My Hero Academia Episode 61

My Hero Academia Episode 61

Introduction

It’s a day late, but I couldn’t just skip over this week’s episode of My Hero Academia. For anyone wondering, while this post was pushed back a day due to me being busy, the Summer 2018 Week 11 post will not be pushed back, but will instead be skipped.

My Hero Academia content is much more popular, and since my weekly seasonal reviews seem to be some of the less popular content, I will not be sacrificing any other content in order to make it up this week. If you want more Summer 2018 reviews, that series should resume next Sunday.

With that out of the way, let’s get into this week’s episode, “Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2.”

Summary

I want to start off by mentioning that the title of this week’s episode threw me off when I first saw it. I thought it meant that there were actually two episodes this week, much like how the two episodes of Naruto and Sasuke’s final fight in Shippūden came out the same day, but that’s not the case.

Instead, this seems to be in reference to the first fight Midoriya and Bakugo had in the training grounds when Midoriya first defeated Bakugo. I say defeated, but really I don’t remember exactly how that fight turned out. What I do remember is that Midoriya was able to block Bakugo’s explosion and use it to help his teammate, but they may have still lost.

For those who are wondering, episode 7 of the first season is the original “Deku vs. Kacchan.”

This time, however, there are no teammates and this isn’t an exercise for their hero training. Bakugo has discovered that Midoriya was the one chosen by All Might to inherit One for All and challenges him to a fight in order to find out for himself what All Might saw in Midoriya that made him choose him as his successor.

As is the norm here, I’ll  be using Naruto Shippūden once again as a comparison to the events that unfold in My Hero Academia. In many ways this fight between Midoriya and Bakugo was the same as the final Naruto/Sasuke fight. Both combatants are actually on the same side and have the same end goal, but have a slightly different path to get them to that final goal.

For Midoriya, saving people is how he wants to become the next All Might, and to do so he needs to learn to be strong. For Bakugo, being the strongest hero is how he wants to become the next All Might, and to do so he needs to learn to save people.

This parallel dynamic is exactly why, after their fight, All Might tells them that only by working together can they become the strongest heroes. They each have strengths which cover the other’s weaknesses.

Looking at the fight itself, the beginning unfolded exactly how I predicted it would last week. From knowing how these two characters behave, it was clear that Midoriya was going to refuse to fight Bakugo from the start and instead focus on evasion and defense.

However, much like fights between Naruto and Sasuke, Midoriya (Naruto) realizes that exchanging blows with Bakugo (Sasuke) is the most effective way for the two of them to communicate their feelings. When he realizes this, Midoriya shifts to a more offensive stance and begins to actually fight back.

I also previously stated that I hoped Bakugo wouldn’t end up becoming just like Sasuke and going over to the villains’ side for a while, and it appears he won’t become another Sasuke after all. Even after learning why Midoriya was chosen over him, Bakugo still seems to be set on his path towards becoming the greatest hero.

Katsuki Bakugo defeats Izuku Midoriya from the My Hero Academia anime episode 61
Bakugo defeats Midoriya

But, while the story behind the fight was similar to fights between Naruto and Sasuke, the fight itself was more like if Shikamaru and Sasuke fought. Midoriya has the intellectual advantage over Bakugo, just like Shikamaru would over Sasuke, however, Bakugo’s raw skill and power is able to overcome this advantage.

In fact, in the fight Bakugo even acknowledges that Midoriya analyzes everything and sees that as a distinct advantage on Midoriya’s part. However, since Bakugo is more skilled at fighting, he’s also able to see how Midoriya’s advantage in theory is actually a disadvantage in practice.

By increasing the speed of his attacks, Bakugo is able prevent Midoriya from having time to think about the fight. While Midoriya relies on his mind to fight, Bakugo relies more on his reflexes which give him the advantage in a fast-paced, close-quarters fight. By taking control of the fight in this way, Bakugo is able to come out victorious.

I also can’t talk about this episode and fight without drawing parallels to the infamous fight between Naruto and Pain from Shippūden. While watching the fight between Midoriya and Bakugo, I couldn’t help but think of the unique art/animation style used for the Naruto/Pain fight.

For Naruto vs. Pain, an extremely exaggerated art style was used to emphasize the power of the two combatants. This in turn led to many people referring to it as “bad animation.” However, it wasn’t actually bad animation, simply a different art style which didn’t end up working as intended.

In the Midoriya vs. Bakugo fight, I saw a similar thing happening. The art style wasn’t exaggerated like it was for Naruto vs. Pain, but it was excessively simplified for many of the shots. It was kind of like a reverse sakuga effect, and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it.

My Hero Academia has been known to showcase some excellent fight scenes with amazing visuals, but this wasn’t one of those. Instead, the character designs were overly simplified, in some cases even when shown close up, and I think this might have been done purposefully in order to tell the story.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, and maybe it really was simply bad art, but I like to think the reason the art style was simplified for this fight was because they were going for the more “raw” feeling. Most of the MHA fights are over-the-top spectacles, but this was a fight between two childhood friends who are only now beginning to understand each other.

Next Episode

Other than the fight itself and the emotions of the two combatants, not much else really happened this week, so let’s take a look towards the future of the series.

The next episode sees the students of class 1-A going into their second semester at U.A. It’s hard to imagine that all of the events up until now since their entrance into the school have happened in a single semester, but it seems that’s the case.

Now that All Might has gone into retirement, the villains who had been in hiding have started to become more active. I get that All Might was the symbol of peace and all, but if I were a villain I still wouldn’t want to run into a hero like Endeavor, especially now that he’s seen All Might’s true form.

We’re also reminded that not only are the students of Class 1-A going into their second semester, but it’s only the second semester of their first year. These students all seem like competent future heroes in their own right, but we have to remember that there are even stronger students in the years above them.

Next week it seems that we’ll specifically be introduced to the top three students in the school. More than anything else, I just want to see what kinds of quirks they have. Will all of the top students have combat-type quirks like Bakugo, or will one of them have a more supportive quirk like Toru?


Conclusion

So what did you think of the fight between Midoriya and Bakugo? Did you predict the winner correctly? Do you think Bakugo should have inherited One for All? Also, for next episode, what do you think the quirks of the top students are going to be?

If you enjoyed this post, as well as my many references to Naruto: Shippūden, then click the like button down below. If you’d like to be notified every time a new post goes live, be sure to follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or subscribe to my blog via email.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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