Let the training begin!
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.
After a slightly underwhelming, flashback-heavy premiere, “Wild, Wild Pussycats” picks up the momentum and pushes Season 3 of My Hero Academia forward with a solid blend of comedy and action as the students of UA High begin their summer training camp.
The standout sequence of “Wild, Wild Pussycats” is without question the students’ journey through the Beast’s Forest. It gives nearly every member of Class 1-A a brief moment to shine. For example, it was great to finally see a little more of Jiro, who uses her earphone jack Quirk to figure out how many enemies are coming.
The action truly excelled when the students were working together, though. Uraraka levitating one of the earth beasts so Asui could launch it in the air with her tongue was an awesome moment, as was seeing Kaminari zap one of the monstrous enemies after Mineta slowed it down by covering it with the purple balls he plucked from his head. Each one of these sequences is animated with the punch and fluidity we’ve come to expect from studio Bones, and the electric guitar music playing in the background did an excellent job at elevating the excitement of each moment.
“Wild, Wild Pussycats” is full of comedic moments, many of which work really well. The acknowledgement that the Beast’s Forest sounds like something out of Dragon Quest was a funny and clever reference, and Bakugo giving a heartless smile of approval after Kota kicks Deku was priceless. I was also incredibly pleased to see Class 1-B. I will never not find Kendo slapping some sense into Monoma hilarious, and I hope we see more of these students in the episodes to come.
Ashio’s half-visible high-five with Hagakure was another amusing moment during their fight in the forest, as was the banter between Bakugo and Todoroki that capitalized on their contrasting personalities. I also enjoyed the adorable exchange between Uraraka and Deku before they leave for the training camp. Seeing Uraraka perplexed as to why Deku was turning red when she leaned in close, only then to suddenly turn red herself was a very cute, innocent moment.
Conversely, Mineta and his perverted antics were once again on the entire opposite end of the spectrum. His attempt to see the girls bathing is such an overused, gross trope in anime. I was pleased to see Iida call him out for his disgusting behavior, but that’s the only mildly redeeming part of this scene. Likewise, I didn’t find Mineta needing to go to the bathroom and later wetting himself to be all that funny. My Hero Academia has plenty of clever moments, so it’s disappointing it still resorts to potty humor in an attempt to get a cheap laugh.
“Wild, Wild Pussycats” also introduces three new interesting characters. Mandalay and Pixie-bob, members of the pro hero team the Pussycats, bring a fun, lighthearted energy that contrasts nicely with Aizawa’s serious demeanor. On the other hand, Kota’s disdain for heroes makes him a fascinating foil to Deku, who conversely has been enamored by heroes his whole life.
There’s also a good sense of urgency presented in “Wild, Wild Pussycats” that worked well after such a slow-paced premiere. Thanks to the looming villainous threat, Aizawa is accelerating the students’ training so they can earn their provisional licenses earlier than normal and better defend against an attack. While the ominous villain-focused snippets that bookend the episode don’t reveal too much about what Shigaraki, Dabi, Toga, and the rest of My Hero Academia’s antagonists have in store, it’s made clear that something seriously evil is brewing and I’m anxiously excited to see how it all comes to a head.