the previous episode, making it feel a bit disjointed.
However, as I said in my spoiler free review, these problems are only minor.
The rest of “Perfect Game” is great with its themes of sacrifice, epitomized by Erwin’s final advance.
Well, that is four episodes down and six to go and, I have to say, I cannot wait for the rest of them.
If you are an anime only, then those next six episodes will surely blow your mind.