Preparations for the U.A. school festival continue in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 just as Eri makes a surprise visit, giving us a unique opportunity to reconnect with characters both old and new. Deku, meanwhile, continues with his training just as Gentle Criminal and La Brava are plotting their next move from the shadows…
In terms of adaptation, this episode is largely a one-to-one adaptation of chapters 173 through 174 in the vein of previous weeks. There are, however, some small additions and some small omissions that may or may not be worth your attention. Plus, for however slowly the anime may be taking things as of late, the end is in sight – meaning that a new arc may just be about to begin.
Eri in the Land of U.A.
The first portion of this episode is largely preoccupied with Class 1-A’s preparation for their dance performance, in the middle of which they receive an unexpected visitor: Eri, who has been allowed out of hospital for a couple of visits before the School Festival proper so that she can get used to the hubbub of campus life. This is, after all, a girl who has been shut up and abused for the majority of her life, so some acclimatization will be needed.
Eri’s tour offers us, incidentally, a chance to meet up with characters both old and new in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 that we haven’t seen for a little while. Hatsume Mei, the device-loving student from the Department of Support who made her debut all the way back in the U.A. Sports Festival arc, is perhaps the most exciting example of this: I’ve always been a fan of her upbeat personality ever since she was introduced, and so to see her again brought a big smile to my face. She even helps Deku with his training by creating for him a new support item which we’ll see a little later on.
There are other characters, however, that also make an appearance after a long time out of the limelight: Kirishima twin Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu and the gloating Monoma Neito from Class 1-B pop in for a short scene to demonstrate their rivalry with the more well-known Class 1-A, and we also get a moment to catch up with the other two members of the Big Three, Nejire and Amajiki.
Obviously, these last two characters played a part in the last, Shie Hassaikai Raid arc, but Nejire was mostly sidelined by the plot once it headed underground while Amajiki got an episode of his own, so it’s great to see her especially getting some of the limelight in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20. She’s certainly got enough, ahem, charisma to make it work…
Speaking of the Big Three, Mirio is the one who has been tasked with looking after Eri as she gets used to U.A., which leads to more than a few misunderstandings: a running joke in this episode is where the students mistake whoever is leading Eri around to be her parent. It first happens to Aizawa, and then multiple times to Mirio. It’s a pretty funny gag, so that’s why I thought I’d mention it.
Yet, on a more minute level, two moments in particular made this part of My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 shine. The first was when we discovered how Principal Nezumi managed to convince the police to let the students put on this year’s school festival despite the perceived threat from the League of Villains. As he says, it’s exactly because times are so dark that events such as these are needed: without them, what reason would people have to smile?
Deku, too, reveals the extent of his character growth as he chats with Eri and Mirio in the cafeteria. The reassuring smile that he flashes to her reminds me very much of that of his idol and teacher, All Might, which shows – at least, in a thematic sense – that he may be closer to his goal than might have originally thought. That’s an encouraging thought, because his peaceful campus life may soon be under threat…
On a Collision Course
After a hilariously timed and executed break between the A part and B part – Ashido telling Deku that he is fired from the dance team – My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 then moves on to its second major function: setting up the coming conflict between Deku, Gentle Criminal, and La Brava.
For Deku’s part, he’s continuing with the same training from last week, trying to use 20% of All for One to send out projectile blasts. But he’s struggling, despite continued guidance from All Might. That’s where Hatsume comes in: happening upon the pair during their early morning session, she reveals that she’s been working on a new set of gloves as a support item for Deku off-screen that will help him use this new ability. These will also be ready sooner rather than later, which signals that Deku’s power evolution is coming sooner than perhaps we once thought.
It is no accident that just as Deku is adding another tool to his repertoire in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20, Gentle Criminal and La Brava are also deciding to infiltrate the U.A. school festival. If it wasn’t already obvious enough, then these three characters are on a collision course, and their clash will be coming sooner rather than later: next week if the episode preview is to be believed.
Before we get to this clash, however, it is wise that we learn a little bit more about our villains, and in this sense, My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 doesn’t disappoint. While Gentle Criminal and La Brava are working out their plan of attack – with a scheduled tea break, of course – we also learn a little bit of their backstory and how they came to work together. As it turns out, La Brava was Gentle’s first fan and used her Quirk to hack into his “online video site” (read: YouTube) account and find his address, whereupon she offered her services to make his videos a little more entertaining. It’s clearly working, as even Deku accidentally clicks on one of his videos while scrolling through his subscription feed.
It is apparently out of love and admiration for Gentle that La Brava is so dedicated, but I wouldn’t take what the outlandish pair say too seriously. Everything about their relationship is so melodramatic and over-the-top that it’s clearly intended for comedic purposes, so all that’s required of the viewer is to sit back and enjoy the mad energy. To this end, both Kouichi Yamadera and Yui Horie as Gentle and La Brava respectively are on absolute fire, and even John Gremillion is putting in some great work in the English dub. Clearly, the charms of the Gentle Criminal know no bounds.
My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20: Additions and Omissions
As I said, next week will see the beginning of the clash between Deku and Gentle Criminal, so it may be surprising to note that this arc is going to end just as quickly as it just began. Never fear, however, because the next arc is also very good and the climax to this one is almost even better. There’s plenty more where this came from.
On a final note, I want to touch on some of the more interesting adaptational elements of My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20. While this episode is more or less a direct adaptation, there were some interesting additions as well as some conspicuous omissions that may or may not be worth your attention.
In terms of additions, the biggest one has to be the early reveal of the name of the song that Jiro is writing for Class 1-A’s performance. This is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, and there’s no particular reason to hide the name of the song from the audience, but it just gets me that much more excited about the way in which Studio BONES are going to adapt it. If it isn’t the best insert song that the series has ever had, then I’ll be majorly disappointed.
Also worth noting is the pair of lines that Studio BONES have seen fit to insert while Deku and All Might are training in the early morning. These are funny quips by Deku after All Might exerts himself that add a few comedic beats to the episode and help to shore up its runtime. Similarly, the very beginning of the episode – Class 1-A preparing for their performance in the dorm – has been extended from the original manga in some places to provide a better lead-in for Eri’s appearance as well as to stretch out the source material that little bit more. None of these moments have an adverse effect on the episode as a whole, so I think it’s fair to say that these adaptational touches succeeded in their aims.
Nevertheless, one omission in My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 had me scratching my head as to why Studio BONES would choose to ignore it. This is a line from Gentle Criminal in chapter 174 of the original manga where he says that he and La Brava will have to try and avoid the homeless people that sleep in the park as they make their way through it in the early morning. In the anime, this is completely ignored and has me wondering whether or not the stringent standards of Japanese broadcasting, especially during primetime Saturday viewing, had anything to do with it. Clearly, we can’t have the kids learning about homelessness.
You can watch My Hero Academia 4 Episode 20 via Crunchyroll.