It’s go time. My Hero Academia 4 Episode 7 finally gets the ball rolling on the long-awaited Shie Hassaikai raid after a slow start. But what’s really impressive about this episode is how Studio BONES takes the opportunity to fill in the blanks left by Kohei Horikoshi’s original manga, validating their subdued approach in the process.
Chapter 137 of the original manga, which makes up around half of this episode, shows hardly anything of the ongoing process of the heroes’ investigation. We get a tiny scene of Rock Lock using his Quirk ‘Lock Down’ to traverse an urban landscape and lay eyes on a large tower, but that’s about it. The fact that the other heroes are conducting their own investigation is largely only implied by a series of reaction shots that follow directly afterward.
My Hero Academia 4 Episode 7 takes a different approach. Firstly, we get to hear the conditions formulated by Sir Nighteye upon which the heroes are investigating: 1. Whether or not this is a place where bullets that destroy Quirks could be made, 2. If people and goods go in and out frequently, and 3. If there are a large number of unauthorized drugs circulating in the area. We also get to see all of the pro heroes conducting their investigations based upon these principles in rapid-fire shots.
This not only gives us a better indication as to how the raid team managed to pinpoint Eri’s location – something which happened quite suddenly in the original manga – but also allows us to better sympathize with the growing frustration of the intern students (Midoriya, Kirishima, Tsuyu and Ochaco) who have no choice but to sit and wait as the investigation is taking place.
In a certain sense, this necessitates a slow, measured approach on the part of Studio BONES. And this doesn’t simply apply to My Hero Academia 4 Episode 7 alone – perhaps this was their plan all along, to drag things out to make the frustration even more palpable when it came to go time. While the results of that have been mixed, you have to admire the team’s tenacity.
Even when the episode hits upon what is present of the investigation in the original manga – how Sir Nighteye figured out where Eri is by tailing a suspicious figure – BONES sees fit to expand upon that, showing us Foresight in action as Nighteye stares into the eyes of the Shie Hassaikai member and tracing his future back to the Tokyo headquarters, where he is to give a toy to Eri.
All of this is so impressive that I’m willing to forgive the episode’s missteps, particularly as the addition of sound effects to Iida’s frantic reaction to the touching scene where Midoriya struggles to hold back tears in the cafeteria takes away from what was an incredibly powerful moment in the original manga. There’s also the fact that this episode only covers two chapters of the original manga!
But there’s no more waiting around from here on out. As the second half of My Hero Academia 4 Episode 7 shows, the anime is now moving firmly into the real meat of this arc – the raid on the Shie Hassaikai headquarters.
In fact, it is a full 19 minutes into the episode that we get our first action scene in quite a while as one of the Shie Hassaikai’s ‘Eight Bullets’ bursts through the gate and interrupts the police’s attempts to read the yakuza group their Miranda rights. Ryukyu then immediately jumps into action – giving us the first glimpse of her awesome Quirk.
This final hurrah from My Hero Academia 4 Episode 7 also gives anime-only viewers their first taste of the core appeal of this arc and why many manga fans, including myself, love it so much: Quirk battles taking place in a tight, known geographical space (thanks to Nighteye’s explanation of the headquarters’ underground route), instead of the more wide-open battles that the series has become famous for thus far.
As we, and Deku and Mirio, head underground, out of the frying pan and into the fire, there’s every reason to get excited. We’re finally getting into the good stuff – and it’s only up from here on out.
You can watch My Hero Academia 4 Episode 7 via Crunchyroll.