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Sea Stars | My Hero Academia Episode 104

Seal of approval.

It’s time, once more, to see our ol’ pal Selkie and explore the world of sea-based crime. That’s right, it’s time for a…beach episode? Yeah, that’s what it was, mostly. I mean, I suppose you can’t really gather anime characters near the ocean without there being a beach episode—I think it’s a law. Still, not what I was expecting; also, it wasn’t even that good of a beach episode. Like, beach episodes are all about watching the cast of a series cut loose and have fun (with the heavy-handed inclusion of fanservice; this episode barely does any of that. Uraraka, Asui, Nejire, and Sirius (Selkie’s sidekick) hang out on the beach for a few minutes, have some food, play some volleyball, and then jump into the actual reason Ryukyu’s agency was summoned: to prevent drug smugglers. It’s just a wild tone shift that makes you wonder why they even crammed a beach outing in. Selkie posits that it’s good to remind the interns that there is more to life than an ever-growing wave of villainy, but it still doesn’t really make sense. The celebration after the smugglers are stopped does; have that scene as a reward/lesson. I just don’t know why there were two short beach outings in one episode.

Beaches aside, this episode produces yet another unexpected element: a connection to the upcoming movie. Seeing as both this and the original Selkie episode are anime-only affairs, it does make sense—though it was still unexpected. It would seem that the smugglers of this piece were transporting the chemical components for Trigger, a drug that boosts Quirks, to Europe. Post-credits show the Villain of the new film mildly upset that his shipment was seized, but ultimately fine with moving ahead with his evil plans. How do I know they’re evil? Well, he’s the Villain of the next movie and he had information of his dealings brought to him via messenger as he sat quietly in a room: classic bad-guy move. Though ultimately a loose connection, the post-credits scene does firmly set the film in the current events of the story—which is also the supposed reason that the anime is adapting the manga out of order. So…yeah. This episode is basically a vehicle for a brief movie reference and seeing some of the more popular members of the cast in their swimsuits. Anime, y’all.

P.S. It’s still cool that Ryukyu can, just, turn into a dragon.

P.P.S. Uraraka once again shows us that just knowing martial arts can help defeat, like, any Villain.

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