Episode 5 – “Drive it Home, Iron Fist!!!”
The anime powerhouse chugs along, cruising into episode five after pulverizing audience retinas with last week’s Montgomery Springfield Boom-Boom Cannon. Can MHA continue its blistering pace? Or will Midoriya’s hamburger meat arm lock us into a continuous recap loop?
Hesitant to overload viewers’ dopamine receptors, the writers slow things down with Cap’n Handface’s softcore recappage–he and the sentient cloud of smoke discuss their own nefariousness while the latter polishes the same wine glass he’s polished for three seasons straight.
“Drive it Home, Iron Fist!!!” continues the dark deconstruction of idyllic summer camp life as Eraserhead gives class 1-A and 1-B formal permission to defend themselves against the villains. The observant homeroom teacher submits the paperwork to the U.A. Board of Trustees and files a formal complaint to the League of Villains Advisory Committee. In the interim period, the students face off against Chocolate Boy, Regular Guy, Gimpy, Leonardo, and Were-You-Always-There-Or-Am-I-Crazy Man (Thrice)!
Our Shountagonist continues to defy reality as he cavorts, half-dead, through the forest. The eternally bloodshot-eyed adult explains the phenomenon away, citing “endorphins”–medical blasphemy, but perfectly in line with anime logic. A senzu bean should fix our Detroitian Deku right up.
Episode five once again attempts to drum up action beats by weaving in uninteresting side characters and their tedious (and long-winded) strategies to escape clouds of purple gas. Indeed, our quasi-academic series seems hell-bent on legitimizing its less interesting characters (all of class 1-B) at the expense of audience enthusiasm. As each ancillary character sucks up screen-time, the beloved franchise risks becoming a Jack of All Characters but Master of None.
This week’s episode ratchets down the hype, trading in titanic boss battles for isolated skirmishes. While one cannot expect a big-budget brawl week-after-week, the creators have yet to supplement the show’s less climactic moments with any narrative meat–rather, minor characters string along the audience with their lackluster team-building moments. While the villains pique The AniMessenger’s interest with flash-in-the-pan attacks, the show’s equal opportunity approach to its ensemble cast gums up the works.
And, please remember:
~ Don’t Shoot the Messenger
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