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Early Bird! (先手必勝! Sente Hisshō!?) is the ninety-seventh episode of the My Hero Academia anime and the ninth episode of the fifth season.

Summary

With the fourth round starting, both teams start making their moves. On Class 1-B's side, everyone expresses worry about how well-balanced their opponent's team is. Due to this, they decide to rush the opposing team as quickly as possible.

Back at the viewing area, Vlad King, once again, props up his class by saying that Class 1-A's win in the first round was mostly because of Hitoshi, and by that extension, 1-B had a better overall performance. Most of the class calls him out again, and even Midnight agrees that it's starting to get excessive. Eraser Head tells his class to pipe down, saying that 1-B overall had better countermeasures and his class's whining isn't very professional, overall agreeing with Vlad. Vlad and Neito laugh at the other class's scolding, with the latter receiving a neck chop by Itsuka. Midnight asks All Might if he has favoritism over a certain class like Vlad, to which the retired hero says he's rooting for everyone. Secretly, he's focusing on what Katsuki will do in his match.

Setsuna reveals herself to Katsuki.

Katsuki rockets forward and tells the rest of his team to keep up. Rikido and Hanta say he hasn't changed since the Sports Festival, and Kyoka is just relieved he's cooperating at all, as the Explosion user's plan is to take the lead and have the rest of his classmates support him. Despite the others members suggestion to scout out the other team and wait for an opening, Katsuki shoots it down in preference of creating his own opening. Before the match, he hands each of his teammates one of his makeshift grenades.

Win by saving!

Up ahead, Katsuki spots something fly by and stops his flight path. He tells Kyoka to use her earlobes to listen for the enemy. Her concentration is disrupted by multiple fragments bouncing and crawling on the pipes, making Kyoka unable to make out her opponents' positions. A toothy smile pops up behind Katsuki, revealing it to be the work of Setsuna and her Quirk: Lizard Tail Splitter. With her detached eye surveying the battlefield, Setsuna sends pieces of herself hurling at Katsuki, who struggles to evade her. Hanta sets up a barricade around himself, Rikido, and Kyoka as protection. It's futile, however, as Kojiro sloshes adhesive all over the area, cutting off an easy way for 1-A to escape. Togaru dives from above and slashes all the pipes around him, causing them to fall and start to form a sticky wall of rubble to bury Class 1-A. Rikido stretches his arms out in front of a pipe to protect Kyoka and Hanta, but Katsuki, still being barraged by body parts, intercepts the metallic structure with an explosion. With no one covering her, Togaru moves in to attack Kyoka. Katsuki steps in and sends the 1-B student flying with an even larger explosion. Kyoka thanks him, but Katsuki tells her to keep quiet and start scouting again, as 1-B fell back during the confrontation. Katsuki proudly says he'll win the match as a 4-0 sweep with no injuries.

Rikido subdues Kojiro.

At the viewing area, Neito is flabbergasted at how Katsuki is now looking out for and supporting others. Eijiro and Denki show similar surprise, with the former saying this is the first time he saw his friend put himself on the line. With Katsuki on the offense, the opposing team decides to retreat, though Setsuna still keeps herself split and mobile to prevent Kyoka from figuring out their location. The girl tries to focus on drawing away Katsuki and tiring out the opposing team. However, Kyoka concentrates, becoming able to detect the other students, deduce that the team is moving away, and discovering that there are less detached pieces of Setsuna's body scattered about. Once the report goes out, Katsuki blasts forward, but is instantly welded down using a structure made by Yosetsu . Rikido rushes and breaks the metal away using his Sugar Rush, allowing Katsuki to pursue Yosetsu. The 1-B student turns around and brings up a welding shield to confront Katsuki, but is caught off guard by Hanta swinging from above and carrying Kyoka. Katsuki turns his attention to Kojiro, while Kyoka hits Yosetsu with her Heartbeat Surround, which shatters the boy's shield and immobilizes him. Setsuna severs more pieces of herself and sends them after Katsuki, who quickly takes down Kojiro with a barrage of explosions, due to his body finally warming up and fully expanding his sweat glands. Rikido and Kyoka quickly capture Kojiro and Yosetsu respectively.

Katsuki defeats Setsuna.

Hanta and Togaru are engaging in combat, but Katsuki quickly grabs the latter and defeats him with an Explode-A-Pult. Hanta wraps Togaru with tape, but notices Setsuna's pieces flying in the opposite direction. Hanta notices that the body parts Setsuna detaches die after a while and start to regenerate on her main body. He believes that her regeneration could be finite due to exhaustion, and thinks of a plan while staring at a body part he pinned down using his tape. Hanta believes that Setsuna is slowly returning her detached body parts to make up for the slower regeneration time, and sticks Katsuki's makeshift grenade to one of them. With his prediction correct, Setsuna is instantly caught in the grenade going off. The girl barely moves out of the way, but is intercepted by Katsuki, who holds his hands out right up in her face. With a flash of light from his Point-Blank Stun Grenade, Setsuna is seen passed out on the ground, with Class 1-A taking the sweeping victory.

Round 5 start!

With the match over, Eraser Head commends his team for their support skills, quick capturing time, and keeping collateral damage to a minimum. Vlad King tells his team that their plan was great, but it needed to be more flexible, like Juzo's was. A dejected Setsuna apologizes for letting her team down, but Togaru tells everyone to keep their chins up. Walking back from Ground Gamma, Katsuki is confronted by All Might and Izuku who congratulate him. Katsuki brushes them away, and tells Izuku that he's moving forward to prevent him from catching up. Izuku simply says he'll try even harder to pass him. Neito quietly admits to his dismay that Katsuki was great during his match. Setsuna apologizes to Neito for losing, though the boy tells her to cheer up, and tries to tell his class to focus on their individual growth rather than the competition. Neito then focuses on planning for the fifth match. Nirengeki suggests coming up with plan similar to Setsuna's, as his team consists of people with technical quirks, making close combat useless. Reiko tells her team to pay specific attention to Izuku, due to his drastic improvement in Quirk handling and combat abilities over the year, saying he's just as strong, if not better, than Katsuki. Agreeing with her, Hitoshi declares that the team should focus their efforts on Izuku, and accounting for Neito being able to copy his Brainwashing, he thinks they'll be able to manage the 1-A student. Neito, however, warns that he might not be able to copy and use his Quirk. Regardless, he puts his faith in Hitoshi's abilities to make the plan work.

Both Round 5 teams make their way to their starting positions. Minoru suggests targeting Hitoshi, though is fearful of being brainwashed. He, along with Mina, and Ochaco, are worried about their opponents' Quirks being more technical. Predicting that 1-B will be on guard about him, Izuku offers to be bait to lure them out. Mina asks if he's sure since he mentioned is Quirk is acting up, but he says it's fine since everything seems normal. Everyone then takes off as the fifth and final match begins.

Characters In Order of Appearance

Quirks

Locations

Battles & Events

Anime & Manga Differences

  • Setsuna's comments about the opposing team's balance were said before the match in the anime, instead of during.
  • The anime adds additional commentary from the students.
  • Yosetsu's Quirk is given a description later than in the manga; Weld's Quirk description was first told in Chapter 81.

Trivia

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