There’s a similar feeling at this point in Boku no Hero Academia to what one might have had with One Punch Man, another recent top-tier adaptation from a top-tier studio of a very popular hero manga. That is, that as we’re just getting started with the story it’s about to come to an end. In both instances the choice to start with a single cour was seemingly dictated by conservatism with the amount of source material rather than a lack of confidence in it, and there’s no reason to think we won’t see additional seasons of both. Still, it’s a little frustrating and yes, a little nerve-wracking to see the first season end just when things are really starting to ramp up to the best material.
Part of that ramping-up is that we’re starting to get to know the personalities of the kids in Class 1-A, the diversity and distinctiveness of which is one of the strengths of Boku no Hero. Best of the best these kids may be, they’re still just kids – and that shows through when an overly aggressive press corps sets of the U.A. proximity alarm in their urgent quest to get some juicy info about All Might’s transition into the teacher role. Their incursion comes just after Class 1-A has had its Class Representative elections, and much to his surprise has voted for Izuku (with Momo coming in second).
The dynamics of this election are interesting. Naturally enough most of the class toots their own horn here, as attention-gathering is a crucial battle at Yuuei. Izuku wins with the support of Ochako (unsurprisingly) and Iida (mostly unsurprisingly) – we’re not told who the third vote is, and Deku doesn’t seem the type to vote for himself. Clearly in this environment Izuku’s peers are able to see his noble qualities in a way his “normal” classmates could not, but it’s also worth nothing that Bakugo has been read just as accurately by his classmates. While his brashness and entitlement helped him stand out as the big fish when he was in a small pond, at this school they make him stand out for the wrong reasons, and things are bad enough that he’s on the cusp of enduring what could be called bullying.
When the alarm sounds, though, Iida’s true colors reveal themselves. While he is indeed a “bochan” (honestly, he’s piss-poor at hiding it), he at least tries to walk the walk when it comes to being a leader. After he manages to restore a sense of order to what’s suddenly become a dangerously panicked student body, Deku gracefully steps aside and asks Iida to take over as class rep. And unless you subscribe to the theory that you should never trust a job like this to anyone that actually wants it, he seems pretty well-suited for the role.
How did the press get past a supposedly impenetrable security system? That’s what the Principal would like to know. Meanwhile the class is off on a field trip for rescue training, a joint exercise with Aizawa-sensei, All Might and the previously unseen Ju-san-sensei (Inuyama Inkou). Or rather, it was supposed to be but All Might is worn down after an unlikely three-play of incidents on his way to school. On the bus ride Izuku has a very interesting conversation with Tsuyu (“I say whatever I feel like”), another one of those students just starting to stand out as a character. She calls Deku “Midoriya-chan” (for a high school girl to call a boy who isn’t already a very close friend “-chan” is highly unusual), and asks that he call her “Tsu-chan”.
We’re at the beginning of what looks like a fascinating exercise here. Thirteen-san has set up a full service rescue simulator studio called “USJ” (not that USJ), and he gives the kids a very inspiring speech about how integral rescue is to what they stand for as heroes – and a stern warning about just how dangerous a powerful quirk can be. But it’s not to be, as things take a startling turn – villains have turned up at a place where villains aren’t supposed to be. What’s a superhero story without villains, after all (Boku no Hero Academia is no exception) – and this one is just getting started.