Guardian Enzo

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「Division」

I think we’re far enough along in Season 7 of Boku no Hero Academia to make an assessment on the health of the production. And despite the upcoming movie (which premieres this summer) things seem perfectly normal to me. There have been issues in the past with multiple Heroaca projects competing for resources and (especially) staff, no question about it. But perhaps lessons were learned from those prior instances, because everything is humming along pretty seamlessly. This was the biggest action blockbuster of the season so far, and it was vintage Bones all the way.

We may still get screwed by having BnHA finish (the manga is rumored to be ending very soon) in movie form (and abridged) as Haikyuu is. But for now, full steam ahead. And this episode had plenty of steam, as the heroes put their plan – mainly Eraser’s plan – into action. And truth be told, it’s a disgraced 1-A student and two Class 1-B students (sort of) that are at the heart of it. Shinso fought with them at least, though basically he’s a free agent whose team has theoretically not been decided. But it was clear from the very beginning that Shinso’s Brainwashing was one of the most powerful quirks in the plot.

In fact, I speculated long ago that Shinso’s quirk could be argued to be the most powerful there is. At least if you take hors catégorie quirks like One For All and All For One out of the equation. I knew it – and he – were destined for a vital role in the series, though the specific nature of that was harder to guess at. Horikoshi is very good at planting seeds like that (and can speculate on which ones have yet to sprout). There would be no way to fool All For One without him, that’s for certain.

The other key player here is Monoma, the full-on 1-B guy whose arrival on the scene here was less foreshadowed than Shinso’s. Monoma seemed like the perpetual side character, a bit player (like Aoyama in 1-A). But he’s just as vital t0 this plan as Shinso is, in truth. “Copy” is almost like a watered-down version of All For One if you squint hard enough. Kurogiri’s warp ability is absolutely essential here for starters, and Monoma also plays a key role later when he – and Aizawa – are among the team assigned to the “floating coffin” with Shigaraki.

Splitting up the enemy is the essence of the plan, we knew that. But that means splitting up the heroes too (and there are less of them to go around). It’s the two top-rankers, Endeavor and  Hawks, who draw the All For One card. Sbouto is, inevitably, drawn against Dabi. And Deku is supposed to the key to the group with Shigaraki, led by Best Jeanist and featuring Bakugo. But this is the one area where the setup stag fails to come off as planned. Deku winds up somewhere else altogether, because Toga – who continues to be obsessed with him – drags him there.

This represents something short of a worst-case scenario for the heroes. That would have been Deku winding up where AFO is, and that at least was avoided. But this whole plan was more about moving up the timing of the final battle and fighting it on their terms than about how to actually win it. There the margin for error looks incredibly thin, and Toga’s Deku-napping may be enough to tip the scales in the villains’ favor. Any outcome for this operation that doesn’t find Shigaraki being taken out has to be considered a failure, ultimately.  And we’ve seen nothing to suggest the the coffin in the sky is capable of avoiding such an outcome.

 

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Boku no Hero Academia 7 – 06