Have you ever heard how hard it is to write concisely? Back in our collaboration review of episode 70, Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime said she wanted to “keep my episode reviews a bit more concise because they were getting way out of control.” Now, on one hand I’d argue that her reviews were not only just fine, they’re among my favorites! But brevity can have its own charm. The quote is variously attributed, but the long and short of it is that I would have written a shorter review, but I didn’t have time. I am going to be a more supportive collaborator, so starting with this review, I’m going to try to up my game, too.
So, welcome to our review of My Hero Academia Season 4, episode 77, “Bright Future.” It’s an episode about endings. It’s an episode about consequences. And let me tell you, karma can be absolutely ruthless.
Irina, any opening remarks (in bold, as it should)?
I tried to mention it last week, My Hero Academia is trying something new. Maybe it’s even growing up a little. It takes guts to shelve fan favourite characters at the height of their popularity. To shake up a school theme narrative by throwing it into a drawn out chase caper. I know some fans have been grumbling but I admired the series for trying to grow. I just really didn’t think we were here yet and I must admit, I wasn’t ready.
Oh, there will be spoilers! So be cautious.
Before I get into the who endings and consequences thing, let’s celebrate some of the little moments that make this series so enjoyable.
Hmm, I guess I know what you mean but I would argue that endings and consequences are a big part of what made this episode so impressive.
Good point! I’ve always been attracted to the little moments, though, so if you’ll indulge me for a bit…
The battle had ended. Izuku Midoriya/Deku, with Eri having overcome her terror of herself to constantly heal all the damage he was taking, had left Kai Chisaki/Overhaul in a battered heap. Seeing their enemy had fallen, Izuku might have thought that he’d won. Then he collapsed, screaming, as Eri’s power raged out of control. Even with One for All at 100%, Izuku could barely keep ahead of Eri’s Quirk, which constantly tried to turn the clock back on his body. Ochako Uraraka/Uravity, Tsuyu Asui/Froppy, and even professional heroes like Ryuko Tatsuma/Dragoon Hero “Ryukyu” could only look on in dismay. If they approached, they’d be caught in the maelstrom, too.
Froppy had just returned to the surface with Shouta Aizawa/Eraser Head. Showing the cool-headed presence of mind I’ve loved about her since the first season, she gently lifted Shouta’s head so he could look at Eri. He immediately knew what she was trying to do. He used his Quirk to temporarily erase hers. With a gasp that might have been relief, she collapsed.
Or how about during the cleanup, when one of the rescue workers was marveling at how little damage and how few casualties there were giving the tremendous levels of energy released? Nejire Hadou landed and pointed out that that was because Izuku had kicked Overhaul into the air where he could pound him with little collateral damage. And also because Deku had cast down Overhaul right next to the hole they’d come up out of, which also limited the damage.
Nejire is so danged earnest about everything she says… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
In her usually earnest voice, she explained that containing enemy damage like that was “hard when they’re huge.”
That’s one aspect I’ve always liked about MHA. Exploring the practicality of heroes for hire. Of course, they didn’t have time to get into it this episode, but it was a nice touch even if it was just a but of exposition purely for the viewer’s benefit — because the police would clearly now all this already. It’s not like villains and heroes are a new thing in this universe, and they have been at it much longer than Nejire.
Now, I’d like to talk about consequences and endings. After the battle ended, the police escorted the villains to the Villain Hospital (there’s part of me that’s delighted there was such a thing!). En route, Tomura Shigaraki, Dabi, and Atsuhiro Sako/Mr. Compress intercepted them. After making short work of Sajin Higawara/Sand Hero Snatch (which is a strange hero name in a series packed with strange hero names!), Tomura extracted Overhaul’s bed from the ambulance. While the Yakuza leader was strapped down, Mr. Compress simply removed Overhaul’s left arm. Of course, Mr. Compress is a villain. I have to expect a certain nonchalant attitude attitude towards violence. That’s not to mention that Overhaul had taken Mr. Compress’ left arm as well. But still, it was a brutal act.
At this point, I’m thinking karma was just balancing the scales.
Then Tomura grabbed Overhaul’s right forearm. Tomura’s Quirk is Decay, so Overhaul’s arm started to die immediately.
Saying that if he didn’t cut off the arm immediately that Overhaul would die, Tomura committed the act of “mercy.”
He sliced off Overhaul’s right arm.
Of course, Tomura couldn’t help but gloat as he even took Overhaul’s remaining Quirk-destroying bullets. Pointing out that Overhaul hadn’t only lost but now was completely unable to use his Quirk, the three villains left. I think Overhaul’s mind actually snapped. Karma breezed right past balance into the realm of cruelty.
The shot of the three of them walking away from Overhaul, one of the vehicles in flames producing billowing black smoke, to the soundtrack of Overhaul’s incoherent scream of despair, left me really worried for our heroes.
Talk about an iconic shot… I just wish I could have captured the classy bow that Mr. Compress gave Tomura. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I hate to say it, but the instant that Overhaul took Mr. Compress’ arm, I think he’d pretty much sealed his fate. There’s a reason that the League of Villains was so feared. Even if they were inexpertly managed, as a whole, their Quirks are more lethal and their minds more accustomed to going to head to head with the heroes. Earlier, I’d been worried that the League of Villains led by Overhaul would be dangerous. Now, I’m even more worked about a resurgent League of Villains led by Tomura — with yet more battle experience under his belt.
I was impressed that the episode made me sympathize with Chisaki. I mean there was a flashback of how little Chisaki got in a fight because someone called the mafia “villains”. He considers himself different from them. Not a bad guy, simply a professional. Someone with a job to do and honor to uphold. He can be ruthless for his ends but ruthlessness is not his end. All of this pain and horror he brought about was for a reason, a greater purpose. I’m not trying to rehabilitate Overhaul. I think he is a wonderful antagonist and should remain as such. I’m simply trying to show the difference between him and the League.
Stain wanted to bring down the hero system with some unnervingly convincing ideology behind it. And certainly there are some in the league that share those ideals, but not all and I don’t think it’s the driving force either. So what is it? If it’s just plain old breaking stuff because they can, then it makes the scene that much more tragic.
Tragic is right.
If you watched this episode already, you probably know what ending I’m going to talk about. Yep — Nighteye’s. After Izuku’s post fight medical examination, Shouta took him to see some of the others. Izuku was shocked to see that Toshinori Yagi/All Might himself was there. But the atmosphere was glum. It was when Kaoruko Awata/Bubble Girl said she’d asked All Might to come that I think it dawned on Izuku what was happening. They went into Nighteye’s hospital room.
This kind of series rarely shows the consequences of their battles. Or the endings of some of their characters. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
All Might was emotionally all broken up. He felt like he’d let his friend down by staying away. Nighteye even gently chided him by saying,”You finally feel like seeing me… on my deathbed…?” That little attempt at levity underscored poignancy of the meeting of the two old friends. Nighteye confessed that he’d spent a lot of his life trying to avoid the future he’d seen for All Might. The very thought of All Might’s death was unbearable to him. He was amazed that Izuku had been as good as his word. He had, in fact, shattered the future that Nighteye had seen.
I thought that his theory why was very interesting. Using One for All as a catalyst, Nighteye “thought it could be the result of that energy converging on Midoriya…” Izuku certainly has a meta Quirk.
There was a moment where I burst out in what I felt (and still feel!) was slightly inappropriate laughter. In the background, you could see Mirio Togata/Lemillion limping into the room — dragging a poor nurse who was trying to keep him out.
Mirio’s tearful plea that Nighteye stay so he could teach Mirio more was poignant. For me, it was even worse that Nighteye silently begged for forgiveness for having at first used Mirio as a potential new vessel for One for All — though it ended up that he was immensely proud of his protege. It added more intensity to a scene already trembling with emotion.
Irina mentioned in our review of ep75 that this series “sure loves to break its darlings.” What this poor kid had to go through was heart-breaking. And it’s not done, yet. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Then something happened that I’m not sure how to interpret. Nighteye used his power to look into Mirio’s future — and saw nothing. At the same time, he told Mirio he would be the greatest hero of them all.
Was Nighteye’s Quirk failing the closer he got to dying? Or was he seeing that Mirio’s Quirk was irretrievably gone? I’m just not sure.
I want to be clear that despite my initial misgivings, I grew to like Nighteye. Seeing his eyes glaze over as he died was hard to watch. All Might’s slow tears made it worse; Bubble Girl practically collapsing was particularly hard to watch. I thought the subtle use of music, the authentic reactions from the other characters, and Nighteye’s attitude all contributed to a powerful death scene. I was a bit misty-eyed, to tell the truth! And I don’t think it was my allergies.
What I hope is that the show had the courage to keep the death final. Eri wasn’t in the scene, and Nighteye was clearly dead. The heart-monitor agreed! So out of respect for this powerful death scene, I hope it stays permanent.
This episode not only put an emotionally effective cap on the Overhaul arc. It also addressed a concern Irina brought up a couple of episodes ago. Namely, that Overhaul’s Quirk was just too powerful for this world! Irina, do you think it’s actually gone? Or could Eri somehow reverse the damage in his arms? I’m not 100% clear on how her Quirk works…
Nighteye as a character went in a direction I didn’t expect. Because of that, I will honestly mourn his passing. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I’ll be honest, this is really the only part I wanted to talk about and now that I’m here, I don’t know what to say. I always liked Nighteye. I thought he was a very different character than what we had seen, and that made him interesting. I always tried to imagine what type of team he would have made with All-Might. I thought it was very odd for Deku to ask about everyone except Nighteye and Mirio, arguably the two he’s been closest with lately and the two most heavily injured. I knew something was wrong. I didn’t laugh at all during this part. I did cry though.
To answer your question Crow, I do think he’s gone. I think it’s sort of important for him to be gone. It establishes much greater stakes for a series that has been bloodless so far. And it was always there, wasn’t it. We heard about children losing their hero parents in the line of duty. We were always told that hero work was dangerous and not everyone walks away from it. But it was just hearsay up until now. We knew it because immortality isn’t a thing in this universe, but we didn’t know it applied to us. I mean to the characters we liked.
This episode changed the game. It sets a different standard and forces us to consider things differently from now on. My Hero Academia just grew up a whole lot on the back of Nighteye’s sacrifice.
Now technically they could just throw him in with Eri and keep EraserHead on standby, and I think that would bring him back to life. I don’t believe they should do that as it would cheapen the consequences a lot, but I’m not sure if they can find an excuse not to. Why didn’t they do that earlier in fact? Maybe they just won’t address it.
When Eri wakes up, will they ask her to try to reanimate the dead? Or will the show have the courage to let this death stand? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
In any case, this ending feels like the beginning of something important.
Did you catch the previews? Did you hear that Izuku said these events were simply the calm before the storm? Makes me want to watch the next episode.
Guess that means the preview worked!
Considering how long it took them to deal with Overhaul, I doubt we’ll get the better of the league this season. I’m also excited about the next episode.
Keeping my fingers crossed that Eri’s power can’t reanimate the dead… Oh, and if you’re wondering about my goal to make this shorter? It’s just over 2,000 words, and the 75th review was just over 3,000. So, progress!
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!!
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep71 – Suneater of the Big Three
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep72 – Red Riot
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep73 – Temp Squad
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep74 – Lemillion
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep75: The Unforeseen Hope
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep76: Infinite 100%
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep77: Bright Future
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep78: Smoldering Flames
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep79: Win Those Kids’ Hearts
- Review of My Hero Academia s4 ep80: Relief for the License Trainees