My Hero Academia Episode 3 Review: Roaring Muscles

Izuku finally becomes the superhero that he’s always dreamed about—kind of—in an episode that sets the stage for the season’s arc!

This My Hero Academia review contains spoilers

My Hero Academia Episode 3

“Listen, young man. This is your choice. Do you want to inherent this ability or not!?”

The previous episodes of My Hero Academia have been about emotionally and mentally preparing yourself on how to be a hero and how a pure sense of justice is much more important than any super power or ability. Izuku was able to prove that he has the proper mental and emotional capacity to be a hero, so this episode is all about his physical preparation and making sure that his body can handle the burden of hero-dom. Sure, a finely tuned body may not be necessary for all heroes, but it absolutely is for the next step of Izuku’s journey. 

“Roaring Muscles” begins right after the bombshell that All Might drops on Midoriya at the end of “What It Takes to Be a Hero.” This somewhat undercuts the theme that’s driven My Hero Academia’s prior installments where anybody can be a hero, whether they have super powers or not. 

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Now, the temptation to give Izuku a quirk is understandable, but he at least learns to appreciate and come to terms with his average nature before he becomes all supered up. In fact, that’s why All Might chooses him as the worthy individual to inherit his quirk in the first place! So while this latest development may discourage some viewers, stick with this and you won’t be disappointed. 

Even though Izuku is now part of the 80% of the population that have abilities, it’s not like he’s going to be a pro right out of the gate. Midoriya is at the bottom of the barrel, but not only that, his quirk, “One For All,” is highly temperamental and problematic. 

“One For All,” the quirk that Izuku inherits from All Might isn’t necessarily the blessing that he interprets it to be. All Might explains that this is quite the unusual quirk in the sense that it actually gets passed on from owner to owner, which means that All Might was once quirkless, too. It’s a huge honor that Midoriya gets chosen as “One For All’s” new host, but he first needs to get his body into fighting shape. It’s going to be a lot of work, but luckily for Midoriya he’s got All Might (and a junk yard full of tires) in his corner. It’s implied that the “One For All” quirk is so strenuous that it actually might kill Midoriya if he’s not careful here (think Dragon Ball Z’s Kaio-Ken Attack). It takes a lot to handle this metamorphosis.

In fact, the series continues to go down an unconventional route as Midoriya is suddenly primed to take the U.A. High entrance exam and he hasn’t even used his quirk once! Midoriya has plenty of passion and moxie, but he couldn’t be more ill-prepared for the challenge that he’s about to take on. And who knows how far passion and moxie will take Midoriya as there could even be someone whose quirk produces super-moxie and ultra-passion, or something!

Another interesting aspect about “Roaring Muscles” is that this episode actually spans ten months. In this time, Izuku steadily trains on All Might’s rigid “American Dream Plan” so he’ll be worthy to accept All Might’s quirk and then use said quirk to ensure his admission into U.A. High through the entrance exam. 

To the episode’s credit, it avoids the temptation to be all training material. The montage and prep content moves quickly and gets expressed in unique ways. Even still, it’s just fun to watch Midoriya and All Might hang out together. The show is only three episodes in, but there’s already a nice chemistry between them. Hopefully All Might’s mentorship of Deku isn’t short-lived and he ditches the boy once he gets his bearings.

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One of the highlights of the episode is that the process involved to inherit the “One For All” quirk involves Midoriya consuming one of All Might’s hairs. It’s arguably the most bizarre scene in the episode, but it’s a nice, creative way to turn Midoriya’s momentous “graduation” into something gross. Right until the second that the ceremony is complete it feels like All Might could stop all of this at any moment and tell Midoriya that it’s all been a prank. This is no prank though.

The final minutes of the episode cram a whole lot into them, but it’s exciting to finally get a real glimpse into U.A. High School and the countless quirks (and competition) that are on display there. Midoriya runs into Bakugo on the way to the entrance exam because of course he does, but plenty of new characters that will surely stick around and become Midoriya and Bakugo’s new friends make their flashy debuts, too. What’s the wager on how many episodes it takes for Midoriya and Levitation Girl to become a quirk-filled couple?

“Roaring Muscles” ends right when the really good stuff starts to get moving and it’s clear that the next episode is going to be a lot of fun. Or, you know, Midoriya will instantly fail and the rest of My Hero Academia is a downer where the guy is stuck at home with his mom. This installment may be the weakest of the three that have aired, but that’s simply because this episode cares more about setups than payoffs. This is still an important entry that changes the series in a way that’s so big that Midoriya doesn’t even fully understand it yet.

It should be quite the ride.


3.5 out of 5