What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about My Hero Academia episode 85, or in other words “School Festival Start!!”. At the end of the day, was My Hero Academia “Deku vs. Gentle Criminal” worth the wait? Indeed it was! I’m sure some of us out there wanted something more life or death out of this storyline, but it is so far a breath of fresh air that you can get this level of action even when it is not. What came from Deku versus Gentle Criminal was without a doubt a case of unstoppable force facing the immovable object.
This part of the fight between Midoriya and Gentle Criminal was something to look forward to when it came to La Brava’s quirk activating. What we knew beforehand is that her power was en enhancement for others, though more specifically someone she had love for. This power-up she gave Gentle Criminal took the action to new heights. As I said before, his elasticity quirk on the surface was something you wouldn’t take all too seriously. Though the way he uses it? And the way he was able to better use it with a power-up? This created a phenomenal action scene which changed everything about what we originally thought we were going to get from these two villains. When this story arc began, most said that this one was not going to lead to the same big battle that the last two arcs did. I wouldn’t say this one was on the same scale, but it was nothing you would overlook either for the unique approach where the winner wasn’t automatically decided by power-level. Both were cunning in how they fought the other from start to finish.
Being the finale of the battle, we still had to get over that one last hurdle in our understanding of Gentle Criminal. Up to this point it was hard to say that we fully understood what motivated him, but when we got the rest of his story? That was crushing for the true understanding of how brutal this world can be to those who do not make it as heroes. I think Gentle Criminal is one of the first to truly give us a proper example of where the system can fail aspiring heroes. Society created him as much as his own actions did.
Given that this is the finale to the confrontation between Midoriya and Gentle Criminal, there was no better time than now to dig into who La Brava is. Her story was very compelling, even if it is something to get over seeing how young this girl was when she initially fell for this guy who is older than she was. It was endearing to see someone whose problem was new in contrast to others who take up a life of crime. This episode took us through her past to a time where she first had her heart broken, and it was a moving scene which shaped everything about the direction in life she took from that point on. I just had one issue with her backstory, and that was the lack of clarity if it was her quirk which influenced her need to give affection. Aside from that, it was again compelling to see where an individual with a quirk like hers finds the drive to unleash it the way she did for Gentle Criminal.
Some may say that Midoriya didn’t get the spotlight as much has he probably could have, but I think they can get a pass on this one. The best takeaway we could ever get for Midoriya is progress in mastering his quirk. That is what we got from this confrontation, plus strong character moments from others once more.
If there’s only one thing which could disappoint you about this episode, and it being very minor, then it is the fact that this episode is title “School Festival Start!!”, though there wasn’t much that actually involved the school festival. Not a problem with that said because during times like this you want little distractions from the main attraction. That being Midoriya versus Gentle Criminal. There was something which happened the morning of the festival beginning, and you could at least give them credit for the focus on some other students who have a stake in doing great in their performances.
My Hero Academia “School Festival Start!!” was action-packed, and somehow also a rollercoaster of emotions. If you though there was going to be anything underwhelming about Gentle Criminal and La Brava compared to the other villains? This episode made the statement that looks can be deceiving.