Deku begins his internship with his new mentor, Gran Torino a consistently baffling old man who teaches Deku lessons while weaving in and out of coherent thought. Whether or not this is a ruse remains unclear, however what does quickly become evident is that he is a far better teacher than All Might ever could be. While All Might was able to encourage and push Deku using charm and bravado, he never taught him any techniques. Deku may have a few fighting moves, but he is completely untrained in how to use his abilities.
This gives us the Deku that I’ve come to love. He quickly adapts and pushes himself as soon as a challenge is presented to him. He takes riddles that his mentor guises as senility and he applies them to his training. His quick thinking and analysis of abilities are my favorite traits of this character. A particularly stand out moment is when Deku (and myself) realize that he had never used his fan-boyish analytical talent on his own abilities. After finally realizing the flaws in how he is using his abilities, I think we will see Deku form into a much more interesting fighter.
While Deku stole the spotlight this episode, we did get brief glimpses into some of the other characters internships. Bakugo’s internship was a particular highlight. If his mentor can make some permanent personality changes, primarily curbing his anger, I think Bakugo could make for a much more interesting character.
The most interesting classmate story is that of Iida. It’s very clear that he is going after Stain, who crippled his brother. While Iide is typically the most rational character of the all, the way that he idolized his brother and his brother's fall from grace have put him on a vengeful path. It seems early in this arc for Iide to find Stain, but I have a feeling their conflict will be the catalyst for things to come.
Stain, meanwhile, is given a some time in this episode to develop as well. He has a very simple goal: kill all heroes. He has no interest in machinations of Shigaraki or his goons. He does, however, seem to have some sort of history with All-Might. My hope is that this history reveals Stain be a much deeper and flawed character, rather than just some psycho who needs to kill.
My Hero Academia continues to build some of the most interesting and layered characters in anime. Every episode evolves it’s characters not only into better heroes, but better people. Learning each of their motivations and seeing how those motivations fundamentally change them is something that's missing from a lot of modern storytelling. I can’t wait to see what happens next.