This episode already begins with a huge conundrum: Who here is going to be a real bro and team up with Midoriya? With his headband being worth more than any other persons he runs the immediate risk of being both the biggest target and the biggest wildcard. He hasn’t used his quirk for anything and as it stands most people can gain nothing from being on his team. Everyone is after his blood and so of course the perfect waifu Ochako goes “lets team up!”. Midoriya moves to get Iida on his team but Tenya reveals he will not be accepting, he can’t just keep being in Midoriya’s shadow and so he won’t allow himself to be on his team. Instead he’ll be on the other frontrunners team instead of his own, which makes perfect sense because then he’s the most important person!
I think Iida’s logic makes no sense. I get why he did it, he feels he needs to distance himself from Izuku to obtain victory. However the better idea would honestly be to prove his teamwork and dedication- what’s more impressive, being the guy sitting underneath a pro whose capable of challenging everyone, or being the guy who worked with his mystery card friend to make a team capable of keeping the 10,000,000 headband? Everyone can already guess someone would take it, but keeping the 10,000,000 headband is really the challenge. One of the points of the show is really the flaw in how heroes are marketed and forced to compete, but I think it makes a lot of characters forget their true values in order to ‘succeed’. Then again, that’s what the show is going for so this isn’t really me complaining but instead nodding to the show for doing a good job making its point. It’s not just the “embittered adults” trope, even friends turn against each other in these competitions.
That being said, all previous complaints about Ochako not getting to use her powers are gone. The team ends up being Ochako, Mei (the support character from earlier), and TOKOYAMI! Alright, now Tokoyami is literally a bird guy with the most cool/emo power ever, a super shadow who protects him. If he was a human with long black hair this would be the most cliche thing I’ve ever seen, but he is a bird so he gets a pass! The team manages to stay avoiding everyone for awhile and Ochako even gets to use her powers in a super cool way, it seems she has substantially grown because she lifts them several times without outright collapsing from nausea. (This is such a perfect waifu) I think I understand why Iida wasn’t placed with them, because if he replaced Tokoyami or Mei they’d probably indefinitely have the capacity to stay airborne and win this competition too easily.
The most enjoyable part of the episode is when the other classes screw over Class 1-A, they failed the first part of the Festival to observe all of their powers and then took advantage of that, and then piss off Bakugo. You see, there is no greater joy in my life than watching Bakugo be a jerk to people who aren’t Izuku. When he picks on Izuku it’s just kicking the underdog in the gut, but when he picks on other people who are jerks I grow excited. In an odd way I do like Bakugo when he isn’t being a jerk to Izuku (so like 5% of the time) so seeing him want to crush people who deserve it was oddly satisfying. I can’t wait to watch him be a jerk hero who crushes jerk badguys. (Unless he becomes the villain, in which case bad Bakugo, bad)
The episode doesn’t finish this competition and leaves us on a cliffhanger (which is cruel considering I also cover Shingeki no Cliffhanger) as Todoroki challenges Izuku for the 10,000,000 headband. So a lot of this season is focused on having Midoriya realize he has to show the resolve to be the best hero now, even against all of his friends. It’s a new challenge to him because all this time he simply could not be a hero at all, now he has to push past the interests of others and fight for himself. I admire the dedication of friendship Ochako has, and I’m happy to see people still show interest in helping Midoriya even though he has the top headband.
Once again the dub of this episode is just. . .far superior. All Might’s voice simply cannot beat being played by Sabat, and Midoriya’s emotions shine through more genuinely when listening in English. I also can’t help but love how angry Bakugo gets in the English. . . good job to Clifford Chapin. I could probably, and will probably, write an entire review singling out every performance and why it is so spectacular in this dub. However in terms of content the preview kind of spoils the next episode so. Don’t watch that if you don’t want to know tiny details. I suspect Midoriya will not win this competition but will go on to win one of the others, at least. Let’s tune in and eagerly obsess over the outcome of this tournament as desired by the manga writer!