I said it with Tamaki’s episode and I’ll say it again, season fours strength lies in its focus on character development. First, we get a small glance at Kirishima, then a whole backstory episode for Tamaki and then we double back to Kirishima. Then we get the League of villains but that’s something I want to dedicate a lot of time too, but first, let’s look at Kirishima and how he shot up to being one of my favorite student characters.
At the end of episode seven, we saw a brief flashback to his middle school years. In this episode, as Fatgum and he are separated from the other heroes and put against a muscle headed brute with only a fight to the death in mind we dig deeper into those middle school years. Into how weak he viewed himself as, how he didn’t feel like he could become a meaningful hero because not only of his quirk but of how cowardly he was. There was a hero he admired though, Crimson Riot. He felt the same fears as Kirishima, and his biggest moment of shame came from not being able to save someone because he faltered.
The same thing that happened to Kirishima.
So Kirishima trained and changed his look and deep down maybe he isn’t entirely sure he’s changed but when the going gets tough in the fight against Fatgum and the muscle head, Kirishima steps in as a shield while Fatgum becomes the spear.
Earning not only the respect of his hero mentor but of the yakuza member they were fighting as well.
“We both underestimated the hero known as Red Riot.” as Fatgum spoke those words I couldn’t have been more proud of him. Not to mention the bravery he showed earlier in the episode that got him trapped with Fatgum and the Hassikai underling, to begin with. Jumping into peril to help Eraserhead without knowing what would happen.
In short, this episode is why Kirishima is the best boy but for some reason, I can’t stop loving Tokoyami.
Then there is episode ten. As the heroes keep advancing, Overhaul has no choice but to deploy something special he got on loan from Shigaraki. Two members of the league of villains. Himiko Toga and Twice, two of my favorite characters from the League.
The Hassaikai member that has been manipulating the building from the beginning splits up the group that has been pursuing Mirio. They split them so the League can be integrated into the fight. Himiko against Rock Lock and Twice against Nighteye and the police officers that got trapped with him.
Rock Lock goes down, but not without being heard by Aizawa and Midroiya who burst through and Aizawa’s quick thinking leads him to realize that Himiko is in the room and the League and the Hassaikai are in cahoots.
Meanwhile, Nighteye is an absolute badass who barely gets grazed by an attack by Twice and gets a proper attack on him. Both of the league members are forced to retreat.
A few things stand out to me from here on out. Let’s list them in order.
- The Shogi scene: A friend of mine has been REALLY excited for me to see this scene for a long time and with good reason. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I HATE the use of board games as metaphors. There is nothing that bothers me more than a chess metaphor and since Shogi is basically Japanese chess, I feel the same. So while Overhaul is trying to make his grand Shogi analogy, Shigaraki isn’t having any of this and is like “Never played it, don’t know the rules, get it out of here.” and you know what? Shigaraki is my hero at this moment.
Twice as a character. He’s always been one of my favorite League of Villains characters, I genuinely enjoy him as a character and this episode really painted for me why. It can all be summed up in one line “I may be a villain, but I’m still human.” he’s someone who cares deeply about others and ends up blaming himself for the death of one of his teammates. Because he is the one who brought Overhaul to meet with the League of villains. He’s not unfeeling and in the end, I’m not sure any of them are.
Doubling back to Shigaraki. He is not the kind of person willing to bend over backward for someone else and he is also not one to risk the lives of his teammates by lending them out to help the Hassaikai so casually. He also isn’t going to insult Twice and Himiko by making them go work with people they hate without offering them an incentive. At its core, this isn’t a job to help the Hassaikai it’s a job to infiltrate it from the inside and get as much information as they can. While still being able to do as they please, which includes talking trash about the Hassaikai.
Which leads me to the best scene in the episode. Where the two of them just let loose. This scene is just SO much fun, the animation, the expressions, the voice acting. Everything about this as they dance and trash talk the Hassaikai to the point they piss off the guy warping the building is BEAUTIFUL! God, I just had a lot of fun watching this scene.
These two episodes were just amazing, but as we move forward there is a lot of fear to be had. Mirio is set to catch up with Overhaul next episode, can he save Eri? Can he hold is own until back up arrives? Hang in there Mirio!