My Hero Academia S02E22: Yaoyorozu: Rising

Starring: Marina Inoue, Yuuki Kaji, & Junichi Suwabe
Director: Kenji Nagasaki

Review by Bee Sigler

Picking up where the previous episode left off, we open with Tsuyu Asui and Fumikage Tokoyami battling Pro Hero and U.A. teacher Ectoplasm for the practical component of their final exam. A quick refresher on the rules of the exam:

Two students become paired, at Aizawa-sensei’s discretion, to battle against one teacher. They will have to either capture (with a pair of handcuffs) or escape from their opponent in the allotted time. The results of the final will determine whether or not they’ll be able to go to the much-anticipated summer training camp. It will also determine their future standing in the Hero course as well.

It’s apt that Tsuyu and Fumikage paired together for this battle. Both have Quirks well-suited for long-range attacks, and both often take the back seat to other students with flashier, more offensive Quirks. The duo shines in communicating their strategy, and, as Izuku notes, Tsuyu’s stable emotional support helps everything flow that much more smoothly. All hope seems lost when Ectoplasm, who can create up to 30 clones of himself, takes advantage of Fumikage’s weakness—close combat—and captures both students. Tsuyu then reveals that she had the foresight to… swallow the handcuffs only seconds before being captured? She can apparently regurgitate things from her stomach, which is probably the grossest/coolest Quirk I’ve seen so far. Fumikage takes the opening to capture Ectoplasm and win the battle.

Tsuyu Asui sticks her tongue out, saliva dripping out of her mouth.
She did that, y’all.

Next are Tenya Iida and Mashirao Ojiro against Power Loader. Tenya and Mashirao, both agreeable, good-hearted students with strong, versatile Quirks. In Tenya’s case, this is Engine, a Quirk which gives him extraordinary speed via the engines growing out of his legs. For Mashirao, it’s his strong, muscular, prehensile tail. I’m sure Mashirao’s Quirk has several doujin dedicated to it. In the case of this exam, Tenya does most of the heavy lifting. Power Loader thought to work against their highly-mobile Quirks by placing pitfalls between them and the escape gate, but with an adorable fusion-style move. With some quick thinking on Tenya’s part, Mashirao manages to make an escape and end the battle.

Tenya Iida gives Mashirao Ojiro a piggyback ride.
If My Hero Academia keeps giving me pairings this good, I won’t know what to do with myself.

Now, to the focus of the episode: Shoto Todoroki and Momo Yaoyorozu vs. Aizawa-sensei, the Pro Hero known as Eraserhead, whose Quirk temporarily erases others’ Quirks. Both students admitted to U.A. on recommendations. Shoto and Momo are highly capable students with powerful Quirks. Momo, still insecure after being defeated by Fumikage at the Sports Festival tournament allows Shoto to take the lead, much like in the Human Calvary Battle. Initially, Shoto’s plan seems brilliant. He tells Momo to keep producing small items using her Quirk so they can tell when Eraserhead approaches, but they find themselves caught off-guard.

Matryoshkas pop out of Momo Yaoyorozu's body.
Look at her go!

Eraserhead is well-prepared for their Quirks and takes out Shoto, the more offensive of the two, first. Still feeling unsure of herself, Momo runs for the exit, thoughts clouding her head. Eraserhead catches up with her, and she has no choice but to head back in Shoto’s direction. With Shoto out of commission, it’s up to Momo to finish things, but she isn’t sure that she can.

As a former high-achiever, I can relate to Momo’s struggle. She’s so caught up in second-guessing herself that she finds herself unable to make decisions when it counts. With some words of encouragement, Shoto manages to shake Momo out of it just in time for her to throw some flash grenades in Eraserhead’s direction. She takes advantage of the time Eraserhead’s Quirk fatigue affords to her. She creates nitinol alloy bandages, which return to their original shape when heated. By working to both of their Quirks, Momo manages to capture Eraserhead and secure a win. And if I Momo got a little emotional at the end, nobody noticed, right?

A tearful Momo Yaoyorozu.
Consider this Yaoyorozu risen.

The Verdict:
Watch it, especially if you’re an Eraserhead or Momo fan! I was really hoping for some Momo backstory. However, seeing her take charge in battle was a nice change of pace! Next time, the practical exam battles continue in Stripping the Varnish with Ochaco Uraraka and Yuga Aoyama’s battle against Thirteen, the non-binary Space Age Hero.

Until next time, Plus Ultra!

Shota Aizawa smirks with one eye closed.

Bee Sigler
Bee is an artist and writer from North Carolina with Big Opinions about comics.

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