Midoriya has got his provisional license and now he wants to gain some experience but is anyone willing to take him on? Well, there might be one, but he has his own reasons to see what Midoriya is made of.
What did you watch?
I started this series back in Fall 2019 and as it ran over two seasons, I’ve just finished it now. That wasn’t much of a surprise as this is season four of My Hero Academia. This time, however, it was a bit of a change in the way I watched it, having binge-watched season one and two back to back and then most of season three and the first movie. This season I was forced to watch it on a weekly basis or wait until it was all over, which wasn’t really going to happen. I’d also been reading the manga and new the first arc of this season well, so I was pretty excited going in. As you might expect, there will be spoilers in this post, but then this is the fourth season.
After struggling to find a hero agency that would take him on, Midoriya turned to All Might for advice. He seemed to be reluctant to help Midoriya but eventually put him in contact with Mirio Togata, one of the big three at UA. Mirio agrees to introduce Midoriya to his mentor Sir Night Eye, but warns him that he has to make him laugh if he is to have any chance of getting taken on. Amazingly, Night Eye does take Midoriya on, but not because he made him laugh but because he believes that Mirio should have inherited One for All and not Midoriya! His internship with Night Eye sees Midoriya going up against Overhaul, a Yakuza boss looking to change the world.
There’s also the matter of rescuing a little girl called Eri who has been a part of Overhaul’s plan, but he’s not about to let her go without a fight. The mission is huge and leads to some pretty serious casualties and Mirio losing his quirk. Even then, Mirio continues to smile and puts his energy into helping Eri to find joy once more. The first step towards that is taking her to the school festival where Class 1-A will be putting on a concert. However, YouTube celebrity Gentle Criminal is planning on crashing the festival, but he didn’t count on Midoriya getting in the way!
What did you think?
So, I’d read the manga up to the end of the Overhaul arc and was pretty excited coming into this season. It’s My Hero Academia after all! But, then things started to go wrong. Possibly the biggest issue with this season was the pacing. We spent way too long on mundane events that could have been over in a couple of minutes and then flew through things that could have been much better with a bit of attention. For example, Midoriya meeting Night Eye took an entire episode and most of that was Night Eye standing around talking down at Midoriya. Then, by the time we got to the school festival, I had really lost interest. This was not even close to the sports festival. Overall, I was really disappointed with this season, but then it ended with two incredible episodes, so now I need to see season five!
What was your favourite moment?
The last episode was epic! We saw Endeavor and Hawks fight against a superpowered Nomu and this one fight made up for all of the pacing issues in the series. This was a flawless episode. It started with Endeavor’s wife and two of his kids, showing their troubled relationships with Endeavor. Then, the fight broke out and it was being streamed live on TV. His family, Todoroki included watched in horror as Endeavor fought with everything he had. This was an absolutely amazing fight scene and one that I will be revisiting over and over again. It did an incredible job of building the tension and setting the scene for the final blow.
What was your least favourite moment?
If I was to compare the anime to the manga, I would say that Kirishima and Fat Gums’ fight against Overhaul’s minions was a huge disappointment. It was another instance where the pacing didn’t work. The fight was constantly being broken up with poorly timed flashbacks and it really took the sting out of the fight. Annoyingly, if I wasn’t comparing them, it was Suneater’s fight for pretty much the exact same reasons. The pacing was a continuous issue and then we had the school festival with Gentle Criminal that felt like some poor filler. Without those final episodes with Endeavor, I’m not certain I would be willing to watch another season.
Who was your favourite character?
I’m surprisingly going to say Endeavor. This guy has a lot of issues and his treatment of his family in the past has been abhorrent. I had real reservations about even considering him a hero based on what he did to Todoroki and his brothers and sisters. None of the past has changed and it can’t, but there was a moment when he sat down with All Might as Todoroki and Bakugo retook their provisional licenses and their conversation was enthralling. We saw a side of him that we hadn’t seen. He seemed worried. Worried that he would never be able to do what All Might had done, even with his increased success rate. It set up his battle with the Nomu so well and I am hyped to see how he progresses.
Who was your least favourite character?
Gentle Criminal. This guy was billed as the big bad villain for the second half of the season, but in reality, he was nothing more than a nuisance with some odd behaviour. My only hope for that arc was that it was a way to show the flaws in the hero society and how it had failed Gentle, turning him into a villain. It did lack the gravitas of almost all of the other arcs and it probably didn’t help that I found the entire school festival arc boring, and it wasn’t helped by the performances and the practices. They made out that Jiro was going to get featured heavily, but she was barely in it.
Would you like some more?
Had this season ended with episode 86, that would have been it for me. I doubt I would have continued. Watching the first twenty-four episodes of this season was not a fun experience. There were moments that stood out like Midoriya’s fight with Overhaul and Shigaraki getting his revenge on Overhaul, but otherwise, it just didn’t flow that well. Then, right when I was preparing myself to move on with my life we got the final two episodes and a brief tease of what next season has in store and I am back on the hype train. If anyone asks me, I will recommend skipping most of this season. Maybe just watch episode 88 twenty-six times. It would be far more entertaining.
What have you learnt?
How can I not talk about pacing here? My Hero Academia has it all. The world-building is so cool and lends itself to pretty much any possibility. The characters are fun and for the first three seasons, they were such an integral part of what made this series work. But even with all of that, pacing killed this season. It just goes to show that you need to think about where you fit the flashbacks in. It also changes from medium to medium. In a written story, you can pull out of the action and look into the characters’ memories without doing too much damage to the flow of the scene, but in anime, it’s really noticeable. Even so, I’m definitely going to be careful how I break up the action going forwards.
Other Posts in the Series
- Series Review
- Volume 1 – You Can Be a Hero!
- Volume 2 – Rage, You Damned Nerd
- Season Four
- Episode 64 – The Scoop on U.A. Class 1-A
- Episode 65 – Overhaul
- Episode 66 – Boy Meets…
- Episode 67 – Fighting Fate
- Episode 68 – Let’s Go, Gutsy Red Riot
- Episode 69 – An Unpleasant Talk
- Episode 70 – GO!!
- Episode 71 – Suneater of the Big Three
- Episode 72 – Red Riot
- Episode 73 – Temp Squad
- Episode 74 – Lemillion
- Episode 75 – Unforeseen Hope
- Episode 76 – Infinite 100%
- Episode 77 – Bright Future
- Episode 78 – Smoldering Flames
- Episode 79 – Win Those Kids’ Hearts
- Episode 80 – Relief for License Trainees
- Episode 81 – School Festival
- Episode 82 – Prepping for the School Festival Is the Funnest Part
- Episode 83 – Gold Tips Imperial
- Episode 84 – Deku vs. Gentle Criminal
- Episode 85 – School Festival Start!!
- Episode 86 – Let It Flow! School Festival!
- Episode 87 – Japanese Hero Billboard Chart
- Episode 88 – His Start