My Hero Academia
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 66 of
My Hero Academia (TV 4) ?
It's the battle of the fanboys on this week's My Hero Academia. While I was right that there would be a surprise twist on Midoriya's failed joke to gain favor with Nighteye (a goofy All Might impression where he unnaturally contorts his face to match his hero's chiseled features), I didn't expect Nighteye's problem to be a lack of authenticity. Up until this point we've only heard that Nighteye wasn't on on good terms with All Might anymore, so it's surprising when it turns out he's still a neurotic superfan with exclusive merchandise strewn through his office. This episode escalates into a quid pro quo where the combatants use their unceasing nerdiness against each other. Can Midoriya prove himself worthy of Nighteye's guidance?
If you have to dedicate an entire episode to just one fight, it's probably for the best that you don't set it in a single office room. Midoriya's challenge here is to take the approval stamp Nighteye needs to use for his work study form by force. We begin bouncing off the walls at high speed, reminiscent of Gran Torino, but Nighteye can see the future with his Quirk and stay several steps ahead. The plainness of the setting does a lot to sap the episode of its energy. There are a few outstanding visuals, but it all blurs together in the end. Visually, these early season four episodes have had more of a Saturday morning cartoon feel than usual, and I'm hoping that's something the series can shake as the arc continues.
The underlying drama is still strong, however. We still don't know much about Nighteye's current standing with All Might, but it's clear he's very resistant to the idea of Midoriya in the successor position. He would have preferred Mirio be the one who received One For All, so he's determined to sap Midoriya of his will to keep training. You go into this episode assuming that Nighteye will be won over by Midoriya's Main Character Charisma, which is the key to this whole story. Main Character-ism is the exact thing being contested in this series, so simply walking and talking the part isn't going to cut it. Even when Nighteye begrudgingly approves the work study proposal, he does so with the intention of trying to make Midoriya quit.
This episode doesn't cover a ton of ground, but it feels purposeful in setting up the character dynamics for the arc to come. Mirio is such a good dude that it's gonna suck having to walk in his shadow, knowing that he was the previous candidate to inherit One For All and probably would have been a better fit. That, plus the post-credits introduction of Eri, the little girl at the heart of the Overhaul conflict, definitely makes me feel like Midoriya's going to have his work cut out for for him, both inside his own imposter syndrome, and the inevitable hardships ahead. There's only so much to say about it, but this episode gets the job done.
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