Training has wrapped up for My Hero Academia‘s students, and their Provisional Hero License Test awaits. Classes 1-A and 1-B are sporting new versions of their costumes, each with modifications that will make the most, at least for the most part.

Some students, like Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto) and Todoroki (Yuki Kaji), were so practiced with their Quirks at the start that they already knew what to wear. Others needed more experience stretching the limits of their Quirks to know what gaps a costume could fill. For most of the students, it’s stronger boots here or wrist mounted gizmos there, but Ochaco Uraraka (Ayane Sakura) can’t quite put her gravity-nullifying finger on what she’s missing. To her classmates, it looks like she’s too boy crazy over Izuku (Daiki Yamashita) to focus on her training.

As Ochaco gazes through the window at Izuku practicing his kicks and flips, a pink bubbly hazes washes over the screen; it’s anime love. Or is it? Ochaco denies that it’s boy troubles filling her mind with a pink fog, and every moment that screams, “boys!” also rides an undercurrent of her feeling overlooked and underestimated. While Mei Hatsume (Azu Sakura) is positioned as a perceived romantic threat, Ochaco’s expression only falls as gadget wizard’s interest is absorbed by Izuku and Iida’s (Kaito Ishikawa) Quirks.

When the florescent smog of love overtakes Uraraka, she’s watching Izuku’s determined pursuit of their shared passion: martial arts. Each moment that seems intended to seed Uraraka’s jealousy and infatuation is just as likely a seed of her determination. With her Ultimate Move still a mystery, Ochaco joins her class as they enter the testing grounds.

My Hero Academia Costume

Floating upside down in the smog of love.

You can’t have a big-deal fantastical high school test without rival schools. Filing off the bus, UA’s Class 1-A are the talk of the town. Students from other schools–many older and more experienced–approach the group to praise their performance at the Sports Festival, and their other newsworthy exploits. While most try to figure out what to do with all this flattery, Bakugo brusquely brushes it off. He sees through the honeyed words of these kids–their competitors.

Costumed up and crowded into an assembly room, just over a thousand participants listen as a sleepy man called Mera (Masami Iwasaki). In his quiet droning, he explains the odds the kids will face and the rules of the test. Basically, it’s high tech hero dodgeball. Each student will have three balls and be painted with three targets. When all three of your targets are hit, you fail. It’s a dicey balance of protecting your targets and conserving your shots. Suddenly, the walls around them drop. The assembly room had been set up in a large facility similar to the USJ–a dome with numerous simulated environments–and the students split off throughout the area.

In the stands, the teachers watch their classes tackle the test. The relentlessly insincere hero Joke (Mariko Nagai) takes a seat near Shota Aizawa (Junichi Suwabe) and, in between ribbing him, asks if he’s told his class about the old tradition UA’s classes have to deal with. Below, Izuku tries to group his class together. A few break off, but most realize the value to a united front, especially as they realize the meaning behind all that flattery, earlier. Because of the nationally televised Sports Festival, UA’s students always enter this test at a disadvantage. Their competition are total mysteries, but everyone is familiar with their Quirks.

Above and below, Aizawa and his students are not shaken. He knew about this disadvantage going in, and UA’s students always go beyond. Each has grown a great deal since the Sports Festival, and the first swarm of students that tries to pelt them with balls immediately reveals the limits of their knowledge. For all they know, Izuku’s Quirk is still completely self destructive, so they gang up on him expecting him to burn out quickly. Charging up his sweet new kicks, Izuku whips his legs at the onslaught of balls, blasting them away with gusts of air. Around him, his classmates show off their bevy of abilities to keep the balls away.

The other schools might maintain the tradition of ganging up on UA, but the students of Class 1-A won’t go down easily.

Tom Laurie
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