My Hero Academia Episode 81

My Hero Academia Episode 81

School Festival

If you, like me, are still waiting to see Endeavor in action, it will probably be a while before we get to that. I previously assumed the school festival would take two or three episodes, but now it seems like it’s going to take up the majority of the seven episodes left in the season.

And I hate school festival arcs and episodes in anime. There has probably been one decent, or even good, school festival in an anime I’ve watched, but that’s it.

So, why do so many anime feature school festivals? It all comes down to the fact that so many anime are set in high school. And the reason this is the case is because high school is often looked back on as the best days of people’s lives in Japan. But if you ask me, if the peak of your life was that one time your class put on a terrible play in high school, that’s pretty sad.

Bakugo and Todoroki (Disco version) from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Bakugo and Todoroki (Disco version)

However, there is another, potentially less sad reason for school festivals to be featured in so many anime — it’s easy. Just like summer festivals, school festivals are events which are extremely easy to turn into bland anime episodes when you can’t be bothered to write anything good.

They’re cookie-cutter events.

At least the students of Class 1-A didn’t end up choosing to do a maid cafe, a play, or a haunted house, because that’s what 90% of other anime do.

But, that’s not to say that their concert is going to be anything special either. It probably won’t even reference the school festival from Haruhi, because shounen series tend not to reference other anime ever. I think it’s because their target audience wouldn’t get the references anyway.

Non-Hero Classes

Surprisingly, there was actually a pretty good in-universe explanation for why we’re getting a school festival arc. Normally the reasoning would simply be “because it’s a series set in school,” with no further justification required.

However, since this is a hero school, that wouldn’t have made much sense, especially considering the current climate. Why would hero students be putting on a school festival when they should be training to fight against the increasing number of villains?

The given reason for this festival is that it’s a chance for the non-hero students at U.A. to shine. And if you forgot that there were even non-hero students at U.A., you’re not alone. I’ll be the first to admit I forgot they existed.

Mr. Aizawa reminding us non-hero students exist from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Mr. Aizawa reminding us non-hero students exist

The sports festival back in season 2 gave the hero students — and to some extent the support students — a chance to show their stuff. But the school festival is more geared towards the support students, as well as the general studies and business students.

I mean, sure, this arc is still definitely going to focus on the hero students, but at least there was a real reason given for why the school festival exists. And while the general studies and business students aren’t interesting, I do hope we’ll at least get to see some of what the support students are up to.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Mei Hatsume is the only support student we’ve really seen. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of her, but it would also be nice to see some of the other support students and what kinds of inventions they specialize in.

Gentle Criminal

No filler arc would be complete without a filler arc antagonist — and that’s where Gentle Criminal comes in. Sure, he could actually be a real threat, but I find it unlikely that he’ll have any sort of relevance beyond this school festival arc.

He’s not associated with any villain groups as far as we know, and he and his sidekick, La Brava, appear to mostly be included for comedic effect. We don’t see comedy being used like this for other villains in the series such as Shigaraki or Overhaul.

But, like I said, he could still turn out to be a dangerous villain even if he’s not important to the story at large. We haven’t seen his quirk in action yet, but we have seen him take down a group of five pro heroes on his own. And, La Brava probably also has a quirk.

Gentle Criminal's YouTube channel from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Gentle Criminal’s YouTube channel

Since we know so little about Gentle Criminal, though, I’d like to mention the one thing we do know about him. His goal is to become famous, and to achieve this goal he uploads videos of his crimes to YouTube.

The first question I have is, why does he have La Brava stop filming when he fights? Does he simply not want to reveal to the public, and law enforcement, what his quirk is? Surely it would be captured on security cameras. So, is it perhaps that his quirk would effect the footage somehow?

And my second question is, why isn’t there an actual “gentle video” YouTube channel made specifically for this arc? Just as the Twitter accounts for the Miru Tights characters gave us a “behind the scenes” look, so too could Gentle Criminal’s YouTube channel. It would have been a great way to make a filler arc more interesting.

Conclusion

Do you like school festival episodes in anime? Did you remember that there were non-hero students at U.A. before Mr. Aizawa brought them up (especially business students)? And, what do you think Gentle Criminal’s quirk is? We see that it distorts the area around him, but other than that it could be anything. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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