This episode of MY HERO ACADEMIA picks up after last week, and starts in on the action. Last week may have been light on the action, but “The Test” really kicks things into gear. New costumes, new rivals, and only a small chance of getting their licenses. MY HERO ACADEMIA has definitely raised the stakes and set up a heart-pounding battle.
“The Test” is a little reminiscent of the sports festival. While Class 1-A has fought other UA classes before, they are now paired against other schools. There’s not a lot of fighting in this episode, but it sets up all the important pieces. The 1-A heroes have refined their moves & costumes, and met their new fearsome competitors. Even while setting up action, thought, MY HERO ACADEMIA never loses momentum. “The Test” is a fun table-setting episode that sets up exciting things to come.
The balance between Midoriya and the team in “The Test” is really strong. Midoriya is still the star of the episode, as he rallies the rest of the squad. However, we get a nice glimpse of the other heroes changing their costumes and sizing up the competition. Seeing (most all) of the class stick together as they enter the exam is exciting, though frightening. How many of them won’t make it? Will the three who split up pass as well? Keeping Midoriya as the focus is strong, but it’s always nice when the whole class is incorporated.
MY HERO ACADEMIA also sets up new rivalries for the team. Both Shiketsu and Ketsubutsu have some frightening competitors for the class. Particularly, Inasa Yoarashi and Yo Shindo are alarming new figures. Each of them comes off as overly passionate, but there’s clearly darkness within both of them. While they are quite similar in set-up, it will be interesting how they develop as enemies. Especially since Yo and the Ketsubutsu Academy team get the jump on Class 1-A at the end, it won’t be long before his intentions are clear.
Along with the class dynamic, there’s also the budding romantic feelings between Midoriya and Ochaco. Their feelings for each other have been teased in various ways over the whole show. It now seems like they’re being pushed closer and closer together, as Ochaco realizes her feelings. It’s an interesting juxtaposition between Eraserhead and Ms. Joke, the Ketsubutsu teacher who wants to marry him (or maybe that’s a joke too!) MY HERO ACADEMIA hasn’t done a lot with romance yet, so maybe they’ll get it moving now, or keep it for later.
The set-up of the exam is especially exciting. Unlike the sports tournament, the whole class of 1-A will be fighting something like a real battle. Even though the laser tag-like test is different than a real brawl, it’s more like a fight than the Capture the Flag game. The MY HERO ACADEMIA exam is more like the class’ initial fight with Tomura Shigaraki. Maybe it’s the costumes, or the more traditional team vs team set-up. But the conflict of Class 1-A fighting to stay alive, even with every school gunning for them, is especially exhilarating.
MY HERO ACADEMIA has kicked it up a notch with an especially huge conflict. There’s only a small chance that all the characters we know and love will get to be professional heroes. But this episode is incredibly paced, and introduces all the elements for an action-packed fight for hero licenses.