Boku no Hero Academia 4×9 Review: Red Riot

Red Riot

‘Red Riot’ was a Kirishima focused episode, and that’s something I will never in a million years complain about.

I’ve seen the word ‘filler’ floated around to describe ‘Red Riot,’ and I just have to wonder how these people will handle the large periods of plot coming up that don’t directly revolve around Midoriya. If you can’t stand stepping away from the protagonist from time to time to flesh out the rest of the ensemble cast (and yes, this IS an ensemble), then you’re going to have a lot of struggles coming up, my dude. Boku no Hero Academia is, at its core, a show about the characters and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

For those of us who dig the character-focused narrative, ‘Red Riot’ was an amazing exploration of what makes Kirishima tick. What exactly motivated him to become a hero, and what keeps him going? We already know that he idolizes Crimson Riot, even going as far as having his own hero name be a homage to the pro. But we also see that, surprisingly, Mina Ashido played a huge part in motivating him to apply to UA. This makes the BakuSquad (the tight-knit friends group surrounding Bakugo) even more interesting as at least two of them have a pretty strong history together already.

We also see some of Kirishima’s less than brave moments. When his quirk first manifested, he injured himself and was afraid of it for a long time. But he pushed beyond that fear and trained hard, making him the hero in training that we see today.

These bits of Kirishima’s history are vital not just to him personally as a character, but to show the varied paths it takes to become a hero. Not everyone takes the same journey, and his is one that many can relate to. He had a lot to overcome both mentally and physically, and the story happening around his flashbacks shows just how far he’s come.

I’m enjoying the pacing of this season. While their run down the hallway may feel like it’s dragging on forever (and, indeed, they’ve been running down this hallway since episode 7), the time doesn’t exactly feel wasted. This is a huge and complex operation to rescue Eri, and we get to see each moving part in fine detail. Last week we saw the surprising power behind the incredibly shy and introverted Tamaki as he took on three villains solo, and this week we see Kirishima overcome his hurdles and spring into action. Next week, however, we might get back to the ‘main’ characters a bit with the episode titled ‘Temp Squad.’ The preview was very Midoriya heavy, so ‘filler’ complainers should rejoice!

This is usually the part of my preview where I throw random shots of Aizawa at you, but there really wasn’t much. Kirishima diving in to save him was really his only scene. So in a way, Aizawa is the reason that Kirishima and Fat Gum (or ‘Fit Gum’ as I call the buffed up version of him) got trapped this week, but it wasn’t visually appealing enough to get a screenshot. I will make this up to you next week. I swear. Please come fangirl about Aizawa with me!

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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