My Hero Academia Season Five, Episode Twenty-Four, Tomura Shigaraki: Origin Review: Rise of the Demon King.

If I’m honest, The My Villain Academia Arc has not exactly been handled well in this fifth season of My Hero Academia. 
It’s pretty obvious that Studio Bones just prioritized the heroes development over the villains here, with them rearranging the arc and giving it less time to be fleshed out because of filler episodes and moments beforehand, most of which were to hype up a non-canon movie.
This has made the My Villain Academia storyline a disappointing adaptation, which is extremely unfortunate when you compare it to the greatness of the manga.
You know something went wrong when plenty of people think that the Joint Training Arc was adapted better than the My Villain Academia Arc.
Well, at least I can say that Studio Bones finished the arc well.
The last half of Tenko Shimura: Origin did a fantastic job of adapting Shigaraki’s backstory and, now, Tomoura Shigaraki: Origin has continued this by ending the storyline with even better quality.
I wish the rest of the My Villain Academia Arc had been adapted as well as it was in this episode.
Picking up from the reveal of how Tenko Shimura “accidentally” murdered his family in the previous episode, we see the poor boy walking the crowded streets, filthy and bloody.
Surely someone helps him, right?
Wrong, because as soon as anyone gets a good look at his frightening face they naturally assume a hero can deal with it and abandon the child.
This perfectly points out the flaws in My Hero Academia’s hero society.
The civilian population is so complacent with the system that they full-heartedly believe a hero can solve any problem, and they don’t need to do anything, so they leave a child begging to be saved alone.
Unfortunately for Tenko, and the world at large, the only one with an interest in saving him, for undoubtedly nefarious reasons, is All For One, who stretches out a hand to Tenko, just as All Might did for Izuku at the beginning of the story.
The parralels between our hero and villain are greatly portrayed here.
While Izuku had someone to help him down the path to be a hero, Tenko had someone to manipulate him down the path of a villain.
Tenko did not spend a long time in All For One’s care before the criminal mastermind had convinced him to kill two street thugs who he had restrained himself from killing previously after they harassed him.
This leads to All For One also convincing Tenko to wear the hands of his dead family, now dubbing him Tomura Shigaraki, Tomoura meaning mourning, and Shigaraki being All For One’s own last name.
Now remembering everything about his past, in his present fight with Redestro, Shigaraki reflects on how, in his eyes, what happened was no tragedy.
All of this leads to his awakening, as he crushes the supposed last hand of his dead family, declaring he doesn’t need it anymore, before unlocking his Quirk’s full potential, just as Gigantomachia arrives on the scene.
Redestro’s efforts in using a mecha suit to up his stress does no good, as Shigaraki unleashes a seemingly unending wave of decay in some fantastic animation that really highlights the danger he will pose going forward.
Destroying much of Deika city, Shigaraki leaves Redestro crippled, after the Meta Liberation Army commander is forced to amputate his own legs to stop the decay from killing him when his feet touched the ground.
Although this clearly has an effect on Shigaraki himself, given how his own skin cracks and his hair turns almost a glowing white.
Yet, this destruction is still enough to leave Gigantomachia in a state of shock and cause him to finally submit after seeing how Shigaraki’s liberated and terryifying strength then causes Redestro to sign over leadership of the Meta Liberation Army.
It is here where one of my issues of the episode comes in because, when Redestro submits to Shigaraki’s leadership, Shigaraki says that because he is the CEO of Deternat he must have money to give them, since the League was down on their luck before this moment.
However, because the anime adaptation cut out the beginning of the My Villain Academia Arc, including Redestro’s entire introduction, this information feels very forced and shoved in.
Oh, and Spinner also gets more of his character arc cut.
Seriously, you really have to feel bad for Spinner since this is the arc that turned him from a very forgettable character into a relatable and somewhat interesting one.
Along with this, his character arc shows Shigaraki’s growth through how Spinner starts off questioning his leadership of the League yet by the end of the storyline he is fully devoted to Shigaraki.
Cutting all of this not only makes Spinner a much weaker character, but will also make his actions in the next arc when we get Season Six mean a lot less.
But, hey, not like I expected this episode to actually give Spinner anything, given how much they cut from him before.
Other than these issues though, Tomura Shigaraki: Origin is still a great episode.
Following Redestro’s surrender, we then cut to the League and Shigaraki being touted as the new leaders of the Meta Liberation Army, now named the Paranormal Liberation Front.
Redestro is now fully devoted to Shigaraki, along with Gigantomachia, there is a funny gag about Toga’s clone, Twice’s split personality is still in place, Shigaraki has one of the dead hands left, and Dr Ujiko prepares to experiment on Shigaraki to give him an even bigger upgrade.
And all of this is happening while Izuku is definitley beginning to unlock his own Quirk’s potential, through learning how he will inherit all of the Quirk’s from the previous holders of One For All.
This should make for an interesting fight between Deku and Shigaraki when the two finally face off.
I just hope that such a fight will not get the same treatment as the My Villain Academia Arc.
While I can say that this storyline has been good in the anime, there were so many cuts and it went by so fast that it just does not have the same impact as the manga.
I just hope the next season takes the arc following this seriously because it is by far the best storyline in the entire manga, in my own personal opinion.
Despite my feelings about the My Villain Academia Arc as a whole though, I cannot deny that Studio Bones at least ended it well, with Tomura Shigaraki: Origin being a great finisher for it.

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Twenty-Three, Tenko Shimura: Origin Review: Half and Half.

Coming into the latest episode of My Hero Academia Season Five, Episode Twenty-Three, “Tenko Shimura: Origin”, I had my fingers crossed that it would live up to its potential, making it one of the best episodes in the entire series.
After seeing it, can I say that it achieved this?
Well, like Todoroki’s Quirk, it’s half and half.
The first half of “Tenko Shimura: Origin” is honestly a bit dissapointing with its lackluster animation, while the second half definitley lives up to its potential, delivering a fantastic adaptation of the darkest moment from the manga.
Before this, though, there is the already mentioned weaker first half of the episode, where we first see Twice creating a clone of Toga to do a blood transfusion, followed by some Spinner development as he fights the politician Trumpet.
However, since the beginning of Spinner’s entire character arc was cut  from the “My Villain Academia” episode, this is just pay off to scenes that never happened so it lacks impact.
Then there’s the fight between Shigaraki and Redestro, which suffers from feeling overall a bit stiff and limited, although this may come from me comparing it to other fights in the series.
Along with this, the censorship does not really help because it does raise certain plot holes about why Shigaraki is not able to simply decay Redestro, and anime only viewers will probably not have realized that Shigaraki has lost some fingers here.
Also there are some weird moments when Shigaraki has blood all over him, yet in the next shot all this blood is gone.
Kind of reminded me of there not being any blood on the knife in that one The Promised Neverland Season Two episode.
As the fight between Redestro and Shigaraki continues, with Redestro’s stress quirk building, Shigaraki admitting he only wants to destroy, and Gigantomachia arriving on the scene, we finally get the dark second half of the episode that shows Shigaraki’s backstory.
We see his life with his family, and how his father, Kotaru, Nana Shimura’s son, was ruthless in his hatred of heroes for his mother abandoning him to fight All For One, to the point that he abused Tenko whenever he tried to play hero.
This complicated matters when Tenko’s sister, Hana, showed him a picture of their grandmother, inspiring Tenko to be a hero further, only for her to put all the blame on him when she got found out, resulting in more abuse directed at Tenko from Kotaro.
It is at this unfortunate time of high stress that Shigaraki’s Quirk activates while he is hugging the family dog for comfort outside.
This decays the pup and, wow, is it a lot more brutal than I thought it would be.
Yes, there is some censorship when the dog sadly crumbles, but the aftermath is on full bloody display, with chunks lying strewn around a puddle of red.
The horror only grows when Hana comes outside and flees in terror upon seeing what has happened.
Thinking a villain is attacking, Tenko goes to grab her, only for her to decay into a disgusting bloody puddle of human chunks as well.
The shots of Tenko tearing at his face after this, while his hair turns white, are also particularily disturbing.
Now beginning to understand what is happening, Tenko next unleashes his new power on his mother and grandparents for not helping him, causing his mother to die as she falls to pieces trying to reach out and hold her son.
Imagine being Kotaro: You have just read a letter from the mother who abandoned you, and this letter has made you decide to try and be a better parent, only to go outside and see that your son’s new power has gruesomely killed your entire family.
The narration from Nana that she hopes Kotaro lives a happy life makes for a grim overlap to this scene, made even grimmer by Tenko’s subsequent murder of his father.
When Kotaro tries to defend himself from his own son’s attacks, giving him one of his singature scars even though he still pleads for help, Tenko snaps entirely, giving into his murderous impluses completley.
Slamming his hand onto his father’s face, Shigaraki kills him, a disgusting look of pleasure matching his innner thoughts as the itch that was plaguing him for so long finally disipates, bringing a horrifying end to the episode.
This dark reveal of Shigaraki’s past was a fantastic adaptation of the manga.
Everything clicked from the animation, to the voice acting, to the music, bringing the darkest moment of My Hero Academia to terrifying life.
I just wish the first half of the episode was this good.
Still, “Tenko Shimura: Origin” is a great episode for its second half alone, and I do have high hopes for the next one, considering that it will continue to adapt Shigaraki’s backstory and it appears that Studio Bones is willing to put much of their resources into that.

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Twenty-Two, Sadman’s Parade Review: I am Pleasantly Surprised.

In my review for the previous episode of My Hero Academia I said that I would be pleasantly surprised to see Episdoe Twenty-Two of Season Five, “Sadman’s Parade,” adapt the manga in a way that does it justice. 
Well, thankfully, I was indeed pleasantly surprised because “Sadman’s Parade” is a very well done depiction of the chapters it adapts, bringing Twice’s development and the beginning of the fight with Redestro to the screen in various exciting scenes. 
The episode picks up from where “Revival Party” left off, with Toga about to be killed by clones of Twice created by one of the leading members of the Meta Liberation Army, Skeptic. 
Having been unmasked, Twice is undergoing a mental breakdown, horrified because he thinks he is seeing himself trying to kill Toga, and this causes him to recall his past. 
We already knew from previous flashbacks that Twice used his Double Quirk to create clones of himself so he could have friends, only for them to all declare they were the real one and kill each other, making Jin himself wonder if he was the real one at all or just another double. 
This lead to him developing a split personality and eventually joining the Legaue of Villains as Twice. 
However, in this episode we get even more great details. 
We see how, before he resorted to using his doubles for friends, he accidentally hit someone with his bike because they ran out in front of him. 
While not entirely his fault, the man he hit unfotunately had connections to Twice’s workplace, causing his boss to assault and fire him, eventually pushing Twice into his life of crime with his doubles until they caused his mental breakdown.
This is where his saviour, Giran, came in. 
The information broker brought Twice into the League, giving him the family he never had, and it is this motivation for his newfound family that gets Twice moving to save Toga, only for Skeptic’s puppets to break both his arms. 
This was a bad move on Skeptic’s part though because the pain causes Twice to realize that he really is the original Jin Babaigawarwa because he has not melted away like one of his doubles would.
It is this relization, which allows him to unlock the full potential of his quirk, like Toga did last episode, unleashing inifinte doubles in his new ultimate move, the titular Sadman’s Parade, to fight off the Liberation Army, having overcome his trauma. 
“Learn to fear my Quirk,” indeed. 
The animation for Sadman’s Parade is actually quite good, bringing this powerful moment home. 
Before watching the episode, I was afraid that this moment would be composed of entirely still images but there was a fair amount of animation to these infinite Twices. 
Another piece of animation which I was pleased with was the Dabi fight with Geten. 
Like the evolution of Twice’s Quirk, Dabi’s battle with the ice user is quite well animated. 
It also leads to the revelation that Dabi’s own flames eat away at him, meaning that the scars he has across his face and body are likely self inflicted. 
Before this, we also get a closer look at the Meta Libertation Army’s ideology through Geten, showing how deporable they are. 
Geten says that the world they strive to create is one where only those with strong Quirks can prosper above all. 
Kind of creepy to think about what would have happened to Deku if he had remained Quirkless and such a world had come about. 
Dabi seems to share the sentiment of this world view being a terrible idea, calling it a sad ideology and the two begin to fight again.
While this is happening, Shigaraki and Spinner push forward with the help of the army of Twices, only for one double to reach the tower first, confronting Redestro with a double version of the League.
It is a shame that Redestro is much too powerful, laying waste to all of the doubles, with the exception of one Twice clone who runs to Giran’s side, tearfully saying he has nothing to apologise for. 
This is interrupted when the double version of Shigaraki is revealed to have survived, attacking Redestro in a well animated fight scene, where Redestro reveals the origins of Destro and the Liberation Army. 
It is revealed that the term Quirk came from a mother who begged a prejudice crowd to accept her son’s “Quirk”, only for the crowd to kill her. 
Her child was the original Destro, Redestro’s father, and now Redestro believes he has inherited his will, which should allow him to defeat Shigaraki.
This seems to be the case, until the real Shigaraki shows up at the bottom of the tower and disintergrates it with a mere touch. 
As Redestro emerges from the rubble, his Quirk fully acitivated, Shigaraki recognizes him as the boss of the Liberation Army because his strength allowed him to surive the fall, ending the episode. 
On another note, I was a bit disappointed to see Shigaraki not mention that he recognized Redestro from the Detnerat commericals, like in the manga, but Redestro’s introduction was cut so it makes sense why this line was removed. 
In any case, next episode looks to be a great one, what with Gigantomachia now approaching, since the Dr woke him up early this episode, and Shigaraki’s full backstory fast approaching. 
I hope we get this backstory adapted brilliantly in all of its horrific glory because, if it is, it could be one of My Hero Academia’s best episodes.  

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode 20, My Villain Academia Review: It Begins… Without Really Beginning.

So, the fifth season of My Hero Academia has been interesting to say the least.
The problems fans are having with the anime have been made clear by them since season four, a season I was quite forgiving of and praised highly (although I have not rewatched it since so that could change if I chose to do so).
However, I am not as forgiving with Season Five because these problems have been bothering me.
The adaptation of the first arc, Class 1-A vs 1-B, was adapted quite well apart from a few too many flashbacks.
However, the rest of the season has not been adapted nearly as well.
The Endeavor Agency Arc was put ahead of the highly anticipated My Villain Academia Arc, which will undoubtedly make some scenes in future episodes not very tense because we know which characters will live.
Not only this but some of the episodes in the Endeavor Agency Arc were slowed down to a snail’s pace and there was even a filler episode put in.
Why was all this done?
Well, supposedly it was all for the new My Hero Academia movie, since it has characters from the agency arc and they had to move it forward to have the movie make sense to the viewer.
If this is true, it is a real shame that one of the best storylines from the manga has been pushed to the side for that.
Well, we recently got the begining of this highly praised arc with Episode Twenty of Season Five, “My Villain Academia”, and the problems with the pacing of prior episodes really affects the beginning of said arc which… is not even a beginning at all really.
Directed by Ikurō Satō and Takanori Yano, the episode skips over the first chapter of the My Villain Academia Arc entirely, which is a vital chapter because it sets up key events towards the end of the arc.
Even worse, by removing this chapter, Spinner’s entire character arc is effectively gone now.
This really makes me concerned for how this storyline will continue to be handled.
At least the scenes that were actually adapted from the manga are pretty good.
“My Villain Academia” begins with the League of Villains being attacked by Gigantomachia, All For One’s bodyguard, who wants to test Shigaraki to see if he is fit to be his new master.
Alas, Shigaraki is unworthy in Gigantomachia’s eyes, leading to the League being brought in to meet the creator of the Nomu, Daruma Ujiko, who is the Dr who told Izuku that he didn’t have a Quirk at the beginning of the story.
It is here we get our first peak into Shigaraki’s dark past, as we see how he was rescued by All For One in a flashback who then tells the young boy how he accidentally killed his entire family with his Quirk, presenting him with their hands, which are the hands he wears to this day.
Ujiko then tasks Shigaraki with gaining Gigantomachia’s loyalty in order to achieve his full support, leading to the League returning to Gigantomachia, lead by Shigaraki, who tells the giant bodyguard that his future king is back in a scene that gave me goosebumps.
We then cut to a month and a half later where Shigaraki is still struggling to beat Gigantomachia.
Spinner finally gets some spotlight, narrating about their struggles and how Toga got a new coat, however this detail now feels irrelvant because we didn’t see how much the League was struggling financially at the beginning of the arc, since this was also cut.
Speaking of things being removed, the introduction of Redestro is gone as well, so him calling on the League of Villains to fight his Meta Liberation Army feels kind of abrupt.
He lures the League in by using Giran as bait and threatening to call the heroes down on them if they don’t come to him.
Unfortunately for Redestro, he doesn’t know about Gigantomachia, and Shigaraki plans to use this to his advantage by eventually leading the giant to crush the Meta Liberation Army, planning to get him to submit after he is done.
This brings an end to a good episode, but one that is quite disappointing from a manga reader’s perspective.
There are so many cuts of relevant parts to the story that it feels like the My Villain Academia Arc will probably be nowhere near as impactful as it was in the manga.
I am still excited to see the rest of it and hope it is adapted well.
But, if it is not, I think many of us will be quite bitter that one of the best arcs in My Hero Academia was not done justice because the studio wanted to focus on a movie that isn’t even canon.

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Ten, That Which is Inherited Review: The Controversial Twist.

4 and a half stars
The events of Episode Ten from Season Five of My Hero Academia are ones I have been interested to see adapted in the anime for a while.
My reason for this is that not only was I excited to see the big twist play out, but I was also curious to see what the fan reaction would be.
The reveal that One For All would give Deku multiple Quirks was a controversial one when it happened in the manga because many thought it would make him too overpowered and lessen the stakes.
Personally, I think it has been handled great so far in the manga, although I won’t be saying anything more about the source material beyond that.
It also seems that the anime only reaction has been mostly positive as well, which is good to see, with fans seemingly open to see where this goes, even if they have concerns about it, which, to be fair, are natural.
As for the episode itself, “That Which is Inherited”, directed by Ikurō Satō, it is the best episode of Season Five so far and gives new life to this arc, along with the previous two episodes, which were also pretty great.
Before those episodes, the arc had been a bit drawn out, with the anime making things longer than it should have been by adding various recaps to things we did not need them for.
“That Which is Inherited” does prove the importance of this arc, though, because the big reveal is clearly one of the most important moments in My Hero Academia, being one that shapes the direction the story is going.
The episode begins in a rather creepy fashion, opening up at Tartarus Prison where All For One is being held.
The king of all supervillains is under constant surveillance in his prison cell and the guards express concern at his movement in his cell along with the movements of his subordinates in the League of Villains who are still at large.
It is at this moment where the creepy factor comes in, as All For One is revealed to have heard them talking and aplogises for making them nervous, before saying he can hear his brother’s voice, which makes sense considering how One For All’s true potential is about to be activated.
This scene is followed up with even more hints at One For All’s unlocking, as All Might recieves a call from Gran Torino about something his predecessor and mentor, Nana, told the elderly hero.
She said to him once that she dreamed of a man in shadow telling her, “the time has not yet come.”
From here, the episode goes into the hyped up final fight between Deku and Monoma’s team.
We see the moments before this fight, as Monoma has a talk with Shinso about how they are similar, since both were told they couldn’t be heroes because of their Quirks.
This heart to heart actually does a good job of building up Monoma as a character, which is good for him because I usually find him to be incredibly annoying, what with his constant, annoying shouting about how better his class is than 1-A’s.
We also get a good bit of foreshadowing here for the event that will unintentionally unlock One For All, as Monoma asks Shinso how he got Deku to talk so he could brainwash him during the sports festival.
Shinso says he insulted his classmate and the look on Monoma’s face just screams that he now has a plan to use his Copy Quirk to brainwash Deku.
With this plan now set, so begins the attack on Deku’s team by Monoma and Shinso’s group.
We also get an introduction to the other members of their team but they’re not important so I won’t go into their Quirks.
What really matters is the fight between Deku and Monoma, as Monoma sets his plan to brainwash Deku into motion by insulting Bakugo, saying his actions brought down the symbol of peace.
This turns out to not be the best plan, though, because it pushes Deku’s buttons enough that it unlocks One For All’s potential, and the Black Whip Quirk explodes from Deku’s hand.
The way this scene is animated and edited is stellar, with the sound cutting out completley for a bit, followed by All Might’s horrified face as Nana’s words ring in his head.
With Black Whip going crazy and Deku desperately trying to control it, the music and the reactions of the characters and are particuarly great.
I really liked the moment when Deku bursts through a wall and we get to see Shinso’s shocked reaction.
Even though we can’t see his mouth, it’s clear he is terrified by what’s happening.
Now, with Deku unable to control this new Quirk, who should come in to save him?
None other than Uraraka, as she jumps up and grabs a hold of Deku in an effort to calm him.
We then get more of an exploration of her backstory, as we see that along with her wanting to become a hero to help her parents financially, she also became one because she loved helping people and making them happy, building into the present where we see her help Deku.
There is also a great line in this scene, when Uraraka wonders, “who protects the heroes when they’re hurting.”
Much like Monoma, I am glad we got some Uraraka spotlight this episode.
It’s pretty clear that My Hero Academia is a show where the male characters get a lot more spotlight than the female ones.
Not to say that the content the female characters get is bad, far from it, but it is far less frequent to get character development  and important scenes for the girls in My Hero Academia, so it was nice to see Uraraka finally get some of the spotlight in this episode.
That said, don’t expect her to have much more importance after this moment, unfortunately.
Well, at least the content we get from her here is pretty good, as she calls for Shinso to save Deku by brainwashing him, which succeeds, propelling Deku into One For All to talk with a Vestige.
This past user of One For All informs Deku that the Black Whip power he used is actually his Quirk and soon Deku will inherit six others, as One For All has finally reached the singularity point mentioned in the season premiere.
Not only this but these Quirks are much stronger than they were originally because they have been cultivated by One For All over the years.
Given how strong this will make Deku when he activates all six, you can see why it would make plenty of readers concerned when it was revealed in the manga.
If used wrong by Horikoshi, this power up could completley break the power scaling of the series.
Again, though, I do think that the way it is used in the future of the story is well done, so I advise those of you who have doubts to continue watching, before making your own judgements on this.
Maybe you will come to like this twist and its impact on the story, like I do.
Anyway, following this reveal, Deku awakens from Shinso’s brainwashing and the fight continues, with Deku and Uraraka having each other’s back and Aizawa deciding to allow the match to continue, bringing the episode to a close.
All in all, “That Which is Inherited” is the best episode of Season Five so far.
It adapts the twist of One For All’s upgrade really well and portrays the initial horror of Black Whip activating greatly.
There are even some good comedic moments, like one good gag with Jiro.
The twist may be controversial for some but I hope they come to like this twist and its impact on the story as the anime goes on.

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Review: A Well-Written Romance.

4 stars
Coming into
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
I had seen the trailer a while back, so I knew it would be a romance anime but I didn’t know if it would be of the comedic, wholesome, or tragic department.
Well, after seeing it in theaters, I can say that it is kind of all three of those.
Directed by Kotaro Tamura, Josee, the Tiger and the Fish tells the story of the blossoming romance between diving enthusiast Tsueno Suzukawa (Taishi Nakagawa) and the wheelchair-bound Kumiko Yamamura (Kaya Kiyohara) or Josee, as she likes to be called.
Tsueno is a young man who’s passion for the ocean and diving has him hoping to get a scholarship in Mexico to study a certain kind of fish, however, he needs the money.
This is where Josee comes in, as a chance encounter between the two occurs when Tsueno saves her after someone cruelly pushes her wheelchair down a steep road.
Josee’s grandmother (Chiemi Matsutera) kindly offers Tsueno a job to look after Josee, helping him with his fees needed for the scholarship.
The problem?
Tsueno and Josee can’t stand each other.
From there, the film progresses with their relationship as they slowly go from hating one another, to being friends, to falling in love. 

The progression of Tsueno and Josee’s relation is very well handled.

However, given how I said earlier that Josee, the Tiger and the Fish had comedic, wholesome, and even tragic moments, you can probably guess that it is a bumpy road to get to the end goal.
It’s a good thing then that the romance is well written.
This is helped by both voice actors doing an great job with their performance and also the script, written by Sayaka Kuwamura, which does an excellent job at showing how Tsueno and Josee’s growing bond changes them as people.
For example, we watch as Josee goes from being shut in by her grandmother, to becoming more independent and confident, with help from Tsueno’s influence.
Speaking of Josee’s grandmother, she is quite a funny character, with her reactions in one scene creating quite a few chuckles among the audience in the theater.
Along with the well-written romance and humor, there is also the animation, which is quite beautiful at times, like during the beach scene, which brought a smile to my face. 

The beach scene is one of the most smile inducing moments in the entire film.

It is all of these things that combine to make an enjoyable film that will make a good watch for any fan of romance anime.
It’s nothing revolutionary or ground breaking but it didn’t need to be.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is a touching romance with a lot of good moments. 

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 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 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.