This season of My Hero Academia takes a darker turn than the previous ones, a development that's likely the result of All Might's retirement after his fight with All For One. Not only is the public now wary of both heroes and villains, but with no Symbol of Peace to fear, villains are getting bolder — something fans see clearly with the emergence of Overhaul and the Shie Hassaikai.
In addition to that overarching storyline, many of the characters are going through their own struggles. All Might and Midoriya are coping with their own futures and the future of One for All. All Might's former sidekick is trying to understand his decision in choosing Midoriya, and Bakugo and Todoroki are working on themselves in order to get their provisional hero licenses. The new opening for the season alludes to many of these storylines, even if it's in a subtle manner.
Here are 10 things you may not have noticed from the new season's opening.
10 The Opening Nod To MHA's First Theme Song
The new My Hero Academia theme song opens with animation similar to the first season's — and the resemblance between the two openings is no coincidence. During the first season, we see Midoriya reaching out for All Might. The fourth season's theme is intended to show us how much Midoriya has grown since then.
Not only do we get shots of his hand as a child, as a teenager, and finally as an adult, but All Might is no longer waiting for him as he reaches out. More than that, Midoriya making a fist at the end of the shot emphasizes that he’s taking his first steps toward taking All Might's place. He's more ready to become the Symbol of Peace than he was at the anime's start.
9 Bakugo's Separation From The Rest Of The Class
Bakugo and Todoroki both failed their provisional license exams at the end of season three, and so, despite being among the top students in Class 1-A, the two of them have been absent from much of the work-study action this season. During the theme song's first shot of Class 1-A, we see Bakugo standing separately from the group. And while the guy certainly does like being on his own, this might also hint at his need to figure out some things on his own.
It's true that Todoroki is in the same boat as Bakugo, but fans know that being left behind in training is affecting Bakugo far more than it is his peer. That's evident in his reactions to Todoroki's blunt assertions that they need to train harder — and we also know that Bakugo's still working through everything that happened in Kamino.
8 The Cherry Blossom Trees Behind Class 1-A
The fourth season theme seems determined to call back to the first one. During the shot of Class 1-A, cherry blossom trees line the background — the same cherry blossom trees that appeared throughout the first season opening and the first few episodes.
Given that these trees allude to spring, this inclusion could be there to emphasize all the changes that are happening this season. Spring marks new beginnings, and although All Might's time as Number One has come to an end, Midoriya's journey to becoming the Symbol of Peace is just starting.
7 The Big Three
It's hard to miss U.A. High's Big Three during the new introduction, and it's obvious that their inclusion highlights their bigger roles in the third season. What is interesting, though, is how they all seem to be surrounded by the heroes they're closest to. From the beginning, this opening seems to be hinting at what's to come.
And fans now know that Midoriya, Kirishima, Uraraka, and Asui are doing work studies under the very heroes the Big Three associate themselves with. We get a first look at Sir Nighteye, Fat Gum, and Ryuku during the opening, solidifying each of their roles in season four.
6 Overhaul Looming Over Eri
Now that the season's main storylines have begun, the image of Overhaul looming over Eri makes more sense, though it might have puzzled fans watching the opening before the new villain was introduced. Still, this image has more meaning behind it than initially meets the eye.
Overhaul's presence in Eri's life hangs over her, just as his image does in the opening — something that's already evident in the way she listens to him, knowing what will happen if she doesn't. But such trauma isn't likely to disappear, even if the heroes do manage to save her, and this clip could be alluding to that as well.
5 The Nods To All Might's Past
All Might's retirement is a major theme of My Hero Academia's third season as well, and fans get a glimpse or two into All Might's past because of it. The opening also showcases how important All Might's history is to the plot, showing him walking in his non-muscular form, while the characters who have impacted him most appear in the background.
Among the characters who appear behind him are his predecessor, Nana Shimura, and her grandson Tomura Shigiraki. All For One also makes an appearance, as does Sir Nighteye. It's interesting that Midoriya isn't in there, but perhaps the intro wanted to keep the focus on All Might's history prior to the anime.
4 The Meaning Behind The Clocks
The theme song also gives us a shot of Sir Nighteye running on top of a bunch of clocks, an image that goes well with his quirk, Foresight. And now that we know Nighteye once saw All Might's death, it seems like this shot might have been leading up to that reveal.
Of course, manga readers know there's another plot point that Nighteye could also be running from. Finding a way to change the future is a theme of this story arc, and this image highlights that nicely.
3 The Twice And Toga Cameo
Toward the end of the opening, viewers get to see the heroes most involved in this story arc — the heroes we now know will be heavily involved in the fight against Overhaul. Each of them appears to be helping the next one fight, but there is a surprise in this part of the theme: Twice and Toga appear midway through.
It's an interesting choice to have the two of them pop up, but it's possible they'll be involved in the big confrontation somehow. Overhaul has managed to get himself tangled up with the League of Villains, and the last time we saw him, he was negotiating with Shigiraki. Could Toga and Twice have something to do with those negotiations?
2 Eri's Bandages Falling Off As She Falls
Eri's arms are bandaged when we meet her, something viewers now know is because Overhaul is using her body to turn her quirk into bullets. It's disturbing to see the girl this way, but the opening suggests she'll be out of harm's way by the end of the new season.
Toward the end of the new opening, when Midoriya is reaching out for her, Eri's bandages begin to unravel and fall off. Not only does this imply that she may not need them anymore, but it also highlights the fact that Eri trusts Midoriya. Although she seems guarded most of the time, she's willing to open up to Midoriya and let him save her.
1 Midoriya's Posture During The Final Shot Of Class 1-A
The final moments of the new intro show the major members of Class 1-A once more, and most of them are standing normally or assuming their hero poses. Midoriya, however, is slumping at first. Could this be emphasizing how much weight is on his shoulders this season?
We know that Midoriya is carrying around guilt from not rescuing Eri, and he's also struggling with the potential loss of a mentor he respects and idolizes. His posture here indicates how much he's going through, even if he manages to stand tall almost immediately afterward.