Training exercises never seem to work out as planned in My Hero Academia. Whether it’s a day trip to the Unforseen Simulation Joint, or an extended field trip to the Wild, Wild Pussycats’ Retreat, odds are it will be ruined by The League of Villains. Now, the odd antics of Mr. Compress (Tsugou Mogami) will twist them in knots in “What a Twist!”

When another mud-clone of Dabi (Hiro Shimono) tries to ambush Vlad King (Shuhei Matsuda) and his classroom of students, Aizawa (Junichi Suwabe) bursts in to stomp it into goo. As his keen eyes see it, the villains are intentionally scattering their forces to create the illusion of a larger attack, and to keep the adults on defense. If they’re going to stop these creeps, then it’s time for a counter attack.

At least, it would have been time for a counter attack a few minutes ago. After crashing to earth on Mr. Compress’s back, Shoji (Masakazu Nishida), Izuku (Daiki Yamashita) and Todoroki (Yuki Kaji) find themselves surrounded by villains. Dabi, Twice (Daichi Endo) and Himiko (Misato Fukuen) immediately go on the attack, but Shoji has something else in mind. He slipped one of his many hands into Mr. Compress’s pocket, snatching away the magical pearls containing Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto) and Tokoyami (Yoshimasa Hosoya). With their goal in hand, its time for the exhausted UA trio to beat a hasty escape.

Emerging from the forest, a Nomu and Kurogiri (Takahiro Fujiwara) halt the teens’ progress. Trapped, they can only listen as Mr. Compress explains how hard it is to trick a trickster. Classic sleight of hand lead Shoji to the magician’s pocket while the real pearls were squirreled away in his mouth. A laser blasts out from the darkness, interrupting Compress’s flaunting and knocking the pearls loose. Finally overcoming his overwhelming fear, Aoyama (Kosuke Kuwano) has dealt a decisive blow from the shadows.

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As the pearls fall, everyone races to grab them. Tokoyami’s tiny prison is back in Shoji’s grasp, but the Dabi intercepts Bakugo from Todoroki’s outstretched hand. Compress releases the spell, turning the marbles back into real boys, just as he and his cohorts slip through Kurogiri’s warp gate. Izuku ineffectually scrambles toward the gate as it consumes Bakugo. Bakugo uses this final moment to mutter–uncharacteristic fear and resignation seeping into his words–, “Don’t come, Deku.”

Recovery from this boondoggle is is many tiered, and each tier houses its own pain. While the media (appropriately) lays into UA for repeatedly endangering their students, each news report also adds mystique to the League of Villains. Reporters swarm the gates of the deserted campus while its lone occupants–the top faculty–meet to unravel this mess. While All Might (Kenta Miyake) beats himself up for having been relaxing in the tub during this calamity, Present Mic (Hiroyuki Yoshino) is more focused on exposing a traitor in their midst leaking all this info to the League of Villains. While no one turns their search for a rat to their conspicuously rat-like boss, everyone agrees that Pro Heroes have become too complacent.

My Hero Academia

Luckily, they have a couple leads on the League. All Might’s friends on the police force have tracked Dabi’s movements back to Shigaraki’s (Koki Uchiyama) dive bar. What’s more, they visited Momo Yaoyorozu (Marina Inoue) in the hospital, picking up her receiver for the tracking device Awase (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) stuck to the Nomu. With these targets locked, All Might is pumped and ready for a counter attack.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Izuku finally wakes up moments before his classmates show up, melon in hand. They all struggle to process their emotions, and the situation. Multiple kids from classes 1-A and 1-B took the worst of Mustard’s gas, and Momo is only now recovering from her head injury. As desperate as they all are to save Bakugo, their recent experiences–particularly fighting Stain–have suffused them with an appreciation for authority.

Weighing Kirishima (Toshiki Masuda) and Izuku’s fervor for rescuing their friend against their well earned fear of making things worse, they wonder which way the scales will tip.

 

 

Tom Laurie
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