My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 3 aired on Saturday and it brought us yet another incredible episode but for a much different reason this time around. While Dabi had his moments along with Hawks, and even Fumikage, the real focus should be on the Oscar-worthy performance that Daichi Endō gave us as Twice.
An Oscar-Worthy Performance
What might have been the most incredible display of voice acting I’ve heard all year long, it felt like Endō knew this was going to be his last ride as Twice and had to go out with a bang. And it’s no surprise that Endō himself took to Twitter to send a thank you to all the fans that flooded him with positive messages after the episode aired.
But it’s not just a matter of whether he did a wonderful job as a voice actor or not, it’s the fact he made Twice’s character come alive even more so than he already did in the previous seasons which is a tall task in and of itself. Out of all the characters in My Hero Academia, one could make the argument that there isn’t a more compelling character than Jin Bubaigawara (Twice) for numerous reasons. But it’s more so because characters that constantly walk along the rusted chain-link fence between hero and villain always prove to be the most interesting characters in any series, movie, game, novel, or comic. And I’ll even go as far as to say there are few “villains” in anime and manga with a better written internal conflict, and actually show it, than Twice.
I think describing Endō’s performance as Twice as “wonderful”, “jaw-dropping”, or even “Oscar-worthy” isn’t enough to truly describe his performance in this episode. While the My Hero Academia cast is filled with so much talent from top-to-bottom, I seriously believe that not a single other voice actor is going to top Endō’s performance from this episode onward. He didn’t just raise the bar for the rest of the season, he set a new standard. And that bar is on an unreachable level right now. Watching his performance was like watching an artist who has achieved some unobtainable goal of perfection that just simply defies realistic expectations. There are stellar voice-acting performances, then there’s what Endō accomplished in this episode.
Anime fans have used the cliche idea that a good villain is one that makes you think twice if the hero is wrong or not. But Twice brought us the idea that life on the side that isn’t greener doesn’t need to have some idealistic goal to obtain their own idea of happiness or even stomp on someone’s green grass to prove a point. Rather, he had many goals and emotions he held dear that we’d see in most modern shonen protagonists—protecting his friend’s happiness, coming to terms with his mistakes, and putting his life on the line to save the ones he cares about. And this constant battle of emotions that led us to believe that Twice felt like the good guy in his confrontation with Hawks, who wanted to end all of what Jin Bubaigawara, not just Twice as a villain, held dear isn’t just chalked up to how Horikoshi wrote Twice’s character, it came through more than the manga ever could because of Endō’s performance. Much like Hawks who tried to keep his emotions in check and failed, I couldn’t either because Twice’s final plead before reaching his unfortunate end was heartbreaking no matter whose side you’re on.
While there are those who argue some villains are right, and most who argue the heroes are right, there’s no denying that what Twice said was anything short of feeling what the everyday person feels on both sides of that hero/villain fence. And I think that part of Twice, rather Jin Bubaigawara, is something that made his character special and one of the most well-written characters in the whole series. One that went out with the most cinematic death since the My Hero Academia series began. And when Twice says “I was happy to be here”, it made me feel like it was also Endō’s final goodbye to the series, to the fans, and to everyone he worked with throughout the series. And every single emotion he had was put into every single word making the entire scene a voice-acting masterpiece. And the emotions just flooded in even more so hearing the piano from the ending theme begin to play.
BONES Deserves Their Applause for My Hero Academia Season 6
BONES has been the target of much criticism since the end of Season 5 with how they adapted that part of the manga. So they’ve come back with Season 6 and have shut every single hater from A to Z up. And if there were any before Episode 3, they’re completely silent at this point. I mentioned last week that Episode 2 uplifted the manga to new heights. However, this time around, BONES showed what anime can do that a manga can never accomplish.
Not only did BONES manage to make every scene in this episode perfectly detailed, but they also managed to give us one of the most heart-wrenching villain deaths in recent anime memory. And I seriously want to give Yuki Hayashi praise for giving us an unforgettable soundtrack to go along with every single moment in this episode. The directing for this episode was also impeccable, especially the timing of the music and the perfect moments where both the tone and rhythm died down and picked back up.
I’d say my absolute favorite moment of the episode that I’ve watched a solid dozen times by the time I write this article, is Twice and Toga’s final moments together. At the moment Toga and Compress were captured, the rhythm picks up with an intense war-drum beat to it that really simulated the feeling of being in the middle of a war. Then, as soon as Twice shows up and saves them, a harp is used to actually transition that same high-tempo music over to a slow, bone-chilling choir with no instrumentals. All you can hear is the sound of Twice’s stabs and the choir harmonizing. And even more so, the sound of the stabbing replaces the drum beat in its own, dark way. Then the strings and the rest of the orchestra come in at the exact moment that Twice apologizes to Toga for messing up again and it begins a beautiful crescendo.
I swear that it felt like a track you would hear in a Star Wars movie. Go back, rewatch that entire scene from start to finish, and tell me that isn’t one of the most cinematic moments you’ve ever watched in a modern shonen anime series. And it’s not just the music. BONES kept it going with the visuals as well and I’m not talking about how they showed Twice and Toga together, even in the ending. I’m talking about the nitty gritty. The sound of Twice’s struggling voice as we see shots of his real dead body laying in a pool of blood dripping over the edge from where he fell down to. The half-second shot of him picking up Toga’s handkerchief as he tries to get away from Hawks. The terrifying shot of Hawks appearing behind Twice engulfed in Dabi’s flames. Then when it’s all about to come to an end… BOOM! As soon as Toga hugs him, thanks him for saving her, and Twice says his last words, the music hits you like a ton of bricks with an impactful climax before the screen cuts to black and the ending theme song kicks in.
All of what I just described comes from the hard work of everyone that put their blood, sweat, and tears into this. And watching it over and over again only helps me realize it even more. Endō, Hayashi, and everyone at BONES working on My Hero Academia Season 6 truly deserve a round of applause for episode 3. And I’ll be sure to be the one to defend that against anyone who may think otherwise.
My Hero Academia Episode 3 Wrap-Up
Some could take this episode at face value and simply point out that Twice was the first major death of the Paranormal Liberation War arc and it might give the villains that boost they need to fight back in a current losing battle. But looking beyond the simple stuff, this season of My Hero Academia has already set a course on being a favorite of mine from the series and we’re just three episodes in. Forget the recap at the beginning of the episode. This episode deserves a perfect rating and I hope to see it land the series higher in the next weekly poll that it so rightfully deserves.
To Endō, if you ever see this, please never stop being a voice actor. Your performance was awe-inspiring and I truly can’t wait to see you play more roles in the near future. Thank you for playing one of the most interesting characters in all of recent shonen anime and bringing him to life in ways I don’t think anyone else possibly could. You deserve all the praise and more.
Episode 3 rating: 1000000000/10
If you enjoyed My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 3, be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 4 will air on Saturday, October 22.
Images via Crunchyroll
© Kohei Horikoshi / SHUEISHA, “My Hero Academia” Production Committee