Enter Toya Todoroki
You can’t see it right now, but I’m clapping. I finished watching the episode an hour ago as of posting this review, but whoo boy. This is what I talked about when I said studio Bones should be exploring their artistic expression a bit more. I will fight anybody who complains about the animation in this episode because whoo wee, did they outdo themselves in this episode. I want to start by congratulating the performances of both Kaji Yuki and Hiro Shimono. The dub of this episode won’t be out for a little while, but I can guarantee you that their performances will be hard to match, and you’ll see a fair number of complaints about line delivery the day the Dub Drops.
There’s little to no fighting in this episode so I’m going to do this one a little differently since the premise of the episode is simple. Dabi plays his trump card, which is to out the fact that he is Toya Todoroki, Endeavor’s long-lost first-born son, that’s been assumed dead for years. The episode manages to convey not only the hero’s reaction to this news but the public as well. However, instead of exploring story beats in this review, I’d like to explore emotional beats.
Come dance with me in hell father
Let’s start with the name of the episode. Dabi’s Dance. Its name is quite literal, in the sense that as Dabi’s truth is being revealed, he’s dancing atop Gigantomachia. However, the dance also refers to the emotional and psychological one that he’s been doing since season 2 of this show when he was first introduced. All his talk about idolizing Stain, all his nonchalance at issues both within and without the villain community, every second of it has been a calculated step he’s taken, in order to deal this blow to his father, both reputation-wise, and emotionally.
You reap what you sow
On the other side of this spectrum, we have Endeavor. Enji Todoroki as the government knows him. If this entire event was a hurricane, Enji would be the eye of the storm. Endeavor is such an interesting character because he’s the most human of all the heroes in this series. Ironic considering some of the inhumane things he’s done to his wife and his children, but the core ideology is that he’s just a man, born with the powers of a god, contending with the fact that the ideal he has for himself, will never be the ideal the world has of him. Not only that but in his pursuit of this ideal, he’s irreparably damaged his family. To the point that he’s just been shunted to hell, and I don’t think there’s a single one of them that would reach their hand out to him, despite how much work to rectify the damage he’s done of late.
Then we have Shoto. The masterpiece that wants absolutely no part of him. Shoto not only has to contend with the fact that two of his friends are grievously harmed and on the verge of death, but his older brother is alive, and his father has checked out. The episode doesn’t even allow you to celebrate that Shoto landed a special move on Shigaraki at the start.
As far as all the other players go, Deku, Shigarki, and Bakugo are all down for the count. There is no more fight left in any of our main players. Toga, Ochaco, and Tsuyu have a moment, but their little profession of self-ideals does kinda fall short in the face of the other massive reveal this episode. Overall, My Hero Academia season 6 gets a 10/10.