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My Hero Academia Episode 15 Review

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The U.A. Sports Festival has begun!

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below. Unlike last week’s slow-paced Season 2 premiere[2], which spent most of its time setting the stage, “Roaring Sports Festival” delivers an intense follow-up rife with classmate drama as the U.A.

Sports Festival gets off to an action-packed start. Comparisons between “Roaring Sports Festival” and the third episode of Season 1, “Roaring Muscles,” are bound to be drawn, as the two have more in common than just “Roaring” in the title. “Roaring Muscles” features a concise training montage[3] that efficiently conveys Deku’s mental and physical growth as he prepares for his entrance exam into U.A. High School.

Likewise, “Roaring Sports Festival” features a similarly brief montage, only this time providing a look at Deku and his peers in Class 1-A as they gear up for the sports festival. The montage does an admirable job at highlighting each character’s unique characteristics. We see the ill-tempered Bakugo testing his explosive strength in the woods, the studious Momo studying at her desk, and the impulsive, shameless Mineta fantasizing about winning while holding a trophy on his bed.

Mineta “preparing” for the U.A.

Sports Festival I especially enjoyed the nod to last season, made all the more obvious by All Might’s instruction to Deku not to forget his training, because it serves as an effective reminder of Deku’s humble beginnings and how his strength comes from his heart and determination and not natural talent like some of his other classmates, including Todoroki. The Season 2 premiere hinted at an impending conflict between Todoroki and Deku, as the wildly talented kid who can wield both fire and ice took notice of All Might’s favoritism of Deku.

In “Roaring Sports Festival” we get our first look what will likely be the start of some ongoing drama between the two just before the U.A. Sports Festival begins. After being bluntly told by Todoroki that he isn’t nearly as talented as himself, Deku responds with humble confidence, admitting that while he doesn’t have the same in-bred skill as his peer, he’s going to put up one heck of a fight to come out on top during the competition.

I really enjoyed this exchange and can’t wait to see how it plays out. Season 1 explored the rivalry between Deku and Bakugo, and while I hope to see that relationship grow as well, I’m so glad that My Hero Academia is delving into the personalities of the rest of the show’s core cast and how they reflect Deku’s character.

A rivalry between Deku and Todoroki takes shape

Likewise, I was pleased to see some of the other students at U.A. High.

The students of Class 1-A aren’t the only ones participating in the festival, as those in the lower-ranked classes are competing as well. It’s clear some of the students aren’t particularly enthusiastic about being a part of the festival and have resigned to not becoming a pro hero, but there are others who didn’t make it into the hero class who haven’t given up. I appreciated this broad look at the school, which added a layer of believability and depth U.A.’s diverse student body and the wide-range of skill levels and interests its students possess.

In fact, one of the students enrolled in general studies informs Deku and the others that performing well in the festival could get them transferred to the hero class.

Meanwhile, those already enrolled in the hero class who underperform could very well find themselves transferred out the the class. I found this plot wrinkle to be particularly effective, as it raises stakes for what already promises to be an intense competition for Deku and the rest of Class 1-A.

“Roaring Sports Festival” serves up an action-packed conclusion with the U.A. Sports Festival’s first challenge, an obstacle race.

This is where the animation work of Bones truly shines, with the fast and fluid motions of Todoroki yielding an icy display that was stunning to behold. The springy movements of Mineta were also a visual treat. It was a comedic delight to watch him bounce atop the sticky grape-color balls produced by his head as a means to make his way across the slippery ice-covered ground.

The Verdict Thanks to new budding rivalries and an action-packed start to the U.A. Sports Festival, “Roaring Sports Festival” serves up a thrilling 24 minutes of tension-filled drama.

As Deku stares down an army of robotic foes at the episode’s conclusion, we see his mother, eyes welling up with tears as she shouts at the TV, pleading for her son to run away.

With so much on the line, I can’t wait to see Deku inevitably prove to himself and his mother that he can rise above and become the successor All Might is grooming him to be.

Editors’ Choice

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