In tales of youth and the trials that lie held within, metaphors of change are a given. Heck, we’ve seen more than our fair share thus far. So, why not mix things up a little and throw in a good ol’ fashioned physical shift in scenery? Not sure why I phrased it like a question, because it’s happening regardless. Yes, those budding heroes we all know and love are leaving the nest and getting a place of their own. Rent’s pretty decent too, all they have to do is train tirelessly in preparation for entering one of the most dangerous careers in existence. Also they get a fridge.
With the drama of All Might versus Mama Midoriya still fresh in our minds, this episode takes another step down from the blood-boiling action no too far in our pasts and presents the U.A. dormitories in all their splendour. Dubbed Heights Alliance, said rooms will serve to house the entire student body and the numerous hijinks they will undoubtedly get into. For this reason, the bulk of our time this week is spent visiting each room of the 1-A students, in the hopes of showcasing a little more information about those who dwell within. Okay, for the most part it’s just confirmation of the facets we already know, but it’s still worth a looking. This is especially true if you look through eyes like Mineta’s, who I swear is one bad joke away from juvenile hall…or the wrong end of exactly six different Quirks. Now, I won’t harp on this particular character trait for too long, but come on dude. Chill. Ain’t nobody clamouring for some guy who drools at the prospect of seeing a room in which a girl sometimes exists. I know there was some basis given for Mineta’s girl/popularity obsession back when he fought Midnight, but it really isn’t enough to feel any kind of comfortable with him creepin’ around the dorms. There, I said my piece, so onto happier things.
In the cavalcade of confines that follow, we see a veritable who’s who of who we don’t often focus on. Remember Koji? He has a pet rabbit…that’s cool. Tokoyami is about as brooding as you’d think, Kirishima is hell bent on manly things and Aoyama’s passion for dazzling borders on manic. Midoriya owns roughly every piece of All Might merchandise ever, but that one comes as no surprise. What it does do, however, is confirm that this particular friendly outing really isn’t for us as viewers. Sure it’s nice to see each room as they are comedically presented, but we don’t exactly learn anything new. Rather, the students see a new side of the people whom they have endured school and combat with. Does that reason sound a little round-about and reaching? Maybe. But this series gives enough that I’m willing to believe it, or at least I enjoy it enough to read that far into such a simple episode premise. Not that said premise remains simple for long.
As My Hero is wont to do, we round of our excursion with a hard does of the truth. Having refrained from the festivities, Tsuyu gathers the Bakugo Rescue Squad and expresses the true scope of their actions. Though Aizawa opens the episode by informing everybody that they would have been expelled if not for All Might’s climactic fight, having either disobeyed teacher’s orders or been party to said disobedience, Tsuyu presents a far more heartfelt repercussion. Having been against the rescue attempt from the start, she was devastated that her words held no sway in preventing her friends from barrelling into danger. Not simply because they ignored her stance, but because of how much it pained her to put on the facade of respecting the rules more than the life of a classmate. Though the reveal of this turmoil arrives shortly before it is resolved, the simple fact it exists speaks volumes. Sure, Bakugo was rescued, but that doesn’t suddenly make every other problem or protestation moot. Everybody was shaken by Bakugo’s capture and everybody wanted him saved. What nobody wanted was to lose more friends in the attempt. Imagine if All For One had turned slightly to the right upon devastating that building, because something tells me he would’ve been more than happy to kill the protege of his arch-nemesis. And that would’ve made Tsuyu sadder. And I would never forgive All For One for that. You know, that and the whole murder thing.
So, say what you will about breather episodes, this is still a pretty effective jaunt into the lives of Class 1-A. No longer living at home, we witness what happens when you give a teenager a place of their own and free reign regarding interior design. And though future Tokoyami may cringe at his dark phase and Todoroki will never reveal how he transformed a hardwood floor into tatami mats, we will always remember the experience fondly. If not for the onslaught of comedic reveals, or the inception of the girls’ restraining order on Mineta, then for the fact that this peaceful competition to see whose room rules was devised by a bunch of kids who just wanted things to go back to normal. Who wanted their friends to smile in the wake of tragedy and simply enjoy themselves once more. Of course, bribery was rampant and the rules were haphazard at best, but hey, at least Kirishima isn’t out however much night-vision goggles cost. And isn’t that what really matters?