Boku no Hero Academia Season 2 – 13

There are eight million stories in Boku no Hero Academia – and give Horikoshi-sensei enough time, he’ll tell all of them.

This amazing, enchanting, nesting doll of a series just continues to unspool its seemingly endless web of creation.  I worry sometimes for Horikoshi Kouhei, actually, because like that other guy, he clearly puts a ridiculous amount of preparation and frankly, of himself into every arc, every chapter.  Doing the art for a weekly manga alone is a soul-crushing amount of work – but when you have a writer who’s so intricate and detailed with the story, it almost seems inevitable that health problems and hiatuses will follow.  When I see the occasional missed week and the slight dip in the detail work in the art, as we have for Boku no Hero Academia this past year or so, it’s enough to give anyone who follows the manga world pause.

Selfishly, of course, as a reader and viewer I just want to drink it all in and enjoy every moment of it, because shounen of this caliber is a genuine treasure.  Having just deconstructed the sports festival arc, BnHA now gives us another side of Horikoshi’s talent.  This is a transition episode, sure, and in many ways a light-hearted one – and this series is among the best at that (though we’ve rarely been treated to it yet in anime form).  But there are no wasted panels in Boku no Hero Academia, and no throwaway characters – every arc fits neatly into the next, and with each new development some new facet of this mythology is brought to light.

The harsh reality of the hero business is this: even high school children are on audition (and on trial) from the moment they begin training.  The Yuuei sports festival may have been games, but it wasn’t play – the hero world was watching, and taking careful notes.  Now comes the “draft” – the chance for established hero agencies to bring students in for internships.  This is calculated, of course – the idea is to invest in a kid you want to end up tied to you once they go pro (like Arsenal or F.C. Barcelona bringing prodigies into their youth academies).

It’s certainly no surprise that Todoroki and Bakugo lead the field in offers (well into four figures) – or that it’s in that order (Kacchan’s display on the podium didn’t exactly help his cause).  Tokoyami is third and Iida fourth, and Uraraka and Tsuyu get their share – but there are no offers for Izuku.  Who would want to have an intern that puts himself in the hospital every time he uses his power?  No one – or no one, at least, who didn’t understand the nature of how One For All works.  And there are very few people who do – very few, but not “none”…

Next up is names – because you can’t go work in the field and not have a hero name.  This is a classic case where Boku no Hero Academia can be both hilarious and charming and serious – because as Midnight (Eraserhead can’t be counted on for this sort of work) points out, the name reflects the nature of the person who chooses it.  This is a fun moment, but not remotely insignificant – each of the choices tells a lot about the chooser, and because in BnHA all the characters matter, so do their choices.  I could say more, but as a manga reader I can’t in good conscience do so about some of them – all I’ll say is to think back on this scene later, because your respect for Horikoshi-sensei will certainly increase when you do.

Certain things, though, are pretty plain in the present.  Izuku’s choice of “Deku” as a hero name is self-explanatorily in-character – embrace what could be an insult and turn it into a badge of honor.  Deku is supremely humble, and no name could reflect that better than the one Kacchan derisively stuck on him.  And then there’s Iida, who chooses “Tenya” (Todoroki also goes with his first name, though his circumstances in doing so are quite different).  For Iida, as it usually does, it comes down to his brother – Ingenium has asked Tenya to take his name, as he’s lost feeling in his legs and believes his hero days are over.  Iida goes so far as to start writing it out, but in the end he can’t.

That Iida is in a dark place right now is hardly a spoiler, and it should be clear in his choice of “Hosu City” (the Romanization of “Hoth” – if you hadn’t noticed, the place names in BnHA are taken from Star Wars) for his internship.  That’s where his brother was struck down by the Hero Killer Stain, who thankfully didn’t live up to his name in Ingenium’s case but has already done so 17 times.  Deku and Uravity (that and “Froppy” are among the best of the hero names IMHO) take care to make sure Iida knows that he’s not alone, but alone is very much how Tenya feels as he sets off on this dark journey.

Before we wrap, there’s the matter of where Izuku will train.  Even if a student gets no offers, there are still some 400 agencies out there that agree to take on Yuuei students for practical training – but in the end, one late-arriving offer does come in for Deku.  It’s one that makes even All Might tremble, from a mysterious hero named Grand Torino (Ogata Kenichi) – one who knows the nature of One For All, and who acted as a mentor for All Might in the past.  This development will best be left to speak for itself when it resumes in two weeks (next week is a season break for Boku no Hero) but even from the postscript here, it should be pretty clear than it’s going to be a memorable one…

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16 comments

  1. M

    Something I’ve found very peculiar was how close in resemblance Aizawa and Mic look, in that flashback, to two of the recent important students in the manga right now.

  2. I debated, but I guess that isn’t really a spoiler per se… I confess, I hadn’t made the connection myself but I’ll look at them a little more closely (assuming I know which ones you mean).

  3. M

    Oh, if you look at the flashback, you’ll know the ones I meant.
    I don’t think it’s a spoiler… but it’s a surprisingly neat Easter Egg.

  4. Hmm…

    I see it more with one than the other.

  5. M

    Mic’s got the hairstyle (and lively/cherry side), but Aizawa has practically the whole demeanor with a stronger tint of cold (detachment).

  6. M

    Btw, Enzo, I think this may be in your interest although it’s not directly tied to HeroAka. When you mentioned the horrific load that this industry places on the mind and body, I couldn’t help but think of this heartbreaking story from Naoko Takeuchi:
    http://www.kurozuki.com/takeuchi/punch/trans/round01.html

    All I can do is quietly solace. My heart stopped and my mind went blank when I read that. All I want is reach out and give all manga authors a hug. God, they have it tough. I wish I could just cheer them all up. Ganbatte, Horikoshi!

  7. s

    oh boku no hero; you’re such a positively uplifting series; gonna miss you on your break next week. However from that stain arc trailer we received this week it sounds like the series is going to return with a kick-ass opening by (i realixed last week i accidently said LisA was doing the opening; i meant the ED). In regards to izuku making “deku” his hero nae; I find that to be such a heartwarming decision on his part; mostly because it’s sort of like a shout-out to the person who got him to see the value in his derisive nickname after all those years of being called it. As a result, it’s such a heroic name cuz it will always remind him that he needs to never stop climbing if he is to reach his dreams; that even if people look down on him, he will continue to strive for greatness; it will remind him of where he was before and what he can do in the present to make greater strides towards the future. Oh horikoshi you magnificent bastard; way to go making Deku his hero name; so unassuming yet powerful (like izuku). Izuku and Ochaco have no idea how much they influence each other. Not to mention it’s neat that Bakugo and ochaco are the only two characters that call izuku Deku, reminding him of the two halves that make him who he is today. Everyday Ochaco calls him deku, it reminds him of how empowering his name can and will be

  8. Y

    And thus, King of Explodo-Kills makes its glorious debut~ xD I seriously wonder what Bakugou’s actual hero name is gonna be when he tries his hand at picking one again. That and, kudos to the commenter above me who pointed out it was in fact due to Ochako’s influence that Izuku made Deku his hero name; the explodo-killer may have slapped the label on him, but it was Uravity who made him see the value and potential in it, and thus inspired him to make it into something better.

    On a completely unrelated note, remember how I asked you a couple episodes ago about who you’d have liked to voice Shouto, if the casting choice had been up to you? You said Kenshou, I think, and while I admit he’s certainly an infinitely better choice than Kaji (although the latter has performed… well? so far), it struck me while rewatching Koe no Katachi yesterday that Miyu Irino could be a wonderful Shouto. I do not necessarily say this because of his portrayal of Ishida, I just mean his performance style in general? He has that muted gentleness coupled with something deeper, stronger. His voice would be a great fit.

  9. k

    Are you planning on continuing reviewing HxH manga chapters Enzo, new chapter is out :D?

  10. I

    I haven’t laughed this hard at anime episode this year. That hero name class was the best laugh I’ve had all year due to anime.

    I was in fits, landlord came down to tell me to be quiet on sunday afternoon.

  11. h

    baby Izuku <3

  12. K

    My take away from this episode were the reasons Uraraka was going to battle agency so she keeps her options open…deku for his choice in name (Uraraka and kachhan reaction), Iida for his choice and the fact that deku was not sitting on his seat the whole class – air sitting? That’s some crazy determination there and proper reflection of the character right there. Wow.

  13. Z

    Froppy! Froppy! Froppy! Froppy!

    Izuku in his All-Might onesie playing with his Mom was so freakin cute! And the names he came up with!

  14. Midoriya-mama in her pre-anxiety state was pretty cute, too!

    But yes, chibi-Deku is certainly adorable. It is a reminder of just how much his mom has sacrificed to try and make his dreams come true. The elephant in the room remains – what’s the story with the missing dad? I know there’s a name mentioned in one of the data books but I don’t think it’s ever come up in the series.

  15. Y

    As far as we know (and by this I mean what the databook gives us, cause he’s never even been mentioned in the story), he went to work abroad and Inko raised Izuku alone through mutual agreement. Aaaaaand that’s it. We have no idea if they’re divorced, or just separated, or technically together but not really. It’s almost bizarre. There’s also a completely unfounded fan theory that Hisashi (the dad) is a villain we’ll meet down the line (god I hope not), and another which states he’s actually been secretly dead this whole time but his family is unaware (a hint at his name, which comes from “hisashiburi”, aka “it’s been a long time”), and that it was the doctor who confirmed Izuku’s quirklessness that killed him. Ha.

  16. M

    Inko was pretty cute, but also pretty heartbreaking.
    The way her post-anxiety temperament and even body weight changed shows how much she cares for her son, and how heavily his quirkless burden affected the whole climate in her household. To have her young kid’s dreams broken broke her heart too, no doubt about it. And no doubt about it, she was prepared to sacrifice herself her whole life just to protect Izuku.

    My biggest worry right now is her feeling left behind because of Izuku’s top-ranking hero pursuit, while she can only spectate him and can implicate herself in his life less and less. But I’m sure her admiration and selfless support of Izuku will certainly triumph over those feelings. Inko has such a big heart, she’s such a good mother. But it’s the best mothers must bear the most.

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