Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep75: His Upper Limit and a Very Strong Resolve

Happy New Year, everyone! Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I are happy to bring you our review of My Hero Academia Season 4 episode 75, “The Unforeseen Hope.” We pick right up where the previous episode left off, with, of course, a few minutes of overlap just in case we forgot everything in a week.

Happy New Year, Irina! I hope you had a good holiday!

I did, thank you so much Crow. I may have overindulged a bit. I’m gonna need to get back to a much healthier lifestyle is I want to get my stamina back up. I’ve been napping a lot. But it was really great to take a little break!

Before we get this show on the road, do you have any opening thoughts?

I got to say, My Hero Academia sure loves to break its darlings. It was never gentle with its characters, but it seems really rough this season. I sort of want just a filler episode going around the school seeing what the students who don’t have internships are up to. Maybe they are struggling with homework or putting on a school play. Maybe Mina is a bit worried for Kirishima cause she still sees him as a bit of a weak goofball. I’m just saying that a little breather would be welcomed. 

That sounds like a great idea!

That being said, this was an interesting episode. It had two emotional tent-pole events (if I may borrow the terminology), a restatement of the stakes, a reminder of my own personal pet peeve about shonens, and the — at least temporary — fall of a major hero. We also saw Overhaul, the main villain, do his own version of Plus Ultra, which cost Shin Nemoto everything.

My personal reading of the themes of this episode was that it was a thesis on responsibility…

After the replay of the final moments of the previous episode and the OP, the show jumps back in a time a few moments. Izuku Midoriya/Deku nearly got pulled from the mission when Shouta Aizawa/Eraser Head realized that the League of Villains was involved — primarily because Joi Irinak kept screaming he’d get revenge on Himiko Toga and Jin Bubaigawara/Twice. Izuku realized he was in trouble and started to plead his case when Ken Takagi/Rock Lock did something completely unexpected and amazing.

He gave good advice.

He reminded them that their top priority was rescuing Eri, not standing around hesitating. That left Izuku, Aizawa, and Sir Nighteye to continue the mission. We also got a tiny glimpse into his character as he recalled that he was a new father, and that the “kids” from UA had acted more like heroes than any of them. And he was terribly worried for their safety.

Yeah, I’m a sucker for stuff like that. I mean, it was like 15 seconds, but it changed my opinion of the character.

I remember how becoming a husband and father changed my perspective on the world — and on events within it. I could really empathize with Rock Lock in this scene. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Well, they hadn’t developed the character much beyond seemingly surly second string hero. So it was sweet for them to pull a gentle switch with the “he was just worried about the kids cause he’s a papa” bit. It’s a bit on the nose and saccharine for me but it does fill out the supporting cast. I do wish they would give the heroes slightly more varied personalities though. They all blend together in archetype for me. Which is why  wanted to see Eraser Head in acton since he is a bit more unusual on that front.

Of course there’s also the League of Villains to contend with. Casting them as an almost neutral 3rd party that could help as much a hinder the heroes at this point allows for some more nuanced social dynamics this season, that usually rely on Baku and Todoroki to bring in the conflict.

We only saw Himiko and Jin one more time — just long enough to know that a) Himiko wants to see a beat-up Izuku again (maybe it’s a “fresh from the fight” sort of thing?), b) she really, really wants to hurt Overhaul (join the club; we’ve got jackets), and c), Jin has a scary plan that delighted Himiko and spells doom for our heroes. Jin whispered it, but when Himiko said the plan would also make Tomura Shigaraki, well, that has all kinda of bad written all over it.

Now the story caught back up with itself as Deku crashes through the wall and interrupts the blow that Overhaul intended to kill Mirio Togata/Lemillion. Irina, did you see the look on Mirio’s face? It was heart-rending in a way a hero’s face should never look. 

Really? Wow it had the opposite effect on me. The humanity and relief, fear, guilt all of that showed on the face with a character with dots for eyes mind you (that’s an impressive feat) and I thought he never looked more heroic. That’s what tends to inspire me rather than the smiling mask All-Might use to wear.

This might have been one of the most realistic expressions ever. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I may be in the minority here but it sort of told me that Mirio would be o.k. That’s not just some character on an adrenalin high or in denial. That’s a guy who knows exactly what’s going on and is reacting appropriately. And that takes way more strength.

That’s a good point. I guess I’m contradicting myself, what with me hoping Deku will represent a new kind of hero…

Deku’s momentum let him land a blow on Overhaul. Eraser Head instantly struck, temporarily sealing Overhaul’s power. Mirio’s first words were to tell the other heroes that Eri was behind him. Bless his heart, he was still trying to complete the mission. As Nighteye hugged and heaped praise on Mirio, Deku and Eraser Head moved in to finish Overhaul.

But Overhaul’s minions were starting to regain consciousness. Hari Kurono/Chron tried to hit both heroes with his Quirk, Chronostasis, but Eraser Head shoved Deku out of the way in a typically heroic move. Chronostasis showed Eraser Head down to the point he might as well have been paralyzed. The problem with that is that when Eraser Head loses eye contact with the victim of his Quirk, their powers are restored. He had just been starting a blink, so guess what? His closed eyes broke contact, and Overhaul had his power back. He threw up a barrier to push the heroes back.

And now we come to the first tent pole event. Mirio’s fight in the previous episode has pushed Overhaul close the edge. Even now, he knew he wouldn’t last in a fight with Deku and Nighteye. His last barrier move had dropped Shin Nemoto’s still unconscious body right beside him. Overhaul used his power on his minion and himself and remade his own body into some kind of monster with four clawed arms — and completely restored health. All the while telling the heroes that all of their efforts had come to nothing.

Well, crap. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I find it entertaining that they keep having to throw Eraser out of the story since his Quirk is narrative destroying. It’s getting a bit repetitive though. Chrono has a fun power. Something else a talented writer could really make interesting uses out of. I hope he doesn’t end up a throwaway.

I really liked Overhaul acknowledging that Lemillion is stronger than him. It was my favourite line.

Hari pulled Aizawa away from the fight and pretty much told him they’d keep him alive to study him because of Overhaul’s interest in skills that erased Quirks. He also mentioned that Eri’s the granddaughter of the previous Hassaikai boss. Not sure if that’ll be relevant later.

Like I said I hope so, although I also hope it doesn’t turn into another rescue arc. I need a bit of variety.

Meanwhile, Deku was freaking out when he realized what Overhaul had done. While his callousness in destroying his underling offended Deku, what really bothered him was the realization that Overhaul was now back up to full strength. 

Deku went back to his classic personality of season 1, carefully analyzing the entire situation. He’s a lot like Nighteye. Mirio had to be taught to do that. Mirio is more like All-Might.

Pushing his psychological attack by taunting Mirio and his lost taunt, as well as blaming him for holding out so long and involving his friends who would now suffer the same fate, Overhaul attacked Nighteye and Mirio — but Deku blocked him with a chunk of concrete. 

Like Irina said, this show “sure loves to break its darlings.” Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Nighteye used the reprieve to seize control of the hero’s side. He ordered Izuku to get Mirio and Eri out of there while he engaged Overhaul. I knew Nighteye had some moves, but he held up pretty well, at least at first. 

Nighteye used his Quirk to look a second into the future so he could avoid the worst of Overhaul’s attacks. The effect was interesting: it was like Nighteye saw Overhaul’s actions as individual cells in old-style analog printed film. 

We got a bit of an interruption in a flashback of Nighteye talking to Gran Torino about Foresight. Gran Torino reasonably asked why Nighteye didn’t look farther into the future, and Nighteye answered something along the lines of he felt like he was pre-determining someone’s fate. Now, discussions of free will versus predestination, the really important part is that everything Nighteye had seen — everything — had come to pass. Even when he tried his darnedest to change it, he couldn’t.

I’ve said it before but Nighteye’s Quirk sounds like torture.

Why am I bringing that up now?

Because as Deku was trying to help Mirio get Eri out of the room, Nighteye’s vision failed him. He saw no path forward for himself, and Overhaul shoved a stone spike straight through him. As he drew near death, he tried to push his Foresight into the future to see Eri saved and Mirio safe. 

I think Irina’s right. Nighteye’s Quirk would feel like torture. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The film was blank. Then, for a brief instant, the film showed an explosion of blood as Deku fell, defeated. Then the film broke.

Asking Lemillion to take care of Eri, Deku let his emotions at seeing Nighteye’s fall fuel his attack. His intensity surprised Overhaul; it started to hurt, like we’ve seen happen before with his One for All. But he ignored it and powered up to 20%.

He always ignores it.

I think you mentioned the idea of “variety” before! I gotta admit, a little more would be nice…

I’ve always liked stories where the protagonist has to confront fate. Ever read Children of Dune? I won’t spoil it, but that theme was really important in that work. Nighteye saw the future. He’s never been wrong. He saw Deku die. And in spite of that, Izuku said, “I’ll twist the future!” 

His renewed attack reminded me of part of the shonen formula that annoys me to no end. I want to be clear: I don’t see this as a flaw in the genre. It’s completely my taste. But I’ve never liked it when the hero gets the living daylights beat out of him, but continues to fight. Which Izuku did, until Overhaul impaled his left calf and right forearm. 

I just hate that sort of thing.

Impaling? I mean I hate it too but I can’t deny it’s effective imagery. I wince every time I see it.

Man, that’s gotta hurt. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I have read Children of Dune. I see the parallels. But like I mentioned above, to me the theme was responsibility. Rock Lock (Quirk: Lock Down) being a father and caring about the kids. Nighteye and Eraser, being mentors and owing something to their trainees. All the heroes being responsible for Eri, the victim in this case. And their individual responsibilities to the team. Where do all these responsibilities end and what do they represent in fact? Is your responsibility to give up an individual battle so that you can survive to help in the war? Is a last stand required, or will it ultimately do more harm than good? What of Chiaki’s responsibility to the yakuza, his found family?

I believe the episode was trying to show us that each person’s answers to these questions shapes who they are.

Now I remember that Rock Lock singled out both Deku and Night Eye and said, “You take responsibility!” 

Now we come to the second of the tent pole events, and I have to say that it’s one of the most emotionally wrecking moments in this series. Mirio’s trying to leave Eri away from Overhaul. He’s leaving a trail of blood. He’s staggering and can barely stay on his feet. The memory of Nightfall’s death haunts him. Then finally his body gives out and he collapses. He can’t make it move any farther. 

That alone had to be terrible moment for him. Remember, Mirio lost his Quirk. Now, his body itself has failed him. He screams at himself to keep moving. He can’t. 

Mirio, Lemillion, one of the most promising heroes of his generation; a potential successor to All Might; a hero who had fought Overhaul to a stand still, told Eri to hide.

Out of any other options, he told the little girl to hide. 

What’s a hero do when their body fails them? We know what Lemillion did. He still tried to complete the mission. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m afraid you lost me. What were the other options? It seems like a super logical thing to do.

It is logical. But for a hero, someone who actively works to save someone, invoking that last option means they’ve given up their active role. It’d be like All Might telling people to go hide. For me at least, it would feel like the supreme failure. It’d be hard to bear. 

Wow, I hadn’t even thought of that! 

And that’s not the worst part. As he tried to convince her, he mentioned that there were other heroes coming to take her to safety. Overhaul had other plans. Manifesting a mouth at the end of one of his monster arms, still fighting Deku, he called out to Eri and reminded her that she was a curse. People died around her. She needed to come back to him so no one else would have to die.

It was too much for the little girl. All Lemillion could do was watch her walk away. Back toward Overhaul. 

What must have been going through Mirio’s mind? What must Eri have been feeling? I have to say, this scene would have turned a normal human into an emotional wreck. Good think I’m so used to watching anime!

Irina, did that sound convincing enough?

Absolutely! Great job!

Nothing Mirio/Lemillion could saw would change Eri’s mind. All he could do was watch her walk back to Overhaul. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In case we needed a reminder of what’s at stake here, Eri, maybe emboldened by Mirio and Deku, tried to negotiate with Overhaul. She asked that he “put everyone back the way they were.”

Does that mean Nighteye might not die (good thing he’s a hero; a normal human would have bled out by now)? Can Overhaul’s power compensate for blood loss? Does this mean that Mirio might get his Quick back? 

Deku’s not about to let her fall back into Overhaul’s hands. He makes a decent little speech that ends with a promise to save her whether she wants it or not. 

The episode ends with Ryuko Tatsuma, still in dragon form, crashing through the ceiling, locked in combat with the gigantic villain we saw several episodes ago, when the assault on the yakuza base began. 

What’d you think, Irina? 

I think the season built up Kirishima and Lemillion and as a result we haven’t had a chance to see Deku much at all. Having Eri go back in a traditional bid for self sacrifice so that Deku can save her more directly makes a much stronger statement to solidify our main character’s arc. I’m not against it. Also keeping the damsel in distress physically in the room and closer to the danger keeps the tension high even if in practice it doesn’t change that much. 

I assume that’s why they didn’t simply give Eri to a henchman to get her far away while Overhaul dealt with Mirio in the first place. That would have been way more in line with how we’ve seen Overhaul act so far, but it would also have been less dramatically impactful.

I enjoy seeing Deku back to form. I can’t deny that he overlaps a lot with Kirishima and Lemillion, but I like these types for characters so it doesn’t really bother me.

Eri is a remarkable little girl. She actually tried to negotiate with Overhaul. Time will tell how successful she was. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I have to say that the tactics Overhaul used to control Eri were despicable. Of course, he’s a villain. Of course, he’s going to do that kind of thing. And boy, is it effective in making he look forward to his defeat. 

Also, I find myself hoping that Overhaul can’t just put everything back. No, I don’t want to see Mirio crippled for all intents and purposes. But I want these fights to have consequences. That makes the world feel more real. 

He said he couldn’t bring Mirio’s power back. From what I can tell, Overhaul can do physical deconstruction up to a subatomic level (again, how is he not the stronger one ever? Why didn’t he spend the last 10 years or so simply walk up to his enemies and sploosh them? He can probably reconstruct his face to look like anyone if he wanted to…) sorry got lost again…

But if Miro’s powers are “erased” if the gene no longer contains the mutated coding sequence, then I can’t see how Overhaul could fix it unless he spliced him with someone else. That’s a bit gruesome for a hero though…

Not just for a hero!

Looks like we might get to see Ryuko Tatsuma, and I’m looking forward to that. Also looking forward to how well Deku operates with large holes in one arm and one leg. 

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Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep75: His Upper Limit and a Very Strong Resolve

  1. I’m kind of shocked that no one has really figured this out yet, but Over Haul is an alchemist. He uses Scar’s ability to kill people and uses the spikes from the ground like Ed and almost everyone uses. He only doesn’t belong in this universe at all, which is interesting.

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