My Hero Academia
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 32 of
My Hero Academia (TV 2) ?
My Hero Academia is about to face an infamous right of passage for long-running shonen, because we've got its first real filler episode! One thing that makes me comfortable with this show's pacing as it stands—some people find it too slow whereas I think it's just right—is the knowledge that it's being handed out in batches, meaning it gets to take breaks that prevent it from overlapping with the manga's content. The lengths of seasons and their breaks appear to be pretty flexible, meaning that Studio Bones is likely to have a lot of freedom to speed up or speed down at their leisure. So having filler now strikes me as a choice to make sure the season ends on their episode of choice.
We continue to lean ever so slightly into the other students' internships, but ultimately this story belongs to Tsuyu "Froppy" Asui. I actually kind of wish we got to see more of the other internships, because just as I think I'm getting sick of them, the few scenes we get at the front of this episode (mostly Bakugo and Ochako's) turn out to be really fun. The mere introduction of the internships already did a good job of detailing this hero world just enough for me to envision the daily lives of people who aren't Midoriya, so fleshing this stuff out further feels like the exact kind of thing filler was made for.
This little mini-adventure of Tsuyu on her internship ends up fairly benign, but it carries the feel-good tone of the series and continues to be nicely animated, which is as much as I think you could ask for from a filler episode. Tsuyu is doing menial labor for a seal-man hero named Selkie and his side-kick, a girl named Sirius. They both have pretty strong designs (I think that they're still Horikoshi's characters, but I wouldn't be surprised either way), and Sirius in particular gets to have the classic hero conversation with Tsuyu: "What's important to you as a hero?" and all that. The Octopus villain they end up fighting also looks pretty cool.
By virtue of this being filler, you're not going to hold the weightier stuff on the same level as the episodes around it, but the ultimate choice that Tsuyu has to make in this episode—whether she obeys the villain's demands to radio in and tell her higher-ups that everything is okay, lest Sirius gets hurt—is a strong one. Even though she's an intern, she decides that fighting back was the right thing to do, even if she was going to put herself in danger. This feels like an extremely lite version of something you'd see the other students doing in the canon story, which makes me wonder if this is the kind of thing people would have actually preferred Horikoshi's take on? There are a lot of characters in class 1-A, so it makes sense that some are going to have to wait their turn or get fleshed out in side stories like this.
What you get out of this episode will depend on how big of a Froppy fan you are or how much you like the little cute moments in this show. I really enjoyed the new snippets of the other internships this week and possibly could have enjoyed several episodes like this if they kept the different vignettes the right length. Nobody's clamoring for filler, but I don't mind wading through it if I know what I'm getting into ahead of time, and this is as enjoyable as you could reasonably expect.
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