Hottest Hero Happenings is a series in which we summarize the latest hero news. More specifically, said hero news concerns My Hero Academia’s currently airing third season. More more specifically, it operates on a ‘two episode per installment’ basis. More more more specifically, this particular installment will discuss episodes 19 and 20. More more more more spec…no, that would be too specific.
A steady acceleration to excitement, before screeching to a standstill; this summarizes My Hero Academia’s recent affairs. Episode 19, ‘Rescue Exercises‘, continues the Provisional Hero License Exam, tensely crescendoing to a rip-roaring finale, before episode 20, ‘Special Episode: Save The World With Love‘, breaks the flow at a poor moment. Fortunately, it serves as a satisfactory contribution to Japan’s 24 hour charity telethon, Love Saves The Earth, and showcases surprising self-awareness regarding its filler nature.
Episode 19, ‘Rescue Exercises‘, precedes the filler elephant in the room, progressing the Provisional Hero License Exam into its second phase. Participants (those having passed the first phase) proceed to a mock city post-destruction, crumbling rubble aplenty. There, actors of the Help Us Company have taken positions, posing as civilians in necessity of rescue. Participants are graded on their professionalism regarding rescuing those in need, but a sinister surprise awaits them.
As Izuku joins the fray, he’s penalized for his failure to comfort the civilian, but after recollecting All Might’s rescue video, he cracks a hearty grin and drums up cheerful confidence. To see something introduced at the beginning of My Hero Academia (All Might’s rescue video) bear relevance this far in is impressive.
Ochaco’s crush on Izuku reaches peak point. Facing a romance dilemma, she opts to temporarily hide-away her feelings and become an admirable hero alongside Izuku. This reenforces her resolve, because wow; teenage crushes are awfully overwhelming. This love-laden sub-story flickering away behind the scenes provides a pleasant counter to the hustle and bustle of battle so often prevalent in My Hero Academia, and its continued development will be charming to see.
Finally, the bombshell’s dropped. Rescue operations void of villains are convenient, but unrealistic. Can budding heroes react appropriately amid saving civilians if a tough as nails baddie is in the way? The Provisional Hero License Exam aims to test this, as professional hero Gang Orca, acting as a mock villain alongside a gaggle of goons, storms the scene. The adrenaline maxes out as Gang Orca prepares for battle against Izuku and friends.
Then there’s a break for a filler episode (sigh).
Hold it, it’s filler time!
Episode 20, ‘Special Episode: Save The World With Love‘, isn’t bad. Rather, it comes at a bad time. Despite tributing Love Saves The Earth, it’s more an advertisement for My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, the debut My Hero Academia movie. Said advertisement is understandable, and the nod to Love Saves The Earth is welcome, but its content is utterly unimportant. Unlike Season 2’s top-notch ‘Everyone’s Internships‘, showcasing a filler but killer story that intermingles with the primary narrative and offers quality character cool bits (most relating to fan favourite Tsuyu), this anime original episode is plain ol’ pointless.
But it’s not all bad. The self-awareness of ‘Special Episode: Save The World With Love’s‘ filler nature is refreshing, and the (albeit unremarkable) story ticks basic boxes of fun-factor. The Danganronpa-like murder mystery is intriguing, and there’s chuckles peppered throughout. At the end of the day, it is what it is: a run of the mill filler episode in a series that fortunately features few.
My Hero Academia may be dipping into a mixed bag this time, but it’s still miles ahead of its shonen competitors. A filler arc in Bleach equates to a filler episode in My Hero Academia, and said filler episodes are rare. And of course; ‘Rescue Exercises‘ is excellent as ever. Can the Class 1-A gang acquire their Provisional Hero Licenses, or will they be thwarted by Gang Orca and his goons?