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My Hero Academia
Episode 59

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 59 of
My Hero Academia (TV 3) ?

When last we saw our youngling heroes, they were faced with a manufactured crisis situation meant to be the final test in their Provisional License Exams. The kids had enough of a challenge dealing with injured citizens, but at the last second we met Gang Orca, a pro-hero who looks enough like a villain to play the part in this simulation.

Even though this exam is designed to test the kids' heroism and teamwork, it quickly turns into a petty competition. You'd expect Bakugo to be the troublemaker here, but surprisingly it's Todoroki and Inasa from Shiketsu going at it instead, maliciously getting in each other's way during the showdown with Gang Orca. It turns out Inasa has beef with the Todoroki family, starting with Endeavor coldly rejecting an autograph when he was a child, and his icy-hot son demonstrated a similar brash attitude during the U.A. entrance exam (which Inasa passed and then rejected). It pisses Todoroki off to hear himself being compared to his dad, and I like how the real "fight" of this episode is Todoroki dealing with the fact that he hasn't grown past the issues that he thought he had.

This being the finale of the arc means that it's also the best-looking episode in weeks. We get those beautiful bold outlines, and I love the added visual effect of Todoroki's heat rising too. It communicates the anger that's building inside of him, while he and Inasa have to reconcile with the fact that their grudge match risks hurting those around them. I found myself pumping my fist when Midoriya emerged to save Shindo from their crossfire, shouting at them in genuine anger. It's a battle of hot tempers vs. sober logic. They both know they're mucking up, but they just can't help it.

The episode ends just before we see the results of the exam, which we know are tallied by number of mistakes more than anything. It's hard to imagine Todoroki and Inasa aren't about to face some real consequences for their sudden scuffle. The show had been hinting at something being up with Inasa, but seeing the truth derail the exams so much was a pleasant surprise. I'm eager to see where else the story wants take the unpleasant father/son similarities.

With the earlier episodes of this arc taking their time to flesh the exams out, I have a growing appreciation for episodes like this that just snap to the most important stuff. There's a rawness to how this show lets your expectations wander and then BAM, it's the climax already. It took me a few arcs to get the hang of it, but I feel like that's this series' hidden strength. This is a really great episode, offering plenty of action but more importantly offering some intriguing questions about where these kids are heading in their path to heroism. The hot-blooded wunderkinds tend to be my favorites, the kind of people most likely to botch their own potential.

Rating: A

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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