Boku no Hero Academia (Season 2) – Ep. 21

I know a one-week hiatus isn’t terribly long but when you have a show as good as Boku no Hero Academia, you really feel the void it leaves (and yes I know this season is over in 4 weeks). Come to think about it, a lot of anime have taken breaks this summer. Ballroom, Altair, Kakegurui, (even) Hina Logi, and now this show. I don’t know if all these hiatuses are suggesting anything about the anime industry but I don’t recall seeing this many anime take breaks.

But enough about that, let’s talk about Boku no Hero Academia itself. We’re now in one final arc: this time it’s about Class 1-A taking their final exams. As I was watching this episode, I did think, “Oh yeah. These kids go to school”. It’s not like I’ve forgotten the main setting of this show (the very word, “academia” is in the title) but the fact that there’s an actual curriculum in this story did sort of fade into my subconscious. Intense tournament fights and an encounter with a serial killer will do that you I suppose.

I completely forgot that Class 1-A even took midterms and clearly the staff at Bones thought so too since they have everyone’s midterm rankings displayed next to them at the beginning of the episode. Unsurprisingly, Deku, Iida, Todoroki, Bakugo, and Yaoyorozu comprise the top five. Given their talents and performances, it makes sense that they’d rank that high. Mineta getting 9th place surprised me so much; he even ranked higher than Uraraka (who’s sadly at 13th place). I guess the Fresh-Picked Hero takes his studies more seriously than he lets on. I would say I’m also surprised that Froppy ranked 6th but this is Froppy we’re talking about. You just don’t question Froppy.

Now about those final exams: fighting the teachers is quite a tall order for the students to do. It’s like if in Harry Potter, Harry has an OWL exam where he must duel Dumbledore one-on-one. On one hand, it’s great hands-on experience for the students. On the other hand, it’s downright crazy to think this would be fair challenge. Give the UA faculty some credit: they at least handicapped themselves and gave students the option to just escape the fight to pass. Still, the final exam looks to be really challenging since all students are matched against teachers whose Quirks can easily beat theirs. It’s evident in the first fight where Cementoss could just produce walls to exhaust Kirishima and Sato’s Quirks.

It makes me wonder just how exactly can Deku and Bakugo beat All Might. For one, Deku and All Might share the same Quirk and Deku is still leagues behind his mentor. There’s also the matter that Bakugo’s least favorite thing in the world is Deku himself. It’s such a cruel move on Eraserhead’s part but it also makes for the perfect challenge for both students. If Deku can get Bakugo to cooperate with him in any way, that’s speaks quite positively about himself as a hero. A shame, Bakugo will most likely plan on fighting All Might directly. No way that guy will go with the escape route.

The other matches should prove to be interesting as well. Besides, Deku and Bakugo, I’m most curious about Todoroki and Yaoyozoru fighting Eraserhead. Yaoyozoru’s tendency to think too much about the battle proved to be a weakness for her during the sports festival so I’m curious how that’ll work with Todoroki’s more reflexive approach. I think the most amusing fight will probably be Principal Nezu versus Kaminari and Ashido. I’m less curious about Kaminari and Ashido’s strategy and teamwork and more just how exactly Nezu can fight them. I don’t even know what the principal’s quirk even is.

Also, how dare the staff end the episode on a cliffhanger with Tokoyami and Froppy’s fight against Ectoplasm. It’s like the staff know there’s a lot of Froppy fans so what a better cliffhanger than to hang her final grade on the balance. The nerve of some people.

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