*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
Can I shine as brightly as you do?
Episode 71 of My Hero Academia, ‘Suneater of the Big Three’ continues where we left off our heroes previously. The episode primarily revolves around Amajiki, Suneater, of the Big Three, and gives him the opportunity to prove why he is considered one of UA High’s top students. The pacing seems appropriate considering how we’ve been awaiting to see Amajiki in action, but we also get a glimpse of how bonds are perceived through a different lens. Loyalty and friendship are some key topics explored in the episode while we get a better look at how Suneater’s quirk can be used as a deciding factor in any given battle.
As the title suggests, Suneater is the hero anchoring point for the episode. Suneater is narrating his transfer to a new school as a child, and his story is the typical new kid situation where his awkwardness and shyness get the best of him. As he struggles to make any human interaction, we get our first glimpse of young Mirio approach Amajiki. That is the defining moment where Amajiki acknowledges Mirio’s warm spirit and begins to refer to him as the ‘sun.’ Amajiki’s bond with Mirio grows over time, but he always feels like he must catch up to Mirio and can’t help but ask himself, “Can I shine as brightly as you do?”
From there the episode cuts to the villains, heroes, and police colliding with one another in a heard of chaos. As the heroes are scrambling through the Shie Hassaikai’s base, they are surprised by the masses of villains that have come together to protect the leaders, but the pros explain how loyalty plays a big part on what villains value. As they navigate with ease, via Sir Nighteye’s quirk, they are confronted by a smaller unit of villains that get apprehended by Bubble Girl and Centipeder. Suneater realizes that the villains are trying to split them up, while trying to bide for time so Chisaki can escape and begins to doubt the success of the mission. Luckily Lemillion, Mirio, is there to give him a proper self-confidence check.
After that needed confidence boost, Mimic is seen injecting himself with one of those quirk enhancing drugs, and he merges with the walls of the underground base. As the walls begin to warp around the heroes, Lemillion keeps on advancing, and tells the other that he knows time is of the essence. Mimic then encounters the heroes, and with his mimicry of the building, he sends them to a lower level of the base where they are confronted by three members of the Eight Bullets of the Hassai Group. As the heroes are getting ready to take on the three thugs, Suneater tells the pros to keep advancing because he’s got this situation under control. Before Deku leaves, Suneater eagerly tells him:
You have to take care of Mirio! He’s definitely going to try too hard! So please keep him safe.”
Fatgum believes in his young student and reassures everyone that if Suneater says he can handle the situation, then there is nothing to fear. The long-awaited moment of the episode finally takes place as Suneater quickly apprehends the villains. Unfortunately, Suneater’s nonaggressive nature gets the best of him, and the villains escape his grasp with their counterattack. As Suneater is struggling with the villains, he gets another flash back to the times Mirio has failed in the past but didn’t allow any of those failures stop him from improving himself. Suneater is then reminded of his own hard work, and manifests his new from Vast Hybrid, and unleashes his ultimate attack Chimera Kraken!
As Suneater is getting the advantage in the battle, Tabe, one of the villains that was knocked out prior thanks to Eraserhead, wakes up from unconsciousness, and begins to eat all the food manifestations Suneater has created. When it comes to matchups, this is the worst one for Suneater since Tabe’s quirk, Food, allows him to eat anything without ever getting full. In response, Suneater tries to manifest smaller creations, but Setsuno is able to steal his equipment away with his quirk Larceny. As Tojo pins Suneater to the wall with his crystalize quirk, Suneater’s defeat appears inevitable. The three villains teamwork is praised by Suneater. They begin to explain how it’s their loyalty to Chisaki, and his belief in them that gives them the devotion to fight and live on. They start to rant about how Chisaki was there for them in their time of need, and we begin to see the humanistic side of some other villains in the anime. One can’t help but feel empathy for the villains, but regardless, they could have made different life choices. Suneater acknowledges the fact that they are not brainwashed goons, but rather individuals beaten by society.
As the villains prepare to finish off Suneater, he begins to remember the bond he shares with a certain someone, and how he vowed to become stronger than that individual; Mirio. Amajiki was always inspired by Mirio’s work ethic and spirit, but all along is was Mirio who was being inspired by Amajiki’s determination to improve his quirk and kindness. Mirio then takes Amajiki’s sun reference and decides to give him the hero name Suneater; the one who is stronger than the sun. As Suneater begins to breakdown the villain’s teamwork, it’s important to note the level of critical thinking Suneater actually goes through. He pinpoints a weakness in their teamwork and begins to fight back. He uses all the knowledge that was acquired prior to the mission, and the new intel on their villainous bonds to ascertain the best course for action.
Since Suneater’s food pouches were stolen by Setsuno, he had to pull up one last trick up his sleeve. When Tojo goes for the finishing blow, Suneater blocks the impact with a crystal manifestation, which was acquired earlier when he ate a piece of crystal and pushes him back. As Tabe approaches to eat more of Suneater’s manifestations, he realizes that there are crystal bits incorporated, and looks reluctant to attack; also, Tojo is being thrown right at him. As he finishes off the villains, the episode ends by Suneater saying:
You’re more than teammates. I get that. And friends don’t eat friends, do they?”
There are two ideals going on with what Suneater just said. First off, he is addressing the fact that Tabe didn’t eat his manifestations because they were comprised of Tojo’s quirk. That is why Tabe was not comfortable with attacking or eating his friend, even if it was created by Suneater. The second is that Amajiki refers to Mirio as the ‘Sun’, and Mirio is the one who bestowed the name Suneater on Amajiki. Amajiki really values his friendship with Mirio, but he too would never ‘eat’ his friend, suggesting that he is not necessarily a ‘sun eater’. He doesn’t want to engulf the ‘sun’, but rather look up to it as inspiration to push himself past his own limits. That is why he knew if the villain’s bonds were a strong as they suggested, Tabe would be reluctant to eat his comrade, giving Suneater the edge needed to win the fight.
My Hero Academia has keep the pace going with this character developing episode, while still spreading the seeds for future confrontations for other heroes. Suneater’s complexities are brought to light and seeing some humanistic characteristics from some villains allows for some sympathy. Regardless, the heroes are on a mission, and will do what is takes to make sure Eri gets rescued at the end of the day. Suneater is the definite star of the episode and does not disappoint. As the story progresses, we can begin to see Lemillion’s eagerness to fix the mess he could have prevented, which leads on to believe more harsh experiences are on the way.
We finally get to witness Suneater in action, as he takes on the responsibility of containing the villains while the heroes advance their rescue.