Review for My Hero Academia: Season 4 Part 2
If you’ve been expecting annoyance, prepare to have those expectations met. My Hero Academia Season 4 Part 1 was released in the UK by Manga Entertainment. My Hero Academia Season 4 Part 2 is now released by Funimation UK, the new owner. Your spines are going to mismatch. I had thought that Funimation would try and keep ongoing titles consistent in this regard, but apparently they have no sympathy for the OCD anime fan. What do you expect though? There’s been a gap of practically a year between releases, with this Part 2 release constantly delayed. Once again, I’ve forgotten the cast of characters and the ongoing storyline, which given that Part 1 ended on a cliff-hanger, is a real pain. So once again, understand that when I type, hand-face guy, I mean Shigaraki, and beak-face is Chisaki.
You can call them superpowers, you can call them mutations. In the world of My Hero Academia, they’re mundanely thought of as Quirks. I say mundanely, as some 80% of the world’s population have Quirks, some power or ability that makes them special in some way. Naturally there are people who use their Quirks for selfish, even illegal gain. Standing against them are the heroes, those who use their powers for the common good. From the day Izuku Midoriya saw the world’s #1 hero, All Might in action, he was certain that he too would become a great superhero. The only problem was that Izuku was one of the 20%, born without a Quirk.
But Izuku’s selfless actions in a crisis situation caught the attention of All Might, who decided that the young boy would inherit his power. Getting used to a sudden new Quirk doesn’t happen overnight, and even with intensive training, Izuku is still playing catch-up when he enters U.A. High School, where the world’s heroes are trained. But he and his class 1-A manage to distinguish themselves when the League of Villains attacks. As this collection of episodes begins, Izuku’s internship got real, when he faced off against an underworld mafia group led by the ominous Overhaul, and his plan to remove the heroes’ Quirks. Against his lethal power, Izuku needs the help of a frightened little girl.
The concluding twelve episodes of My Hero Academia Season 4 are presented on 2 Blu-ray discs from Funimation UK.
77. Bright Future
78. Smoldering Flame
79. Win Those Kids’ Hearts
80. Relief for License Trainees
81. School Festival
82. Prepping for the School Festival is the Most Fun Part
83. Gold Tips Imperial
84. Deku vs. Gentle Criminal
85. School Festival Start!!
86. Let it Flow! School Festival!
87. Japanese Hero Billboard Chart
88. His Start
My Hero Academia gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer on these Blu-ray discs. The image is clear and sharp, the animation is smooth, and there’s no problem with visible compression, and there is only the slightest occasional hint of digital banding. Studio Bones do the honours for the animation, and they have pedigree bringing across Weekly Shonen Jump properties to anime such as Full Metal Alchemist and Soul Eater. It all begs the question as to what happened with My Hero Academia, or whether the quality of the source material is such that there was nothing that Bones could do with it. This is a simplistic animation, with generic character designs, and a basic looking world design. It looks like the kind of show that runs for years and years on a weekly basis as lowest bidder animators churn out their work conveyer belt style. That’s the look of the show, not the actual animation, as Bones takes this basic looking story and animate as much as they can, creating something that is dynamic, vibrant, and of decent quality. But you can’t get away from how basic the show looks. It looks like kids’ TV, which is probably exactly what it is. And then they deliver an amazing fight animation sequence and it’s like you’re watching a completely different show!
You have the choice between Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround English and 2.0 Stereo Japanese with optional translated subtitles and signs. I checked that the English dub exists (it does), but stuck with the Japanese for the duration, and was happy with the experience, with the characters suitably cast, and giving the full intensity required for their performances. The action is well represented in the stereo, and the music suits the show well. The subtitles are accurately timed and are free of typos.
You get two discs in a BD Amaray style case, one on a hinged panel, wrapped in an o-card slipcover. The inner sleeve has some nice comic style art referencing the episodes. There is also a leaflet for a digital copy of the collection.
The discs present their content with animated menus.
Disc 1 autoplays a trailer for Dr Stone Part 2.
You get the extras on disc 2 and there are plenty of them, a lot more than anime releases generally get.
My Hero Academia: Interview with Kaori Nazuka at Anime Expo 2019 (5:17)
My Hero Academia: Fan Expo 2019 Live Dub Panel (24:13)
FunimationCon 2020 My Hero Academia Game Show with Voice Actors (43:41)
FunimationCon 2020 My Hero Academia Q&Q Panel (31:47)
Inside the Episode
-Episode 79 (8:39)
-Episode 82 (7:39)
So the previous collection introduced a new threat, a new group of supervillains, giving them a mafia edge. The stakes were raised, and the issue made personal for Izuku and Togata, with the villains using a little girl’s abilities to advance their plan. A big battle ensued, with the hero groups that the trainees were interning with teaming up to raid the villain’s lair. Plenty of new characters were introduced, and new story directions opened up. Season 4 Part 1 concluded on a cliff-hanger with Izuku battling against the main antagonist, Chisaki. That came out a year ago, and I’ve had a year to allow my expectations to marinate, and I was indeed expecting a lot from this collection, not least how the Nighteye character would figure as the story expanded, given his power of prognostication.
Indeed, that was a big part of the story arc, with Nighteye having seen a dark future, and Izuku faced not only with the challenge of fighting against Overhaul and his minions, but also defying Nighteye’s predictions, a man who has never been proven wrong before. And given all those expectations, I have to admit to no little disappointment to realise that the arc concludes in the first episode in this collection. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, as My Hero Academia has followed this pattern, with each season broken into two arcs or so, with one serious, heavily dramatic arc, and one lighter and more frivolous.
We’re back at school for most of this collection, and we begin by catching up with Bakugo and Todoroki. They’re the two, more promising students, but the two that didn’t get their provisional hero licenses, and had to stay behind while Izuku and the others got to go on work experience. They may have the skill, but their human relations are lacking, so they essentially have to take supplemental lessons. The challenge they face is dealing with an unruly elementary school class that has already driven their teacher to surrender.
The bigger focus of the collection is on the staple of the school year, the school culture festival. This has the added aspect of the little girl Eri, the one that was rescued from Overhaul’s lair. She has a power that is problematic if she doesn’t learn to control it. She also has been kept as a lab subject to this point, and her experience has been wholly traumatic until she met Izuku and Togata, and got some idea of what the outside world is like. It becomes Izuku’s goal to make her smile, to begin the process of her healing, and the school festival seems like the ideal way to do it. Infectious as always, the rest of class 1-A get on board with the idea, and given recent events, it also seems a good way to connect with the rest of the school, given that class 1A has wound up at the heart of everything bad that has happened of late. They decide to put on a rock concert.
It’s all the bad things that have happened that cause the biggest threat to the school festival as well. UA seems to remain the target of the villains, and even more so now that All Might has retired, so they put in place some rules for the festival. One, that it will be for the school alone, no guests from without, and two, that if any villain should disrupt the festival, it will be cancelled immediately. So when Izuku learns that petty villain Gentle Criminal and his sidekick La Brava intend on disrupting the festival, he realises that his gift to Eri is at risk. Gentle Criminal is a comedy villain, a man who posts videos of his escapades online to achieve popularity, and who has no malice to him. But he’s still a threat to Izuku.
The final two episodes in the collection bring us back to the drama, and the fact of All Might’s retirement. It’s time to see what the hierarchy of heroes looks like given his absence, and as many expect, it’s Endeavor who is the new #1 hero. But he’s not trusted in the same way that All Might was, indeed no one is, and the question arises whether a Symbol of Peace still exists. In this atmosphere of uncertainty, the villains take advantage, and crime increases. And as #1 hero, Endeavor is thrown into the deep end when the League of Villains return with their most powerful Nomu yet (the Nomus are those homunculi like creatures that are hard to kill, and can manifest multiple Quirks). The Nomu that appears in Kyushu is practically immortal, and in a new development, is smart too. And as all this happens, Izuku wakes up from a nightmare with the scars on his hand glowing with energy... Cliff-hanger!
I hope we don’t have to wait another year for Season 5 Part 1 although I suspect that we’ll get the third feature film before that. Lengthy gaps between cliff-hangers and resolutions inevitably result in disappointment, as I learned with this collection. The standard of the production is as high as ever, and it all comes across well on these Blu-ray discs. Fans of the dub will love the hours of extra features, and it’s a worthy addition to the MHA collection.