Anime, Shows

MHA Season 4 is the Best Season Yet

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

My Hero Academia Season 4

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Intro

This is my favorite out of the seasons of My Hero Academia. So far none of the seasons come close to it, including what I have watched so far of Season 5.

Warning: This review does not contain significant spoilers for Season 4, but it does contain spoilers for earlier seasons.

Background

My Hero Academia Season 4 was released in 2019. It was produced by the studio Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki. The plot is based on the graphic novels by  Kōhei Horikoshi.

You can watch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Summary

U.A. students face off against villains new and old. Later in the season, the members of U.A participate in a school festival. In the meantime, Bakugo and Todoroki attend special courses to catch up with the rest of Class 1-A.

Pros

  • Creative quirks
  • New and unique characters
  • Dangerous and effective villains
  • Well-chosen way to introduce the season
  • The Big 3 show what they are made of
  • Backstory for Kirishima and Amajiki
  • Actual consequences for choices
  • Concept of Quirk Singularity Doomsday
  • Darkest season balanced with comic relief
  • Attractive intros and outro
  • Catchy music
  • Original art style

Cons

  • Tickling machine kind of disturbing
  • The relationship between Gentle Criminal and La Brava is uncomfortable
  • Weird angles on characters focusing on breasts, legs, and skirts at different times

Observations

  • Natsu look-alike appears near end of season

Review

Introduction

The idea of starting the season off with a feature story on the members of Class 1-A was an interesting way to recap everyone’s quirks and personalities without being boring and forced.

Creative Quirks

Creative quirks such as whole-body lens fill this anime. This quirk allows camera lenses to grow from different parts of Taneo’s body. He can print the pictures from his chest when desired, or keep them in memory. For a journalist, this is the perfect quirk, being able to take pictures anywhere anytime, looking inconspicuous until finally getting a shot.

Characters

Getting Kirishima’s backstory is a great bonus for this season. Seeing how he changed over time to become the person he is now was amazing.

Amajiki is a shy character who continually compares Kirishima and Togata to the sun. This season really gives him the chance to shine, however, delving into his past and showing that he is formidable despite his reticent nature.

Fat Gum’s fat absorption quirk allows things to stick to his body and be absorbed. His quirk is more complex than it initially seems, however. He is a Pro Hero who is honorable and likeable.

Eri is a 6-year-old girl whose quirk and backstory are a well-kept secret from most of the characters until later in the season. She is compassionate and self-sacrificing, and surprisingly mature for her age yet still childish in many ways.

Nighteye holds to many of the same ideals as All Might. He values laughter and smiling, and wants to make the world a better place. He truly believes there is no future to society without “humor and energy.”

I appreciate the character design of Overhaul with his unique mask. I thought about getting one designed to look like Overhaul’s during the worst part of the pandemic when everyone was wearing masks, but mask regulations have since been relaxed in my area for those who are vaccinated.

I think of Overhaul as the most evil and cruel villain introduced in My Hero Academia so far. He’s not only physically dangerous, he is also causes psychological damage to others.

Relationships

The relationship between La Brava and Gentle Criminal gives off strong romance vibes and it’s not the most comfortable relationship. La Brava is 21 and Gentle is 32, which is a large age gap–but that’s not a big deal. The problem is the character design makes it seem like Gentle is an old man, and La Brava looks like a little girl. That makes it seem like Gentle is some sort of pedophile and that he is grooming La Brava. And since they don’t mention ages during the anime itself, viewers aren’t aware that La Brava is not a minor. Seems like a poor design choice here.

Consequences

Trust me, there are negative consequences for failure, and even for hard-won success, in this season.

Concept

The Quirk Singularity Doomsday theory has to do with each generation having stronger quirks. There is the idea that one day the older generation will not be able to stop the newest generation from doing whatever they want.

Balance

This season gets surprisingly dark for My Hero Academia, and the comic relief of the school festival is well-timed and much-needed. The last couple of episodes don’t seem to belong and probably should’ve been in the next season, but that’s not a big deal.

Music

The first intro of the season is Polaris by Blue Encounter. What I like about this intro includes the camera angles seeming natural and the movement of the piece as a whole. If you look at the part with the hands at the very beginning, you’ll notice it shows his hand when he was younger, his hand when he joined UA, and his hand with the scars.

The first outro features the song Kōkai no Uta by Sayuri. This is one of my favorite outros because it portrays backstory for an important character in Season 4 without spoiling anything significant like some outros do. The pictures of Eri are so cute and really builds sympathy for her.

The second intro features the song Starmarker by Kana-Boon. Unlike the first half of the season, the second half is lighthearted, and the intro reflects that. Interesting choices are made regarding color, and the song is upbeat.

The second intro features the song Shout Baby by Ryokuōshoku Shakai. This scrapbook-style intro shows glimpses into the character’s pasts, including those of side characters.

There is a song during the school festival that is amazing too, but going into details on that would constitute a spoiler.

Style

The animation was done by Studio Bones, which also did the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, another one of my favorite anime.

The style is different from Fullmetal Alchemist because it uses bold, bright colors and deep shadows for contrast. The pupils of characters are much smaller than in most anime.

Problematic Aspects

Sir Nighteye’s tickling machine is uncomfortably similar to torture and harassment. As a boss, it’s entirely inappropriate for him to tickle his sidekick without permission as a punishment. Bubble Girl literally begs him to stop and he refuses. There are better ways to show that Sir Nighteye values humor without making him seem like a creep.

Occasionally with this season the camera would rest on breasts, legs, and skirts without any apparent reason. It just seemed unnecessary and an odd choice.

Observations

Looks kind of like Natsu from the anime Fairy Tail, right? Whether that was intentional or not, the pink hair and scarf make this side character a lookalike to one of Fairy Tail’s strongest wizards.

Conclusion

If you liked the first few seasons of My Hero Academia, you will like this one too. If you didn’t like the first few seasons, you may like this season anyway because its darkest moments are horrifying and its lightest moments are hilarious, and there are plenty of heartfelt moments that fall in between those two extremes.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

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