After a two season hiatus, the shonen superhero series My Hero Academia has returned!
U.A. High is going into its summer break, but unlike most schools, things aren’t all fun and games for the students. They are each dedicated to training in their own way in preparation for the summer training camp: an arduous ordeal designed to sharpen their skills in survival and combat.
While the school continues to take steps to protect the students after an increasing number of bold attacks by the League of Villains, chief antagonist Tomura Shigaraki realizes why he was so annoyed with the hero killer Stain and the U.A. students. Seeing All-Might “smile thoughtlessly” as he saved people, and his confidence that he could save anyone, really pisses Shigaraki off. So, he resolves himself to show the world just how “fragile justice is”.
Midoriya reflects on the events that led him to U.A., including his introduction to All-Might, the transfer of his abilities, and his eventual invitation to study at the Hero academy. His memories are interrupted by Mineta and Denki, who invite him to the pool for some “endurance training”. Of course, we’re talking about Mineta and Denki, so the real plot is to spot the girls in their new summer swimsuits.
Arriving at the pool, Mineta and Denki are surprised to find all the guys there as well. Midoriya had invited everyone along for the “endurance training”, and to top it all off, the girls ended up wearing school-issued swimsuits instead of the more revealing outfits Denki had hoped for.
During training, there are moments where the other major players from previous seasons – Iida and Todoroki – look back on Midoriya’s contributions to their own development. Midoriya also thinks over the various relationships he’s nurtured at U.A., including the tumultuous one he maintains with Bakugo.
Of course, as if on cue, Bakugo makes his appearance (a bit delayed) and immediately challenges Midoriya to a fight. Iida instead suggests the boys have a swimming competition to measure who can swim 50 meters the fastest.
In the brief comedic scene that follows, hardly any of the heroes actually get in the water and swim! Bakugo launches himself across with a large explosion, and Todoroki rides a wave of ice to the other side. Midoriya does swim, invoking a Full Cowling effect to cross the distance – even besting Iida.
Just as the top 3 are about to settle the score, Aizawa appears and sends them all home. Midoriya goes to the beach where he did his training with All-Might before the entrance exams, just as his mentor shows up. As Midoriya looks upon the beach where it all started, you can only imagine that his excitement for the summer training continues to grow as he takes another step towards becoming his ideal: a hero that saves people with a smile, All-Might’s worthy successor, the world’s greatest hero!
After nearly 6 months of being off the air, I’ll admit it was kind of a bummer to see so much of the episode bogged down with recaps. This seemed like something they could have put together in the Fall or Winter season to keep fans happy while alluding to the next major arc in the story.
That being said, the way that the recaps are done helps to further develop the heroes relationships with one another. Imagining the world of My Hero Academia in 10 years, Iida, Bakugo, Todoroki…they’ll all have stories about how Midoriya helped to shape the heroes they became. Seeing these origin stories and their early interactions with one another is exactly the sort of glimpse into superhero life that people have grown to love about My Hero Academia.
There’s also a handful of fresh scenes that help move the plot forward, if only a little. Tomura’s revelation helps instill some uncertainty as the previously unhinged and seemingly chaotic super-villain now has a more crystallized goal and view of how the world should be. It gives viewers pause to know what kind of plots he has in mind with this renewed dedication.
Meanwhile, the staff at U.A. continue to take steps to protect the students. Near the end it’s revealed that the location of the summer training camp is experiencing a last-minute change that is only being shared with the upper management. With fears of a mole being buried in the school, keeping their cards close to their chest should help – key word being should.
Overall, it’s a refreshing dive back into the world of My Hero Academia, and we’ll be following the adventures of Midoriya and his classmates for back-to-back cours (or seasons). Stay tuned for our weekly reviews!