Being Reiner sucks.
I’m sure that’s a thought that passed through many viewers’ minds upon watching the third episode of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “The Door of Hope.”
Directed by Kōki Aoshima and Hiromi Nishiyama, the episode details the many, many, many times that life has kicked Reiner to the ground and then spat on him for good measure.
If you hated Reiner in prior seasons for his actions, then you may find it rather difficult to hate him after what we see him go through, as “The Door of Hope” is primarily a flashback episode to Reiner’ time as a Warrior on Paradis.
Before the episode gets to that point though, it starts off with Reiner’s humble beginnings, as his mother revealed to him as a child that his father was a Marleyan and the only way they could all be together was if they became honorary Marleyans.
This motivates Reiner to become a hero to the world by slaughtering the “island devils” so that both his parents will be proud of him.
However, this is easier said than done because Reiner is by far the weakest out of all the Warrior candidates, as pointed out by Porco.
This causes Reiner to go full brainwashed indoctrination mode, accusing Porco of being a Restorationist sympathiser, which results in him getting punched to the ground, not the last time this will happen in the episode.
Unfortunately, it is also here that I have to state one of my criticisms of “The Door of Hope”, which is the soundtrack used for this scene.
The music itself is great but it doesn’t suit the scene at all, being more fitting for an action scene than a dialogue driven one and this drew me out of the moment.
Still, the scene makes up for it with its showcases of Annie and Bertholdt, and the symbolism.
Bertholdt helps Reiner to his feet, showing his good nature that would later be corrupted by what he does on their mission in Paradis as the fearsome Colossal Titan.
This is contrasted by Annie, who seems well suited for the Female Titan already, crushing a bug under her feet, just like she would go on to crush the numerous Scouts who got in her way when she tried to capture Eren both times.
With this characterization done, the scene then transitions into some fantastic symbolism when, while Reiner looks up at the Wall separating the Liberio Eldians from the Marleyans, on Paradis, presumably at the same time, Eren looks up at the walls separating him from freedom.
Both are trapped by walls and both are now given the opportunity to move forward past them. Reiner now has the motivation to become a Warrior so he can achieve his goal of becoming an Honorary Marleyan, and Eren is being approached by Armin with the book that will create his motivation to strive for freedom, no matter how far he will have to go to achieve it.
Following this great piece of symbolism, showing how similar Eren and Reiner are, we then get the first of many scenes that are improvements from the manga.
The first of these is the recap of six of Marley’s Titans, as we see them destroy an enemy nation’s military with a display of each of their powers and a description of their users.
The way this scene is edited with the files of each Warrior, followed by their power being shown, and this all ending with the portrayal of the Colossal Titan’s nuke attack as a “god of destruction” is way more intense than it was in the manga.
Another step up comes when Marcel is eaten by Ymir, which is framed like a scene from a horror film.
This moment came after Marcel revealed to Reiner that the only reason he became a Warrior was because he spoke up for him while criticizing Porco to the military, which he did to save his brother from shortening his lifespan by inheriting a Titan.
Marcel revealing this before he dies saving Reiner is just another in a long list of Reiner being kicked while he’s down, both figuratively and literally.
Figuratively, when he first meets his father only for him to call him and his mother a devil and run away from him, and literally, when Annie almost kicks Reiner to death after they lose Marcel.
The latter scene is particularly brutal, with some fantastic work from Annie’s voice actress, Yū Shimamura, in a scene that tells us so much about Annie’s mental state, being the least brainwashed of the trio, recognizing that both Marleyans and Eldians are liars, and only wanting to get back to her father.
However, it is following this great scene that again tops the manga, that we get a scene where the manga is clearly better, this time because of cuts.
The moment where Reiner, Annie and Bertholdt destroy the walls is almost completely cut, with old footage from season one primarily being used.
Annie’s involvement in destroying the wall, Bertholdt looking up at it upon arriving, and Reiner’s desperate fight to protect them in the chaos, is all cut for the sake of time.
Yet, while it is disappointing to see that these scenes have been left out, they are not essential to understanding the story so it is not a massive loss.
Thankfully, other, more important scenes are not cut, like the one with the villager who kills himself in the settlement after telling the Warriors his backstory.
This moment with the villager is important because it is his backstory that Bertholdt uses as their cover when he and Reiner are first introduced in season one, creating another rewarding find for viewers upon rewatches.
Another cool moment comes with Kenny making a brief cameo, as Annie tracks him to try and find the Founding Titan, only to realize this was a big mistake because of how dangerous Kenny is.
With some quick thinking and some good old kicking, Annie manages to evade the Ripper and report back to Reiner and Bertholdt, causing Reiner to decide they need to breach Wall Rose, leading to the attack in Trost.
Before cutting back to the traumatic present, we get one more symbolic scene between Eren and Reiner, as Reiner, after realizing he sees himself in Erne, encourages him to keep moving forward, a piece of advice he will sincerely regret giving later on.
Then we get another improvement on the manga, in the most gruesome of ways, with Reiner’s suicide attempt in the present.
Coming into “The Door of Hope”, I was concerned that this scene would be censored based off the trailer.
They showed the whole thing in disturbing detail and even add things, like Reiner’s gasping after he thankfully decides not to go through with it because of a miraculous unintended interruption from Falco.
And Falco’s reward for unintentionally saving Reiner’s life?
Well, running into the most dangerous person in the world of course!
The reveal of Eren in the final moments of this episode is fantastic, with some stellar voice acting from Yuki Kaiji and great added symbolism with the tree behind him.
The build up to this scene was also great, with the previous episode hyping up his appearance in a subtle way that some anime only viewers picked up on and others didn’t.
It is in his conversation with Falco that Eren lays out the very themes of the episode, as he speaks of those who push themselves into hell for hope or just for another hell, and that the only ones who know what lies beyond are those who keep moving forward.
Well, Reiner has been trying to push the door open on hope for a while now and got nothing but misery, yet Eren seems determined to find hope, even if he has to go through hell and drag everyone with him to get there.
Overall, “The Door of Hope” is a great Attack on Titan episode that does a fantastic job of showing the suffering of Reiner and what comes of it.
It looks like we have only one more episode before we get to the adaptation of the amazing Chapter 100 and I, honestly, cannot wait.
Hope you all have a merry Christmas.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
Who would have thought that tea would be a villain’s undoing?
Joke’s aside, Gentle really screwed up talking with Deku because of his obsession with Gold Tips Imperial.
The tea that was the title of the last episode paid off here, as it allowed the training hero and the trying criminal to come to blows in the 21st episode of My Hero Academia’s fourth season, Deku vs Gentle Criminal.
However, before encountering Gentle, Deku still had to prepare for the fight, even though he didn’t know he was preparing for it.
Enter Hatsume, who made Deku gloves, which allowed him to better use the ability All Might taught him, to release a large amount of One For All’s power the moment he flicks his finger.
Another thing that came in handy was Mina’s dance moves, which she taught Deku, allowing him to move quickly in his fight with Gentle.
It’s genuinely cool how seemingly unimportant things, like dance moves, can have such a big impact on fights in My Hero Academia.
Said fight begins with a moment of chance, as Deku stumbles into Gentle and La Brava when he is getting a rope for Class 1-A’s performance at the Cultural Festival.
It is here that the mention of Gold Tips Imperial sets Gentle off, leading to both him and Deku realizing who the other is in a brilliant scene scored by Gentle’s ridiculous (in a good way) score.
Upon realizing who he is talking to, and that Gentle is most likely going to attack the festival, Deku goes on the attack, ordering him to stay away from his school.
And so the fight begins, with Gentle’s elasticity quirk being revealed.
This quirk comes in handy as Gentle is able to use it to get one up on Deku multiple times.
We also get a brief hint about Gentle’s past because, upon Deku mentioning the festival, Gentle also reveals he also took part in such things as a student.
This hint at his backstory will almost certainly be expanded upon in the next episode, as well as La Brava’s past, and I cannot wait to see that.
Their backstories takes these two almost too ridiculous to take seriously villains and makes them human to us.
Despite the relatable aspect of Gentle and La Brava though, they are still quite hilarious with the two of them delivering many great gags in this episode.
It kind of felt like I was watching a Looney Tunes episode at times.
Although, this does make for a weird contrast when the episode suddenly got serious at the end, what with the intense music and La Brava wondering if she will have to use her quirk.
Still, it did make me eager to see the next episode.
Overall, Deku vs Gentle is an exciting episode that brings a fair amount of both humor and action to keep the viewer engaged.
“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.
“Because of my character design, my hands won’t reach!”
And, just like that, Mineta breaks the fourth wall in what is the best joke of “Prepping for the School Festival is the Funnest Part”, the nineteenth episode of My Hero Academia’s fourth season.
This Deadpool style gag is one of many comedic moments in the episode, which sees Class 1-A prepare for their school festival performance, with Jiro at the head of preparation.
She more than proves her worth here as well, both in organizing the performance and in her singing, which is incredible.
I’m not sure if Jiro’s voice actor, Kei Shindo, is actually singing here but, if she is, then she is absolutely fantastic and I cannot wait to hear her sing again many episodes from now.
As well as Jiro, we also got a good character moment from Bakugo, who surprisingly wants to do the performance for the other student as well, or as he puts it, “Let’s kill everyone in U.A with our sound!”
Of course by “kill” he means knock the socks off them but this is Bakugo we’re talking about so you can never really be sure.
Following the preparation for the performance by Class 1-A, we get the final few scenes of the episode where we see Deku begin to unlock more of One For All’s abilities with All Might’s help.
The new technique he develops will be of vital importance later in the arc and it will be interesting to see its use.
Then there is the final scene, which sees the adorable Eri arrive at U.A, with Mirio and Aizawa, to see the preparation for the festival.
Expect more cuteness from her in the following episodes.
As well as all of this build up for the festival, there is also the build up for YouTuber “villains” Gentle and La Brava.
I put “villains” in quotation marks because of how they are not exactly taken seriously by the public and their crimes consist of punishments for weird things.
Still, don’t take Gentle and La Brava lightly.
The interesting thing about them is that they could actually be major villains if they wanted with their skill set but have decided to punish ungentlemanly acts instead.
If they wanted, they could do some serious damage, which we will definitely see later.
On an entirely unrelated note, I have been wondering if we will get the Pro-Hero Arc this season because of the shots of it in the OP but, with how many episodes we have left and how many that Arc should take up, I don’t think we have enough time.
In all likelihood, the season will probably end at the end of the Cultural Festival Arc or a few chapters into the Pro-Hero Arc.
Overall though, “Prepping for the School Festival is the Funnest Part” is another solid episode of My Hero Academia that once again sets up future events for the festival and Gentle and La Brava’s oncoming attack.
After battling an evil mastermind, his successor, a hero killer, and a crime boss, My Hero Academia season four, episode 18 introduces the next big threat our heroes will have to face… YouTubers!
While that line I just used is certainly an overplayed joke, it is more than warranted here with the introduction of the new villains for this arc, Gentle and La Brava.
I am sure many people are confused about how the series went from a dark villain like Overhaul to lighthearted ones but the role they to play in the story going forward is great.
Along with this, their introduction also perfectly sets up both characters with an element of humor.
It’s actually quite funny how when you first see Gentle’s face on video while the UA students are celebrating the Cultural Festival he looks threatening, only to be shown the full video later in the episode where he is revealed to be a fame seeker.
The scene with him accidentally splashing his tea on himself and La Brava also gets a laugh.
Right from the beginning of “School Festival” the humor is present from Deku and Aoyama’s awful dance skills, to Tsuyu stringing Mineta up, to Iida’s reaction to everyone’s ideas for the festival, and to Sato imagining Todoroki and Bakugo taking part in a dance tournament.
Honestly, the only part of the episode with any dark undertones, like those seen in the previous arc, is the one where Eri reveals that she doesn’t know how to smile.
I just wanted to give her the biggest hug during this moment.
However, the scene is still humorous because of Mirio’s interactions with her, and the smile plot line will lead to one of the most heartwarming moments of the series.
Another big highlight of the episode is Jirou because this episode makes it clear why she is so prevalent in the OP.
We see the beginning of her arc in “School Festival” as she deals with insecurities about her music and how it involves her hero work, but she eventually resolves to keep on rockin’ by leading Class 1-A’s band performance for the festival.
Episode 18 saw the beginning for a lot of fantastic character arcs like Jirou’s, Eri’s and, of course, Gentle and La Brava’s.
It works as a great foundation episode and it is also pretty funny to boot.
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.