My Hero Academia
Episode 9

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 9 of
My Hero Academia ?

Villains have finally arrived! Granted, it's only at the very end of the episode, but at least now we have something that we can maybe call the beginning of an arc?

Before that, we have a few more school antics to get out of our system. Aizawa, too slothful to spend his day teaching, appoints his students with the responsibility of picking a class representative. Everybody starts volunteering for the job immediately (is class rep even that popular a position in Japanese schools?), until Iida silences everybody with the suggestion that it should be a democratic decision. Lo and behold, Midoriya is picked by the few anonymous votes that weren't just various classmates picking themselves. It's clear that Iida and Ochako were among his votes, though maybe Midoriya isn't actually best for the job.

Alongside this event is the U.A.'s attempt to shoo away the mass media, which keeps swarming the school looking for scoops on All Might's new position as a teacher. He's a very popular hero, after all. Eventually, the media succeeds in making it onto the school grounds, tripping the security alarm and causing a panic among the students who worry that super villains may have invaded. The first half of this episode centers around Iida calming the crowded halls and earning Midoriya's vote to take his place as class representative. Really, Iida seemed like the obvious choice from the get-go.

This episode is clearly split in half, plot-wise. It's obvious that the two segments stood as individual chapters in the manga, so the show is making some attempt to speed things up. I remember a few episodes back, I was criticizing the show for jamming too much into one installment, but that was a case where I felt like there were too many emotional highs in one episode and that particular piece of the story could have made a solid mini-arc. Now, nine episodes in, I'm a little amazed at how little has actually happened in the story so far. If this season really is only going to be thirteen episodes, then it's ultimately looking to be thirteen episodes of just hanging around school and getting to know the characters. I'm cool with a show taking its time to get somewhere (I still watch One Piece every week), but it's a different story if there's any chance at all that the show's time on this earth is really that limited.

One especially interesting story detail this week is how All Might's powers seem to be weakening ever since he granted One For All to Midoriya. He's not even able to maintain his buff form as long as he used to, and now he's got to sit his own classes out just to preserve resources. It's actually kind of a scary thought. I think of All Might as the ultimate safety net for the other characters, so in the event that these upcoming villains have got some bite, it'll be interesting to see how we get out of the situation.

This is a low emotions episode, but that just means it can get through the material faster without feeling like it's not allowing the story to breath. I'm continuing to love the interactions between characters, and I'm surprised at how interested I've become in the general exposition and world building stuff. It's a good episode to get a healthy string of chuckles throughout (Ochako is viciously adorable in this episode), and the fact that it ends with the most significant plot development yet is important. I'm really counting on these last four episodes to give me a good ride.

Rating: B

My Hero Academia is currently streaming on Funimation.

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

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