‘My Hero Academia’ delivers darkest season yet

By Gustavo Buenrostro

Season 4 of “My Hero Academia” has some of the best animation and character moments the anime has ever had.

“My Hero Academia” has always been a light-hearted anime with some serious moments, but the first half of this season began with a clash between two villain groups that set a tone for the rest of the season. The introduction of Overhaul, the leader of the yakuza group Shie Hassaikai, as a rival to the league of villains was done very well and it made audiences take him seriously as a threat. As the season went on, Overhaul is revealed to be much more sadistic than originally shown. The whole plan for the heroes, like Izuka Midoriya and Mirio Togata, is not necessary to stop Overhaul, but to save a little girl named Eri from him.

Most of this arc takes place in the Shie Hassaikai’s headquarters as the heroes rush in to save Eri. Side characters like Red Riot and Suneater get some well-deserved character development with each having fantastic moments that can make anyone cheer. However, the best moments of this arc come from Togata, also known as Lemillion, and Midoriya, also known as Deku. Each has moments that define their characters in emotional scenes where they are protecting Eri. Some of the best animation of the season came from the episode “Infinite 100%” where the animation studio, Bones, outdid itself in the climactic fight of the arc.

Once the Shi Hassaikai arc ends, a new one begins following the aftermath, but unlike the first half, this arc is much more light-hearted. The students at UA are all planning a school festival, but a villain by the name of Gentle Criminal wants to infiltrate the school during the festival. Gentle and his helper La Brava bring levity to the villain roles as they are not the run-of-the-mill villains that want to destroy or gain like Overhaul. They have a more subtle and tragic reason for being villains. While there aren’t as many fights in this second half of the season, the questions it poses for what it means to be someone who lives in hero society are very interesting.

The voice acting this season has been phenomenal. It was taken to another level with Tarasuke Shingaki and Ricco Fajardo, who both voice Togata in japanese and english respectively as stand-outs. 

The music in “My Hero Academia” has always been great and this season is no exception. Each triumphant moment or moment where the heroes have to endure and push further is enhanced with the fantastic score by Yuki Hayashi.

This season is one of the best that the show has done and one of the best in anime. It would be a good time to get into the show as the fifth season of “My Hero Academia” was announced at the end of the last episode. No released date has been set, but if Bones can keep up the same amount of quality that they have been putting out, then it could be another great season. 

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