My Hero Academia Season Four Episode Twenty Four, Japanese Hero Billboard Chart Review: Just Watch Him.

3 and a half stars
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.

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 21, Deku vs Gentle Criminal Review: The Gold Tips Imperial Pays Off.

4 stars
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.

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.

My Hero Academia, Season Four, Episode Nineteen, Prepping for the School Festival is the Funnest Part Review: So, Mineta is basically Deadpool.

3 and a half stars
“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.

My Hero Academia Season Four, Episode Eighteen School Festival Review: A Gentle Episode.

4 stars
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.

My Hero Academia Season Four, Episode Fifteenth, Smoldering Flames Review: Is This Attack on Titan?

3 and a half stars
With the Overhaul Arc officially over, “Smoldering Flames”, the fifteenth episode of My Hero Academia’s fourth season, kicked off the next arc by introducing an important villain.
As Gran Torino and Tsukauchi succeed in capturing the warp villain Kurogiri, they unwittingly stumble across All For One’s most faithful servant, Gigantomachia.
I’m sure a lot of people got Attack on Titan vibes, due to the naked giant with a radio around his neck having a striking resemblance to that series’ Titans.
Along with this, I am also sure that a lot of people would have recognized Gigantomachia because this is not the first time we have seen him before.
There was a brief tease of him around the end of season two when the new members of the League of Villains were being introduced, and he was seen more prominently in Kirishima’s flashback during the “Red Riot” episode this season.
Although, many people may be expecting Gigantomachia to have a big role given this introduction, I’m afraid to say that this was yet another tease because there are still a few arcs to go before the massive villain becomes important to the story.
Next to Gigantomachia, the second most exciting thing about “Smoldering Flames” is the new OP “Star Maker” and ED “Shout Baby”.
I would say that both of these OP’s are way better than the ones for the Overhaul Arc with both of them having great examples of symbolism and foreshadowing for future events.
My one criticism of the OP is that I wish we had seen more of Gentle and La Brava, who will be the two big villains (although not-so sinister ones) of this arc.
Back to the episode, the rest of it is pretty standard with a few good laughs.
The best of these comes when Iida orders the rest of Class 1-A to leave Deku and the others alone, until Deku says they are fine, which Iida uses an excuse to scream that he was so worried about them while shaking Deku.
We also get the beginning of Bakugo and Todoroki retaking the provisional licence, along with Inasa and Cammie, who is definitely not Toga this time.
There is also Present Mic who provides some good laughs like always, with his repeated jabbing of Baukgo’s head and deciding to grab some coffee to get away from All Might and Endeavor’s conversation, which will happen next episode.
The one bit of the episode that I feel drags things down a bit is the repeated showing of events that we have already seen.
For example, there is an entire scene where Deku basically reflects on everything that happened in the Overhaul arc, and we are shown the whole thing in a quick flashback, as if the director thinks we did not watch the last 15 episodes.
Overall though, “Smoldering Flames” is another good episode of My Hero Academia that may start off tense but ends on a light hearted note that the rest of the season will most likely follow up on.
Unless, of course, we actually get the Pro-Hero Arc this season as well.
We are shown images from that arc in the OP so here’s to hoping it is not a tease for season five and we will actually see this storyline at the end of the season.

My Hero Academia, Season Four Episode 14, Bright Future Review: A Loss for the Heroes and a Gain for the Villains.

4 stars
Coming into My Hero Academia’s fourteenth episode of season four, “Bright Future”, I was very excited to see the adaptation of two fantastic scenes from the manga that had me feeling very different emotions.
However, unfortunately, while one of these scenes was perfectly adapted, the other lost a lot of its impact.
This scene is the League of Villains’ attack on the police transport that is taking Overhaul away.
After they stop the transport, and Dabi and Mr Compress kill the sand hero Snatch, Shigaraki and Compress amputate Overhaul’s arms, leaving him quirkless, and steal his quirk removing bullets.
The reason this scene is a downgrade in comparison to the manga comes down to censorship.
The moment where Compress amputates Overhaul’s arm is shot in a way that removes most of the violence, making many viewers not even realise that Compress had taken Overhaul’s arm.
As for the death of Snatch, if you missed Dabi’s comment about him probably being dead, you would have no idea that Snatch was killed from being compressed in the fire because it was done so tame.
Maybe they should have added a scene of Dabi crushing the compressed ball with Snatch in it to make his death more clear.
I was also a little disappointed that some of the manga panels did not make the cut.
Other than these instances, though, the scene is still done well, with great voice acting, especially from Koki Uchiyama who voices Shigaraki.
And, even though I was slightly disappointed by this scene’s adaptation, the adaptation of Nighteye’s death could not have been more perfect.
Everything from the voice acting, to the music is handled so well to the point that it almost made me tear up.
Shin-ichiro Miki does a great job as the dying hero, who makes amends with All Might and Deku, before telling his protege, Mirio, that he will be a fine hero and to keep smiling for a brighter future.
The moment the life fades from his eyes is emotionally palpable and a sad end to a very dark arc.
Thankfully, Nighteye’s hope for smiles will be fulfilled with the rest of the season because the upcoming Cultural Festival arc is very uplifting compared to the Overhaul arc’s darker tone.
I have watched the trailer for the second part of the season and it looks like it will be just as well as adapted as previous scenes in the season.
All in all, “Bright Future” is another good episode of My Hero Academia.
Yes, the adaptation of the League of Villains is a real downgrade from the manga, but the Nighteye death scene more than made up for this with its emotional weight.
Anyway, now that the sad times are over, we can move on to the happier times with the next arc, which I am really looking forward to.