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My Hero Academia becomes a sports anime in its latest OVA

My Hero Academia becomes a sports anime in its latest OVA

Sports anime is a rich subgenre of the medium that covers ping-pong, synchronized diving, skateboarding and everything in between. Baseball has a reputation as America’s favorite pastime, but it’s a sport that anime routinely celebrates. Each series from Dragon Ball Super to FLCL to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has indulged in a baseball-centric filler entry. My Hero Academia are in very good company in that regard and the fact that they are establishing “Hero League Baseball” as an institution and not just a one-off lark is encouraging. It begs the question of whether HLB will become a recurring way for the characters to unwind, or if it could possibly even fuel a My Hero Academia spinoff focused solely on Quirk-y baseball.

“HLB” is a hilarious delight, and there’s never any doubt about how the episode’s biggest priority is selling the show’s oddball sense of humor. Present Mic and Eraser Head’s apathetic color commentary does not disappoint, recalling their awkward energy during the Joint Training Exercises in season five. It gets funnier every time the Hero League umpire robot yells, “Strike!” after every lost ball, even if it’s a simple joke. Mineta’s shocked disdain when Cellophane is crushed by a giant Mt. Lady is another unexpected highlight of the episode, and may be the only reason Mineta is included in this outing. One of the most satisfying gags from “HLB” is a recurring glimpse of Tamaki Amajiki, completely resigned to defeat, as he mopes out of the same stationary corner of the stadium for the entire match.

An ongoing obstacle that My Hero Academia faces is how to properly showcase all the characters as the cast continues to balloon to greater proportions. It would be easy to envision a version of “HLB” where Bakugo, Todoroki and the typical Class 1-A standouts dominate the baseball diamond, which is why it’s so satisfying that “HLB” becomes an opportunity to celebrate the support. signs. “Laughter! As If You Are In Hell” focuses on the typical My Hero Academia favorites so that “HLB” allows others to find their voice and establish a niche.

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The animal gang Orca and Shishido–MHAhis battle against Kraven the Hunter – lead the competing Orca and Lionel teams. The intense rivalry between these two comparable Pro Heroes drives much of the competitiveness in “HLB”. But heroes who are usually downplayed, such as Minoru Mineta, Mashirao Ojiro, Kamui Woods and Kyoka Jiro, all make their mark here. There are also heroes who have certain quirks that have struggled to make a mark in battle, only for them to be perfect for baseball rules, like Mt. Lady and her ability to grow or Mezo Shoji’s Dupli-Arm perk. Shishido also reverts to his raw lion form on occasion, which is exciting but still controlled within the context of HLB.

The humor and unusual action in this episode gives the audience a lot to appreciate, but “HLB” is also one of the more beautifully animated episodes of My Hero Academia. These aesthetic triumphs are not the point of the episode, but they are hard not to acknowledge. None of these Quirk screens hold back once the ball is thrown, resulting in constant visual spectacle during every swing. “HLB” is deeply silly and aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also in the episode’s favor that these heroes’ inherent desire to serve and protect ends up uniting them, even when a sports rivalry has lost their minds.

“HLB” is probably going to be the episode of these two OVAs that gets the most attention, for better or for worse. “Laughter! Like you’re in hell!” is a much more typical episode of the series that wouldn’t be out of place to appear somewhere in the first half of season five. Some of the most entertaining moments from My Hero Academia’s the fifth season involves the true friendship that develops between Midoriya, Bakugo, and Todoroki as they continue to work together at Endeavor’s Hero Agency.

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