Nov 23, 2019
Karhu (All reviews)
Due to the nature of the second season, the third season was bound to have a weaker start. Even so, with 2-cour duration it had all the time it ever needed to pick up the pace and improve, or at the very least build a solid foundation for this fourth season.... But it didn't do any of that and now we're more or less back to square one.

The classic shonen series have never exactly been the most flawless type in the arsenal, but few of them have struggled with their arc and tone shifts to the same extent with Boku no Hero Academia. While it's not uncommon that old story arcs become history and the new current arc gets the unconditional focus, it's rare to see a series which transition is this awkward.

Once again we start our newest season with a recap filler, followed by a build up phase which I'd like to metaphorically compare to the act of someone trying to restart a fusion core after it's been poisoned. It's slow, boring and drags on, and it would be faster to just shut it down entirely and try again. I find myself asking why exactly am I once again stuck at watching this series like it's a new slice of life IP when it's supposed to be a BTS on full roll and come with some type of smoothness already at this point. Instead it repeatedly falls into its own trap, repeating this cycle each new arc to a point where it has become tiresome and feels like a task. The sad part being that this level really seems to be what the series is now aiming to achieve, not even trying to be better, just settling with utter mediocrity and being okay with that. Will it ever maintain some type of stability instead of sawing up and down like Tesla's stock? At this point I very much doubt it will and, based to the lack of hype, it's safe to conclude that I am not the only one. You could literally start watching this series directly from season 4 and only miss the parts where the series was still entertaining to follow.

For years now, manga readers have been echoing that this fourth season will be the best one because it supposedly covers the best arc. While this is entirely possible in term of writing and characters, after all, there is still very little development thus far and the story board has now infinite different possible routes to take, I can't help but to be very skeptical about its delivery due to Bones' vision with the series. For some reason, our director's idea for the action sequences is to make them drag on, pause them, make them overly dramatic, play spoon-fed flashbacks from events that occured just few seconds earlier, and.. simply make them feel like a tease without any reward to be had. Why not make them like, you know, thrilling instead? Remove;tension Add;idle time! This series currently would really need some more classic shonen tropes and less of this nonsense that ruins the flow of these scenes entirely. The writing itself is still far from impressive and quite dull. "We, the selected few, are looking for this specific guy." And 2 minutes later "Oh, look, it's that guy. Sup?" The story board is just weak. If the plot was a line, what it does is put one dot next to the ongoing line and immediately connects it. There aren't many people on this planet who cannot do that. Not much room to be impressed.

To continue with the lack of development: It's really making this series problematic. When I am looking the characters now versus what they were in the beginning of season 3, I do not see much growth. In the beginning of last season, the characters were acting highly comedic and the feelings related ponder was also used as a running gag. It was lame and just a waste. During end season, the focus was in drama, and what this did was show us fractions of different sides of the cast, sides we had not seen before - like proving that these sides also exist. And now we are once again looking at characters who could be removed from their current timeline, get the "relife treatment" (current self send in the past shell) and there wouldn't be much differences to spot. Send Naruto from the beginning of The 4th Great Ninja War into Pain Saga and see how history is rewritten. Do this with Deku and be prepared to listen to Initial D's OST, more specifically 'deja vu' on repeat. ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ It's not even a mystery~yy~!

The characters really don't seem to carry anything special with them from previous arc to next. This is a huge difference compared to other shonen titles and perhaps the reason why - at least I personally - as a viewer, am feeling very distanced from the series. It's not resonating with me on any level anymore. Be it Deku doing a smash the 9th milliont time, Bakugo yelling at 135dB or Uragravigirl being too close! with her body, none of it just has its charm anymore at this point. Rather it feels like some outcast, once-upon-a-time-famous celebrity is trying to be relevant with gimmicks that got old a decade ago. If I was the editor, I'd have adviced this guy write an arc where Deku stops being useless, Bakugo is forced to go on an anger management meeting, Uragravity actually does something to move the relationship onward -- like there's a filler I'd watch, and also give the frog girl all the screen time because she is the best girl. The series is at a point where I don't prefer the canon, even at times when it tries to distant itself from these same goofs it has already overusen.

As it is, I do believe that this season is going to improve since it's unlikely that it would dwell in its slower parts for 2 cours, but I also find it as unlikely that the series as a whole is going to improve for the better, or that I'd personally start caring again. New high peaks may occur but the same errs are bound to exist forever since the characters' lack of improvement seems to be something like a reflection of the author not learning from his own mistakes either. I'd say it's now a good time to lose hope with this and start looking for new titles to fill the shonen quota with something that has a bit more -- or preferedly; a lot more heart to it.