If there is one complaint about My Hero Academia that the internet has made abundantly clear, it’s that there is nowhere near as much Froppy as the world desires. With the proportional speed and strength of a frog (maybe), this UA student has captured the heart and minds of viewers everywhere and almost single-handedly brought the series into a territory it has never been before: Filler. I know, I know, the most dreaded word in anime. Six simple letters (or five, depending on your viewpoint on the double l situation) that send us on a wayward path that may last for months at a time. Luckily, this heroic breakaway is exactly one week long and simply exists to showcase a few future heroes whose names aren’t Midoriya, Todoroki or Iida. But let’s face it, it’s the Froppy show this week.
Stationed on a boat and surrounded by burly sailors, one of whom is an anthropomorphic seal-man, our little frog appears even more out of her element than usual. Which is ironic…because water. Although the salinity of the salinity of the situation brings doubts of adaptability to mind, I digress. Duty bound to follow the instructions of her Pro Hero mentor, Froppy (a name that everybody, both in-universe and out adores) finds herself cleaning the deck and bonding with Sirius, the only other person in this situation who isn’t a buff guy. Though very clearly placed to give Tsuyu a relateable friend, Sirius’ understanding and compassion towards the new girl is undeniably sweet and represents the side of heroism that isn’t punching stuff. Now Selkie, he represents punching stuff. Careful planning and trust of his subordinates as well, but still, punching stuff…with seal-like muscles.
Rounding off the perhaps never seen again cast, and providing a serious enough (yet easily wrapped up) problem, is a family of villainous cephalopods. What’s worse, they’re drug smuggling cephalopods. And that’s terrible. Still, it provides an oddly mundane issue for Froppy to face. Odd in that drug smuggling is a serious and detrimental issue that affects an untold number of lives and yet, in a world where a man can burn a monster’s face until it carbonises, seems quite low on the list of priorities. Which is kind of genius. Despite the fantastical elements of this series, My Hero has consistently shown that life is more or less the same as it ever was, but with superpowers. Bad guys still rob banks, deal drugs and fight for their right to disobey the law…but with superpowers. So then good guys came about and created jobs to stop them…with superpowers. Look, the wordy point I’m trying to make is that I enjoy the fact that this series makes it known that not every villain is hell bent on cleansing the world, or dominating it completely. Some guys just wanna get paid. And no amount of tentacles will change that.
Speaking of conflicting with elements present during the Stain debacle, Froppy performs one simple action this episode that shows she is firmly hopping down the path of heroism: She tries to save Sirius. With Iida’s selfishness still fresh in our minds, seeing Froppy’s first instinct be to rescue somebody is a calming sight. With so much internal chaos existing this season already, with plots of vengeance and domestic abuse and fears of self development, the simplicity of this moment shows that sometimes, not everything is an issue deserving an internal monologue. Although, this may be more based upon Froppy herself and personality quirks which were made far more apparent in her time away from the rest of the main cast.
Beyond her surge to popularity in the meta world, Tsuyu is not the most stand out of characters. That isn’t to say she is not unique or memorable, simply that she does not draw attention to herself. She is not boisterous, nor is she a shrinking violet, she simply speaks when she feels there is something to be said. This leads to her being quite an insightful character and one who tends to unexpectedly turn a situation on its head. She has pointed out Midoriya’s similarity to All Might, reigned Mineta in when he threatens to damage what little remains of people’s tolerance for him and aids her friends when they are in need. All excellent qualities that make her far more than the oddly cute frog girl that fans and fan art adores. However, these very same qualities also provide her with an inescapable weakness: She needs a foil.
Like a straight man with no eccentric friend, Froppy is unable to reach her potential alone. With focus on her constantly, her lack of dialogue and monologue creates situations where Froppy reacts, but never acts. She doesn’t scream her intentions like Bakugo, or mutter like Midoriya, mood shift like Uraraka or stoically stare like Tsukoyomi, she simply maintains her unique expression until she eventually moves. It’s actually a little unnerving…in a still kind of cute way. This isn’t a problem limited to Froppy of course, an entire episode of Bakugo screaming would certainly grind all kinds of nerves and even Midoriya can become a bit much sometimes. Which is why there are multiple characters. They bounce of each other, build each other up, create a world of excitement and variance. Removing all but one completely alters the feel of everything and draws all of a characters best and worst elements to light. Now, I still like Froppy as much as the next guy, but man did I not realise just how much she ribbits. It’s a lot.
To put it simply, if you want more Froppy, this episode is for you. There’s the ocean, multiple aquatic themed characters and a reminder that every conceivable character in worlds both 2D and 3 love Froppy as much as you do. Unless you don’t, in which case you may not enjoy this episode too much. It’s still a fun romp, but it is quite removed from where we last left our heroes. Still, I personally enjoyed this brief respite, since I’m sure the world of My Hero Academia is only going to spiral into darkness as the days march ever onward. So buckle your seatbelts, hold on tight and prepare for the bumpy road ahead. Just don’t forget to take in the scenery every now and then and embrace every odd and cute thing about it. Ribbit, ribbit.
It’s fine now. Why? Because My Hero Academia is on Crunchyroll