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My Hero Academia Season 7
Episode 145

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 145 of
My Hero Academia (TV 7) ?
Community score: 3.9

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There's an art to teasing big fights without immediately getting to them. While it can feel frustrating not to start right out the gate with the big guns, there are plenty of scenarios where it's useful to slowly ramp things up and build tension for what comes next. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad, cheap, or boring ways to do it. We get both ends of that spectrum in “Inflation”—an episode that lives up to its name by being about 30% hot air.

I do not bristle at short recaps at the start of the episode—but I still have my limits. And spending the 6-odd minutes of this one recapping stuff we already know crosses the line several times over. I get that we must understand where everyone is now that our heroes and villains have been split up but there has to be a more graceful way than grinding the show to a halt and reiterating the plan with simple info-graphics, right? We're watching a superhero cartoon, not a board meeting! It's egregious padding that kills the momentum we had from last week.

That's a bad start to this episode, and it taints what should be an otherwise tense and foreboding episode, especially in the first segment. As Y'all For One thrashes at our heroes with his gross hand growths, we should be hyped up to see how Bakugo and friends will hold up against the big bad now that Deku's been separated. Even if the cast having to wait for Goku Deku is cliché, it works because we've seen how badly beloved characters got messed up during the last battle with Shigaraki. Now they've got him locked in a cage with more powers and less holding him back—which only ups the chances of somebody getting dismembered, disemboweled, or disintegrated. Yet that impact is lost because we had five minutes of homework to sit through beforehand.

Toga's segment manages to escape that feeling, thanks to having some meaningful character conflict and Deku's adorably nerdy reaction to a girl asking him out. Poor boy has willingly taken the world upon his shoulders, yet this is the one thing that breaks his dramatic composure. For a split second, he's no longer the world's greatest hope or the final successor of a generation-spanning battle for supremacy. At that moment, he's a socially awkward loser who just got asked out by the most intimidating girl he's ever met—and all he can do is stammer and ramble. You can imagine how the thousands of thirsty fans trying to live vicariously through him must have screamed in despair when he didn't immediately approve of her confession. It's perfect.

More importantly, Deku's apparent rejection of Toga's perspective allows her to lock in—and it's honestly rather heartbreaking. We know, as the audience, that Deku and Uraraka are probably the only heroes who would hear Toga out about anything in her life but a lifetime of rejection has convinced her that anyone asking her to compromise or change is ultimately trying to control her—and Toga is far beyond anyone's control now. That sad little grin right before she goes on the attack says it all—Deku was her Last Hope of finding somebody who might accept her, and even though she expected it, hearing it out loud still hurts. The question is if Uraraka's concern for Toga can accomplish anything now that the other girl has fully committed to her villain status.

Speaking of potential lost causes, we close out the episode with Dabi and Shoto facing off—where any resolution besides one or both of them burning to ash seems impossible. Shoto may want to bring his estranged brother back from the brink but Dabi looks like he leapt off that cliff years ago and has just been waiting for the chance to drag their father down with him. It's here where the music and drama make the episode sing, as the raging flames of Dabi's hatred drown the world in eerie blue, and his own body turns to cinders as he speaks. Even if nothing happens here besides the two talking and staring one another down, the atmosphere alone is engrossing enough to make it work. It's not enough to erase the frustration from the start of the episode, but it at least recovers from that face plant enough to maintain momentum.

Rating:

My Hero Academia is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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