The party’s just getting started in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 as the School Festival arc gets well and truly off the ground, preparations being made for both Class 1-A’s performance and its narrative underpinnings. The forces of evil are too, however, gearing up for their next move – although the form that they are going to take is quite a lot more fabulous than it has been in the past…
In terms of adaptation, this episode is once more a very direct adaptation of chapters 169 through 170 of the original manga. But several additions to the source material through animation, as well as some instances of reordering, make this episode far more interesting from an adaptational viewpoint than you might think. It also makes the relatively small amount of source material positively fly by in the 24-minute runtime.
Let’s Get This Party Started
With the very small but important Remedial Course arc out of the way, it’s time to start the School Festival arc off proper. My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 wastes almost no time in launching our hero-students into the perils of planning and performing a routine for the rest of U.A. as part of the festival, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any opportunities for Studio BONES to flex their creative muscles along the way.
Reading the A part of the episode alongside the original manga reveals the true extent of the small additions made by the team to the source material. They have chosen to animate such instances as Ashido’s dance lesson and Aizawa fiddling with the zip of his sleeping bag, but also choose to insert more suggestions from different characters when Iida is leading the brainstorming sessions and elaborate on more wild fantasies from Denki’s vision of a My Hero Academia maid café. All I have to say is: same.
Inserting such extra content when the source material is rather light on the ground is exactly the kind of approach you’d want, especially from a studio such as BONES. Of course, this problem is compounded by the decision to use only one chapter’s worth of content for each part of the episode, but they manage to make up for this surprisingly well.
Part of this does come down to BONES’ creative decisions, but we shouldn’t give the studio too much credit. The adaptation would be nothing without the core appeal of Kohei Horikoshi’s original story and characters. More concretely, what I mean by this is that while My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 will no doubt go down in many fans’ minds as the episode where Jiro – along with another character, who we’ll discuss a little later – cemented themselves as one of their favorite characters, this has more to do with Horikoshi’s work than anything BONES attempted to do. And with her multitude of very good facial expressions in this episode, who can blame them?
This episode isn’t all swings and roundabouts, however, as Mirio and Deku pay a visit to Eri in hospital that left me positively heartbroken.
Eri and the Shadow of Chisaki
While the events of the Shie Hassaikai Raid arc may be well and truly over, their effects are still being felt in the series and on our characters as a whole. The scene with Eri in the hospital in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 perfectly highlights this: she feels intense guilt at the fact that people were hurt and even died to save her, and the trauma that she experienced at the hands of Chisaki has left her unable to even smile.
Despite losing his powers during the Shie Hassaikai Raid arc as a result of Eri’s powers, Mirio – forever the optimist – is quick to comfort Eri and point out that everyone put their lives on the line to see Eri smile. It doesn’t really matter that he’s no longer able to use his Quirk, because he succeeded in his mission. Sometimes, for a hero, that’s all there is to it.
What’s important about this scene, however, is that it sets a firm narrative goal for our protagonists, particularly Deku. By putting on the best performance possible at the School Festival – which Eri is allowed to come to now that her rewinding power has died down – he might be able to show her happiness and finally make her smile. In a concrete sense, that’s what Deku is going to be aiming for. There’s also the interesting choice to rework the beginning of the scene in a way that’s distinct from the original manga, but it’s hardly worth dwelling upon.
Enter Gentle Criminal
Standing in the way of his goals, however, will be none other than Gentle Criminal, the fabulous vlogging supervillain who is the second character introduced in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 who will no doubt go on to be many fans’ new favorite when all things are said and done.
His introduction in this episode works remarkably well and even better than it did in the original manga. We get a much better sense of the online video format of Gentle’s criminal escapades at the beginning, as captions appear and disappear on screen and the camera moves about in the hands of La Brava (or is it Love Lover? We’ll never know). Kouichi Yamadera and Yui Horie also fit the bill perfectly as Gentle and La Brava respectively, and the addition of the gag at the end with the tea shows off their goofy personalities in anime-original fashion.
This week’s review is yet another short one as the amount of content covered in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 was, as outlined at the very beginning, very scant. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that this episode drags or feels inconsequential as a result; rather, the many additions made by Studio BONES, only some of which have been highlighted here, help to smooth over the cracks and the narrative importance of several of the occurrences (in hindsight or otherwise) make this episode more than worth checking out. We can, though, certainly hope that next week is a little more substantial.
You can watch My Hero Academia 4 Episode 18 via Crunchyroll.