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Afraid of Your Shadow – My Hero Academia (Episode Forty-Four) – Season’s Writings

Hands Off, Thumbs Up

They say that everybody has a dark side, some part of themselves that seldom sees the light of day and is often a source of fear or shame. Normally, this relates to a secret one would rather keep buried, of something they themselves wish to hold no sway over others’ perception of them. Of course, in the world of My Hero, this concept is equally likely to relate to a dangerous shadow entity that dwells within somebody, longing for an excuse to go buckwild and unleash its fury upon all who dare come close. We are, of course, dealing with the latter.

One crow can be a murder

With an archetype centring on his mature stoicism, Tokoyami has had a somewhat difficult time leaving his mark on the goings on of Class 1-A. Yes, he does have a bird-face, but his moments of notoriety are towards the lower end. Though fans of this figure who finds revelry in the dark may dislike this, Tokoyami’s quieter existence has the benefit of making his moments shine. Remember when Tokoyami was standing still and slightly unnerving Uraraka with his training mantra? Well, now he’s tearing half of the forest down in a blind fury, unable to discern between friend and foe. Okay, so technically it’s Dark Shadow that’s going crazy, but Tokoyami is definitely the one who will have to  deal with the consequences. After all, his entire training regime was devoted to preventing something like this from happening. Of course, Midoriya has also been told multiple times not to blow his own body apart, so I guess we can’t really fault the guy for a lack of discipline. Also, he’s a high-schooler. Still, the reveal of the kind of power Tokoyami has the potential to tap into is frighteningly awesome. Todoroki himself notes how and opponent who had both himself and Bakugo on the defensive was nothing to Dark Shadow. I’m pretty sure the manifestation even said as much, calling Moonfish (the creepy cannibal, of whom I have spoken of in great rambling depth) an insect. It was kind of the coolest.

Speaking of low-impact classmates, Shoji also nets himself some time in the spotlight, having been witness to Dark Shadow’s takeover and the source of that limb seen previously lying on the forest floor, courtesy of Moonfish. During the unfolding chaos, Shoji exhibits a sense of emotional control that rather quickly establishes him as the reliable type, which probably explains why he has yet to make a tremendous impact in a class that houses, well, you know the characters I’m talking about. I am a little upset that we see precious little of Shoji actually in action, with his part in Midoriya’s plan largely relegated to a stylised flashback. One could also argue that Shoji being the source of the dismembered limb undermines the gravity of its discovery, but considering he still felt the pain of losing said limb, that one is not me. Regardless, Shoji has got something going for him, considering he left enough of an impact for us to ignore the fact that he basically spent an episode carrying Midoriya between scenes.

Love lost its mind

And on the topic of scenes, how about that Toga? Boy howdy, that there is one…interesting girl. Of course, by interesting I mean psychotic. Let me just throw this out there, murdering somebody is roughly the furthest thing away from love you can do. Sure, check out some music your crush likes, watch a movie or two, but never go so far as to feed the notion that attempting to violently become them is a good idea. Because it isn’t. It’s a very bad idea, evil, in fact. That being said, it does inject a large amount of personality into a Vanguard Action Squad that has mainly consisted of new faces screaming about stuff. The fact that Toga also spirited away some of Uraraka’s blood has me a little on edge about what this girl will do in the future, especially if she ever discovers that they both (as of very recently) like the same guy. That right there has the potential to be a triangle more dangerous than the one in Bermuda…near Bermuda? Still, it was pretty cool to see Uraraka floor Toga with her combat skills, played for far less comedic effect than her victory over Thirteen. That being said, I hope Uraraka’s character evolves beyond others teasing her about who she likes, in close proximity to her using self-defence in a manner that expresses combat efficiency as oxymoronic to her being.

Stick the landing

And if all of this wasn’t enough, some magic man plum done stole away with Bakugo and Tokoyami. Straight turned them into marbles, apparently. Though, possessing such an ability and simultaneous (presumed) proficiency with sleight of hand must make for a devastating combination. Do you suppose he learned magic techniques based on his Quirk, or that he just got really lucky? Either way, one has to give the guy props for managing to make off with two students, one of whom was specifically being protected. Also, he can fly maybe? That’s neat. He might not be able to walk after tonight, what with Midoriya, Todoroki and Shoji landing directly on his spine, but the flying’s still neat. Twice is also pretty crazy…not sure what that has to do with anything, but a lot happened this episode and I can’t think of a good way to wrap this up. How about we just relish the fact that Moonfish is down for the count? Three cheers for desperately bleak scenarios that wind up being shattered by the sudden appearance of a second, slightly more controllable desperately bleak scenario. Hip hip…


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