Anyone got a cig?
My Hero Academia lands another hit with “Climax.” Picking up where “Hero Killer Stain vs. U.A. Students” left off, Izuku Midoriya, aka Deku (Justin Briner) and fellow U.A. student Todoroki (David Matranga) battle Hero Killer Stain. Tenya Iida (John Michael Tatum) embarked on a mission to kill Stain after the hero killer paralyzed Iida’s older brother. However, as Stain, albeit crazed and radical, points out, Iida’s actions are driven by revenge rather than a desire for saving others.
Working in conjunction, Deku and Todoroki stave off Stain. Meanwhile, Iida regains enough strength to join the fray. The three heroes in training knock out Stain, restraining him with the intention to turn him over to the authorities. Elsewhere in Hosu City, Gran Torino (Charles Campbell) and Enji Todoroki, or Endeavor (Patrick Seltz), battle the monstrosities Nomu, created by the League of Villains. The Nomu are hulking, zombie-like creatures which assume quirks. Many heroes remain unable to fight the Nomu. But heroes such as Endeavor are able to best them.
Yet when Endeavor, Gran Torino, and a team of heroes arrive to aid Deku, Torodoki, and Iida, they discover that Stain has been subdued. But not for long. Stain musters the energy to break his restraints. However, in an unexpected twist, he kills one of the Nomu, rescuing Deku. In his strange, twisted logic, Stain sets out to purge humanity of those unfit. Deku ranks among the worthy. Moreover, Stain announces that the only hero respectable enough to kill him is All Might (Christopher R. Sabat).
The third act of My Hero Academia season two promises to be its best. I enjoy the true bond between Deku and Todoroki. Seeing them take down Stain proves not only their abilities as heroes but the mutual respect and admiration each has for the other. It’s this element which lends interpersonal relationships and connections. I appreciate this aspect, as it exhibits the real aftermath of the U.A. Sports Fest. It’s not a rivalry, but instead, reverence for one another.
Despite the quick pacing, there’s quite a bit of character development. In a flashback, it’s revealed how Todoroki abandoned fighting alongside his father to help Deku. At the onset of My Hero Academia season two, Todoroki and Deku were presented as rivals. Now it’s clear that they’re rivals, yes, but enjoy a friendly competition. There’s no antagonism between the two.
It’s tough to find any complaint about “Climax,” or about My Hero Academia season two at this point. Earlier, I noted that the Sports Fest dragged out. Initially, it was a fun change of pace. Yet it quickly became formulaic. Enjoyable, sure, but predictable and essentially the same episode over and over. Now it’s obvious My Hero Academia was biding its time before erupting into a forceful final act which is overflowing with excitement. The animation is at its best. When quirks kick in, it’s captivating, and the last moments of “Climax” offer a gothic, horror-tinged scene where Stain floods the street with red. Voice acting is top notch, with Justin Briner lending Deku an increasingly mature, confident tone. Similarly, David Matranga gives Todoroki a sense of coming of age through his voice. From animation and voice acting to plot, My Hero Academia is at its best.