Before My Hero Academia's fourth season officially began, one of the most exciting aspects of it was seeing all of the new characters introduced throughout go into action. This included new heroes and villains alike, and the Shie Hassaikai arc continues to be one of the more emotional arcs in the series thus far. It's also admittedly the "slowest" of the manga arcs because it juggles the journeys of so many characters, so seeing it come to an end with the latest episode of the series is certainly a surprise. Pacing will always be the center of many debates when it comes to manga vs. anime versions of a story, but Season 4 raises that question once more.
Is it possible that the Shie Hassaikai arc came to an end too soon? This argument will come down to pacing preference, but many of the arc's biggest emotional beats didn't hit as hard as they should have simply because we didn't spend enough time on things. The Shie Hassaikai arc could have been stretched across the entire 20 plus episode Season 4 and I don't think fans would have minded.
Assuming that Episode 78 of the series will handle the little bit of spillover as it heads into the Remedial Course arc (featuring the return of Todoroki and Bakugo), this means that the Shie Hassaikai arc wrapped after 13 episodes. Considering that it went one episode over a traditional 12 episode batch (and two if you count the recap premiere), then it's almost like the anime staff felt like they needed more space to tell this story. Sure that's a stretch, but let's take one of the biggest scenes of the arc and break it down.
The fight between Mirio Togata and Overhaul is one of the biggest fights of the arc not because it's showing the full slate of Mirio's skills, but because it's supposed to give us a better understanding of the person behind this hero persona. We've seen Mirio as the confident upperclassman from Midoriya's perspective, the confident man from Tamaki Amajiki's perspective, and the One For All successor from Sir Nighteye's perspective. But we haven't seen a lot of what Mirio thinks of himself.
We knew he was beating himself up for failing to save Eri initially, but the anime sped over his climactic emotional moments before his pivotal sacrifice. It was a deliberate choice made to keep up the pace of the scene, but this is kind of like My Hero Academia's whole deal. The reason many of the fights are just punching affairs is because it's not about the fights. It's about those who are doing the punching.
It might have been a choice made to separate the Mirio fight from the also flashback heavy, action-interrupting Suneater and Red Riot fights, but this choice also left Mirio's fate feeling empty. We just haven't spent enough time with Mirio as a person to completely feel the weight of his choice when saving Eri. The same can be said for Sir Nighteye, whose eventual fate comes across as less effective because we've only seen a few moments of his actual character work.
Season 4's take on the Shie Hassaikai did succeed in developing Overhaul and his relationship to Eri, but their relationship is full of the same kind of problem. The anime is not above inserting original content when appropriate. so it's definitely strange to feel like this arc was rushed. Consider how much bigger it would have felt to see Deku use 100% of One For All if we had an entire season to build this up!0comments
Much like Season 3 did with All Might vs. All For One, Season 4 is already in danger of not being able to end in a decisive matter. Regardless of what decisions are going on behind the scenes, and regardless of how you feel about "filler" content not from the original manga, Season 4 did the Shie Hassaikai arc a disservice by not taking the time to breathe. It's hard to care about any characters we haven't spent sufficient time with. But don't think about it for too long! It's already time for the next thing!
What did you think of the anime's take on the Shie Hassaikai arc? Agree that it needed more time? Thought it moved too slowly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter!
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