After last week’s breather episode, My Hero Academia jumps right back into the action with “Victory or Defeat,” serving up a thrilling, character-driven start to the final competition of the U.A. Sports Festival.
Nearly half of the entire episode is dedicated to Deku’s battle with Shinso, and while the announcer, Present Mic, describes the showdown as “kind of a boring first match,” I couldn’t disagree more. Watching Deku slowly inch his way to the edge of the ring after falling victim to Shinso’s brainwashing Quirk stands as one of the tensest moments this season has had yet. The eerie ambient background music enhanced the anxiety I felt for Deku, and the switch to a grainy dreamlike filter was an effective visual cue that transported me into his paralyzed and helpless mind.