The second episode of the fourth season marked the true beginning of the next major arc, including the introduction of two major players: Overhaul and Sir Nighteye.
Before we go any further, I want to make clear that yes, I have read the Boku no Hero Academia manga. I’ll attempt to make my reviews as anime-only friendly as possible, limiting my analysis to the present instead of my usual forward-looking speculation. The comments may not always take such care, though, so proceed with caution. That said, let’s talk about the second episode of the fourth season, “Overhaul”. Because wow, we are headed into a whole new big arc here and a lot happened in just 20 minutes.
Overhaul is a different class of villain than the current League of Villains members. He is a member of the yakuza, the Japanese organized crime syndicate, which in most anime would make him the most powerful character on screen most of the time. But here he recognizes that he’s currently in a weaker position than the League of Villains and wants to absorb them into his group to raise his own profile. This isn’t our world and being yakuza doesn’t carry the same weight here.
This doesn’t come without a cost. Their initial meeting results in the death of one of the League of Villain members (and notably one of two canonically trans characters in the show), throwing the other LoV members off balance. Toga in particular is thrown by the loss of “Big Sister Magne,” showing an unusually vulnerable side of herself when her friend is cut down. It’s a brutal start to a prospective partnership. But villains aren’t known to be kind, so I suppose we should have been prepared for it.
We leave the villains in a somewhat questionable place, with the partnership with Overhaul somewhat left in a lurch. Do you give up your autonomy and join a brutal mob boss in the hopes of becoming more powerful? Or do you keep going your own way and continue to get beat by heroes at every turn? Tough choice for the LoV.
But this segues into the hero plot, where Deku and his classmates are also about the embark on a journey filled with tough choices and opportunities to become more capable heroes themselves. The first year UA students are tasked with finding internships and, after being rejected by Gran Torino, Deku finds himself attempting to land an internship with All Might’s former sidekick Sir Nighteye. Deku’s foot in the door for this opportunity comes via Mirio, one of the “Big Three” introduced last season, and at one point a potential recipient of One For All.
And now here is the part where I have trouble fangirling about this without veering into spoiler territory for the manga. In order to avoid accidentally slipping up and spilling beans on anything, I’ll wrap up my analysis of this arc here and just say I’m very excited to see this all play out. I’m excited for the anime-only folk to join us so we can scream about this all together. See you next week for the episode ‘Boy Meets...’
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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