My Hero Academia
Episode 54

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 54 of
My Hero Academia (TV 3) ?

The Provisional License Exams continue with class 1-A taking the brunt of the competing schools' onslaught. The stated object of the game is to be within the first one hundred students to eliminate two fellow examinees, but if our kids get too hasty they could be leaving themselves wide open to their opponents, whose abilities we're only witnessing for the first time now.

Since the stakes are relatively low in these exam arcs (Naruto failed his initial Chuunin exam and he turned out alright), and the mechanics of the game aren't particularly interesting, the strength of these episodes is going to lie on the new characters, as well as whatever thematic development the story can draw out of these circumstances. Regarding the latter, the thematic focus this week is whether the 1-A kids can keep a level head during the action, since it's easy for them to think of themselves as the "celebrities" of the battle. Basically, if you assume you've got main character plot armor, you're going to be vulnerable to defeat.

As for the new characters, the stand-out this week is easily Camie from Shiketsu High. She has the ability to change her appearance, but even when she's not using her Quirk, she's the type to wander way too far into Midoriya's personal space and psych him out. MHA has a lot of fun with its boisterous weirdos, and Camie's sultry comportment is no exception. The primary challenge that she raises for our heroes is the ability to look like fellow 1-A students. She almost tricks Midoriya while pretending to be Uraraka, and even though she fails, the revelation that she knows them enough to simulate their friendship poses an issue. 1-A being so famous continues to be a huge problem.

I also enjoyed our brief glimpse of Inasa Yoarashi, in which he uses his wind powers to steal everybody's balls and eliminate 120 students right off the bat. That's pretty overkill compared to the two eliminations required to pass, but he says it while giving a big excited speech about passion, and I can't not love the enthusiasm. It's a little strange that our fiercest opponent has already moved on and we don't have to worry about him anymore, however.

The finale leading into the cliffhanger belongs to Todoroki's fight with a group of ninja kids. It appears to be pretty standard fare, but it's always interesting to see Todoroki growing more comfortable with his fire powers, even if he's still only busting them out for special occasions. We end the episode about where we expect, with a healthy amount of action, but nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary. Seeing a barrage of new powers is always cool (I like the "telescope" girl) and the fact that this is the other schools' time to shine does set this exam apart from the other U.A.-centric ones. I don't think there's enough pomp and circumstance to really get the most out of this arc's low-key framework, but I'm still hanging on.

Rating: B

My Hero Academia is currently streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

Sam Leach records about One Piece for The One Piece Podcast and you can find him on Twitter @LuckyChainsaw

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