My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Two, Vestiges Review: A Look Into the Past.

4 stars
After the filler first episode of My Hero Academia Season Five, I’m sure many people were excited to see what the outcome would be of Dabi’s first meeting with Endeavor. 
Well, we we got the answer to that in the second episode, “Vestiges”, directed by Shōji Ikeno, and I have to say that I’m quite impressed with how they managed to temper expectations but still make it satisfying. 
Before seeing the end of Season Four, I was sure that Dabi’s arrival was going to be the big cliffhanger to get viewers excited for Season Five. 
However, instead the episode cut right before his arrival, instead leaving it for the end of last week’s episode. 
Not only this but they also showed that the fight would not end too badly for Endeavor, given that they showed him alive in the hostpital, before cutting to the cliffhanger of Hawks meeting with Dabi. 
This all allowed viewers to temper their expectations, going in not expecting a big fight, which would leave them satisfied with the outcome, instead of disappointed when they didn’t get what could have been hyped up for ratings. 
In any case, we get to see Dabi and Endeavor’s first meeting in the opening of “Vestiges” with the villain confronting the wounded hero, only to be interrupted by the bunny hero Mirko.
This forces Dabi to retreat using the vomit sludge that was seen all the way back in Season Three.
He does get one last jab in at Endeavor, though, telling him not to die on him and calling him by his full name. 
Yeah, dramatically calling people by their full names is kind of Dabi’s thing. 
He did it with Shoto and now he’s doing it with Endeavor. 
After this brief confrontation, we get the moment teased in last week’s cliffhanger, Hawks meeting with Dabi. 
Turns out that Hawks is actually a double agent working under the orders of the Hero Commission, acting like he is on the side of the League of Villains to get more intel on them. 
Dabi is still naturally suspicious of Hawks so refuses to allow him to meet Shigaraki. 
As the he departs, Dabi recalls the Pro-Hero Snatch, who he murdered during the Overhaul Arc, before saying that he thought so much about those left behind that it drove him insane. 
He also appears to be crying blood when he says this. 
Quite curious. 
Cutting back to Endeavor, we get a family meeting fueled by tension as he begins what will undoubtedly be a slow process in making amends with his children for what he did to them. 
Fuyumi seems entirely willingly to forgive her father but Shoto and especially Natsuo are less certain. 
Shoto gets a good dig in when he brings up Endeavor’s scar, forcing his father to look at his own son’s scar, which he inadvertantly gave him through pushing Rei into a mental breakdown. 
Natsuo is far more uprfront in his anger, calling Endeavor out for neglecting them and keeping them all seperated from Shoto. 
Of all the Todoroki siblings, Natsuo will definitley be the least likely to ever forgive their father. 
Endeavor has certainly changed for the better, though, refusing to ask for forgiveness because he only wants to atone for all he has done. 
The episode then switches perspectives from our slowly reforming hero to the up-and-coming hero Deku, who experiences the titular vestiges of One For All in a dream. 
In this dream, he experiences what lead to the creation of the One For All Quirk. 
As All For One rose to power, removing Quriks from those who saw it as a curse and gifting them to those who had none, his younger brother stood against him.
Wanting to bend his brother to his will as well, All For One forced a Quirk on him, unintentionally creating his arch nemesis, One For All. 
How ironic. 
The scene where One For All is created is especially good, as the first holder uses an argument about a comic book they both read where a demon king rises to undermine All For One’s point of view. 
The first holder notes how All For One only read to volume three and, at the end of the story, a hero saves the day because the bad guy never wins. 
Before the dream ends, the first user of One For All finally talks with Deku, informing him that they are past the singularity point, causing Deku to wake up and shatter his window, which was the cliffhanger for the post credits scene of Season Four.
So, now we’ve finally caught up on all the events teased in the Season Four finale and are left with more questions, like Dabi’s motives and the supposed singularity point the first holder mentions. 
It’ll be interesting to see how anime only viewers react to what these answers are, both in this season and further down the line. 
Overall, “Vestiges” is a solid episode of My Hero Academia that will build nicely into the events of the next story arc. 

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode One, All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A Review: A Much Anticipated Ending.

3 and a half stars
Well, My Hero Academia has finally returned with its fifth season and it began just like last season’s premiere, with a filler episode, albeit a better one.
I’m not the kind of person who usually enjoys filler so I was not eagerily anticipating the first episode, “All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A”, because I thought every scene would be kind of meaningless in the long run.
While this is mostly true, with none of the filler scenes in this episode seeimingly having any importance to the story, the ending did surprise me with a scene I thought we would be getting next episode that I had been looking forward to for a long time.
Not only this but the filler content is actually pretty funny.
Directed by Tsuyoshi Tobita, the episode follows Class 1-A as they go through a hero training course, in which they have to beat the fake villains, Tamaki and Nejire, and rescue the fake civilian, Mirio.
It is Tamaki and Mirio who bring the biggest laughs here with Nejire, as per usual unfortunately, falling into the background.
Mirio is absolutley hilarious as the clumsy civilian who constantly needs to be saved and Tamaki is just as funny as the villain who just wants to go home.
What isn’t as enjoyable is the show once again going over who all the characters are and what quirks they have.
We’ve been watching this show for five seasons, almost all of us know who these people are and, even if we don’t, we still remember the important characters the story focuses on.
We don’t need to hear all of this info that we’ve had five seasons to digest.
It just gets tiring.
At least this filler content has a funny ending, with Bakugo going insane and trying to blow up Tamaki, who just wishes that he had chosen to go home.
Bakugo really needs to go through an anger management program before he becomes a hero.
The shot of the dazed Class 1-A students stumbling through the dust caused by Bakugo’s explosion before collapsing, including Deku with some funny looking hair, gets another laugh.
When looking at the filler content alone, I would say that the Season Five premiere has about the same ranking as the Season Four premiere for me.
Both are filler episodes with some funny moments but overall they don’t add anything to the story and mostly feel like a waste of time.
At least, I would have said this about “All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A” if it hadn’t been for the ending, where Dabi finally confronts Endeavor.
This is a scene that I’ve been wanting to see for a while and I thought we were going to get it next episode, when I learned that this episode would be filler.
So, imagine my surprise when it turned up as a post-credits scene.
Not only this, but the cliffhanger of Dabi meeting up with Hawks is also expertly placed to get anime only viewers asking questions.
The music during this post-credits scene is also top notch.
Although, there is a slight animation error because Dabi’s ears are not scarred when he goes to confront Endeavor, when they have been scarred in every scene he has previously been in.
It did take a second viewing for me to catch this, though, so it’s not a big deal and I think they’ll fix it later, maybe for the Blu-Ray.
Overall, with the unexpected scenes of Dabi confronting Endeavor and the Hawks cliffhanger, I would say “All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A” is elivated from an average episode to a good one that does a nice job of building up to the next episode.

My Hero Academia Chapter 292, Threads of Hope Review: The Return of POWER!

4 stars
After Chapter 291 of My Hero Academia, I thought that the central focus would be on Best Jeanist’s return going forward.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but another character looks set to take that spotlight away with one triumphant cry, “POWER!”
Before we get to that epic cliffhanger though, Chapter 292, “Threads of Hope” gives us more great action scenes with Best Jeanist coming in to trap Gigantomachia and the League, and the beginning of a battle between Shouto and his not-so-dear brother, Dabi.
Starting with Best Jeanist, the chapter opens with him being disgusted by Dabi airing the “dirty laundry” of his father’s abuse to destroy hero society.
I saw a lot of people taking this moment out of context, saying that Beast Jeanist didn’t have a problem with Endeavor abusing his family, when that’s not at all what he was saying.
What Best Jeanist actually means here is that he is disgusted with Dabi using that information for a specific goal in undermining a system he sees as protecting people and timing it to release when hundreds, if not thousands, of people are dead.
Best Jeanist vows to stop Dabi’s plan and he begins by trapping Gigantomachia, to Bakugo’s joy.
However, Jeanist’s threads are not quite strong enough to survive Dabi’s flames because he easily melts them and sends a blast towards Nejire, knocking her to the ground.
Looks like her screentime is getting cut again, which is a shame.
What follows is a battle between the two long lost brothers as Dabi tries his hardest to kill Shouto.
The panels of Dabi’s maniacal grin with scorch marks beginning to line his face are particularly disturbing, made all the worse by him not caring about how Natsuo was nearly killed by Ending, who he sent after Endeavor.
Dabi saying it was a shame Natsuo wasn’t killed because that would’ve made Endeavor suffer basically proves that he is a full on psychopath, with no sympathy for anyone, which he again confirms by saying he’s, “not big on “feelings” anymore.”
Following this tragic moment, we get an epic one with the chapter’s cliffhanger.
As Deku notices a group of Nomu heading for Beast Jeanist, who is struggling to contain Gigantomachia and still not back to full strength after his injury, however, Deku is too injured to back him up.
Just as all seems lost, and Deku begs himself not to go back to being the useless Deku who couldn’t save anyone, a familiar face permeates up from the ground.
With the battle cry of, “POWER!”, Miro Togata, AKA Lemillion, rises to attack the Nomu, and the fans all collectively lose their minds.
This was an incredibly epic moment and well built up in the chapter, with Mirio apparently saving Burnin from the Nomu earlier.
However, I do have a bit of an issue with it because I don’t think it was built up all that well outside of the chapter.
Sure, we saw Eri training her powers in the previous arc, but there wasn’t really much this arc to suggest Miro would be getting his powers back.
Also, while I do love Eri as a character, to the point that I included her in my Top 10 My Hero Academia Characters list, I do hope that her power doesn’t just go around undoing all of the other character’s injuries.
For example, her just magically returning Aizawa’s leg or repairing the hole in Gran Torino’s stomach.
That said, I do trust Horikoshi not to make Eri an automatic fix it button, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Overall, “Threads of Fate” is another great My Hero Academia, in an absolutely fantastic arc that has proven to be quite unpredictable.
You never know what twist Kohei Horikoshi might drop next.

My Hero Academia Chapter 291: Thanks for Going Strong Review – More Exposure Incoming.

4 stars
Chapter 290 of My Hero Academia is definitely my favourite chapter of the manga so far, which made me pretty excited to read the next one, 291, “Thanks for Going Strong.”
Dabi’s reveal as Touya Todoroki was heavily anticipated and it more than paid off in “Dabi’s Dance” and continued to pay off in “Thanks for Going Strong” where Dabi dropped even more bombshells on both the unassuming public and the readers.
Probably the biggest of these bombshells was that Dabi had filmed Hawks killing Twice and had Skeptic edit it in a way to make it look like murder.
Not only this but Dabi also exposes Hawks’ true identity, revealing that he is the son of a serial killer thief, which is why his identity was kept secret for so long.
The fact that Dabi managed to twist all of this to suit his own narrative in such a short amount of time shows how smart he can be.
This also raises the question of if he wanted Hawks to kill Twice so he could use this to paint him in a negative light, or if he just took advantage of Twice’s death.
Either way, Toga’s probably going to hate him for this and I see a lot of bad blood between them in the future.
Although, Dabi using Twice’s death like this pretty much confirms that he is a full on psychopath with not a care for anyone but himself and his own plans.
As for said plans, they unfolded almost perfectly, with even “Can’tcha See” Kid losing faith by the end of the chapter.
However, note that I said almost perfectly because there are a few glaring flaws that quickly became apparent in Dabi’s plan.
Definitely the least noticeable of these is Hawks’ recorder, which was seen when he tried to arrest Twice, before being forced to kill him.
This recorder could completely exonerate Hawks of wrongdoing if it came out.
However, by far the biggest flaw in Davi’s reveal plan is him saying that Hawks killed Best Jeanist, who is revealed to be alive at the end of the chapter.
Him jumping in to crash Dabi’s murderous family reunion was an epic moment that throws Dabi’s entire plan into questionable territory about where it could go.
Personally, while I am happy to see Best Jeanist alive and well, I do hope this and Hawks’ recorder do not completely destroy Dabi’s credibility in the public eye.
Dabi revealing himself to be Endeavor’s son and detailing his abuse of his family, along with framing Hawks for murder, throws all of hero society into chaos but if the majority of people doubt his story then it could all go back to just being the status quo.
There needs to be fallout from Dabi’s reveal and it would be disappointing if the public at large dismissed his story entirely.
I understand that Best Jeanist being alive will bring some hope to hero society but I’d like there to be some tension because of what Dabi has done.
All of that said, I do have faith in Kohei Horikoshi and believe he can make this satisfying, it’s just a slight concern that I have.
As for the rest of the chapter, it is great, beginning with more information about Touya’s “death.”
For starters, it turns out that Endeavor wasn’t an abusive father right from the get-go.
Sure, he wasn’t exactly a good father, pushing his own dreams on his children, especially Touya and Shouto, but it looks like he was actually encouraging of Touya at first, and probably only became abusive after Touya, Fuyumi and Natsuo all turned out to be failures in his eyes.
I wonder if we’ll see exactly what caused this change in Endeavor’s attitude?
We’ll probably get that information when we get Touya’s full backstory, although I don’t expect that to come for a number of chapters.
I will say though, that this more supportive side to Endeavor seen during the initial years of Touya’s childhood, plus Endeavor thinking about how he looked for Touya at the end, not believing him to be dead, does show him to be a more caring father than we first thought.
Maybe so caring that he’ll actually admit his abuse to the public, hopefully?
Another interesting thing to note is that Touya’s hair turned white most likely not from abuse but from Rei’s side of his quirk slowly becoming more prominent, making him less resistant to his own fire.
This would have led to his “death” on Sekoto Peak where, after a fire that reached over 2,000 degrees celsius, only a part of Touya’s lower jaw bone was found, which raises a whole bulk load of questions.
Is Dabi missing a part of his jaw and wearing a prosthetic?
If so, how did Dabi survive part of his jaw falling off?
Or, if the jawbone isn’t Dabi’s, then whose is it?
So many questions but not enough time in the chapter to answer them so we’ll have to wait.
At least we’ll most likely see more Todoroki interactions next chapter because Natsuo and Fuyumi have now head the news that their supposedly dead brother is not only alive but a mass murderer.
Shouto is already taking the news badly, which is expected, as he is shown crying as he urges Endeavor to protect Deku and Bakugo, right before Best Jeanist shows up.
Speaking of Bakugo and Best Jeanist though, now that the two are in the same place, and with Bakugo telling Iida they need to achieve victory in the last chapter, it looks exceedingly likely that Baukugo is going to have another moment to shine where he reveals his hero name to Best Jeanist.
As for his hero name, Kachan and Ground Zero are both possibilities that have been thrown around by the fandom.
Either way, this war arc is almost at its conclusion and I cannot wait to see the fallout from Dabi’s reveal, the potentially thousands of casualties, and Best Jeanist’s heroic return to duty.
As for how the war arc itself will end, my money’s on the drug Class 1-A gave Gigantomachia kicking in soon, giving Best Jeanist and the other heroes a chance to take him down.
I can also see Dabi being captured and taken to Tartarus where he will probably meet his inspiration, Stain.
No matter what happens though, I am excicted to see how my favourite arc so far in My Hero Academia will end.

My Hero Academia Chapter 290: Dabi’s Dance, Review – The Greatest Chapter Yet.

5 stars
Even though I’m a manga reader, I decided in the past not to review every chapter of My Hero Academia, due to the chapters coming out on a weekly basis.
I didn’t want to get too far behind on other reviews I had planned but there were definitely some chapters I considered reviewing, especially from the most recent arc, which I can already say is the best arc of the story so far, even though it hasn’t ended yet.
And, of course, the best arc just had the greatest chapter of My Hero Academia so far, a chapter so amazing that I just couldn’t not review it, Chapter 290 “Dabi’s Dance.”
It was so amazing that I was more hyped about it afterwards than the latest Attack on Titan chapter.
And, since Attack on Titan is my favorite story, that should show you how amazing I think the chapter is.
You probably already know the big twist of “Dabi’s Dance.”
It was trending all over Twitter, during one of the most controversial presidential elections in US history, no less.
However, it’s not difficult to see why this occurred because Chapter 290 finally confirms one of the biggest My Hero Academia fan theories, that Dabi is Touya Todoroki, the supposed dead son of Endeavor and brother of Shouto.
Not only this but the reveal also comes a full 100 chapters after Dabi first met Endeavor in Chapter 190.
Now, when I started reading the manga over a year ago, I kind of fell down the rabbit hole of the Dabi being Touya fan theory community.
There was so much evidence that Dabi being Touya was basically treated as fact by the entire fandom, myself included.
So, if everyone knew that the twist was coming then it should have been pretty much impossible for the writer, Kohei Horikoshi, to amaze us with the revelation, right?
Wrong, because “Dabi’s Dance” is the perfect example of a predictable twist not being a bad thing.
I’ve always found twists that I have guessed to be very rewarding so long as they are well written, and the Dabi twist is incredibly written at that.
Dabi literally brought all of hero society to its knees single handedly, just by talking.
The revelation that Endeavor abused his family and drove his own son to villainy may be the final crack that shatters the glass holding hero society together.
The build up to this twist is incredible, as the chapter starts with Rei Todoroki seeing her scarred son when Skeptic hacks his video that reveals the truth about Endeavor onto every screen in Japan.
This is an extremely important moment because Rei was getting better and about to leave the hospital but, now that she’s learned that her son is a deranged mass murderer, this could set her recovery months, even years back, if she ever recovers at all.
Then there is Natsuo and Fuyumi, whose reactions we haven’t seen but are likely to be just as devastating, especially Natsuo’s because he was so close to Touya before his “death.”
The contrast between Dabi revealing his identity on TV to revealing his identity to Endeavor is also striking.
On TV, Dabi is poised and collective but, in front of Endeavor, he is cruel and gleefully maniacal, and dances in a moment that is extremely reminiscent of Todd Phillips’ Joker and, as someone who loves that film, I can say that this was a fantastic homage.
Dabi also reveals just how ruthlessly smart he was in preparing for this moment, sending Starservant and Ending after Endeavor, all to build him up as a hero to make his fall all the more painful.
I cannot wait until this moment gets adapted in the anime, just to see how the voice actors of Dabi, both Japanese and English, say such fantastic lines like, “The past never dies!” and, “So let’s tango, you and me – Enji Todoroki! A dance with your son, here in hell!”
Accompanying these terrific lines are some truly excellent panels that show off Horikoshi’s great art style, from Dabi removing his hair dye to reveal his identity, to his manic face, to Endeavor and Shouto’s shocked reactions, it all looks fantastic.
Along with the Dabi reveal, we also get some great moments from characters like Shouto and Nejire, who team up in the beginning to try and take down Shigaraki, before Gigantomachina inevitably arrives to rescue his master.
Bakugo is also conscious in Iida’s arms but, despite him saying he wants to achieve an “Absolute Victory”, with how injured he is, I doubt he can do much.
Yet, the end of the chapter does show that the plane which is theorized to be bringing Best Jeanist is almost there so maybe Bakugo will get to do something to show off to his mentor, before revealing his hero name.
The real highlight of this chapter though is definitely Dabi’s reveal, due to the implications it has for the rest of the story, as shown by the brief look at Endeavor’s biggest fan Can’t-Ya-See-Kun reacting to Dabi’s revelation.
I am extremely intrigued to see how the rest of the public will react not just to Endeavor’s past but to their newfound distrust of hero society as a whole.
One thing I have my fingers crossed for is that the next chapter will be “Touya Todoroki: Origin”, explaining what exactly happened to Touya and how he became Dabi in the first place.
There are a few missing pieces to this puzzle and I hope the next few chapters can resolve them as the story dives head first into the Todoroki family conflict.
“Dabi’s Dance” is my favourite chapter of My Hero Academia so far and has instantly propelled Dabi to one of the most interesting characters in the story.

My Hero Academia Season Four Episode 25, His Start Review: Ending the Season With a Bang!

5 stars
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.

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 4 Episode 22, School Festival Start Review: A Villain’s Love.

4 and a half stars
When Gentle and La Brava were first introduced in My Hero Academia, some anime fans worried that they would be impossible to take seriously because of their goofy nature, especially after the intensity Overhaul brought as the villain, last arc.
However, the 22nd episode of My Hero Academia‘s fourth season, “School Festival”, hopefully showed those who were concerned just how fantastic the two are, not just as villains but as characters.
The Gentle and La Brava vs Deku fight did go by a lot quicker than I thought it would in the anime, lasting only two episodes, however this does not change how fantastic the conclusion of their fight is.
By far the best aspect of it is definitely the backstory and character growth for the two wannabe villains, resulting in a tragic love story ending.
Let’s start with La Brava.
Her backstory shows how the current hero society is unequipped to deal with unusual Quirks.
In La Brava’s case, her Quirk is highly reliant on the love she feels for another person and, because of this, her love was thought to be creepy and she was considered a stalker by the boy she loved.
This caused her to close herself off, clinging only to the internet, and contemplating suicide.
It was then, in her darkest moment, that her “light” appeared.
She stumbled across one of Gentle Criminal’s videos and fell in love with him, vowing to help him carve his name into history.
And Gentle accepted her wholeheartedly, to the point that he even drew dark circles under his eyes so La Brava wouldn’t feel self-conscious about hers.
This flashback expertly brings across many different tones, from dark, like when La Brava considers suicide, to sweet, when Gentle accepts her, and humorous, when the two are shown comedically sneaking away from a police officer.
Their love story then blooms into the reveal of La Brava’s Quirk, Love.
This ability allows her to temporarily power up those she loves by declaring her feelings for them.
The reveal of this, with Present Mic narrating it in a calm voice, as opposed to his over the top loudness, highlights its impact.
And what an impact it has, because it temporarily allows Gentle to overpower Deku.
Only temporarily though, as Deku is back on his feet in seconds, ready to take on a now overpowered Gentle.
From here, the episode transitions into Gentle’s backstory, which is as equally tragic as La Brava’s.
Once hoping to become a hero, Gentle failed every entrance exam he tried at.
One day, he saw someone about to fall to their death and used his Quirk to try and save them, only for this to result in him impeding a hero attempting to save them, resulting in the person being seriously injured.
Treated like trash and kicked out by his own family because of this, Gentle was alone for years, until he came across one of his old school friends who had become a successful Pro-Hero.
Gentle was happy for him, when his old friend revealed he didn’t remember him at all.
Wanting to be remembered, Gentle decided to become a villain instead of a hero.
It is apparent that Gentle has a lot in common with Deku, as both wanted to become heroes and are now fighting for someone’s bright future, Deku for Eri, and Gentle for La Brava.
Deku himself points this out before defeating Gentle Criminal as a sobbing La Brava ineffectively hits him.
Realizing that UA teachers are closing in, and wanting to protect La Brava, Gentle uses the last of his strength to push Deku away to make it look like the fight never happened to make La Brava’s role seem less serious.
Embracing her as the teachers approach, Gentle declares to them he wants to turn himself in, bringing a tragic end to the episode.
I say tragic because, if this episode tells us anything, it is that Gentle and La Brava are not villains.
They are just people who were dealt a bad hand by the society they live in and are trying to change their fates.
Granted, they’re not doing it in a good way but, even so, that does not make them villainous.
They are truly tragic characters and we will learn more about their fate next episode.
The build up to this end was great as well, with not only a fantastic backstory for Gentle and La Brava, but great action sequences as well.
It was not quite as spectacular as it was in the manga but, admittedly, the anime does have a budget to maintain, and it looks like they are actually going to be adapting part of the Pro-Hero Arc this season, which will need great animation, so that’s a reasonable excuse.
As for the beginning of the episode, it just shows the various students and teachers preparing for the festival, which we will also see next episode, along with a scene that I have been anticipating for a while.
“School Festival Start” is another great episode of My Hero Academia, which proves that, while Gentle and La Brava are a little hard to take seriously initially, they are some of the best villains of the series.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising Review. A Plus Ultra Movie.

4 and a half stars
Going to see My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising last night was probably the most interesting experience I have ever had when seeing a movie in theaters.
There were so many people in cosplay, many of them jumping around in excitement and shouting out to one another, before the film started.
I was honestly scared that they were going to ruin the movie for me by shouting throughout the runtime but, thankfully, when it started, they quieted down, except for a few occasional cheers.
A good thing too because My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is a great time that any fan of the anime should see.
Although, anime only fans should know that there are a few light spoilers for where the series will go because the story takes place a little bit further in the manga.
Directed by Kenji Nagasaki, The movie takes place on Nabu Island, where Class 1-A are taking part in a training program by helping out the people of the island in their daily lives.
However, when the villain Nine (Yoshio Inoue), who has multiple Quirks, attacks the island in search of  a young boy, the heroes in training must band together to stop him, with no hope for backup.
For starters, my favourite thing about Heroes Rising is definitely how it uses its characters, especially Deku (Daiki Yamashita) and Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto), who take center stage in their efforts to save the target of Nine, Katsuma Shimano (Yuka Terasaki), and his sister Mahoro (Mio Imada).

bakugo and deku
Deku and Bakugo are the highlights of the film, with their rivalry having come a long way since season one.

It is not just them though because almost every member of Class 1-A is given a moment to shine in this film, creating some terrific action sequences.
This results in the epic final battle of the film, which is among the most glorious animation I have ever seen.
It is also set to the moving song, Might⁺U, that was recently in the anime when Deku saved Eri.
As for the villain of the film, Nine, he is not given much of a backstory so, unfortunately, him and his minions are not that interesting from a character perspective.
Thankfully though, they make up for it through the threat level they possess.

Nine
Nine is definitely a threatening villain, even if he is not that interesting as a character.

Along with Nine’s slightly lacking character, another minor flaw I found with the film is that it does pull a few things to make sure its events are never mentioned again in the anime.
This does make sense but some of the ways the movie goes about it do feel a little abrupt.
Aside from these minor problems, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is an absolutely fantastic film with a lot of great character moments, humor, and an awesome final battle.
Apparently, the ending to this film was the original ending Kohei Horikoshi had in mind for the manga but he changed it so decided to put it in here.
And, given how great this ending is, I cannot wait to see how he actually plans to end My Hero Academia. 

My Hero Academia Season Four Episode Twenty, Gold Tips Imperial Review: So, Mineta is the Worst.

3 stars
“Gold Tips Imperial”, the 20th episode in My Hero Academia’s fourth season, started off well with a great joke centering around Eri and Miro (as seen above)… only to follow it up with the worst joke of the entire series.
Seriously, Mineta telling Eri he will probably like her when she is ten years older made me want to throw up.
Is having a character say they will only care about a traumatized little girl if they become attractive when they get older supposed to be endearing?
Because it’s not.
I wish they had removed the joke.
It wasn’t funny in the manga and it definitely isn’t funny in the anime.
As for the rest of “Gold Tips Imperial”, it is a decent episode that sets up more events in the Cultural Festival to come.
Although, will say that even though the Mineta joke at the beginning is terrible, a lot of the jokes that come afterwards make up for it.
For example, the moment when a serious looking, sun glasses wearing Mina tells Deku that he has been fired, only to immediately clarify that he has been transitioned into another job is quite funny.
The funniest part of the episode though is the gags about Class 1-B, with Monoma declaring their play is named Romeo, Juliet and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Return of the Kings.
I’m so glad this joke did not get cut because of copyright because it gets a big laugh.
Another moment that gets a laugh is the recurring joke where Monoma gets whacked on the head by one of his fellow classmates after he gets carried away again.
This then leads into the reveal of the beauty pageant preparation where Nejire is going all out to try and win this year.
The episode goes full fan service with Nejire here, resulting in even Deku getting flustered.
Jokes aside, we got to see a lot of old characters again this episode, like Hatsume and even Shinsou, briefly.
Hatsume in particular had a big role, interrupting All Might training Deku where All Might reveals he once used support gear.
This leads into another funny moment when Uraraka is freaked out by Deku frantically searching for a video of All Might in support gear, calling himself a failure for not having seen it before.
However, this results in Deku accidentally watching Gentle and La Brava’s video, which will have a big impact in the next episode.
Speaking of Gentle and La Brava, once again they are the most entertaining parts of the episode, with our first look into their backstories, as La Brava is revealed to have hacked Gentle’s address to find him and wants to help carve his name into history.
The relationship between the two is genuinely sweet and quirky, and I cannot wait to see the rest of their backstory unfold.
They also get a lot of laughs, as Gentle struggles with basic technology and needs La Brava’s help.
Overall,  “Gold Tips Imperial” is a standard episode of My Hero Academia. 
It is mainly set up with probably the standout moments being the great gags and La Brava and Gentle’s scene.
Although, the Mineta joke certainly brought the episode down for me.