This My Hero Academia review contains spoilers.
My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 4
“The world can change because of the single obsession of one person.”
My Hero Academia loves to have its villains wax poetic. The above quotation about the domino effect that can be triggered by one person’s radical thinking is uttered by Dabi during a moment of cleansing triumph, but it’s a mantra that’s also applicable to All For One, Overhaul, Stain, and even All Might. My Hero Academia is very much a show that celebrates powerful teamwork, but it’s frequently those that stray from the pack that make the greatest impact. There are multiple “single obsessions” that are at odds in “Inheritance,” but it’s the clash between Hawks and Dabi that’s the most volatile. These two are both students of Endeavor in their own ways, yet one is honored to be associated with the Number 1 Pro Hero while the other has taken extreme lengths to erase his ties to him.
“Inheritance” lacks some of the impact of last week’s emotional character study and subsequent destruction of Twice. At first it seems as if “Inheritance” may follow the same route with Hawks or Dabi. The episode doesn’t conclude with another execution, but what instead transpires is in some ways even more horrifying. All of this makes “Inheritance” a successful, suspenseful entry of My Hero Academia that continues to build upon the season’s accelerating momentum.
Keigo “Hawks” Takami has been a popular character ever since his first appearance. It’s easy to recognize that the titular “Inheritance” in this episode of My Hero Academia is in reference to Hawks’ connection to Endeavor. However, an unprecedented look into Hawks’ childhood details just how deep his love for Endeavor runs. In contrast, Dabi’s history still remains a mystery, but the predominant theory that surrounds the villain is that he’s the lost Todoroki child. This would mean that Hawks started to idolize Endeavor during the same youthful years when Dabi was being abused and iced out by his own father.
Different catalysts have brought Dabi and Hawks to this moment, yet both of their lives have been lived in response to the same person. It’s poetic that not only have their lives led them to this point, but that Dabi’s Quirk is Hawks’ one major weakness. “Inheritance” doesn’t let the embers of this fight go out, but Dabi raises a valid point when he questions why he shouldn’t kill Hawks after he did as much to Twice. As Dabi puts, “Fierce Wings burn up,” but visceral grudges last a lifetime.
Hawks and Dabi’s showdown is both figuratively and literally incendiary, but it only represents a fraction of the episode’s cathartic pain. The other meaning behind the “Inheritance” title corresponds with Shigaraki’s deadly awakening after Dr. Garaki has modified him into a Quirk-filled weapon of destruction. “Inheritance” feels slightly disjointed as the squabble between Hawks and Dabi transitions over to Nomu carnage and Shigaraki’s rebirth. That being said, these two storylines both feed into the same idea as they address characters who have been used up after fully devoting themselves to this cause. These parallels could be a little cleaner, but they work and the gorgeous fight sequences help connect some of the episode’s more disparate dots.
Some of the best moments from this season of My Hero Academia have involved methodical team attacks and “Inheritance” doesn’t hold back as Mirko and company dismantle Dr. Garaki’s lab. Mirko and Endeavor are in full force here, but there’s also plenty that’s accomplished by Aizawa’s Eraser Head. It’s been too long since Aizawa has actually been in a battle instead of teaching and acting in a mentor capacity. It’s a helpful reminder of Eraser Head’s strength and it’s obvious that his instincts haven’t gotten rusty during his extended time as a teacher.
Curiously, the most rewarding material that comes out of Aizawa and his Quirk is the epiphany that’s experienced by a High-End Nomu. A rare glimpse inside the Nomu’s inner monologue seems to indicate that this creature thrives through this new freedom and liberation. It’s unlikely that this Nomu will turn a new leaf and wind up fighting as a hero, but it’s yet another way in which My Hero Academia casts every character–hero, villain, biological monster–in shades of grey.
Fat Gum also gets some wonderful material in “Inheritance,” but it’s got nothing to do with his skills in battle. The rotund hero’s convenient means of transportation for Denki and Tokoyami becomes such an adorable highlight. It’s a smart way to sneak some levity into what’s otherwise a very dour installment of My Hero Academia. It’s not long until the cute fun of Fat Gum’s Quirk is followed up with a grisly sequence where Endeavor uses his Quirk to cauterize Mirko’s gaping wounds.
Mirko finds herself on the mend, but Dr. Garaki’s psychological wounds aren’t so easily healed. Present Mic incapitates this mad scientist and it’s incredibly effective how “Inheritance” depicts Yamada’s utter disgust with Garaki. He doesn’t even want to touch an individual who’s this wicked and caused such pain. Present Mic gets to exorcise any lingering demons regarding Garaki’s transformation of his old friend, but it only leaves him with a haunting future to consider. Shigaraki’s awakening–and the culmination of All For One’s plan–is the culmination of over seventy years of work and will reshape society through this singular destructive force.
The limits of Shigaraki’s new powers won’t be unleashed until next week’s episode. “Inheritance” still teases the surreal mind prison that’s turned into a source of comfort for Shigaraki during his hibernation. This Escher-esque void is only briefly seen, but its design (especially the disembodied hand husks) is so evocative. It’d be a major shock if My Hero Academia doesn’t return to Shigaraki’s “PATH” equivalent by the end of this season, likely during an internal showdown between the villain and Deku. It’s the perfect culmination of the “kill the fakes” message that echoes through “Inheritance.” This directive applies to the clones and fake heroes, but also the importers that fill society. It’s a poignant, yet alarming, message for “Inheritance” to reiterate during these major conflicts.
“Inheritance” is a satisfying My Hero Academia installment that continues to ask the audience to consider the nature of heroism and villainy. The biggest accomplishments are of the emotional and mental nature, but there’s still gradual progress that’s made in the takedown of the Paranormal Liberation Front’s Nomu lab. It’s still too soon to criticize or praise this season’s pacing, but there’s been no struggle to keep each episode busy. There’s so much to cover that there’s yet to be a point where the action slows down. This introductory burst of mayhem hasn’t shown signs of fatigue, but it’s inevitable if My Hero Academia isn’t careful.