We meet again, my dear heroes and vigilantes, to recap one of our favorite anime out there: My Hero Academia. As the calendar gets closer to the fourth-season premiere this October, we've been getting you ready by offering you our perspective on the first two seasons (which you can find here and here) – and now we're taking a deep-dive into season 3… ust when we thought they couldn't find new ways to punch our guts with emotion and action.
The second season of My Hero Academia had already raised the bar – and still, this season did not disappoint. The best part was getting a chance to expand more on the ensemble cast that surrounds our young hero, Deku: story development and animation were right up to par. That said, I reconsidered my thoughts on the pacing this season after a rewatch – finding it a bit stretched out with exposition (more so than usual) at times.
The third season begins with Class 1-A and Class 1-B going on Summer Training Boot Camp. There, they meet the famous pro heroes Wild, Wild Pussycats (Mandalay, Pixie-Bob, Ragdoll, and Tiger) – a superhero group who work on Mountain Rescues. They also meet Kota, an orphan boy they take care of who does not believe in or respect heroes. The trip is cut disturbingly short by The League of Villains – leading to Bakugo being taken by the enemy; resulting in a deadly real-world "exercise" where a failing grade means death.
During the first half of the season, we are hit with some big emotional blows – in particular, Deku breaking himself to save Kota and prove heroes do exist, seeing the students fight to protect each other, and seeing them give their all against The League of Villains. The episodes that focus on the search for Bakugo kept me at the edge of my seat, culminating with the face-off between All-Might and All For One – the latter finally revealing Shigaraki's identity and what All For One did to mess with his head.
In the wake of all these atacks against the school, the U.A. faces serious backlash from both the public and government – forcing the school to go on a PR run and answer questions. All-Might announces his retirement, making it clear to Deku it is now his turn to shine… to be the new "Symbol of Peace" for the battles ahead.
Nonetheless, life moves on and our heroes continue to train even harder. In an effort to protect the students and keep them safe at all times, the U.A. opens up dorms within the facility. There was a particularly beautiful scene where All-Might asks Deku's mom for permission to let him live temporarily at U.A. to continue training. This time they train and push their limits in order to compete against students in other schools for their provisional hero licenses.
Class 1-A will be battling against students who have already studied all of their quirks after the Sports Festival – so the other schools make the U.A. students their target. The episodes that follow are a true show of how much Class 1-A has grown in the course of their studies at the U.A. and most of our young heroes obtain their licenses – with the exception of Todoroki and Bakugo.
Our Class 1-A is finally back and set to train even harder this time – given both the looming threats and academic competition. After confessing to Deku that he has figured out everything about his power, Bakugo challenges him to a fight – where we get to see the struggle and guilt Bakugo is dealing with. However… while I think the Ochaco thing for Deku is cute, they stretched it out way too much. The most exciting part was the end, though: we are introduced to "The Big Three": the top Students at the U.A. who will guide Class 1-A through their Hero Course. Like we needed more reasons to be excited for the fourth season…
When I originally binged the season, I thought it flowed pretty quickly – but a large part of that may have had to do with excitement over a new season. Having rewatched recently, I still found the season to be the inspiring story I've come to love, with signs of serious growth in our heroes, villains, and storylines – but with that said? It had some long, drawn-out moments and repetitive exposition at times when a visual could've conveyed the same point in less time – especially during the part of the season when our heroes are in the field.
That said, the narrative arc between Deku and Kota and how it develops would be more than enough reason to give this season high marks. Does it have some rough spots? Sure – but just like Deku, even My Hero Academia has the right to a few "growing pains" here and there – doesn't make it any less "heroic."
Top "My Hero Academia" Season 3 Moments
● Deku vs. Kacchan – I was happy to finally see them relieving all that tension.
● Deku becomes Kota's hero – There was something incredibly sweet about him having restored his hope in heroes.
● All-Might vs. All For One.
● All-Might apologizes to Deku's mom and asks her permission to have him live in the dorms.
● The Big Three. *fangirl screams* (Sorry – needed that…)
Speaking of the upcoming fourth season, here's a look at the official English dub trailer from San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2019, set to stream on Funimation in October 2019: