One thing I must say about this arc – it’s reminded me how much I love Horie Yui as a seiyuu. She’s been one of my favorites since my very earliest days as an anime fan, and someone I always felt was pretty underrated. She has great range, but she can do role like La Brava as well as anybody ever has. This is right in her sweet spot and she’s nailing it. Pair her with Yamadera Kouichi as Gentle and this “villain” pairing is even more fun that it was in the manga.
“Fun” is definitely the operative phrase for the School Festival arc, and that’s something that couldn’t really be said about Boku no Hero Academia much of late. My buy-in with the whole Eri thing is pretty limited – she’s a straight-up moeblob to me, though her quirk certainly has long-term significance. But seeing the big kids act like little kids is worth stamping the ticket for, especially when you factor in the little bonding sessions between Deku and All Might.
Though a month remains before the festival, everyone is hard at work. Turns out the cops tried to stop it, but Nezu-sensei (we actually got to see him eat cheese this week) put his foot down. Deku remains part of the dance crew but he’s predictably bad at it, while Kaminari is picking up the guitar reasonably well. Eventually Deku gets half-demoted to the effects team to assist in the Aoyama disco ball project, but he still gets to do a cameo on the dance floor to keep his promise to Eri.
Izuku and Toshinori do have another training session in the woods, though gadget guru Mei stumbles on them this time while chasing one of her babies. Fortunately she’s much too one-track to put two and two together, but she relays an interesting bit of news – she’s working on a item Izuku wants to use for his new moves. The most interesting part of this exchange for me is the advice Toshinori gives him – items are fine, but don’t become dependent on them. Watching this play out is a good reminder that for all his good intentions (which are endless) he really isn’t a natural teacher – this all came too naturally to him. It’s rather poignant to see him muster his All Might form again, but all too briefly – even a few seconds has him coughing up blood.
The main source of amusement here is honestly Gentle and La Brava, though. They’ve been called HeroAca’s Team Rocket (who likewise have legendary seiyuu), though the role they play in the story is quite different. What we learn about Gentle here says a lot – he’s actually in this to try and make heroes better in the long run, and his criticisms of them actually aren’t entirely off-base. In both respects they’re not all that different from Stain, really – though the similarity certainly ends there. Honestly in Yamadera and Hochan’s hands I find this duo impossible not to love – which is a good thing, as this arc is contingent on their presence making an impact.