Weeks before the Provisional Hero License Exam, the the true power–a bunch of bureaucrat men in suits–of My Hero Academia‘s world gather to plan the perimeters of this year’s exam in “What’s the Big Idea?”. While some are skeptical of the game-like nature of high tech dodgeball, everyone ultimately agrees that the test will instill the necessity of teamwork. In this post-All-Might (Kenta Miyake) world, teamwork will be the necessary bulwark standing in the Symbol of Peace’s absence. Plus, this is what the cops wanted, and we are once again reminded of the supremacy of Police in this world without ever addressing the dichotomy between cops with Quirks and Professional Heroes.

Back in the current day, the final stage of the test is in kicking off. While students are trying to evacuate and administer first aid to their faux-victims, the #10 Top Hero Gang Orca (Shuhei Matsuda) and his crew explode onto the scene playing the role of villains. From the start, Gang Orca is disabling students with his whale-like hypersonic pulse. Without lifting a finger, he renders Yo Shindo (Yuuta Kasuya) temporarily paralyzed, quickly unraveling the earthquake summoning student’s plan to guard his peers’ evacuation efforts. Before Gang Orca can unleash another pulse on the rescuers, a wall of ice springs up before him in the nick of time. In this world, the only time things happen is in the nick.

Naturally suited to the icey climes of the antarctic, Gang Orca is confident he’ll bust through Todoroki’s (Yuki Kaji) ice wall. His confidence is shaken, if only for a moment, by a blast from Inasa Yaorashi’s (Ryota Iwasaki) whirlwind. With these two exceptionally strong students playing defense, Gang Orca surely has an intense struggle before him. Or not.

Immediately, conflicts of personality chip away at Todoroki’s defense. When Inasa expects him to run cold, he runs hot. Todoroki’s flames are sending Inasa’s gusts upward, and Inasa’s gusts are splitting Todoroki’s flames. What should be an overwhelming harmony–air and fire–is instead a chaotic mess. Butting heads, Todoroki is left open to a counterattack from Gang Orca’s gang. Equipped with hand cannons that spout blobs of cement, the gang unleashes a barrage and one blob strikes home on Todoroki’s shoulder.

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For two guys who seem to have spent less than a day together, the animosity between Todoroki and Inasa is intense. Through flashbacks, we catch a glimpse of its core. As a child, Inasa’s boundless optimism lead him down a path of hero worship. On a day when he had the opportunity to get Endeavor’s (Tetsu Inada) autograph, the #2 Hero casually slapped the pen and paper away, his eyes angrily fixed on some unknown thing. That thing was, of course, All Might. Endeavor was never a populist hero. His only concern through his entire career has been surpassing All Might’s power.

In another flashback, this one truly puzzling, we see Inasa as a teen, taking the entry exam at UA. Racing through a test of speed, he finds himself neck and neck with a boy gliding on a stream of ice. After barely beating the icy boy, he introduces himself only to receive an icy response. In this boy’s eyes, he seems the same distracted anger that he once saw in Endeavor. Never mind that at the start of the year, Todoroki and Momo Yaoyorozu (Marina Inoue) are introduced as having been accepted to UA based on recommendation, precluding them from having to take the entrance exam. Continuity is hard, folks!

Raging against one another, Todoroki and Inasa almost redirect a gout of flame directly at the paralyzed Yo Shindo. In the only time that matters–the nick–Izuku Midoriya (Daiki Yamashita) bounces in to the rescue, shrieking admonishment at the feuding students. Left exposed by the fueding, Todoroki and Inasa are nearly completely paralyzed by Gang Orca’s hypersonic pulses. Laying in the dirt thinking about what they’ve done, they finally think to work together. Face down on the ground, they use what control of their Quirks remains to kick up a flaming cyclone around Gang Orca. Being a whale-man, he should be susceptible to drying out.

A professional whale man comes prepared. He douses himself with a water bottle, then swats away the cyclone. Before he can set upon the prone students, an ever timely kick from Midoriya catches him on the arm. With that, the buzzer sounds. The evacuation is over, and it’s time for the students to receive their results.

My Hero Academia

The real wheels of power in My Hero Academia.

Throughout the test, the infinite supply of men in suits employed by the Public Safety Commission watched from the bleachers, deducting points as students made mistakes. Now, standing in front of a huge scoreboard, the teens peer up to see if their names are on the list of Provisional Heroes.



Tom Laurie
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