Hi everyone! Irina (from I Drink and Watch Anime) and I are back to review My Hero Academia season 4’s episode “Fighting Fate.” How was your week, Irina? Was it as cold in Canada as it was here in Ohio? We’re having temperatures more typical of January!
It’s coldish but nowhere near January temperatures. The internet tells me the last few days have been varying between 15 and 25F… does that make sense? January temperatures can drop to -40F with wind chill. Oh look at us… talking about the weather!
Minus 40F with wind chill? That’s cold…
As you can see, Irina’s bold this week. And there will be spoilers!
This episode was something that only a long-running series like My Hero Academia could give us. It starts with about seven minutes of the most effective non-action thrills that I’ve ever seen in anime, followed by the setup for the scenes that took last week’s previews and went in a completely different direction. All while building on the ideas of hero-dom that Irina talked about in our review of episode 66. Before we dive in, do you have any opening thoughts on the episode, Irina?
I’m going to change it up and do something craaaazy. I’m going to just throw my closing thoughts out here. Was watching this episode and thinking, boy nothing really happened did it? Non action is right and then the closing credits stated rolling. I had to go check to make sure they weren’t rolling in the middle of the episode for some reason. This 26 minutes of nothing happening non action felt like 5, tops. How does that even happen?
Same. This episode just whipped by.
You remember how the previous episode ended, right? Eri had bounced off Izuku while he and Mirio were on what was supposed to be a routine patrol. This episode starts just a couple of minutes before that as Izuku and Mirio were walking down the street. Izuku/Deku was worried about what Nighteye had told him; he wondered why Toshinori/All Might hadn’t clued him in. That’s when Eri crashed into him.
Can I just stop you for a second there to say how goods Mirio’s hero costume is. Honestly most of the MHA characters manage to not look completely ridiculous in their costumes which is an achievement but Mirio looked down right at home. Good design. Okay, go on…
You know, now that Irina mentions it, Mirio’s costume is a solid, practical costume! Easy identification, too! I wonder what Edna Mode would say about the cape, though… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Now that you mention it, it did seem more practical… Wait, now I’ve lost my train of thought. Not like that’s hard to do or anything…
In an instant, both Izuku and Mirio/Lemillion recognized Kai Chisaki/Overhaul. It was almost like skipping a week increased the tension — because we know just what Overhaul’s capable of. We also know how disciplined he is, and that combination makes him deadly.
He showed some of that discipline when he said Eri was his daughter and they were having a little father/daughter dispute. Mirio tried to dissemble, too (and he’s really, really good at it!), saying they were sorry they’d run into her. Mirio’s goal was to get away as fast as possible. Nighteye had warned them not to make Overhaul suspicious, because he was under surveillance. In fact, Mirio had almost disentangled them from the situation when something happened that would force Izuku to make a choice.
As Izuku tried to stand to follow Mirio away from this confrontation, Eri grabbed his shirt and, in an utterly terrified voice, asked him not to go.
Oh. Now I understand. This is what “heartbreaking” looks like. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Irina, what did you think of this moment?
I thought wow, Mirio would have made a great successor for All Might. Ok, Deku has more of that blind idealism thing that’s going to get everyone killed going on, but Mirio was amazing. Quick on his feet, able to assess the situation and react in a way that would shield both his partner, the girl and innocent bystanders from harm. If Overhaul had decided to cut loose, the streets could have been littered with the corpses of school children trying to get home… Mirio was a real hero there.
Would Izuku play the dutiful intern and follow Mirio away? Would he fulfill his allegiance to All Might and protect her? I actually had to stop Crunchyroll’s stream in this moment (04:48) just to bask in how perfect it felt. Pure dramatic tension, born of a well-crafted situation, forcing a decision by a character we’ve come to know and love, with potentially horrendous consequences.
And we’re not even five minutes into the episode yet!
Izuku made a choice with more nuance than I expected, and I think it shows much much he has matured. He told Overhaul that his daughter seemed scared. Mirio still wanted desperately to leave, and as I watched for the first time, I thought Izuku had made a purely All Might-style choice. But it was more than that.
As the situation threatened to spiral into violence, Mirio tried again to calm things down, but Izuku proved his additional maturity: he knew he couldn’t just walk away, because a hero walking away from a scared little girl would be very, very suspicious. So they had to play their hand.
Again, what a well-crafted scene!
“What are you doing to this girl?” Izuku asked. Overhaul acted all embarrassed and asked them to step into the alley so he could divulge his family situation to them. Izuku, still carrying Eri, and Mirio followed, both knowing full well Overhaul wasn’t embarrassed. Just as Overhaul began to take off one of his gloves, Eri saw the movement, jumped out of Izuku’s arms, and ran up to join her father.
There were times like this where I felt like I was watching a game between two chess masters, Overhaul and Lemillion, with Deku and Eri being spectators. Or the spoils. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
There were so many emotions and so much tension in the first seven minutes! Irina, what did you think?
Way to emotionally manipulate, show! Of course Deku couldn’t let the child go. No one could have. They did a great job really making us feel Eri’s distress. I’m really surprised you thought this could have gone any other way. I love Deku but let’s face it, he’s not a complex character. I would say that’s a big part of his charm. He’s steadfast. A Deku that let’s Eri go fundamentally changes the character.
It was a fantastic bloodless stand off and executed quite well. It certainly builds great interest for the character of Eri. Just who is she and what power could she possibly possess that would make her so valuable to Overhaul. That’s really a great way to keep your audience coming back and to build excitement for a character without giving anything away.
I was actually less worried that Deku would just walk away than I was that he might not — and goon the offensive. Which, as you mentioned, would have been bloody. Just in the moment, things seemed so less clear…
We got a quick scene where Overhaul killed the minion who was supposed to have been guarding Eri. Then he asked her to get back in her chair. Apparently, she’s critical to his plans. What is her role? Is she really his daughter? No idea, but these questions keep me coming back for more!
Did you notice that Overhaul had all these spots on his head. He was also seemingly sweating after using his quirk. Is he unwell? Does his power cause some type of burden on him?
Are the splotches/boils a result of using his power? Being outside too long? Even his voice sounded rough… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I noticed that — is there a limit to how long he can stay outside? Maybe the mask isn’t 100% effective? Again, more questions to keep us coming back!
Mirio reported in to Nighteye, and I expected the professional hero to read them the riot act. But, no. He was actually responsible. When Izuku wished out loud that he could protect Eri, Nighteye kind of made me mad by telling him not to be so arrogant as to think he could save people whenever he wanted. “Know that sometimes, things will take time.” There’s this dichotomy between acting as a hero in the moment, which Izuku excels at, and the professional world where you need to let things develop, sometimes letting smaller fish go to catch bigger fish. I think this is an interesting theme, much like what you talked about in our previous post, Irina. What do you think?
I think that if I were to take a step back and realistically assess the situation, if Deku doesn’t learn a bit of discipline, he could end up getting so many innocent people killed that no villain could even come close to his body count. It was a very tough situation, and I’m not sure anyone could have done better than Deku at the time, still Nighteye’s advice is solid in my opinion. You have to think before you leap, make sure you won’t cause more harm than good. With great power comes great responsibility… all that jazz. Someone like Deku who spent so much time watching from the side lines should know this, but because he’s finally in a word he thought would always be out of his reach, he’s getting too eager.
That’s an interesting insight. Rookie fever, at is were?
Back in class, Izuku couldn’t focus. It didn’t help that Katsuki Bakugou was all bandaged up. Mina Ashido asked about it, and another student told her to look at Shouto Todoroki, who also had bandages all over his face. I had to laugh when Mina said, “Ah, it messed up his pretty face!
I really like these kids.
Izuku just couldn’t get Eri’s “Don’t go” out of his mind. Between that and everything Nighteye had told him, Izuku finally snapped and went looking for All Might, who was out jogging. And then began a series of scenes that made me take more notes than I usually take in two episodes.
He did smile for just a second though. When Baku lashed out about not talking about things that he hasn’t had a chance to achieve yet, namely the hero internship. Deku smiled. Even in this situation, he’s desperate to prove himself to his childhood friend. And Bakugo’s acknowledgement of him made him happy despite everything else. It’s that desperation that often makes Deku great. That’s that same desperation that could make him dangerous.
Izuku was happy that Bakugo was upset his rival had gotten ahead of him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
These nine minutes of anime are like a masterclass showing what you can do by laying groundwork in seasons 1, 2, and 3 for a payoff later. There were moments that came before that were like first drafts of these scenes, but this looks like the fulfillment.
Irina, I’m probably building this up too much, aren’t I?
Well I wrote whole paragraph about 1 second so I can’t talk. I will say that I actually think so far the season has in fact not done enough to take advantage of the foundations the series has built.
The characters are being reintroduced and seemed a little simplified to me. It could be the start of a brand new series without previous built up really. It’s a bit of a waste but it means new viewers can just jump in.
The way All Might’s jogging now shows just how wrecked his body is. It’s more an aggressive shuffle than a jog. Izuku catches up, out of breath, and lays it out: “Did you know everything? That Nighteye new about One For All, and that he wanted it to go to Togata? You knew, didn’t you? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Remember Izuku trying to decide if he should let Eri go earlier, despite her asking for help? Izuku had to decide whether to be true to his heroic instincts; whether to be true to the ethics of his personal hero, All Might. There’s another side to that coin: How would All Might feel, having to make a decision that doesn’t fulfill his own ethics, either because of uncertainty or a conviction to the contrary? How would he live with himself?
All Might gave us a brief window into his inner torment when he admitted he wondered if he should have told Izuku. That had to be hard for him to admit. The answer, of course, only set Izuku off. He responded in a way that tells me he’s matured. He said he wanted to know everything, “Not as your fan, but as your successor!”
Couldn’t you just feel his pain, Irina?
Izuku was at a crisis point. He was confused. He was afraid his view of the world was invalid. And he wanted to hear the truth from All Might. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I will admit, I don’t really resonate much with either All-Might or Deku. I’m not entirely sure why Deku was torn up about this. All-Might keeps secrets from him and everyone else all the time. Obviously he wouldn’t go out of his way to share something that would just hurt the kid and had no practical reason to be shared. I would have been grateful that my mentor cared for my feelings and worried about the emotional strain it might be putting on him. In this one instance, I thought Deku was being a bit childish and unreasonable.
That youthful expectation, not yet tempered with the wisdom from experience, set up that demand. But I think Izuku overcame it in the end.
All Might related the story of what happened just after he received his near-fatal injury. Nighteye, Nezu the school principal, Gran Torino, and Recovery Girl were there with All Might. He was trying to pull himself down a corridor, clearly not willing to remain in his hospital bed. Nighteye urgently argued for him to retire. All Might argued that someone had to be the Symbol, but he could barely stand. He couldn’t even smile, and Nighteye tried to use that to convince him. All Might still refused. Nighteye was distraught as he told All Might he was there “because I wanted to do something to help you!”
I actually felt sympathetic towards Nighteye in that instant!
Nighteye again urged All might to retire, because if he didn’t, he’d face a gruesome death. Nezu sided with Nighteye and told All Might to choose a successor from his school. In fact, he recommended Mirio.
Then came the moment I thought would be hardest for Izuku to hear. All Might admitted that he had chosen Izuku because he’d met him first.
“I didn’t want to tell you. Because… you’re my fan,” All Might told Young Midoriya.
It came down to this: All Might didn’t want to disappoint one of his fans. In this case, the fan was Izuku. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Irina, how did you expect Izuku to react?
I think he reacted perfectly in character. A few tears but buckets of determination and blind optimism. That’s the Deku we all know and love.
By the way, All Might pretty much confirmed my hunch that he hadn’t exactly chosen Deku over Mirio, he just happened to run into Deku first and thought – I like him, let’s make him the future symbol… So impulsive!
And I loved how Izuku reacted to it!
I expected him to be upset, maybe because his selection had appeared so random. But I’d forgotten just how Izuku thinks. Yes, he was heart broken. Yes, he railed against this turn of events. But after all that, he could only say, “All Might’s going to die…”
Seems the writers know Deku better than I do! And it seems you do, too, Irina!
All Might tried to jog away, but Izuku wasn’t done with him yet. He demanded to know how long ago Nighteye used his Foresight to see All Might’s death. Turns out, it should come true this year to next (Deku time). Foresight has never been wrong before, but the farther into the future it goes, the less precise the vision. I love how the show left room for something to go differently, while at the same time keeping the urgency in place.
Izuku, in desperation, remembered a time when he had promised All Might he would tell the world that “I am here!” He’d failed back then. Now, he asked All Might to live and watch as he fulfilled that promise.
Tough episode for Izuku. Dealing with your personal hero is almost always stressful. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Ever wonder how the world looks from the perspective of someone like All Might? He was the symbol of peace. At his height, when he was younger and full of energy and optimism, the responsibilities were probably easy to bear. But after his injury, those same responsibilities had to have been an agonly. It hit me really hard when he said that with Nighteye’s vision in mind, All Might had expected his fight with All for One to be his ending. They way he described it, if he saw the marathon’s finish line, he could end at a run and a victory.
Maybe it’s just how my perspective’s changing as I get older. What did you think, Irina?
Oh, man, that fight! I also expected it to be All-Might’s last at the time. And in a way it was. Yagi survived but for all intents and purposes, professional hero All-Might died that day. You know, for a while I thought to myself, maybe that’s what Nighteye saw in the first place. The prophecy has already been realized.
I hope that’s the case!
Now we come to the episode’s backward-looking emotional heart. If the encounter with Eri setup what’s to come, this scene fulfills what’s come before and gets it ready for the future. All Might finished his description of what he thought would be his end and how he was ready for it. And he said to Izuku,” But you were there.”
“But you were there.” Wow. Those words had to hit Izuku like a bag of hammers. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
The scene was saturated with the golds and yellow of the sun as it neared the horizon. All Might’s back was to the sun; Izuku faced it. Backlit in that way, Toshnori spoke of his his encounter with Izuku’s mom, and how he had promised her he would look after her son.
Transforming briefly in to full power All Might — very, very briefly — Toshnori said, “I will twist fate and anything else into the shape I want with these arms!”
For his part, Izuku utterly refused Nighteye’s vision of All Might’s death. He said that he would “twist fate with you.”
Yet after all that, after All Might’s pledge to twist fate, something struck me. The sun was setting.
Irina, how did you see that scene?
A powerful, emotional scene where All Might and Deku forge an even stronger bond. Lit by the light of the sun — a setting sun. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I‘m a sucker for sentimentality, I liked it. It made me smile. I also thought both of them were huge idiots that deserve each other. I thought it in a loving way. Lovable idiots…
That sunset was gorgeous, wasn’t it? There are a lot more of these lighting effects so far this season. It was especially interesting to see those warm tones clash with Yagi’s very cool and sunken eyes. It made him look healthier and stronger than usual.
I loved the scene and the speech but it had the opposite effect one me. I wrote down “so many death flags”. I am so much more worried for Yagi now than I was before. I almost thought a piano would fall on him out of nowhere by the end of it, that’s how many flags I was seeing.
I think the setting sun agrees with you! About the death flags, not the piano.
Looks like this was one of the long posts. If you’ve stuck with it so far (and that includes you, too, Irina!), thanks! There was just a lot to unpack in this episode. I think it did a great job of fulfilling some promises the show made earlier. I also think it did a great job of fleshing out the start for the next major arc with Eri.
Any concluding thoughts, Irina?
I did stick this far!
Since they skipped last week, they really could have given us two episodes this week! Like I said at the beginning, I wasn’t ready for this episode to end.
Unfortunately, they only gave us one, so we’ll need to wait another week for the next one. It looks like the seeds planted in the last couple of episodes are about to bloom!
Reviews of the Other Episodes
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep64 – The Heir
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep65 – Overhaul
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep66 – Boy Meets…
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep67 — Fighting Fate
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep68 — Let’s Go, Gutsy Red Riot
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep69 – An Unpleasant Talk
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep70 – GO!!