This review contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 4, episode 2 (aka episode 65), “Overhaul.”
Episode 1 of MHA Season 4 was an interesting note to start on. Taken on its own merits, it was an enjoyable episode, but as the premiere of the much-hyped Season 4 of the world’s biggest anime, it was an odd choice, given its lack of agency and overall irrelevance to the larger story arc. Now, with Episode 2, “Overhaul,” fans are given what they were promised: the introduction of a terrifying and intriguing new villain and the next step in Class 1-A’s hero studies.
Watch the trailer for MHA Season 4 below:
The episode throws us right into the deep end, almost as a way to make up for leaving fans hanging last week. The villain Twice delivers Overhaul to a secret meeting place of the League of Villains, where Shigaraki and the others are waiting to find out just who this guy is, exactly. Overhaul introduces himself as a former yakuza gang member (we learn that many of the yakuza were disbanded with the rise of heroes and are now likened to an endangered species). Overhaul points out that, right now, there’s a vacuum left by the defeat of All For One and the retirement of All Might. Both the heroes and the villains are leaderless, and Overhaul insists that he can fill this vacuum – that Shigaraki is directionless and that he, Overhaul, has a plan in place that makes him a more worthy successor to All For One.
Overhaul looks and sounds fantastic. Like Shigaraki, he has a distinctly off-putting aesthetic. If you’re watching it subbed, the Japanese voice actor Kenjiro Tsuda has some fantastic delivery here, presenting a tone and accent that’s distinctly yakuza and just creepy enough to give him a villainous edge. Overhaul also takes the tone of the show to an arguably darker place. While My Hero Academia has certainly gone dark in the past, there are some surprisingly gruesome and disturbingly gory moments here that will shock fans, and the episode wastes no time getting to them.
The downside to Overhaul’s introduction here is that it feels rushed. We were teased with a filler/recap episode and now we are given a rushed new villain intro, which is a shame. In the manga, Overhaul’s introduction is drawn out and feels more impactful. Here, it takes up exactly half the episode before there’s an awkward tonal shift over to Class 1-A, with all their bright color and humorous banter.
This quick shift certainly feels off-kilter, like the show wanted to cram both villains and heroes into the real first episode of Season 4. So then, why not spread all this introduction across two fleshed out episodes instead of giving us one filler episode and one that’s all plot development? It’s an odd choice, and a rare misstep for a show that almost never falters in its storytelling beats.
Watch the cast of My Hero Academia previewing Season 4’s Overhaul and other new characters below:
All of that said, the events of the episode’s second half aren’t bad. We get to spend more time with Tintin lookalike Togata, who is a whole lot of charming fun, and Midoriya is quickly swept off to finally meet and (hopefully) train under All Might’s former sidekick: Nighteye – though Nighteye’s proper introduction will have to wait until Episode 3.
This second half feels just as rushed as the first, with every other member of Class 1-A given one line at most. There’s a scene shared by Bakugo and Todoroki which could have been massively extended; any dialogue shared between these two is always excellent, and they’re arguably the most compelling members of Class 1-A, so this feels like another misstep in the rush to get the real story moving.