5 Point Discussions – My Hero Academia Episode 36: “Stripping the Varnish”

by Sage Ashford

We’re down to the final three episodes of this season of My Hero Academia!  Class 1-A is in the biggest pinch of their lives…against the teachers themselves?!  Come follow along with me to talk about how it all pans out in 5 Point Discussions! Remember to share this on Facebook and RT it on Twitter if you liked this, and contact me @SageShinigami if you have any questions or comments! 
1. Uraraka and Aoyama’s team wind up in a major bind against Thirteen, the living black hole, when Aoyama asks the most pointless question ever: “Are you trying to think of what Midoriya would do?  Do you like him?” And it’s not like she doesn’t seem to, but in this crucial situation where you’re facing an opponent who’s almost sure to win, what’s the point of even asking that question? You’re about to fail your finals, fam—pay attention. It just distracts Uraraka, and it’s only through her training with Gunhead that she manages to get the drop on Thirteen for them to win.
The Uraraka/Midoriya romance is the thing I care about least on this show. Not because I don’t like romance, but rather because I’ve seen enough shonen to know that they aren’t going to develop that relationship properly. Whether it’s the editor encouraging them not to develop characters too much romantically, or a lack of skill/desire on the writer’s part in romance, it always handled awkwardly. If there’s no way around the eventual romance, I’d prefer it just be downplayed as much as possible.
2. Does Healing Girl have a limit to her abilities?  I’m only asking because the teachers have gotten pretty free with their attacks on the students. Koji (who apparently has the ability to talk to animals) and his partner Jiro wind up going against Present Mic, a guy with sound-based powers who spams them so much that Jiro’s ears wind up bleeding out. They manage to beat him so I guess all is fine, but it does draw attention to how ridiculous this exam is. The teachers are literally getting to beat on or otherwise mentally terrorize their charges. The normally cute Principal Nezu spends thirty minutes collapsing a city around Kaminari and Ashido while they scramble around attempting to find an exit.  Their parents’ tax dollars at work, I guess.
3. Since Deku and Bakagou are going last, Deku’s watched every single match of his classmates.  He claims he’s doing it because watching them, and that seeing how much they’ve learned and how they use their techniques is inspiring.
….But maybe it’s not the best idea to allow the series’ Batman to get a chance to study how you move and utilize your techniques? It’s all endearing now, until he brings ya’ll down with extreme prejudice because ya’ll got in grown-up Deku’s way. Plus, he’s one Ra’s Al Ghul-type villain from letting your weaknesses get out to the world, too.
4. The last fight of the episode is Sero (Cellphane) and Mineta (Grape Juice) against the “R-Rated Hero” Midnight, capable of putting anyone to sleep with one whiff of pheromones. Setting aside the fact that Midnight’s power is she makes men fall asleep after she gets in contact with them… The teachers mentioned how they paired people up against their worst match-up but…wow.  Watching Sero be taken down in seconds by Midnight’s scent and seeing Mineta run in terror almost feels like it makes up for him being kind of a tool this season.
I have questions about how Mineta managed to get in with such a theoretically useless power—and that leans into what Recovery Girl was saying about needing to be more than just wanting to be a hero to be able to make it at U.A. But I congratulate Horikoushi on not making Mineta win through something excessively perverted. He’s such a creepy character that should really be disabused of a lot of the weirder things he’s done—peeping on his classmates, only becoming a hero because he wants women to like him—but at least he wins through smart tactics and not somehow shaming someone that calls themselves the “R-Rated Hero”.
5. Next Episode: The final end-term exam begins!  Midoriya and Bakugou team up to battle the Symbol of Peace, All Might!
Even though it’s All Might, this fight should be a breeze. Midoriya and Bakugou together are some of the most gifted all-around students in the class, particularly since Midoriya learned to use One for All without  wrecking his body. But, since Bakugou’s an imbecile, I’d bet this lasts far longer than it should be.
With only two episodes left, things are getting serious!  See you guys in seven!  Plus Ultra!
My Hero Academia is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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