REVIEW; ‘My Hero Academia,’ Episode 97 – “Early Bird!”

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My Hero Academia Episode 97

My Hero Academia is a superhero-shounen anime produced by Bones. With the third match ending in a draw, it’s time for the fourth match to begin. With Bakugo leading class 1-A’s team, it promising to be an explosive confrontation. But what does the team from Class 1-B have planned? Will it be enough to counter Bakugo’s assault in My Hero Academia Episode 97.

I guess there is no real way around it with this review. We have to talk about Bakugo. Since the show’s first episode, Deku’s constant rival has been a decisive personality too say the least. When the story opened, he was shown to be completely self-centered in his fixation to become the greatest hero ever. This was an obvious contrast to Midoriya’s external focus on those around him. Over the seasons the show has done a great job of showcasing how neither viewpoint when taken to the extreme is correct. This emphasis on balance has always been a refreshing focus in a medium that often pushes its protagonists to go to the extreme.

And while Bakugo’s social skills certainly still need a fair amount of work, My Hero Academia Episode 97 showcases just how far the young man has come in his pursuit to be the greatest hero ever.

Rather than tip its hand right from the start, the episode does a great job of revealing who Bakugo has become over the course of its story. As the battle progresses, the episode repeatedly returns to the pre-fight team meeting Bakugo leads revealing a bit more of what was said. This gradual approach keeps the reveal going throughout the battle’s run time and makes the fight so much more than it could’ve been.

While My Hero Academia Episode 97 delivers some great moments for Bakugo and his team, it does suffer from the presence of another character. The grating presence of Class 1-B’s Monoma reaches heights not felt in previous episodes here. This feels due to how stuck the character is in his ranting about class 1-A, compared to Bakugo’s growth as a character, combined with the simple fact that he is on screen a bit more this episode.

I know that over-the-top, exaggerated personalities are a hallmark of shonen storytelling but Monoma really needs to dial it back a bit. His every cackling declaration of derision for his opponents has reached a point where if I roll my eyes much more at him they are gonna get stuck.

Turning back to more positive things, My Hero Academia Episode 97 delivers more great action throughout this week’s battle. Bakugo is always a blast to watch, and the members of class 1-B provide interesting twists to the battle as we are once again treated to more unique powers.

When taken all together this episode delivers a strong moment of growth for Bakugo, as well as some fantastic action, that is only slightly held back by one of the more obnoxious anime characters I’ve had to watch.

My Hero Academia Episode 97 is streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

 


My Hero Academia Episode 97 — "Early Bird!"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

When taken all together this episode delivers a strong moment of growth for Bakugo, as well as some fantastic action, that is only slightly held back by one of the more obnoxious anime characters I’ve had to watch.