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My Hero Academia Season 7
Episode 140

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 140 of
My Hero Academia (TV 7) ?
Community score: 4.1

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Introducing a new character this deep into a serialized narrative is always difficult. Sure, some series like One Piece can manage it easily—but that show is built to bring in new supporting casts with each arc. MHA isn't nearly that modular—and being so close to (what feels like) the final battle, a new character with a power that out-strips damn near everything that came before them was never going to be a permanent addition. In that sense, I think we all suspected how things would turn out for Star and Stripe.

I'm of two minds on the whole thing. The cynical part of me has to roll my eyes at how hard this episode tries to eulogize a character we met two episodes ago. It makes sense for her allies and All Might to mourn her but it is just too much when the UA students are also talking about how cool she was despite never mentioning her before. That said, I like the character snippets we get from Star's swan song, and how quickly it establishes a sincere connection between her and the soldiers fighting alongside her. There's a genuine sense of tragedy when she gives her final solute to her “Bros” —and that's a solid achievement considering she's the only one with a name. It's just a little hard to get wrapped up in it when I've known these characters for about half an hour in total—and the condensed nature of it all makes it feel like the show is trying to astroturf emotions it hasn't done the work to earn.

At the same time, god damn if Star doesn't go out with a bang. When a character won't be sticking around, you can let them go hog wild without worrying about tipping over the power scale. So yeah, Star can throw down a punch with the power of a dozen intercontinental missiles, or split the sky and sea with her attacks. No need to keep things constrained when you won't have to account for it after this! The sheer scale, combined with a parade of cool imagery that MHA has only occasionally dabbled in, makes for an engaging clash that feels as big as it should despite the lack of build-up. Even when the external battle ends, watching Star's quirk tear Y'all For One apart from the inside is a fantastic spectacle. It's powerfully satisfying to see this star-spangled specter rip and tear through our villain's mindscape, bearing down on his consciousness as the embodiment of vicious resistance. As somebody who grew up on the site of an infamous losing battle that counter-intuitively turned the tides, it got me feeling just a little patriotic.

I like, too, that Star's dream of heroism is still in line with our main cast. She never met the kids from UA, but in her heart, she carried the same sense of selflessness that All Might has embodied for so long. Even Y'all For One recognizes it, and damn if it isn't satisfying to watch that grimacing testicle face cope and seethe about his enemy's enduring legacy. No matter where he goes, who he faces, or what plans he enacts, the spirit of All Might's symbol is still out there—ready to oppose him from all angles. It's a bit tangential, but that connection is enough to make me mostly happy with how this whole fight shakes out. It would have been nice to see more of Star before this or keep her around after, but I appreciate the effort in making her feel like more than a plot device to de-power our villain.

Truthfully, I'm just glad to return to our main cast. For all that this fight was cool and useful in establishing stakes, the core of this show is in its characters—and getting back to Deku and his friends is how I know the season has started.

Rating:

My Hero Academia is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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