Anime

Review: My Hero Academia s4 ep87: Ranking the Heroes and Put Up or Shut Up

I think I finally get to use the word penultimate! I usually forget during my review of penultimate episodes to use the word penultimate. Of course, you’re probably worried I’ll overuse it, here’s the last time I’ll use it in this review:

Welcome to the collaboration review between Irina (from I Drink and Watch Anime) and me for the penultimate episode of My Hero Academia’s fourth season. Titled “Japanese Hero Billboard Chart,” it gave us some interesting highlights, like finding out what’s going to happen to Eri after she leaves the hospital, the goings on at the Japanese Hero Billboard ceremony, and the resurgence of a rumored enemy — an enemy most of the heroes didn’t see coming. Most importantly? We finally learn who the bunny girl was in the end credits! That was a huge relief. I was afraid they were going to end the season and not tell us.

I have to say, writing is a bit more challenging, what with the pandemic and all. How are you holding up, Irina? And any opening thoughts on the episode?

Where do I start… let’s see… Penultimate is a wonderful word. I’m glad you remembered to use it. 

Second, I’m doing well but I’m making questionable decisions. For instance, I’m using this time where a very limited amount of people are going to see me to test out hair colours and well… this may have happened:

As for an opening regarding this episode. Hawks has been hyped up by manga readers a lot so I was looking forward to getting to know his character but also a little afraid that he wouldn’t live up to said hype.

I did not think I’d see you choose dark hair! It suits the bold that you’re in this week! Oh, and there will be spoilers.

The show starts on a bright note: UA is going to adopt Eri! I’m also pretty happy with who’s going to be in charge of her, more or less playing the role of Dad: Mirio Togata/Lemillion! I have a feeling he’ll be a pretty good dad. Irina, what do you think?

He’s too young to be dad! I want to see him become a hero again. I really really do. He can still be an uncle or something. Besides, Eri needs someone a little more mature and stable. You know, maybe someone that’s finished high school… 

He might grow into the role! But I can’t deny he’s on the young side…

The students in class 1-A were pretty excited. As you might imagine, Izuku Midoriya/Deku was among the most excited. After everything Eri’s been through, it was nice seeing her smile and interact normally with Mina Ashido/Alien Queen, Ochako Uraraka/Uravity, and Tooru Hagakure/Invisible Girl. She’s very different from the little girl under Overhaul’s control. 

I was wondering why Shouta Aizawa/Eraser Head said the students from 1-A couldn’t hang around. He said they were expecting visitors. Turns out the Wild Wild Pussycats were coming out of retirement. They were still pretty popular even though inactive because of injuries. Tomoko Shiretoko/Ragdoll in particular suffered — All for One had stolen her Quirk. Now, she planned to become the hero team’s “Office lady cat.” She was pretty chipper!

I found it interesting that the episode spent time talking about All for One’s abilities, and how the jail had to be careful not to let him use any Quirks at all. Almost seemed like they were getting ready for something! Any suspicions, Irina?

Well, now that you mention it!!!

I was actually thinking that they were bringing together heroes that have lost their quirks because they might be getting them back in the near future, but that is most likely just wishful thinking. Your theory sounds much more plausible. 

Ragdoll still hadn’t gotten her Quirk back. However, she was enthusiastic about being able to help her team by handling the office paperwork. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It’s not bad. All for One is a pretty good villain and having him get free somehow has tons of inherent conflict built in. All Might will have to struggle with his nemesis being free while he’s not able to fight him anymore. And the League which has been flourishing without him for a while will have to adjust to his return. Will they really welcome him back with open arms? I’m not so sure. 

The Japanese Hero Billboard Chart brought the top 10 heroes up on stage in front of a huge crowd. Now that Toshinori Yagi/All Might “was driven to an early retirement,” the organizers thought they had to reassure the public with some pomp and circumstance. A few things jumped out at me.

First, Ryuko Tatsuma/Ryukyu dropped from number 9 to number 10. Really? After everything she did this season? 

There were a lot of heroes we didn’t really know. I think it was a great way to remind the audience that there is much more happening in the world of My Hero Academia than what affects Deku directly. 

Second, I didn’t know MHA has a Shield Hero! For a second, I thought Naofumi Iwatani might have switched shows, and I say, who could blame him? But no, his name was Crust. He apparently was a representative of the “orthodox school of manliness.”

I was not aware such a thing existed! Is there also a reformed school of manliness? A progressive school of manliness? A mainstream school of manliness? 

I notice that MHA uses “manly” or variations of it as a compliment a lot. I don’t know if something is getting lost in translation or if that’s what they actually mean. It’s pretty funny in any case.

Mirko looks like she could be an interesting character! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Third, the show introduced us to Rumi Usagiyama/Mirko. All joking aside, I really liked the character design and attitude that her still shot in the end credits showed, and I was hoping we’d get to meet her. As I suspected, she seemed like the type to take no crap from anyone.  

Somehow I have a feeling a sexy playboy bunny is likely to be a design appreciated by a lot of fans.

The fourth thing was the number two hero, Keigo Takami/Hawks. Young, brash, supremely confident in a way only the super talented who haven’t experienced their first crushing defeat can be, he seemed to call out Enji Todoroki/Endeavor. While heroes like Ryukyu were humble in their speeches, he was the opposite, and came out and said that they should be more inspirational right now.

When it was Endeavor’s turn, he only said, “Just watch me.”

Irina, what did you make of that?

Endeavor seems to have learned something from All Might after all. It was a great speech, too bad it didn’t succeed.

Like I said, I was really looking forward to Hawks, and his introduction left me a bit ambivalent. On the one hand I love a sarcastic blonde and it’s nice to have a character to lighten the mood. MHA has surprisingly few comedic relief characters. On the other hand, we all love Iron Man but can we stop making all superheroes snarky overconfident wise guys that ooze charisma and one liners? I really appreciated how different an archetype Nighteye was.

I mean it still worked on me. I want to see more of this guy…

I got the distinct impression that Endeavor didn’t like Hawks very much. I’m still on the fence, I think — so I’m on the fence about being on the fence. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Now I want to watch Iron Man again…

After the session, Hawks not only told Endeavor he’d been trying to help — he said that he wanted Endeavor to come back with him to his hometown. There was a rumor of an old enemy Hawks wanted to discuss — the Nomu, in fact.

During the ceremony, Hawks had made a big deal out of Endeavor’s number 4 ranking in popularity. Sure he was an incident solving machine, which earned him the number 1 ranking. But he still scared people. This episode hammered that home in a visually interesting way. As the two of them strode down the sidewalk, Hawks would almost absent-mindedly stop villains or help citizens. Folks finally recognized who he was, and they mobbed him. He good naturedly signed autographs, posed for selfies — even signed a little boy’s backpack. 

Endeavor, meanwhile, stood glowering — well, not glowering, exactly. Just standing as he usually does. He could see how well Hawks got along with the public. Endeavor could literally hear people saying that “His face is so scary…”

It didn’t help when he saw a kid (who looked a lot like Natsu from Fairy Tail) trying to work up his courage to approach. So, Endeavor walked over to him and offered to sign an autograph. The kid freaked out, saying part of Endeavor’s coolness was his inaccessibility. The kid actually ran off! It was cute how one of the kid’s friends bowed politely to Endeavor before running after his friend.

What’s you think, Irina?

I think to people like All Might and apparently Hawks, being a hero is a lot about inspiring others as such being liked is an important part of the job. Hence popularity being the most important ranking. But to people like Eraserhead, for instance, and even Stain, being a hero is first about saving people or stopping bad guys. You should prioritize efficiency and bystander safety over putting on a good show. 

I’m impressed with how well Hawks interacts with his public. It felt completely natural. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Endeavour never really found a style that fit him. I think he has always wanted to be recognized and admired, but he also thought it should be because he was strong and stopped the villains. Not that he would have to put on a side show just to win popularity contests. While All Might was around, Endeavour never stood a chance at capturing the public’s heart, so I think he went the practical route by default but now, he may have a shot at it but he just doesn’t know where to start.

Of course this is if you ignore the Endeavour from the 3 first seasons and go with this new Endeavour. Otherwise, I have no clue what’s going on.

Hawks took Endeavor to a restaurant, where he teased Endeavor with rumors he’d been hearing. Hawks showed that mingling with people had a huge upside: he heard these rumors at the source. Whether it was a rumor from school girls or stay at home wives, he became aware of these kinds of things quickly.

He even went to the police and helped to investigate. Quietly, of course. He didn’t want people to panic at the thought that Nomu were out and about. For being such a young hero, he showed some good social sense.

I don’t know about you, Irina, but up until now, I was wondering about Hawks’ angle. Then he said that he wanted to become the “producer” behind Endeavor. I think part of his goal of walking to the restaurant was to show Endeavor just how insensitive he was to the needs of the public — and how well-tuned Hawks was to that same public. I believed him, too.

Hawks said he wanted to be Endeavor’s “producer.” But there might be more to it than that. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Irina, what did you make of that conversation?

I guess I’m a little more simple than you are. I just thought he wanted to team up like he said. There are a lot of advantages for both sides to be working together especially as things are about to get rough and everyone knows it. If Hawks can make even Endeavour seem likeable, it’s going to boost his popularity as well and I will allow them both to take down villains neither could have on their own. 

On a purely practical basis, Hawks knew about these Nomus still being active, maybe he just needed help hunting them down.

The episode ended on a dramatic note: A kind of Nomu I haven’t seen before crashed into the restaurant’s window. Endeavor immediately took charge and ordered Hawks to evacuate the civilians. Endeavor had a lot of pent-up frustration. I think he feels like he has something to prove. The battle next week should give us some insights into Endeavor (I don’t think we’ve seen him fight extensively before) and the public as they watch.

What’d you think of the episode, Irina?

I think it’s meant to set up such a wonderful arc the episode before last (there’s a word for that I think). I really want to see this one play out, it was one of the most interesting episodes of the season. urrrgh

Reviews of the Other Episodes

7 thoughts on “Review: My Hero Academia s4 ep87: Ranking the Heroes and Put Up or Shut Up

  1. I really love how MHA sets up their stories and this is no exception. I am so excited for what’s to come. Plus penultimate is an awesome word.

    1. “I really love how MHA sets up their stories and this is no exception. ”

      You know, now that you mention it, you’re right. MHA has always done a great job of laying the foundation for the next arc or arcs.

      “Plus penultimate is an awesome word.”

      Isn’t it though? It was a lot of fun to use. I usually forget until the last episode, and by then it’s too late.

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