What They Say:
Deku and his fellow classmates take on the Provisional Hero License Exam in Season 3 Part 2.
The sound quality has options of 5.1 English Dolby Surround and the Japanese a 2.0 Stereo option. There were no complications of the audio throughout the release and the 5.1 option definitely comes through well with no need to adjust default settings on the audio system I was using. There were no problems with the video synching in with subtitles as definitely acceptable as a DVD release.
Similar with the audio, the video is set in 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio via NTSC transfer to PAL format – with DVD releases nowadays the effect definitely seems more grainier compared to HD and with me doing a ton of Blu-ray reviews recently this is a good way to remind you how the times have changed. That said, the animation was good overall, minimal use of CGI compared to other shows (at least that I could notice) and with the high impact attack sequences, the show does deliver quite well in the animation and visual department. The unique designs of many of the characters helps it out as well as the show flows very well.
There was no packing for this test release.
The menu on both discs pretty basic – both have the same menu set up and images (a battle image of Bakugou, Todoroki, Kaminari, Kirishima and Yaoyorozu) – the menu set up is on the right to the guys of Play All, Episode and Set Up on a teal like background, the menus and images are unremarkable and standard, menu is quick and does its job with no glitches and can quickly return back to the main menu when watching the series, just a bit dull considering how popular the show is.
There are no extras for this release.
My Hero Academia is coming into the same category of shows like a Naruto or One Piece and whilst currently its length pales beneath those, its popularity continues from strength to strength. The 4th season is due to start any time soon, and the UK has caught up in English and Japanese to prepare for the inevitable rush on Crunchyroll. And with it, we have a mix of plot, comedy and character development.
It starts off actually kind of fun as they return to a new dorm and have a fun day, for the most part, electing a king of rooms (and a surprising winner) and a surprisingly touching scene with our favourite frog girl Tsuyu, but it quickly goes back into school problems as they have to pass an exam to get their provisional license. With this in mind, Deku and the others have to come up with 2 super moves but after talking with people and costume changes, Deku goes the opposite way of All Might, focusing his techniques with his legs rather than his arms, so whilst using his quirk, he is making it his own.
So the exam comes around, Aizawa meets an old colleague/love interest(?) in Ms Joke and other students/schools also join them (with a few definitely look like going to be important, the two in particular being Inasa and Camie, though was it actually Camie…) however the reputation of U.A is bad in one way as they basically have targets on their back – Midoriya and Todoroki both avoid elimination, with Tsuyu’s group with Yaoyorozu, Jiro and Shoji also pass, as does Bakugo, Kaminari and Kirishima, as the worry if not all of them will pass. Fortunately, they all come to pass thanks to some heroics by Iida and Aoyama and they get to the next stage, rescuing citizens. After a bit of a problem at first, the class do work together (and Uraraka gets a moment where her cute thing for Midoriya she is pushing aside to focus on being a hero), when a hero named Gang Orca ‘attacks ‘ them as part of the test. What becomes interesting is how it affects the results of the test as Todoroki and Inasa have a bit of a rivalry (due to Inasa having a grudge against Endeavour, ironic as Todoroki does as well) but Midoriya snaps them out of it and they manage to hold him off. However, Inasa, Todoroki and surprisingly Bakugo (who basically shouted at all of the victims throughout ^^) all fail their test, and whilst they can make up for it, Bakugo now vents his anger back at his original target…Midoriya.
It is quite clear from these episodes that Bakugo has more guilt and rage than you’d think – on a personal side, Midoriya used to be a weakling but now has a Quirk that puts him on the same sort of level as well as getting treatment from All Might…but also Bakugo clearly feels he is responsible for All Might’s retirement and is feeling shame for it. He challenges Midoriya to a fight where all these frustrations come out as do the tears. All Might manages to stop it and gives them both a good talk to try and improve as heroes (those hilariously the two do get suspended as they did break the rules of the dorms – reality ensues my friends) and it ends with some new characters, the Big Three, who are considered the closest to becoming pro heroes, especially Mirio who manages to defeat the entire class on his own….
There are many subtle things throughout this set as well that may add to the bigger picture, such as All Might having a talk with All For One, the reveal that Camie was in fact Toga in disguise (and managed to get some of Deku’s blood, and with her quirk able to transform into anyone whose blood she ingests…oh boy), the hidden troubles characters have like Bakugo and Tsuyu, and even an episode which is kind of filler but sets up nicely for the MHA movie, it feels like a progression, albeit one without major conflict, which was basically what the last set was, at least in terms of the villains being active. The one major conflict was Bakugo with Midoriya, and whilst him letting out his frustrations we shall wait and see if this affects the relationship between the two of them, which has always been volatile, but Midoriya has always respected Bakugo, so we shall see.
There was not much from a lot of characters in this arc, and whilst considering how many characters there were and they all got a moment during the test to show what they could do, even characters like Iida and Uraraka barely got a look in this arc. Even Todoroki’s only real issue was with the Inasa character, who I feel is going to be someone that gets involved with the group as he definitely feels like less of an antagonist but the show pretty much says he’s a top student so we shall see.
And with Season 4 coming up, the development has been subtle but growing. All Might is now solidified as a wise mentor role, and doesn’t want to coddle Midoriya so seeing how proud he was that he used his quirk in a different way to him but still make it affective (and thus he doesn’t have to wreck his arms every time he uses it now ^^). It is still very action paced but as mentioned still got subtle development of the characters as they improve their skills – this does feel a bit weaker than the previous set though as bar the Bakugo frustrations, there was no big end or baddies to get through as the focus was on the exam – and whilst seeing the fact Toga was still going to be involved made me happy as she instantly became my favourite villain, it just felt like it was getting there until the next big arc. Granted, not like filler per say and with the new characters introduced you know they are going to be involved, but not as interesting as the previous arc.
That said, there was nothing bad about this and the show is still a ton of fun to watch. All Might trying to be mighty and hammy and immediately switching to old man mode is always funny, the comedy episodes still work well (searching for the Dorm King was quite surprising considering who won, and various little things always are funny, like Yao’s wealth, Midoriya being an All Might fanboy) and the show’s shounen charm manages to mostly avoid a lot of the typical tropes (Bakugou actually wins the fight between him and Midoriya for example and he and Todoroki don’t pass either). It still has a long way to becoming the next One Piece or Naruto, but it’s got your hook in and hopefully it will continue to reel you in.
My Hero Academia is one of the current generation’s most popular series and it is easy to see why. Likeable leads, intense and intelligent action, good character development, it has the hallmarks of a classic shounen show. This part is a bit weaker mainly as no true antagonism and with the millions of characters, it is hard to keep track of everyone and thus, a lot are fallen to the wayside. That said, there are still a lot of fun moments, especially with the Bakugou/Midoriya rivalry and there is enough hints of what can happen in the future that it makes us look forward to the upcoming Season 4.
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Manga Entertanment UK
Release Date: September 9th, 2019
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.