My Hero Academia is a series I have a very mixed history with. I found Season 1 a little underwhelming, but ultimately a very solid opener that I’ve come to respect more and more over time. Season 2 was a masterpiece, in my eyes, the gold standard of Shounen – and believe me, it isn’t often I use that phrase. However, I’m of the opinion that Season 3 was not great. After a very impactful first half with some noticeable issues, the second half was perhaps one of the most boring and anti-climactic arcs I’ve ever had to sit through.
Due to this upset, my hype for Season 4 was non-existent. I was only going to watch it out of obligation. But then My Hero Academia: The Movie – Two Heroes released, and I had the pleasure of watching it in a cinema (a very rare opportunity here in merry ol’ England). Two Heroes recaptured what made Season 2 so special, and brought back my hype. I’m still a little wary, but I’m trying to have faith that Season 4 won’t disappoint.
The promised day – October 12th, 2019 – is now upon us and I’ve had the opportunity to watch the very first episode of Season 4. Thus, I’m very proud to welcome you, for the very first time in over a year, to this First Impressions article. As always, I’ll be discussing the first episode at length, so here’s your spoiler warning.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t much to talk about. As usual, My Hero Academia tries to ease us back in with a lot of reminders of who characters are and of previous events. That’s not to say this episode is totally without merit, of course. After Midoriya’s usual opening monologue about Quirks and enrolling at U.A., the opening plays – while it’s nowhere near the best so far (Peace Sign will always be king), it’s definitely intriguing and the amount of callbacks and visual metaphors is really nice. Following the opening, we get a brief flashback to All Might’s fight with All For One in Season 3. It’s not your average flashback though, as we soon find out.
This flashback is actually a recording of the fight being played on journalist’s computer, and as the video finishes we nicely segway into the plot of the episode. Having milked All Might’s retirement for all it’s worth, a newspaper is now out of ideas and needs a new scoop. As the Editor-in-Chief continues to complain, a freelance journalist named Taneo Tokuda stops by and says he may have a story. Much like Bakugo did, he’s picked up on All Might’s “Now, it’s your turn.” message not being aimed at villains, but rather, his successor. And he believes they are among the students of Class 1-A.
Due to U.A.’s increased security as of late though, it’s difficult for the freelance journalist to get permission to visit the class to confirm his suspicions. With the newspapers’ help though, he’s allowed to visit the dorms for one day – under the pretence that he’s there to do a piece on how the students are settling into their dorms – and our character re-introductions begin. After Aizawa-sensei introduces him to the class (there is admittedly some nice character interactions in this scene), they literally spend two and half a minutes replaying old scenes and going through every single one of the students’ quirks.
I know this is very nitpicky, but it feels a lot longer than two and a half minutes, believe me. HeroAca really seems to have a tendency to do this, and while it was fun at first, we’re four seasons in now. We know who these characters are and what they do. Even if we’d somehow forgotten who the main character is within the past year, that’s not an excuse to just list characters for over two minutes. Just get into the action, and it’ll come back as we go along.
After the character montage, we go back to Tokuda, who tells us he knows that the successor is likely our main hero Midoriya, walking us through how he figured it out. He confronts Midoriya, and while his motivations are initially unclear, it soon becomes apparent that he’s a nice guy. All he wants is to know that there’s hope, and we’re quickly shown how much All Might meant to him – and this, in a way, reinforces how much All Might meant to the world. We’re shown his backstory in a flashback, and for a character that likely won’t appear again, it’s quite touching.
After a comical conclusion to the scene, Tokuda returns to the newspaper and tells them he had the wrong idea, and the episode ends.
My Hero Academia Season 4’s first episode, while having zero action and generally being filler, features a really genuine character story that I enjoyed seeing play out, even if it was about 6 minutes of content stretched out to around twenty. Despite all my nitpicks, and despite disliking HeroAca’s pattern of easing us back in, it really was lovely to return to this world again. It feels like it’s been forever. I’m genuinely excited to meet the new character shown in the opening and ending, and I really hope that Season 4 recaptures what Season 3 lost.
There really isn’t any conclusions to be drawn based on this episode. There’s no telling yet how this season will go, and I can’t make a recommendation based off a recap episode. But if you’re a My Hero Academia fan, you’re already watching it and you’re hyped regardless.
What did you think of the first episode of My Hero Academia Season 4? Will you be watching the rest? Let us know in the comments below.
Be sure to come back once the season ends to see our full review.