My Hero Academia, Season 2 – Episode 22 – “Bakugo vs Uraraka”

Well folks, the 8th and final match of the 1st round of the 1-on-1 tournament is here. It’s been awhile since my last MHA recap was uploaded, so why don’t we get going with this right away. It’s explosive a-hole, Bakugo, versus gravity-defying cutie, Uraraka.

Bakugo knows that “round face” can make things float, and warns Uraraka to withdraw. But she ain’t doing that. Iida asks Izuku what strategy he was gonna give to Uraraka to beat his jerky friend. There’s not much of one, since he’s pretty strong and doesn’t have many openings. But all Uraraka needs to do is touch him and make him float. The match starts, as Uraraka quickly goes at Bakugo with a swift attack, which is what Izuku had in his strategy, since he knows Kacchan doesn’t want her to get close. Uraraka herself remembers from Izuku that Bakugo will start with a right swing, which he does, so she tries to get down and dodge it. But, his hands go down as well, sending an explosion right at her. The others are already concern, but she’s fine. She couldn’t react fast enough. She comes at him again, as Bakugo fires another blast. But instead of hitting her, Uraraka uses her jacket as a decoy, and gets at him from behind. She tries to touch him, but Bakugo sees her and reacts quickly again with another explosion.

His reaction time is Uraraka’s disadvantage, but she still won’t stop. She attacks again and again. But every time, Bakugo counters with whatever she comes at him with. She keeps going as Bakugo uses his explosions more, and everyone, including the announcers, know how this is all turning out. The audience starts to turn on Bakugo, as they think this is unfair. They even start to boo him, and want this match to stop. But Eraser head tells them this is how pros are. And also cause Bakugo is being careful not to let his guard down against her. There’s good reason for this. Uraraka hasn’t given up, and thanks him for not letting his guard down. The Class B students know that it was embarrassing for Uraraka to hear those boos, since they thought she was done for. Instead, they point out, all that getting low, watching his attacks and stuff helped her to make a secret strategy she made. Having Bakugo destroy the stage made the ring broken, meaning she could use Gravity on the stones to have them float in the air.

How the audience missed these flying stones in the air, I will not know.

She lets go of her Gravity on the stones, and has them drop on Bakugo below, like a meteor shower. As Bakugo is getting ready to blast the stones, Uraraka sees it as her opening to attack. She advances towards her, ready to win and face Izuku in the finals. However, Bakugo does attack the meteor shower. But using both arms, he creates a big explosion that not only destroys the falling rocks, it sends Uraraka flying from it. The force from it is even felt by the audience.

Uraraka is now feeling the pressure and how scary Bakugo can be. But she still won’t give up, as Izuku wouldn’t either. Bakugo this time advances at her to attack, but as she tries to move, Uraraka’s body collapses. She still wants to fight, even as she passed her limit. The show flashes back to her tiny self again, as she promised to help her struggling parents. Her dad just wants to achieve her dreams (and maybe when she does, they go to Hawaii). But she is done. Midnight calls the match, as Bakugo is declared the winner. The 1st round is over, and the 2nd round will begin soon.

As Izuku goes to meet Uraraka, he runs into Bakugo. Bakugo isn’t happy, thinking it was all Deku’s plan that Uraraka made. But he tells him it was all her and that he’s annoyed she lead him on. Bakugo only gets more angry when he meets the others and they believe he played the villain role nicely on beating up a “frail” girl. Kacchan knows that ain’t the truth, as it shows Uraraka all better from the fight. She tells Izuku she’s frustrated she lost, but that’s she’s fine and will work harder to win, as her dad calls her. As Izuku leaves to his fight, Uraraka talks to her dad. Her parents saw her fight, and are proud of her, even if Uraraka isn’t feeling that way. She wants to help her parents very fast, but her dad tells her to take her time. He tells Uraraka that she will be a great hero someday, and all the emotions come pouring out from her. As for Izuku? He knows his friend was frustrated losing, but he couldn’t do a thing yet again, as she just encouraged him again. It makes him sad too.

(Before I go on, there was the other matter between Kirishima and Tetsutetsu’s draw. They faced off in an arm wrestling match, and Kirishima out-shined Tetsutetsu in it, breaking his iron will … or arm. Congrats to Kirishima. He gets to face Bakugo next. Whoops.)

As Izuku makes his way, he runs into Todoroki’s father, Endeavor. Endeavor saw his fight, and thinks his power is comparable to All Might’s. Izuku knows he can’t have Endeavor find out about One for All. Even as the fire dude doesn’t know, he still tells Izuku that this fight with Todoroki will be his son’s “instructive test bed,” hoping that Izuku won’t disgrace himself too badly. Seeing how he is, Izuku tells the dude he isn’t All Might, and that Todoroki ain’t him, as he thinks of Todoroki, and Todoroki doing the same about Izuku. As Uraraka joins the others again (after showing the results of crying her eyes out), the two rivals make it on stage as the 1st match of the 2nd round is about to begin. Everyone is watching this, from the audience, to Shigaraki and the villains’ boss, to Izuku’s nervous mom. The match finally begins.

This episode. Oh boy, this episode. There was a lot of talk about it when it aired, and seeing it now, it kind of makes a bit of sense why people were so angry about it. Sure, the match was basically as one-sided and the outcome was as predictable as seeing who would meet up in the NBA Finals. Hell, this shot of Uraraka’s jacket may tell you how the whole episode went.

And yet, I didn’t feel any rage like some did. Bakugo winning, as said, was about as likely as the sky is blue. But it still felt like a legit battle. Uraraka not giving up, Bakugo not going easy at all. Uraraka throwing that meteor shower at him, with Bakugo’s big explosion countering it. It was all great, until that very end when Uraraka’s body gave out. That was the part that got to me the most, because I did want to see her go on a bit more, maybe land a punch on the jerk, or even make him float, but Bakugo finding an useful way to counter it with his Quirk. But again, the outcome was nigh to begin with. It still made for a some fun before the big event happening next. And this episode also had some quality animation. The last couple of episodes have really showcased the fights nicely through it, as BONES is showcasing MHA throughout this tournament. Plus, BONES may be giving us some easter eggs from other shows on here too.

While I understand the frustration some people had with this fight and how it went down, this one wasn’t as bad for me as for others. I can’t change the opinions of others, and they can’t of me. I said this many times. And in my opinion, it wasn’t the worst episode of MHA. Was it the best? Nope. But it was still an O.K. fight, with great animation and all around good acting from Uraraka’s VA as well. (I’m watching the sub, if you haven’t noticed. Her Japanese VA was spectacular here). The 1st round is over, and onto one of the most anticipated fights in the next episode.

My Hero Academia is simulcasted on both Funimation and Crunchyroll. It can be seen Saturdays at 5:35 AM on both, with a simul-dub on Funimation.

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