What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about My Hero Academia episode 78, or in other words “Smoldering Flames“. After an episode like the one we got last week, surely enough most would assume that what came next would be the start of the new story arc. One that we know will be the “Cultural Festival”. Though before we jump into that story arc, this week turned out to be the actual aftermath and conclusion to the current arc. I couldn’t argue with this when there is a lot to unpack about everything which happened up to this point.
The first half of this episode was spent right when it came to addressing the impact this raid had on Midoriya, Ochaco, Tsu, Kirishima, and even Togato. I was glad that no one was left behind here. Well maybe a couple were left out, though for the most part the effort was there to make sure we knew the state that this left everyone in. As I said last week, the important thing about superhero stories like this is remembering that no one is invincible. There is an importance to the person behind the mask. We saw that as Midoriya continued to struggle with the idea that there was too much lost in the process of getting this victory over Chisaki. This was his time to really let it all sink in and it matters that he could reflect on these events as someone who cared more for other’s well-being more than his own. At the same time it mattered that they made Togato’s scene important since a lot of us want to know what comes next for him. Where Midoriya would obviously beat himself up, it was refreshing to have this Togato who was trying to see the brightside to everything which transpired. Knowing that he is going to be okay is not the same thing as seeing it for yourself.
As for the others, it helped seeing things from their perspective too. Especially when it comes to Ochaco who not only ha to carry someone dying in her hands to safety, but watch on as someone she admired fought for his life. I still appreciate the position she was put in at the time because the problem was never that she was powerless to help, she was literally drained of the power to help. Nonetheless, it was engaging to get into her head, Tsu’s, and Kirishima’s who are all going to take some time to get past the horrors of this experience.
From there, getting back to the dormitory was a heartwarming scene. It was of course going to get loud and messy, but scenes like this are worth it for the emphasis placed on the bond shared between these students. While not all of these characters you would have missed over the course of the raid, it was nice to put them all in the same room again. That was probably the first bit of normalcy experienced in a good while.
With that said, there was a lot of set-up for things to come down the road. Just when you think you got things figured out about the direction the League of Villains are going, just like that they hit you with a new development you couldn’t have seen coming. I mean we knew that they were gunning for Kurogiri, but who would have guessed the kind of trouble the cops and Torino would actually get themselves into? The trap that this was going to be wasn’t the focus, that ended up being what it actually was. That was a bit of a shocker since you would have never guessed Shigaraki to have this kind of ace on hand. Even if it doesn’t seem like one he may be aware of himself.
The other part of the set-up was the continuation brought to Shoto and Bakugo completing their Provisional Hero License training. This I was happy that they spent some time on because we have not seen nearly enough of these two since the start of the season. Two of the most capable of Class 1-A and yet out of action because they failed their exam. After what Midoriya and company experienced, it also made a big difference to see how this also further motivated them considering a job like raiding the Shie Hassaikai headquarters could have gone differently if they were there to help out.
Overall, My Hero Academia “Smoldering Flames” was both a roller coaster of emotions and a smooth transition into what comes next in this world of heroes and villains. Nothing too significant took place in this episode, but there was just enough to set numerous subplots in gear.