My Hero Academia, Season 4 Episode 23, Let it Flow! School Festival! Review: Smile = Protected.

5 stars
Well, that was definitely a step up from the manga.
Episode 23 of My Hero Academia’s fourth season, “Let It Flow! School Festival”, was one of my most anticipated episodes of the season because of the wholesome moment it contains.
This moment being, of course, Jiro and the rest of Class 1-A’s performance, building up to Eri’s first smile.
Just seeing Eri blow the sinister shadow of Overhaul away with her wondrous smile warmed my heart, just as much as it did in the manga.
In fact, in order to celebrate the momentous occasion of Eri’s first smile, I believe a quote is in order.

“This smile. I will protect this smile. I will fight you for this smile. You will not hurt this smile. For you see, there are some things in life worth protecting. Some things worth living for; some things worth dying for. A smile like this can fill the iciest of hearts, dispel the darkest of evils, and win the mightiest of wars. This smile will be the thing that pulls us from the depths of despair and lead us to the path of salvation! Wars will be fought; people will be saved; and civilizations will prosper because of this smile! So, from this day forward, I solemnly swear to shield this smile from all harm that may come to it; all dangers it may possibly face; and give my life for it!”
– Gigguk.

All joking aside, Eri’s smile is such a great moment and I am so glad it was done justice.
What I am even more happy about is the performance that lead to this, with it being a clear step up from the manga.
One of the disadvantages the manga had in conveying the performance was that, because of its written format, Horikoshi had to convey what the song was like through characters’ reactions and inner monologues.
With the anime adaptation; however, sound could be used to bring across the full magnitude of the performance and it is incredible.
Chrissy Constanza does a fantastic job singing as Jiro to the engaging song “Hero Too”, which is probably going to be stuck in my head for weeks, not that I’m complaining.
Likewise, the animated choreography for the performance is also fantastic and Eri’s smile is just the cherry on top.
It is also a cherry that we see multiple times afterwards, as Eri meets with Deku after the performance, voicing her excitement and throwing her hands in the air, which Mirio hilariously mimics.
Speaking of Mirio, the moment when Eri smiles and he remembers Sir Nighteye is tragically beautiful.
You died to protecting this smile, Nighteye, so you’ve earned all the praise.
And the smiles just keep on coming as the episode ends with Deku giving Eri the candy apple he promised and she, you guessed it, smiles again.
Along with Eri’s heart warming growth and the fantastic performance, the other highlight of this episode is definitely the resolution for Gentle and La Brava’s story.
Although, I hope this is not the final resolution to their story because they are great characters and it would be amazing if they could come back.
Even though the two are arrested, the post credits scene gives hope for them as the police officer interviewing Gentle tells him, “Guys who say there are no do-overs in life are either those who don’t want to, or those who’re impatient and want fast results.”
This statement speaks directly to Gentle’s reasoning for becoming a villain, and brings him to tears, followed by a funny moment when he asks for black tea, only to be told they only have cheap tea at the police station.
Happily, this is not the only good joke in the episode because there are plenty of other ones, like when Hound Dog shakes All Might, Bakugo relishing in proving the students that were looking to criticize Class 1-A’s performance wrong, and, of course, Class 1-B’s hilarious play that mixes Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter together.
Other fun moments of the episode include the screenshots of the school festival itself, including Nejire’s win at the beauty pageant over the creepy eyelash girl and Kendo, who knocks Monoma out in another funny moment.
All in all, “Let it Flow! School Festival” is a fantastic episode of My Hero Academia and the best since “Infinite 100%”.
It has an engaging performance that will be stuck in my head for a while, a fitting resolution for the arc’s villains, plenty of humorous moments, and a smile that I would give my life for!
Now, it’s on to the Pro-Hero Arc.

My Hero Academia Season Four, Episode Thirteen, Infinite 100% Review: Exceeding The Manga.

5 stars
I remember reading the fight between Deku and Overhaul in the My Hero Academia manga and being absolutely blown away by it.
The creativity and intensity of the battle was just incredible and I could not wait to see it animated.
Well, that finally happened with episode thirteen of season four, “Infinite 100%”, and I was even more blown away than when I first read it.
Talk about exceeding the manga.
Everything was just incredibly done this episode, from the voice acting, to the animation, to the music.
I would actually say that this is now my favourite episode of My Hero Academia so far because of how emotionally epic it is.
The scene where Deku successfully grabs Eri is just magnificent with the fantastic OST MightU playing as he grabs her.
The greatness of this scene continues as Deku moves so fast that he can’t even be seen, and the resulting shock wave created by his speed happens in a spellbinding silence.
From here, the fight gets more epic as Overhaul merges with Katsukame in a last ditch effort to get Eri back.
Realising that Eri’s rewind quirk allows him to maintain One For All at 100%, Deku takes on his foe at full power in what can only be described as a slaughter.
Seriously, despite Overhaul’s strength he did not lay a finger on Deku who punched him to oblivion in what has to be the series’ greatest animation so far.
With Overhaul defeated, the episode ends with Nighteye realizing that Deku has changed the future he saw, leaving hope for All Might.
Along with Deku’s great fight with Overhaul, there is also a lot of development for the villains as well, with Toga tricking Uraraka and the other heroes to ambush Overhaul at the beginning of the episode.
We will see more of the League next episode in a scene that will be very intense and I am eager to see how it will be animated.
As for Overhaul, we also finally got to see what his full plan was and it was pretty ingenious.
He basically wanted to use Eri’s rewind quirk to create a bullet that could get rid of quirks and a bullet that would restore them, which they would sell both to the heroes and villains, creating a monopoly that only they could control.
Just one problem.
It would mean they would have to experiment on and torture an innocent little girl.
This fact is established pretty disgustingly, as we see how Overhaul began his experiments on Eri when he was trying to figure out what her quirk was,
Thankfully, the boss of the Hissaikai is not as monstrous as Overhaul, being horrified at the man’s callous nature.
Sadly, this does not end well for him because Overhaul uses his quirk to make him catatonic when he refuses to follow through on this plan, leaving Overhaul free to experiment on the girl.
Eri really has the most tragic backstory in My Hero Academia.
First she accidentally kills her father with her quirk, then her mother abandons her, and then she is tortured and experimented on by a complete monster who wants to use her for his own gain.
Well, now that she has been rescued, we can hope to see happy times for Eri.
There is one scene in particular in the upcoming Gentle Arc that I am especially looking forward to.
However, before we get to the happy times, we have to go through more loss in the next episode, which will certainly make for a sad viewing experience.
Overall, I would say that “Infinite 100%” is now my favourite episode of My Hero Academia with its fantastic fight scenes, character growth, music, voice acting, and animation.
It all just comes together to create a flawless episode.

My Hero Academia, Season Four, Episode Three, Boy Meets… Review: The Two Meetings.

3 and a half stars
“Boy Meets…” is the perfect title for My Hero Academia season four’s third episode because it is all about Deku meeting and interacting with multiple characters for the first time.
Sir Nighteye is the the most obvious meeting, with more than half the episode focusing on him and Deku’s interactions.
Their conversation and later game did a great job of emphasizing the parallels between them, with multiple similarities and differences.
Despite Nighteye not liking Deku because of how he views him as usurping Miro’s chance of inheriting One For All, they are still similar with the both of them being massive All Might fans with their own ways of showing that.
Nighteye looks past these similarities, though, still not believing Deku to be worthy of One For All and tests him by having Deku try to defeat his quirk foresight, which allows him to accurately predict his decisions for an hour.
Deku both fails and succeeds in the test, failing to grab the stamp Nighteye is holding but succeeding in making sure he does not damage all of Nighteye’s All Might merchandise.
This shows that Deku is able to multitask in his fighting, proving himself to Nighteye, even if he was planning to accept him no matter what.
However, Nighteye’s intentions in accepting Deku are not entirely pure because he hopes to convince him to give up One For All to Mirio.
This meeting sets up both Deku and Nighteye very well for their arcs in this storyline.
What is by far the most exciting scene, though, is Deku’s second meeting of the episode with Eri and Overhaul in the after credits scene.
I am overjoyed to see Eri make her appearance in the series because she is one of my favourite characters and the centerpiece of the season.
Deku’s meeting with her and Overhaul also gets the ball rolling for the big story of the arc so I cannot wait to see this first meeting truly play out next episode.
Aside from these two well done first meetings, the rest of “Boy Meets…” is more decent setup that is actually anime original.
The scene of Aizawa informing Uraraka and Tsuyu that Nejire wants to talk to them, and telling Kirishima that Amajiki wants to meet with him, is probably added to provide a starting point for where we will see these characters in subsequent episodes.
Most interesting, though, is the moment Aizawa tells Tokoyami that the Number Three Pro Hero, Hawks, has offered him an internship.
For those of you expecting to see the two working together, I would not get your hopes up.
This is because Hawks does not have a role in the arcs season four will be covering and will not get a big part in the story until the fifth season.
As a result, this mention of Hawks is most likely just fan service to hype up his future appearance.
Although, who knows?
Maybe we could get an anime only scene of Hawks and Tokoyami’s internship this season.
That would be interesting.
Overall, “Boy Meets…” is a good setup episode for My Hero Academia that both builds up Nighteye’s character arc and gets the ball rolling with Overhaul and Eri’s role in the story through them meeting Deku.
It will be great to see the first interaction Deku and Mirio have with Overhaul and Eri in the next episode.