Boku no Hero Academia (Season 2) – Eps. 13-15

Update (11/19/2017): Added screencaps for the OP and ED

I can now start writing for the second cour of Boku no Hero Academia Season 2 and with that, a new arc has begun!

I’ve yet to read the manga (though I probably will after this season ends) so I largely go into Boku no Hero Academia blind. I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the Field Training arc. I figured it was going to be less heart pumping than the sports festival and for the most part, it does feel like that at first (emphasis on the “at first”). Still, quite a lot happened in the first three episodes of this arc.

The Sports Festival might be over but the aftermath is almost as important as the big event itself. We learned at the start of Season 2 that pro heroes would be watching tournament and we’re now seeing what a good performance at the event would merit. Almost everyone in Class 1-A is getting internship offers. Todoroki and Bakugo naturally get the most offers while Tenya and Ochako get a decent number as well. The only one who seems to have lucked out is Deku (Mineta got offers for crying out loud). I was surprised at first but when I think about it, it’s a huge liability to take in someone who appears to end up in the hospital every time he uses his Quirk. At least, Deku ended up as a crowd favorite.

With internships comes the need for code names and seeing everyone pitch some was a lot of fun to watch. A lot of them really do fit these characters and even reflect their personalities. Of course, Aoyama went with a phrase for his code name. Personally, I think you can’t get any better than Tsui’s pitch: “Froppy”. The name just says is it all. I love how Bakugo keeps getting rejected because his proposed names sound too villainous. Todoroki and Tenya choosing their own names was a curious sight but it makes sense. With Todoroki coming to terms with his Fire side and Tenya feeling the weight of adopting “Ingenium” from his brother, they’re both naturally uncomfortable with choosing code names just yet. I am not surprised that Deku went with his own nickname. After Ochako changed the meaning to “I can do it”, I honestly can’t think of a name more befitting.

Fortunately for Deku, he does get an internship from All Might’s former teacher, Gran Torino. I immediately took a liking to this little and speedy retiree. He honestly reminds me of Yoda albeit if Yoda’s agility in the Star Wars prequels was entirely plausible. The guy even pulls the same “act senile and then surprise the student that you’re extremely good at what you do” trick that Yoda uses on Luke. But aside from being super fast, Gran Torino is apparently quite knowledgeable of the Quirk (counting Deku, he’s met three users of One For All).

Deku sure gets his butt kicked a lot but thanks to Gran Torino beating him up (and a funny microwave metaphor), Deku gains Full Cowling. Now Deku can circulate One for All through his entire body without immediately destroying his limbs! That certainly changes up how Deku will fight from now on. At the moment, he can only circulate 5% energy meaning Deku is more mobile but he’s considerably weaker in terms of raw power. I noticed that his normal Smashes are entirely like All Might’s fighting style but Full Cowling resembles more of how Gran Torino maneuvers. I imagine Deku is planning on incorporating both styles so that he can run at full speed and then at just the right moments, use a Smash at 100%.

It does seem as though Deku is one of the few students who is gaining anything out of his internship. Seriously, a lot of the other characters look miserable at their internships. Some of them are working out like Ochako training under Gunhead and Tsui working in the navy (how appropriate). But you look at say, Bakugo (that haircut…) and you’re like “I pray for you”.

And now for the biggest elephant in the room: Tenya and Stain. For much of the Sports Festival arc, I thought Tenya was largely playing the same part he had in Season 1. He’s diligent and forward-thinking and he sees Deku as both a close friend and a rival because they share similar principles of heroism. And I was entirely fine with that. I liked seeing Tenya challenge Deku by siding with Todoroki during the cavalry battle for example. At the same time however, it wasn’t like with Ochako and Bakugo who started to show new sides to their characters. But the moment Tenya found out his brother Tensei suffered a career-breaking injury at the hands of Stain, Tenya reveals a side to him that I’ve never seen before. Seeing Tenya so bent on avenging his brother feels out of character and rightfully so. Beating Stain would do the world a service but for Tenya, that’s secondary to being the one to commit the act.

I was surprised to see Tenya face Stain at the end of Episode 15. In any other shounen, that encounter would’ve been saved up for much later. Then, Boku no Hero Academia is the kind of show that wants to get that stuff happening ASAP and that ultimately makes the experience all the more heart pumping.

OP 2: “Sora ni Utaeba” by amazarashi

ED 2: “Datte Atashi no Hero.” by LiSA

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