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My Hero Academia Season 7
Episode 141

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 141 of
My Hero Academia (TV 7) ?
Community score: 4.0


You'd be forgiven for forgetting that there was a spy for the villains in UA. While that plot point was hotly discussed when it came up in season three, it's only barely been brought up at all in the past six years. Fandom speculated for ages about who might be the most effective, dramatic, or funny option, yet with no new developments it was hard to keep the drama alive. For a while, it seemed like one of those classic abandoned plot threads so common in serialized stories, yet it suddenly comes back with a vengeance. The long-lost traitor's face is finally revealed, and as you might expect from such a long-dormant mystery, getting the answers to this cold case is extremely awkward.

For one, there's an odd fake-out in the early parts of this episode, where we're led to believe Hagakure (aka The Invisible Girl) is the traitor. All For One says his ominous line about having “friends” everywhere, and we dramatically cut to her shimmering silhouette, only to reveal that she's caught the real spy on her own. From a meta-perspective, that's a rather funny move—Hagakure was a favorite fan theory just for the fact that we know so little about her (and it'd be pretty fitting for the invisible character to be a double agent)—but it sits awkwardly in the middle of the episode. Presenting a red herring doesn't work when you immediately throw it back into the water. This would have worked better as the cliffhanger for the last episode, leaving us with a week to stew on the apparent reveal before pulling the rug out from under us. What we get here is just awkward and aimless.

As for the actual reveal, that has its issues. Once it's all laid out, the pieces fit and in hindsight, there are enough small hints to plausibly believe Aoyama was always meant to be the spy. It's just that the “why” requires a lot of inorganic explanations that don't gel with the heightened emotions at play. It makes sense that Aoyama and his family would be tearful, terrified, and desperate. It makes sense that Deku and the rest of the class would be distraught at finding out their lovable goofball friend had endangered their lives multiple times. It's hard to feel those things alongside them when I have the backstory explained to me just to understand a plot thread that hasn't been mentioned in half a decade. The reveal doesn't land with shock, but rather with mild surprise that it came back up at all, followed by trying to remember the scant few clues we got ages ago. That's not very effective drama.

I appreciate the fallout though. At a different point in the story, Aoyama's betrayal might have been met with anger but by now, Deku and the rest of the cast only have sympathy for their classmate. Aoyama might see himself as a despicable villain, but ultimately he and his parents were being taken advantage of. He was a kid burdened with demands and threatened with following them—all because his parents made the mistake of trusting the wrong person. Yet even then, he still displayed moments of selfless heroism—and his friends were mature enough to recognize all of it. Their first instinct is to empathize with the fear and shame that's consumed him, then to offer a hand to pull him out of that quicksand. It doesn't completely outweigh the clumsy way the story is dolled out but that bleeding heart sentiment is something MHA can always rely on to carry through its most unsteady moments.

Also, I don't buy for a second that Aoyama is the only spy. All For One said he likes to make tons of plans at the same time, so my theory about Monoma being the mole is STILL ALIVE dammit. It's weird how that little prick is conspicuously absent from all this, huh? Sure he's in Class B, but still, we're at school! He should be around! I bet he's sweating in his cheesy magician's costume right now. Keep your head on a swivel, you smug little bastard, because your day of reckoning is coming.


My Hero Academia is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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