After the anticipated arrival of the adorable Eri last episode, the fourth episode of My Hero Academia‘s fourth season “Fighting Fate” picks up with the rest of her first encounter with Deku and Mirio.
Unfortunately, this is also Deku and Mirio’s first encounter with the villain Overhaul as well.
What follows is an intense scene where Deku tries to protect Eri while maintaining the facade that he does not know who Overhaul is.
Ultimately, though, Deku’s instincts as a hero overrule this second priority when Eri begins to beg Deku not to leave her.
It is in this scene where we get to see both Deku and Mirio’s skills as future heroes because while Deku is protective, Mirio is quick thinking, dodging Overhaul’s prying questions expertly.
However, both their combined efforts are not enough to save Eri as the two are incredibly out of their depth, which Eri clearly notices because she goes back to Overhaul when he makes a subtle threat to kill Deku and Mirio.
Her doing so gives us a really good sense of her character as, despite the pain she has endured at Overhaul’s hands, she is willing to go back with him so he won’t hurt anyone.
The consequences for her are clearly laid out as Overhaul brings her into an experimental room announcing her to be the “crux” of his plan.
This is where one of my very few problems with the episode comes in because, compared to the manga, shots like that of the room Overhaul brings Eri into are not as detailed, lessening their impact.
Another thing from the manga that I was disappointed to see left out of the anime was Sir Nighteye’s reaction to hearing Deku wish he could have protected Eri.
In the manga we get a panel of him looking remorseful with his back to Deku, showing he does care, despite wishing Deku had not been chosen to receive One For All.
Sadly, this effective shot is nowhere to be seen in the episode.
Thankfully, what is not removed is Overhaul’s cruelty because he murders the subordinate who was supposed to be watching Eri when she escaped.
Overhaul then makes a comment about people being sick with “hero syndrome,” foreshadowing the future reveal of his motives.
Following these dark scenes, we get the emotional highlight of “Fighting Fate,” which is Deku’s confrontation with All Might.
Deku wants to know why All Might never told him about Mirio being the original candidate for One For All but instead learns a darker truth.
This truth is that when All Might and Sir Nighteye separated because All Might refused to retire after his injury, Nighteye used his foresight to predict that All Might will die a gruesome death in the near future.
The music and voice acting during this scene are top notch with Night Eye’s voice actor Shin-ichiro Miki doing a great job.
The following moment with All Might and Deku after this moment are also fantastic with the best animation of the season so far giving the emotion of the scene a bigger punch.
In the end, Deku begs All Might to live long enough to see him tell the world that he is here and All Might swears to fight the fate he has been given.
And then, of course, the episode ends with a comedic moment, as All Might is once again too scared to reconcile with Night Eye.
“Fighting Fate” is another great episode of My Hero Academia that is probably tied with “Overhaul” as my favourite episode of the fourth season so far.
And now, with Eri, the emotional centerpiece of the season, introduced, the story will begin to pick up even more.