What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about My Hero Academia episode 86, or in other words “Let It Flow! School Festival!”. They really know how to mess with our heads with this story arc. I don’t think anyone outside of who read the manga could have imagined that this encounter with Gentle Criminal and La Brava could have had so much packed into it. And then just as quickly as that ends, we jump right into the excitement that is supposed to be the School Festival.
Before the big performance, obviously they needed to put a lid on the Gentle Criminal and La Brava. How they handled this was honestly refreshing. At this point we are all so used to to there being some big bad, and that big bad ending up getting their faced smashed in. This was new territory where the end didn’t need to be a bad guy beaten to a pulp with no redemption. Gentle Criminal in my mind will always be more memorable than the foes of the past because there was something genuine that he fought for. He knew the line that he wasn’t willing to cross, and he represented what it looks like when someone’s life turns south because the standards for a hero is not right. Again, I’m not one to say that you have to sympathize with the enemy, but could you really call him that after understanding his story? We felt his pain, and so did Midoriya. It was great to see that even Midoriya could prove fans wrong who assume that he’s the kind of hero who doesn’t try to reach someone on the wrong path.
When the time came for Class 1-A’s performance? I have to say I was impressed with the turnout. Off the bat, this looked like a bit of a cluster****, mind my language. Though what better way to describe the fact that they were trying to do a lot? Initially it was hard to picture them succeeding with all of these moving pieces needing to work in concert. Fortunately? All of it managed to look just fine set in motion. Kyoka’s singing obviously was on point. It was one thing to hear her voice some episodes back, another thing to hear her sing a full song and hit all the right notes. The dancing was smooth even though not entirely the most notable part. I would actually say that the effects team did best because at first that definitely seemed like a lot they were trying to do to make it look flashy. All in all, you gotta give credit where it is due that they did the entirety of the performance. For all the things we were going to see in this festival, this was still the main attraction. What came after was even notable since none of this would matter if we didn’t get some opinions from the other students. Straightforward stuff, but things that needed to be said.
What I appreciated most about the performance is that they did not waste the opportunity to get into some character development for Kyoka. This is one of those characters who we still had things to learn about aside from the fact that her parents are musicians. This was our time to better understand the decision she made to take he path of becoming a hero rather than following in the footsteps of her parents. This was a small part, but so much was said with so little words which made a big impact overall. Kyoka is the perfect example of what it looks like when you don’t neglect what makes you who you are at the core. Who’s to say that you can’t be an aspiring hero and still be a musician at the same time?
If there was any concern I had about everything wrapping up in this episode, it was that they would not reward us with the patience we held for the festival. They teased a lot of things happening throughout some of these classes, so who wouldn’t have feared that we wouldn’t really get to see it all in such a small window of time? The Beauty Pageant was stunning for the way that the contestants put their quirks to use. The play was both ridiculous and bold. Everything else after that was good to see in passing, even from Eri’s perspective.
My Hero Academia “Let It Flow! School Festival!” was the kind of entertainment value that a series like this should indulge in more often. These students are always out there trying to make progress and get stronger, but at the end of the day they are still students in a school. After everything involving Chisaki, and much more before that, this was earned. Hard to imagine that after this, there is only two episodes left in the season. Should be interesting to see how they wrap things up from here.