What’s there really to say about My Hero Academia at this point? Ever since the manga’s debut in 2014 and the anime’s debut two years later, it has grown to become one of the biggest franchises of our times and one that’s bringing in new fans to both mediums in the same way Attack On Titan and One Punch Man did. It does help that it became popular at the right time where superheroes dominate both the big and small screen. All of this because Kohei Horikoshi managed to create a story with relatable characters, unique power sets, and all the feels one can manage. I enjoyed the first three seasons of the anime and I was looking forward to the fourth season, especially after reading ahead of the manga. So did Bones keep the momentum going? Well, let’s find out. This is My Hero Academia, season four.
In this season of My Hero Academia, there are two major story arcs along with two smaller stories. The first episode is pretty much a filler episode where a journalist is doing a story on Class 1-A, which is really a search for the new Symbol Of Peace after All Might’s retirement. It’s not a bad episode, but you don’t need to watch it. After that, we continue where the season 3 finale left off into the Overhaul Arc, where the League Of Villains team up with Overhaul, who’s a member of the Yakuza group Shie Hassaikai. At the same time, Deku begins his Hero-Work Study with Mirio Togata, one of the Big Three of U.A., and All Might’s former sidekick Sir Nighteye. Now, I’ve seen people complain about the pacing of this story arc, saying that it’s too slow. While I can understand those complaints to an extent, it is the longest story arc in the manga so far, but there is a reason for this. You can’t just throw viewers into a big fight, there needs to be an establishment of who, what, when, where, and why (and how). That’s what the first six episodes of the arc are for, establishing the main players, key points, and strategy. The Pro Heroes, with help from the Big Three, Deku, Uraraka, Tsuyu, and Kirishima, are investigating the activities of Shie Hassaikai and plan a raid at their hideout.
During all of this, two major plot points are established. The first one comes when Deku and Mirio run into Overhaul and his “daughter” Eri, who has bandages on her body and is visibly frightened. It’s later revealed that this young girl’s DNA is being used to make bullets that can destroy Quirks, much to the horror of both Deku and Mirio, who are determined to rescue Eri from this horrible fate. The other plot point involves Kirishima doing his Hero-Work Study with one of the Big Three Tamaki Akamjiki under the Pro Hero Fatgum where they confront some thugs who are using Quirk-stopping bullets and Quirk-enhancing drugs. This is where Kirishima gets his first MVP moment as he pushes his Hardening Quirk to its upper limit.
Okay, so all of the setup is done, so the Heroes commence the raid on Shie Hassaikai with help from the police. Something that you rarely see in a lot of in superhero stories is superheroes working alongside the police outside of one or two officers. During this raid, we get some major fights. One of them involves Tamaki, also known as Suneater. His Manifest Quirk allows him to manifest the attributes of whatever he’s eaten. For example, if he eats octopus, he would grow tentacles or if he eats poultry, he’ll grow wings. Things like that. Kirishima gets another MVP moment when he alongside Fatgum go up against two Yakuza members, one who can form barriers and the other one is so ridiculously strong that he can do damage to Kirishima even with his Hardening. This fight further made me respect Kirishima even more, especially with flashbacks to his middle school days.
But if there’s anyone who’s worthy of the MVP title, it’s Mirio a.k.a. Lemillion. His Permeation Quirk allows him to phase through objects, which is perfect for going up against Overhaul, whose Quirk allows him to destroy and reassemble anything he touches. Mirio is trying so hard to rescue Eri while dodging Overhaul’s attacks when suddenly, he gets hit with one of the Quirk-destroying bullets and he loses his Quirk. But that ain’t stopping him from beating that ass. Dude, Mirio is that guy. The fact that he’s still fighting despite no Quirk is inspiring. He should have been the main protagonist of the series. Then, the actual protagonist of the series shows up as Deku bursts in to rescue Eri and goes up against Overhaul with a boost from her Quirk, which can revert someone’s body to a previous state, healing any injuries they sustained and even reverting them to a state before they were even born. With this, Deku uses 100% of One For All and…
Yeah, he pretty much showed us why he’s the protagonist of the series. His determination to save Eri is just as strong as Mirio’s and he’s just wailing on Overhaul at full strength. That shot of him before he delivers the final punch made Overhaul piss himself in fear. So, the day is saved, Eri is in safe hands, but it’s not entirely consequence free as Mirio is now Quirkless and Sir Nighteye has died from his wounds. This was a really good story arc that showcased why My Hero Academia is a top-tier shonen anime. It has the big battles, the emotional stakes, uniquely creative powers, the whole shebang. Could it have been shorter? Yeah. But all of the waiting is worth it in my opinion. After that, we get a 3-episode story focused on Bakugo and Todoroki getting their Provisional Hero licenses after failing the last time and it was fun, showing some hilarious moments and some character development for both Bakugo, who’s becoming less of an asshole, and Endeavor. We’ll talk about the latter soon enough.
And now for the other major story arc of the season, the School Festival Arc because every anime needs an episode or more focused on a festival. Compared to the Overhaul Arc, this one is much lighter in tone and smaller in stakes as Class 1-A are putting together a concert for U.A.’s annual school festival. At the same time, a villain named Gentle Criminal is committing crimes for online views along with his partner La Brava. They plan to infiltrate the festival, which leads into a conflict with Deku. We eventually see Gentle’s background where he originally wanted to be a Hero, but he kept failing the courses and he botched an attempt to rescue a civilian in danger, which led to his life going down the toilet, so he led a life of crime in order to be acknowledged by the world. After Deku defeats Gentle Criminal, we get the big concert that Class 1-A have been working on and while it is something straight out of a slice-of-life anime, it’s still a blast to watch and those kids put on one hell of a performance. The best part is seeing Eri smiling and enjoying the show, which damn near had me in tears, seeing someone who’s been suffering their entire life be happy for once.
Now for the final two episodes of the season, which are focused on Endeavor being the new Number One Hero. When Endeavor was introduced in Season 2, he was one of the most detestable characters in the series, being shown as an arrogant asshole who was abusive to his wife and kids and didn’t care about their well-being, he just wanted to surpass All Might. Somewhere along the way, he started having a change of heart where he tries to be a better person for his family and the public, especially now that he’s the new Number One Hero. I’ve seen some people not liking the fact that he’s getting the spotlight in both anime and manga. Here’s the thing: nobody has to forgive someone for doing terrible things, but there are cases where someone realizes the wrong that they’ve done and are working nonstop to better things. That alone should be commended and in the case of Endeavor, it makes for some interesting character development. I guarantee you that we will see more of this development in the next season.
And that was My Hero Academia Season 4. What can I say about it that I haven’t said about the last three seasons? The animation is great, the fights are awesome, the characters are engaging, and it does a really good job at capturing a world without All Might as the Symbol Of Peace. This is still one of my favorite anime series right now and I’m looking forward to the next season. Next time, we’ll be talking about one of the original Big 3 of anime and one that’s slated to come back next year, Bleach.