What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about My Hero Academia episode 81, or in other words “School Festival”. It’s new story arc time for MHA, and last week’s conclusions to the previous gave us a lot to look forward to in this next chapter. Plenty of character growth to work off of, new character dynamics, and an overall idea of the direction the pro-hero world is headed in. For this episode, what I looked for most was just a proper set-up for everything to follow regardless of whether a big storyline or small.
Off the bat, I’m glad that they cleared up some of the more immediate concerns about this new story arc. You see “School Festival” and the first thing which comes to mind is filler. How could you not? There’s so much going on in the world outside of the school, and their current focus is now something like a festival? Our reaction was the same as some of the students who didn’t understand the staggering difference in events in contrast to the Sports Festival. From the moment of this festival’s announcement they wasted no time putting everyone at ease. It found it quite brilliant actually since we don’t get enough acknowledgement of the problems within the hero community. A school festival is not for the students who are powerful. It’s for every other student who can’t shine under those same circumstances. The students who are support class, resourceful, brains more than brawn. The festival is their opportunity to show off what they are capable of. This I could not argue with one bit.
Of course with that said, the main expectation from this story arc will be seeing some of those actual students stand out. Its a wasted effort if this festival is for them and we spend too much time focused on the hero class. Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t gotten too much from the entirety of the class this season. That will have to be rectified eventually, but their endgame is going to have to be giving relevance to those other students in the school.
Now with this first episode of the new arc, the focus is obviously going to be on Class-1A and how they plan on participating in the school festival. That was a goofy scene since it took some time for this class to narrow down what they wanted to do. However, it had a well-paced progression to it for the way that they showed solidarity in finding something that was both fun and engaging. Without them obviously trying to step on the toes of other students. I actually appreciated the select few of them who were involved and actually helpful. Especially when working up to that point where Tanjiro would become the center of attention. This we knew was coming, though it was something else entirely to see how they would approach her finding the confidence to be their musical act. I hope they do not waste the chance to let her shine. Tanjiro has a good quirk, but there is no denying her talents which go hand in hand.
This episode was also a great time for Midoriya and Mirio to finally get to see Eri. It was a heartwarming scene between the three because this is the first step taken towards Eri’s healing. Not to mention having this moment for the three who were tangled in that madness more than anyone else to properly reflect on what they were put through.
That aside, there was one more thing we had to look forward to from this new arc. That being the introduction of the big villains. This duo we already knew ahead of time wasn’t going to be as dangerous as Shigaraki or Chisaki, but the air of mystery about this new threat does make you interested. With that said, it is understandable to feel reserved about them since there wasn’t too much that we got out of them aside from some showmanship. The best play with new villains like this will definitely be to play to their mystery.
Overall, this was a solid start to the next storyline. Not as big as what came before, though My Hero Academia “School Festival” at the very least creates some things worth anticipating. It should actually be refreshing to see how these characters continue to grow through different experiences without running into danger.