The structure and title of “Make It Happen, Shinso!” acts as an obvious indication that this episode is meant to be a Shinso showcase, but it actually highlights his entire team and every hero that’s involved in this introductory battle. A major strength to this episode, as well as likely the next batch of installments, is the element of surprise to all of these Class B conflicts. For the most part, the audience doesn’t know any of these characters’ signature moves or even what their Quirks are in more extreme cases.
My Hero Academia has previously established built-in expectations over how many of its fights will look since it’s spent so much time on the development of its heroes’ Quirks and fighting styles. There’s a real unpredictable energy that drives “Make It Happen, Shinso!” because characters yell out things like “Air Prison!,” which at first means nothing to the audience, but soon turns into an inspiring battle cry to one of these new heroes. This episode doesn’t abuse the enigmatic quality of Class B and there are still rules and limitations that govern this batte and these new abilities even if we’re seeing them for the first time.
“Make It Happen, Shinso!” begins with a brief primer on the basics on how Shinso’s Brainwashing Quirk works and that the target needs to hear his actual voice for it to work. However, Shinso’s new Persona Chords upgrade gives him the luxury to change the sound and tonality of his voice to help fool opponents into giving him a response and becoming his unwilling slave. Shinso properly executes this maneuver on a few occasions when he encounters Class B’s Kosei Tsuburaba and the beastly Juroto Shishida. The danger that Shinso poses takes him out early in the fight, but the disadvantage only becomes an opportunity for Class A to build their bond.
The smartest implementation of Shinso’s Quirk becomes a key ingredient to this battle, but it’s great that My Hero Academia has reached a point where everyone can apply their Quirks in the smartest way possible and it’s far past just a showcase of strength. Kirishima utilizes his hardening abilities to break through Tsuburaba’s Air Prison barriers and it’s exciting to see valuable fighters immediately get taken out of commission because of clever strategies. Class B seems to initially command the advantage, but in a series like this that’s almost a bad thing because of course the tide turns.
A possible setback to the structure of the Joint Training Arc is that it resigns most of the cast into the role of spectators. For the most part this doesn’t give these characters much to do, but there are a few occasions where it allows for some worthwhile material. Midoriya studies these battles and he comes up with the right strategy and how to properly take advantage of each teams’ Quirks.
He’s not involved in these fights, but these are helpful moments where it becomes apparent just how much the character has grown. He’s not viewing these matches as entertainment. They’re teaching tools and learning exercises for him. Shinso is pleased with his victory, but reservations taint it since he needs to rely on others. This only accentuates his desire to become stronger, similarly to the feelings that push Midoriya forward. More parallels between these two continue to present themselves.