Episode 84 is the first installment with some real action finally takes place in the second half of the season. Although there has been a lot of build up for the confrontation of Deku and Gentle Criminal, their actual encounter seems too forced in a way. Overall, the episode is enjoyable, and the back and forth between the students and Deku vs Gentle Criminal gives the story a sense of urgency. It’s only the beginning of their matchup, but the stakes are high, and neither one is willing to give up on their resolve.
Episode 84 opens up with the class practicing one last run through before the final performance. The nerves are high, and everyone is coping in their own way. Ashido has proven her masterful teaching skills in breakdancing, and even get a word of appraisal from Kirishima; do we sense a greater appreciation for his fellow student than what is perceived? The comical interactions between the young heroes adds that My Hero Academia quirkiness that is adored by all. The intrusive authoritative actions of Dog Hound adds the final touch to the comical opening sequence.
Jiro admits to being nervous and embarrassed about the performance, but she is willing to put that all aside to make sure the show will destroy the rest of the competition. Since Midoriya is now part of the effects team, he is in charge of certain materials, and notices that the ropes for the performance is withering away from so much use. He decides to hit the supply store early the next day before the performance, what could possibly go wrong? As the viewer, you may have noticed that the store Midoriya refers to is actually next to the cafe Gentle Criminal pointed out for the route of the infiltration plan. We can already see the future conflict creeping its way towards Midoriya.
During early in the morning of the next day, Midoriya’s routine workout is interrupted by a special delivery from Hatsume. The item Midoriya requested from her were gloves that would condense his air shots to avoid releasing large blast; the air gun has been born! At first, they seem like regular gloves, but after a quick test drive, the gloves become alive. Once again, Hatsume has demonstrated why she will become a great asset in the future, while uttering that customer satisfaction is always the priority. If you haven’t noticed by now, the time of day is constantly shown to countdown the time till Class 1-A’s performance, and provide a time frame in which Midoriya must operate to make sure he returns on time.
The pace of the episode really picks up at this point, and we come to the encounter between Midoriya and Gentle Criminal at the crossroads of the cafe and supply store. At first, they don’t pay too much attention to one another, but the mention of Golds Tips Imperial gets Gentle excited, which evidently leads to Midoriya figuring out the true identity of Gentle and La Brava. Midoriya knows that Gentle wants to infiltrate UA High during the school festival. All the students have invested more than just time into preparing for the festival, and Midoriya cannot allow for their efforts to go to waste. As the battle commences, Gentle reveals that his quirk is Elasticity, which allows him to turn anything into rubber. Gentle’s quirk proves to be problematic for Midoriya, and in the midst of battle, the petty villain runs away.
Gentle and Midoriya will not waiver, and continue to be persistent with their devotion to their cause. Midoriya gets flash backs of Eri and Jiro, which give a better insight to all the hard work each student has contributed to make the show spectacular. All the bouncing around does not take away from the emotional aspect of the episode, while the comical Gentle and La Brava makes it seem like there is no real danger to worry about. Gentle exercises his nonexistent back bone, but only to lure Midoriya into a trap. The young hero’s instincts kick in to save a bystander, but at the cost of allowing the petty villains to escape. Through sheer will power, Midoriya pulls off a successful air shot to delay Gentle while balancing a heavy beam with one arm. The music begins to intensify, and we get a glimpse of the student dressing up for the performance, while the clock shows the time 8:45. It’s almost curtain time, but the battle between Midoriya and Gentle is only beginning. To make matters worse, La Brava mentions that they may need to use her quirk to defeat Midoriya, but does not specify what it could be. The odds are against the heroes, especially since the battle is taking place right outside the property of UA High.
The emotions and goofiness of the episode make it enjoyable, but there isn’t a real sense of danger that has been eminent with previous villains. The tone of the episode shifts multiple times, which keeps it interesting, but the overall outcome almost seems decided. There is this essence of a race against time, but even then, the pressure is not really felt. The battle style of Gentle is interesting, seeing as he can resemble the patterns of Gran Torino, and the lack of resources makes this match up a difficult one for Midoriya.
The fight between Midoriya and Gentle Criminal feels like a filler fight, with no real sense of danger, and lacks the charm we are used to seeing with villain attacks.