Boku no Hero Academia – 08

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -13 Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -30 Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -38

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -1I’m exhausted, and the weekend isn’t even done yet. Yet here we have Boku no Hero Academia, a series that can hardly be short-shrifted when it comes to attention. Not only is it probably the best new series of the season when you take everything into consideration, it compresses so much into each episode that they’re almost like .rar files. And blogging them is akin to unpacking them. With only 13 episodes in this round, each week is one that needs to be savored to the fullest.

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -2There were two main thrusts in this week’s episode, it seems to me.  Thematically it was mostly about Bakugo – Midoriya spent most of it unconscious on his back and it was Kacchan who was left trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered psyche.  And materially it was really a showcase for a bunch of kids who haven’t been important so far but will be soon enough.  There are a lot of big-name seiyuu involved here, and frankly Bones has made a couple of casting choices I’m not crazy about.

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -3For the crucial Todoroki Shouto they’ve chosen Kaji Yuki, about whom my opinion need hardly be repeated – I’ll hope for the best, though we’ve seen nothing to indicate Kaji has the range to pull this role off.  And for frog-girl Asui Tsuyu they chose Yuuki Aoi, about whom my feelings are normally just about opposite.  She’s generally a wonderful seiyuu but I don’t care for her take so far – it comes off as a bad Arai Satomi impression (and I can’t stand most of her work).  I have a lot more faith in the Yuuki with the extra “u” so maybe she can turn this around.  Among the other notables is Mineta Minoru (Hirohashi Ryou), whose body is as tiny as his libido is outsized, and the analytical Yaoyorozu Momo (Inoue Marina).  Plus there’s genki girl Ashido Mina (Kitamura Eri), and many more who will each have their time in the spotlight if the series gets a couple of sequels.

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -4Make no mistake, this group is the core of Boku no Hero Academia, but it’s all about Bakugo this week.  I tell you what, this is one angry puppy dog – he’s full of rage the way some teenage boys are, but there seems to be a never-ending supply of lava in his gut fueling it.  He’s pissed at Deku for defying and “tricking” him (and most of all, beating him), he’s pissed at himself for being easy to read, he’s pissed at All Might for being kind to him.  And he’s pissed at the world for containing people stronger than he is – people like Todoroki, seemingly.  Dear, big-hearted All Might longs to connect with Kacchan and channel that rage in a positive direction, but this boy doesn’t want to be channeled.

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -5The problem, of course, is that Bakugo doesn’t really know what he wants.  He wants to “win” all the time, to be stronger – but doesn’t seem to have any grasp of why.  Given his age and formidable power, that makes Kacchan a powderkeg in ways both literal and metaphorical.  For now at least he’s obtained some context – he now knows that he’s no longer the bully in the room that everyone defers to.  If he wants respect he’s going to have to earn it by proving he really is stronger – and than includes being stronger than Deku, too.  He’s a difficult character, one that isn’t written to be easy to love, but there’s a fierceness and a relentlessness to Bakugo that makes him difficult to look away from.

Boku no Hero Academia - 08 -6As for Izuku, he’s in pretty bad shape and Recovery Girl lectures All Might pretty harshly about Izuku’s repeated visits to the emergency room.  Just as Izuku is learning to be a hero All Might is learning to be a mentor.  In social terms at least Deku’s obvious courage and ingenuity is winning friends and influencing people throughout Class 1-A, but his road is still a difficult one.  Deku is far more respectful and deferential to Kacchan than he deserves, to be honest – he even comes very close to spilling the beans about the nature of his power in an effort to make Kacchan feel better about himself.  With a sea change coming in the story next week, there won’t be as much time for childhood obsessions – but neither Deku nor Kacchan is anywhere close to having the other out of their system yet.

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4 comments

  1. Y

    After the stellar episode last week, I was mildly disappointed by this ep. I’ve noticed that BnHA so far has been using a lot of recaps and flashbacks in each ep. as if they’re deliberately stalling. This is pretty common in long-running, big shounen series, so I guess in a way, it is nice to know they are treating BnHA with so much care, but the other side of this is that it’s become pretty obvious they are milking every minute possibe off this series. Last week’s flashbacks and recaps were done in a manner that at least made sense given the emotional building of the fight between Izuku and Bakugou, this episode on the other hand felt like they forcibly crammed it in (considering it’s only the beginning of the series…as watchers we don’t NEED that many recaps of stuff we’ve seen only a few eps ago).
    This is really my biggest complaint so far on BnHA. Other than that, the story itself is really shaping up pretty well.

  2. C

    After rereading the manga and thinking about it I’ve changed my opinion on Kacchan… (deleted)

  3. Sorry, but I consider the second half of that comment to be a spoiler.

  4. F

    Although the comparison in itself might be a little skewed and it’s not really fair to compare a strightly played shounen to Evangelion but especially in the last episode and in some way in this episode also it struck me that there are some similarities between Katsuki’s character and Asuka’s character from Eva. I mean the way that those two are functioning on pride alone and how they mark out a place for themselves in the world by thinking that they are the best in their microenvironment in what they do is analogous, moreover the dynamics between Shinji and Asuka and Izuku and Bakugou is also identical in some ways. Of course Asuka is just a so much deeper character than Katsuki, but I think that there is also room for character development for him. Some viewers anticipated that Katsuki would break down after his pride was shattered but in my opinion that would be just quite unrealistic, so I really liked the scenes where Kacchan tries to cope with his inner turmoil. Albeit he shows mental strength towards Izuku and All Might, if I were in All Might’s place I wouldn’t be so certain that he has got over it with this ease. I haven’t read the manga so I have no clue as to what’s to come yet I think that if the story takes the direction of showing Katsuki’s path to villainy and his demise through the consequential steps of the destruction of his self-worth alongside his worldview, than HeroAca could become one of my all-time favorites. (Yeah, I know even without reading the manga that the chance of this is close to zero and this is not HxH nor Eva, but the possibility is there in Katsuki’s character )

    So all in all, I really like the show as it is, and particularly Bakugou’s character which feels very well crafted and somehow outside of the realm of the usual shounen tropes.

    And thanks Enzo for your unceasing effort which you put into these posts even while being busy with other wordly things so make sure to have a rest regularly, it is not the world’s end if some of your posts are a bit late.

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