Anime

Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep73: Dissent in the Ranks and Someone’s Got a Long Game

Hi, everyone! Hi, Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime! Surprisingly, we’ve had bright and sunny weather down here in the states. If I wasn’t suspicious that Mother Nature’s going to make us pay for this later, I’d be enjoying it a lot more! How’s the weather been in Canada? 

It was -35 on Thursday. Wait, let me look that up. Ok that -31F. I thought the conversion would be more dramatic. That sort of fizzled out. Anywho, winter has finally started. It’s going to get colder from here on out but it’s been chilly!

Chilly? -31F is way outside my comfort range! I don’t think I’ve ever been in a free air temperature below -10 before. You Canadians have some serious constitutions! 

My Hero Academia Season 4 episode 73, “Temp Squad,” gave some developments that look important. It wrapped up Fat Gum and Eijirou Kirishima’s battle against Kendo Rappa and Hekiji Tengai, which started in the previous episode, and the post fight conversation took a completely different path than I expected. We get re-introduced to one of my favorite villains, and it looks like she hasn’t lost a bit of her wicked delight in her villainy. Finally, we find out something that I found absolutely terrifying about a major villain  — something that has long-ranging implications not only for our heroes, but for Overhaul as well. Before we dive in, do you have any opening thoughts, Irina?

Damn but this season is putting a lot of effort into making us care for Kirishima. Don’t get me wrong, he was always a likeable guy and a fun character, but he’s really been the seasonal darling so far. If they kill him off I’m going to have a fit. Like a huge one. Rolling on the floor, kicking and screaming. The whole nine yards.

I have zero reason to think they would ever kill him off but I manage to upset myself just writing that paragraph. Way to go me!

You and your talk about death flags! Now I have apprehension, too! 

Okay, I’m fine now. Let’s get going.

The episode starts with Overhaul and a minion who’s carrying Eri. He’s walking slowly, and as Redgeek from Mammoth Base Opera Castle observed in his comment on our episode 71 review, a slow-walking villain is a clear indication of super villainy. Overhaul asks his Temp Squad to slow the heroes down, and the camera pulls back to reveal who they are: Himiko Toga and Jin Bubaigawara. I suspect that the writer may have had an ulterior motive for showing us relatively unknown villains like Soramitsu Tabe: Characters like Himiko and Jin have been around for years, and they have such well-established and enjoyable personalities that they practically popped off the screen.

So Himiko and Jin are the temp squad? This could be interesting… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But it wasn’t time for them to go into action yet. We cut back to Kirishima lying broken in a very thin Fat Gum’s arms. We got a brief moment of humor when Red Riot briefly regained consciousness and wondered who the man holding him was. Fat Gum had to tell him to “figure it out from the context!” I have to admit it was wrenching to hear Kirishima say, “Fat… I’ll protect you… I’ll do… whatever I can…”

He’s grown quite a bit in the last few episodes.

Uh huh… I’m gonna get upset again.

Too soon? My bad. I’ll change the subject, though I’m not sure it’ll help.

Then we heard something dreadful. Rappa wasn’t out of the fight. Not yet. As Fat Gum surveyed his own strength and found it expended, he tried desperately to figure out what to do. Then things took a turn I hadn’t expected.

Rappa said that they had some first aid supplies in another room, and they should move Kirishima there to treat him.

Irina, did you see that coming?

A physically diminished Fat Gum at first didn’t trust Rappa’s offer of help. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I guess so. Remember in the last episode how he praised Kirishima on several occasions and kept saying how this was the best fight he had had in years? He really is the classic looking for a good fight archetype. Essentially like Hisoka in Hunter x Hunter. I like those types. They can go either way so they tend to be great all purpose characters to have in your narrative.

Super useful for injecting both conflict and settling it as needed.

Rappa presented as someone who just wanted to fight, and in a brief flashback in this episode, we saw that he was really, really disappointed that no one could stand up to him. Both Fat Gum and Red Riot not only stood up to him. They broke both his arms. And he was ecstatic! He had finally found a worthy opponent. I can see where he’s coming from, despite the whole battle unto death thing.

Two things stuck out about this scene. First, Rappa praised both of the heros. “Especially the redhead,” he said. Fat Gum even observed that Kirishima had not only impressed him; he’d impressed his enemy. Very cool moment!

Too bad Kiri didn’t get to hear it. The boy could use a bit of a confidence boost. He tends to be a bit hard on himself and I bet being friends with Bakugo isn’t helping that.

The other thing was Rappa’s answer to Fat Gum’s question. After Rappa helped treat Kirishima, and after Fat Gum learned of his history, he had to ask why Rappa was helping a “smalltime gang like this.”

Fat Gum couldn’t understand why Rappa was working with organized crime. The answer was as reasonable as it was chilling. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It was because Overhaul was the only one to beat Rappa. Well, perhaps beat is too upbeat a way to put it. Overhaul killed Rappa, then reassembled him. The fight had been over whether Rappa would join Overhaul’s organization. Since he’d joined, he had challenged Overhaul multiple times, and ended up slaughtered each time.

I don’t understand how Overhaul is considered a strong mid level villain. Isn’t his quirk the most powerful one in the My Hero Academia universe? It certainly seems more powerful than One for All and arguably more so then All for One as well since he could simply disassemble him before the other had a chance to act.

That’s a good point — I hope they show us that the power has a weakness or some kind of limit. 

Rappa then proceeded to tell Fat Gum what he knew about Overhaul’s plans, over Tengai’s objections. His information was vague, but he had a good sketch of the plan. 

Interesting contrast to how Tabe had acted towards Overhaul. Looks like the yakuza boss has a little more to learn about inspiring loyalty. What do think, Irina?

I’m still stuck on Quirk logistics. Fat asked himself why didn’t Overhaul just take care of the invaders if he’s that strong, and I agree. I don’t quite understand the limits of his Quirk maybe. From what I gathered he could have simply opened the door, raised his hand, disassembled every single hero and policeman there instantly and gone back in. 

Why would someone like that care about loyalty? 

Fat Gum was astonished that Overhaul could defeat even Rappa. That just makes Irina’s question all the more relevant. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Good questions. Do you think it has anything to do with how wasted he looked after an earlier encounter? He was sweating and almost ill. Maybe his Quirk drains him? There’s got to be something! 

Maybe. He mentioned something about hitting his limit when he first went to the league…

Meanwhile, Joi Irinaka was still in the basement walls, and he was starting to near the end of the booster’s effects. It didn’t help that every time he tried to hurl a wall at them that Izuku Midoriya would crash through it. He decided to change tactics. He compartmentalized the corridor and divided the heroes and police into different rooms. Ken Takagi, Rock Lock, was in a room alone. Was he was complaining about Nighteye’s leadership (unfairly, I might add!), Kumiko leapt up behind him and was able to stab him through the palm. He used his locking still to freeze her, and while she was immobile, he tried to disable her.

Lockdown is an interesting Quirk. One of the most creative ones so far. Too bad it seems to be a throwaway character cause I bet a talented writer could make some fascinating use of a Quirk like that.

But Himiko’s Quirk is Transform, and Ken found he was attacking a double. The real Himiko leapt on his back and stabbed a knife into left kidney. By the time Izuku had broken down the wall and he and Shouta Aizawa/Eraser Head had burst into the room, the bleeding and unconscious Ken was face down on the floor and another Ken was warning them of the mimic and to stay clear.

I think I’ve figured out why Himiko is such an effective villain. Her glee isn’t something I usually associated with murderous intent… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This scene gave us yet another reason to like Eraser Head. He saw the knife wound. He started thinking about who was associated with knives and copies — and he realized who he was dealing with. Just in time, too, because Himiko was about to skewer Izuku! Eraser Head’s Quirk destroyed her disguise, and she was elated that Izuku remembered her. She went on to say how very, very, very much she was happy to see him again.

Himiko has always been fond of Midoriya. I’m surprised Deku hasn’t tried to save her yet. Seems to be something he would do.

The series isn’t over yet! 

Izuku was able to ward off her first several attacks, but her speed was matched to her glee, and she nearly had him. That’s when Aizawa used his bandages to wrap her knife-wielding hand. But she proved that she, too, had been honing her skills. She back-flipped over him and managed to stab him between the shoulder blades before he could slash back. She did another back-flip and Joi closed the wall behind her.

Aizawa realized something else: that the yakuza and the League of Villains were now cooperating. Irina, it looks like the heroes have some gaps in their intelligence!

Obviously, they rushed this job because of Eri. They went in knowing they had blind spots though.

Gotta say that Himiko’s voice actor, Misato Fukuen, sounded like she was having a lot of fun with this episode!

Of all the villains, Twice is my favourite. It’s a fairly standard madman background and characterisation, but I think he has the most potential to do something completely unexpected. The brief episode exploring his past and his descent into madness was just great and I do love how perceptive it was to illustrate driving yourself crazy. 

Jin brings an abundance of personality to every scene he’s in. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Just the fact that he’s here makes me think something interesting is going to happen. 

His voice actor, Daichi Endou, did a fantastic job, too. And I was amazed at the range of expressions he was able to show despite having a full-face mask on. 

The third development in this episode came to light in a flashback. Himiko and Jin had reunited after her fight with Eraser Head. They took a moment to reminisce about how they’d been convinced to go on this mission. Turns out that when Tomura Shigaraki had met Overhaul to arrange for cooperation, Overhaul had asked for a gesture, some sign to build trust, and he asked for Himiko and Jin. In the flashback, we see just how seriously unhappy they’d been at Tomura’s order to join Overhaul.

Jin still blamed himself for having brought Overhaul to their hideout. And now, Tomura was asking him to work with the man who had killed “Big Sis Mag.” “I’m human, too, you know, Shigaraki!” he said in an anguished voice.

Himiko danced towards Tomura and actually brought a blade to his neck. She demanded just what they were to him. Why would he just trade them to Overhaul?

His answer chilled me. First, he removed the hand that was always hiding his face. That alone made Himiko withdraw her knife. She and Jim were both shocked. Then he said, “I want you to flatter them from up close and conquer them. I never thought of them as equals. Twice, you said you wanted to take responsibility, right? This is one way to do it. I trust you guys.”

Tomura has learned from his experience. So much so that he shocked Himiko. And I don’t think she shocks easily! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

To me, as someone who really wants to see Izuku and Mirio Togata (and the other heroes, of course — at least most of them!) win, what Tomura said was terrifying for two reasons. One, back at the beginning of this season, when Overhaul visited them and killed Magna (a.k.a. Kenji Hikiishi), Overhaul had berated Tomura for not seeing the big picture — for having no vision. Well, it looks like Tomura had learned a bit about vision.

As importantly was the last words he said to Himiko and Jin. “I trust you guys,” he said. There is no better way to generate loyalty and trust than to demonstrate it. Tomura’s learning to be an effective leader.

That does not bode well for our heroes — or potentially for Overhaul, though the latter’s in a better position right now.

What do you think, Irina? 

I think that Shigaraki is an unexpectedly skilled leader. Not sure when that happened. I mentioned in earlier episodes that he seems to have matured quite a bit since All for One’s downfall and this scene really made that crystal clear.

Regardless of the present situation and the outcome for Eri and everyone involved, it seems that Shigaraki is suddenly a much greater force to be reckoned with than anticipated. His Quirk is nowhere near as strong as Overhaul’s, but he has a better grasp on the big picture and he may have the one quality that will allow him to surpass everyone: Patience. That is a rare strength indeed.

Looks like next week, an injured Eraser Head and a tired Deku will face off against Himiko and Jin. That could be interesting… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The last couple shots suggest that next week, Izuku and Aizawa will face off against Himiko and Jin. And Irina, did you see the preview for next week? I have a bad feeling that everything you’ve said about Mirio and his flags is about to be tested — and it looks like you’re right!

I hope I’m not. My Hero Academia can make things look very grim even when they work out… I am thrilled about seeing Eraser Head in action again….

Guess we’ll have to wait until next week. I really hope we’re wrong…

Reviews of the Other Episodes

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