Sports,sports, sports, sports, sports, sports, sports, sports.
My Hero Academia episode “Roaring Sports Festival” diverges from the season 2 opener, “That’s the Idea Ochaco.” Where the season 2 intro was mostly recap and decidedly more steady, “Roaring Sports Festival” kicks the pace up a notch.
It concentrates on the impending U.A. Sports Festival and reactions by U.A. High School students. Izuku Midoriya, or Deku (Justin Briner) five an opening monologue on how 80% of the world became super-powered individuals or heroes. “Oh, by the way,” Deku adds, “this is the story of how I became the world’s greatest hero.”
According to All Might (Christopher R. Sabat), Deku’s mentor and idol, the U.A. Sports Festival is something not only the pros but the entire country will be watching. Professor Aizawa (Christopher Wehkamp) further reinforces the importance of the U.A. Sports Festival in class.
But the Sports Festival holds further significance for Deku. All Might implores Deku to use the Sports Festival as a means of making his debut as the next All Might. Additionally, All Might instructs Deku to use All Might’s well-known catchphrase, “I am here.”
The tournament is structured as a round robin where the U.A. Students are separated by class year as well as discipline. They then face off against one another in preliminary games until reaching the finals. Unfortunately, Katsuki Bakugō (Clifford Chapin) in his braggadocio about defeating real villains, caused the entire school to despite class 1-A.
It’s neat seeing student response to the massively hyped competition. The classes scout the competition, boast about past accomplishments and brag that their peers will need to bring their best in order to survive. There’s a montage of students like Bakugō, and Ochaco Uraraka (Luci Christian) stating their aspirations. It’s followed by a montage of students training, including a humorous shot of Tōru Hagakure (Felecia Angelle), the Invisible Girl, doing pull ups.
I like the mix of humor as well as more serious content. Seeing the many Quirks, or powers, also remains fascinating and it’s refreshing when viewed in uncommon situations like training for a sports festival. “Roaring Sports Festival” is decidedly more action-packed than its season 2 predecessor. That’s not to say the season 2 premiere was boring, but it was a lot more set up. “Roaring Sports Festival” eschews this trend, delving increasingly into the season 2 plot and advancing the story.
“Roaring Sports Festival” probes a growing conflict between Deku and Shōto Todoroki (David Matranga). It’s not quite clear where this will lead, but Todoroki confronts Deku before the games begin. There’s a pleasant progression of interpersonal relationships, from Bakugō struggling to appear bold to Deku balancing his self-doubt and desire to please All Might and become the greatest hero. One of my favorite aspects was seeing Deku’s mother watching the game at home and growing increasingly nervous over her son’s fate. His mom even offered to record the Sports Festival.
Uptempo and gushing with drama, “Roaring Sports Festival” is a delightful season 2 sophomore episode that leaves me excited for the remainder of the season.