My Hero Academia Episode 11 Review: Game Over

Shit gets real for the students at U.A. High and the villains really sink their heels into their systematic takedown of all that is pure.

This My Hero Academia review contains spoilers

My Hero Academia Episode 11

“Worry not, citizen! Hope has arrived because I am here!”

“Game Over” is perhaps the most nihilistic episode of My Hero Academia that’s come along so far. Even the episode’s title doesn’t attempt to pull any punches and this installment definitely wears its despair on its sleeve. 

That being said, a major component of this episode is the importance of symbols and the purpose that they serve. Whether it’s a symbol of peace or a symbol of villainy, taking a symbol down is an important act that can inspire a generation because symbols are emblematic of a whole group of people. Batman is seen as a symbol of justice for Gotham, but the lore behind All Might is even more important than the legend behind Bruce Wayne. 

Ad – content continues below

All Might’s a symbol for all heroes, justice, and goodness in general. Batman’s villains always get excited over the prospect of eliminating Gotham’s beacon of light, so you can see how destroying All Might would have severe ramifications and alter the power dynamics between good and evil in My Hero Academia’sworld.

In many ways, this episode helps turn Midoriya—as well as Iida—into symbols for the undying determination of U.A. High’s student body. These inspirational figures are important for the less courageous students out there, but they also become the primary targets for Shigaraki and the League of Villains when they can’t locate All Might. 

After all, if you can’t take out the symbol of peace, then taking out his protégé and the students’ symbol of peace is the next best thing. This conflict sets the stage for “Game Over” and results in quite the thrilling action-packed entry in the series.

After the satisfying work that the past episode does to set up this all-out duel, “Game Over” is mostly payoff and basks in these super powered individuals fighting for their lives at full strength. The action doesn’t disappoint, but the animation is also particularly gorgeous in this installment and the series handles the battle scenes where there are dozen of fighters in play with real confidence and skill. Furthermore, there are plenty of amazing battle royale scenes that take place amongst huge crowds, but there are also plenty of glimpses into more one-on-one encounters that also carry a lot of weight, but additionally keep the action in the episode diverse, too. 

It’s great to see instructors like Eraser Head and Mt. Lady kick some real ass during All Might’s absence. The two do some amazing work against the League of Villains, but the fact that they also get overcome is a testament to just how strong these opponents are. My Hero Academia has thrown plenty of challenges at its heroes, but they’ve always had an out, whether it was apparent or not. There’s no safety net anymore and “Game Over” hammers that point in by showing the most admired heroes get beaten.

Bakugo also continues on his own little self-contained mission of destruction and while it’s not as important as the other battles that are on display, it still keeps the action moving along and demonstrates that he too has issues that he’s working through here. He also forms a temporary team with Denki and his electricity-based quirk. The two make for quite the aggressive duo and as much as My Hero Academia is interested in peeling back more layers to the Bakugo/Izuku relationship, hopefully Bakugo will get more time to fight alongside Denki because they’ve got a real way about them. 

Ad – content continues below

Bakugo and Denki do impressive work, but it should be pointed out that Half Hot Half Cold Todoroki makes a considerable dent in these villains. He continues to be awesome and an understated bad ass and it’s almost surprising that Shigaraki and his forces don’t decide to channel their efforts on him instead of Midoriya.

Another one of the strengths of “Game Over” is that the episode lets both the audience and the heroes at U.A. High truly realize how terrifying Shigaraki and Nomu are and what the League of Villains are capable of doing to not just the professional heroes, but these kids as well. The prior installment sees the head villain talk big about his plans, but that’s pretty par for the course as far as theatrical villains go. If there was a villain academy equivalent to U.A. High (which should absolutely be a spin-off), that would surely be one of the first lessons. However, Shigaraki follows through with his threats and it’s a smart move for My Hero Academia to finally get off of its leash a little bit and throw some genuine danger into the mix.

On that note, the loss of Space Hero 13, especially after how he saves Midoriya, Tsuyu, and Mineta in the previous episode, hits quite hard. Not only does it come out of nowhere, but he also seems like a deeply humane, caring individual. All Might might be the true symbol of peace, but it definitely feels like Space Hero 13 was a figure of purity and resilience at U.A. High. His defeat still echoes and carries heavy ramifications here. 

After the casualty of Space Hero 13, it feels like anyone could be disposable, which is frankly the perfect atmosphere to create for this kind of upset. It’s truly distressing when it looks like Shigaraki might eliminate Tsuyu, especially when she establishes herself so well in the previous episode. It’d be a particularly brutal, manipulative loss for the show to pull off and while there haven’t been any major deaths in My Hero Academia yet, they’re surely on their way and Tsuyu would have been a big surprise.

It’s pretty damn thrilling when Midoriya, Tsuyu, and Mineta are pushed into a corner and need to go up against some enemies that are considerably out of their league. This fight, as brief as it is, is especially effective because this unusual trio establish their teamwork in their aquatic battle in the previous installment (although Mineta’s not any better at respecting Tsuyu’s personal space…). 

As exciting as that fight was, it’s even more satisfying to see that it was just the practice round for what these three are up against with Shigaraki and Nomu. The sprawling battle here is really executed well and it balances terror and excitement as these young heroes get in over their heads. For what it’s worth, Izuku and friends actually do an okay job against the League, but their lack of endurance quickly starts to show. They do an impressive job here, but they’re lucky that they get tapped out of the fray at the episode’s conclusion.

Ad – content continues below

All of this fighting makes for a thrilling entry to the series, but meanwhile Iida continues his mission to seek asylum outside of U.A. High and search to gather help from hero heavy hitters on the outside. It doesn’t take long for the villains to clue in to what Iida’s strategy is, but rather than decide to leave their ambush and go after him, they come up with a much more disturbing plan of action. 

There’s a reason that Tomura Shigaraki and these guys are on the League of Villains and not the Association of Reason. They relish the opportunity to be vindictive and evil and if they know that Iida is going to get All Might to show up then they might as well have him arrive to quite the brutal scene. Shigaraki’s plan is to kill Izuku and his team of friends in order to devastate All Might and show him the damage that his involvement and public image has caused. Of course, before Shigaraki and the rest of the villains are able to turn the student body into corpses, All Might finally crashes the party. 

All Might’s heroic entrance might be exactly what the League of Villains was hoping for and even though they aren’t able to rub some casual murder in All Might’s face, the mere idea that they’ve turned his beloved institution into a place of fear is enough to push him into a frightening rage. The battle between ultimate heroes and villains will be reserved for the next episode, but the ending conjures up exactly the right amount of suspense and it doesn’t feel like this final showdown is being gratuitous or stretching itself out to milk the tension. 

Each of these episodes has offered up a fresh development to this unexpected battle and it looks like that will continue in the season’s penultimate and final installments. “Game Over” continues My Hero Academia’s recent streak of turning out incredibly strong material and while this episode does a lot of the heavy lifting, the climax that’s about to follow is because the show has put in the hard work to make these dynamics connect.

It shouldn’t be long until My Hero Academia, itself,is seen as a symbol on how to do a shonen anime in a responsible, impressive fashion.


4 out of 5