What’s the show? My Hero Academia 3rd Season, Episode 20.
So what happens in this episode? It’s advertised as an ‘anime original’ episode, i.e. not based on something from the manga—though what that really means (at least in this case) is that they wanted to air something that acts as a tie-in to the movie as well as not-so-subtle cross promotion.
Oh, so does that mean it’s kind of half-assed? I wouldn’t go that far, the production values are the same as a normal episode—besides it does actually have an ‘original’ tale to tell that’s separate from the movie prologue and advertising book-ends.
Okay then, so what’s the plot of the “original tale”? Well it takes place before the Summer camp stuff that started the 3rd season and involves Midoriya, Bakugo, Tenya, Todoroki, Ochako and Froppy take part in a special ‘test’ where they have to respond to a ‘fake’ jewellery robbery/hostage situation and find a way to resolve it. But it’s a lot more complicated than it first seems as the villain (played by All Might in a villain costume) ends up dead as they enter the crime scene and then the heroes in training have to work out ‘whodunnit’.
And is it good? It’s a surprising amount of low-key fun—even if it doesn’t add anything of real importance to the narrative. Midoriya kinda hogs the episode though which is a bit annoying, I would’ve liked more for Froppy to do but as usual the female characters are underutilised even in this ‘anime original’ where they could have done whatever they wanted.
I’m going to divert your train of thought from that impending rant and return to where you said it was “fun”, let’s roll with that instead, yeah? It’s fun seeing All Might and some of the other teachers play ‘dress-up’ for this mock robbery, there’s some good humour and character moments. I’d say All Might comes off the best out of this special which makes sense as the movie is about his past and so giving him a bit more material from before he was ‘taken down’ by All For One feels like a bit of necessary fan service—sort of like a last-hurrah for how he used to be.
And you mentioned something about a ‘prologue’ to the movies and advertorial bookends? Yeah so the episode starts with All Might and Midoriya addressing the audience directly about how this is a special episode and then ends with them doing the same except plugging the movie and thanking everyone in that endearing and distinctly Japanese way, it’s kind of adorable even if it just a way to get people to pay $20 for something they could more or less see on TV for free. The movie prologue is very brief and basically just sets up that All Might used to have an American sidekick back in his ‘glory days’ and his daughter wants them all to catch-up on I-Island, a sort of technological hero-based utopia. And of course All Might is taking Midoriya with him which makes sense if Midoriya is going to end up as his replacement as the ‘Symbol of Peace’.
I guess the real question is, did it work at wanting you to see the movie? Oh I was planning on seeing the movie as soon as it was announced! I seldom miss an opportunity to see an anime I like on the big-screen (unless it’s a dumb recap movie). I saw Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry at the cinema, as well as No Game No Life Zero and I’ll be doing the same for My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. But if you’re asking if this episode made the movie more interesting or appealing… eh, I guess I know there’s a new cute girl in the form of Melissa Shield so that’s good! Other than that, not really. Am I annoyed that this episode interrupted an arc mid-way through to sell a movie? No, it was entertaining enough in it’s own way. But is it essential to watch this episode? Not really.
Previous My Hero Academia Reviews:
Season 1 (20 Question) Review
Season 3, Episode 1 & 2 Review
Season 3, Episode 3 Review
Season 3, Episode 4 Review
Season 3, Episode 5 Review
Season 3, Episode 6 Review
Season 3, Episode 7 Review
Season 3, Episode 8 Review
Season 3, Episode 9 Review
Season 3, Episode 10 Review
Season 3, Episode 11 Review
A Mother’s Worries, A Child’s Rights – Season 3, Episode 12 Review
Re-decorated Heroes – Season 3, Episode 13 Review
The Mother Of All Invention – Season 3, Episode 14 Review
Licensed To Fight – Season 3, Episode 15 Review
The Most Glamorous Hero – Season 3, Episode 16 Review
Girl Powered – Season 3, Episode 17 Review
Navel Gazing – Season 3, Episode 18 Review
Research and Rescue – Season 3, Episode 19 Review
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