Following their involvement in the U.A. Sports Festival, Class 1-A are taking a break from the classroom and heading off to participate in their first internships at pro hero agencies. Some of the students initially receive several offers for internship, but not Deku – after all, who wants to train a hero who incapacitates themselves after using their quirk a few times? But as luck would have it, Deku has managed to catch the eye of All Might’s old mentor, Gran Torino, and he and the rest of Class 1-A are able to head off to start their individual internships. The training is tough but it couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Hero Killer: Stain is one the loose and out to purge society of false heroes – with Deku and several classmates getting caught up in Stain’s pursuit of his ideology. But despite their tough internships, there’s no reprieve from final exams. Upon returning to U.A. High School, Class 1-A find themselves facing an insurmountable task – with a pass or fail depending on whether they can come out on top in a battle against their teachers.
My Hero Academia Season 2 Part 2 is another strong entry into the series, building off of the events of the first part of season two to deliver a solid set of episodes that build towards an exciting season finale (see my review of My Hero Academia Season 2 Part 1 for incessant gushing over the school tournament arc). This release presents two distinct, strong arcs within its 13 episodes – the pro hero internships and the final exams, both tied together by the appearance of the Hero Killer: Stain and the League of Villains who cause some chaos and danger for our shonen hero protagonists.
Stain in particular is a really effective antagonist. Having been introduced in part one of the second season as the man who almost killed Iida’s older brother and continues to be a valid threat to pro heroes, his connection to the narrative is more compelling and presence more threatening than the initial appearance of the League of Villains. His particular power set also once again illustrates why quirks are a big selling point for the series – the strategic nature of quirks and the importance of quirk matchups in battles adds an extra layer of excitement to all combat scenes. When several Class 1-A students are forced into a confrontation with Stain, the show is able to create suspense around how exactly his quirk functions as he freezes them in place, and they struggle to keep the hero killer from overwhelming them. As the extent of the abilities of Stain’s quirk are revealed, the rules of engagement change and the characters try to figure out the best way to survive based on this new information. This fight and other fights like it in the series continue to be strategic, tense and exciting, and their clever portrayal is a large part of why I enjoy My Hero Academia.
My Hero Academia Season 2 Part 2 also does a great job at balancing the number of characters in Class 1-A and giving each of them a moment in the spotlight. The wonderful frog-girl Tsuyu even gets her own episode focusing on her internship aboard the Oki Mariner as she works with its crew and the coast guard to apprehend some villains trying to make-off with some stolen cargo. It’s a solid episode that does a lot to flesh out the universe of My Hero Academia and the different roles that pro heroes play, as well as giving the audience some quality time to get to know Tsuyu. While not every student in Class 1-A gets their own episode, the practical portion of their final exam that sees them paired up and facing off against the U.A. faculty still gives everyone a chance to show-off in different ways; it turns out that Tsuyu and Tokoyami make a great team, the anxieties that have been plaguing Yaoyorozu since the sports festival resurface, and Denki and Mina have their work cut out for them going up against Principal Nezu. The practical exam takes up several episodes and shows each team taking on one of the teachers, and these moments are really neat as they give the faculty time to show off their quirks, all while calling attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the students and presenting several team matchups that work really well together.
However, the standout episode in the practical exams is undoubtedly the matchup of Deku and Bakugo against their idol All Might. The fight itself is a visual spectacle, with a bunch of flashy attacks and the force of Deku, Bakugo and All Might’s blows have such a weight and impact it’s hard to not be invested in the action onscreen. But the best aspect of this battle is the way it brings the dichotomies and similarities between Deku and Bakugo to the forefront; such as the ways they both respect All Might but how this respect manifests in different ways, and their differing approaches to taking on the symbol of peace. This culminates in an illuminating moment for the both of them when they come together as a team for the first time out of desperation, and it is one of the best sequences in My Hero Academia so far.
As a whole, season two of My Hero Academia really cements the series as a quality shonen anime. Studio Bones continues to expand upon the series by expertly sharing the spotlight among the massive cast of characters and delivering top-quality and exciting action sequences. While My Hero Academia Season 2 Part 2 does not have your typical big season finale, it ends on a promise of things to come that can’t help but excite for the next chapter in the series.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.