My Hero Academia Turns a Class 1-B Student Into the Ultimate Predator

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 8, "Match 3 Conclusion," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.

The joint training exercise between Classes 1-A and 1-B is well underway in Episode 8, with a handful of dark horse characters, such as the mushroom-generating Kinoko Komori and even Hitoshi Shinso, proving their worth in Season 5's mock battles. These students are vicious and clever in combat, and now in the third match, the lesser-known Mudman has become the star.

Mudman is also known as Juzo Honenuki, who, at best, had a substantial cameo appearance in MHA during the U.A. Sports Festival. Like Kinoko, Juzo is now proving to be far stronger than he seems, and Class 1-A's best students are quickly learning not to underestimate him.

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Mudman Takes Control Of The Battle

Juzo Honenuki and his Class 1-B teammates were on the defensive at first in Episode 7 -- lacking an effective scout while Class 1-A had Mezo Shoji on their side. So, Juzo had to lay traps for their opponents, and it helped that the hot-headed Tetsutetsu threw a tantrum to lure Shoto's team into position. Juzo took command, using his Quirk to change the consistency of everything in sight. The ground and various items on it look perfectly normal until they are touched and begin to soften, but by the time an opponent recognizes the difference, it's too late to escape.

Shoto Todoroki may be powerful but he's also predictable, and as usual, he opened the match with a fierce ice attack rather than a flame-based assault. Juzo was ready for that, and not only is the ground now soft, but he also had the reflexes to touch Shoto's ice sheet and soften the entire thing. Tenya Iida sank up to his neck in the soft ice, and the melee-oriented Mashirao Ojiro also struggled with these softened surfaces.

Juzo Uses His Softening Quirk to Ambush Enemies

juzo my hero academia

Juzo, AKA Mudman, is like an ambush predator. His abilities open up counterattack options for his teammates in the latest episode, and he has a ruthless attitude about it to boot. Personally, he's easygoing and adaptable, having no mean streak and even being a gracious loser when he faces defeat. But he is also ice-cold about fighting his foes, calmly and thoroughly laying cunning traps and letting his enemies sink helplessly to their own demise.

When things get dire in the latest episode, Juzo softens the base of a huge water tower which Tetsutetsu then shoves over. The tower lands on Tenya as he tries to flee with a knocked-out Shoto Todoroki. Juzo is clearly willing to cause massive property damage just to take out one opponent -- and would happily do it again. Mudman's Quirk may be soft, but his nerves aren't.

All this makes Juzo unexpectedly predatory considering his Quirk's name, especially when he's on the defensive and his foes don't know what to expect. On top of that, Juzo looks lethal with his scarily bared teeth, intense eyes and the intimidating helmet on his hero costume. At this rate, he might rank among My Hero Academia's Pro Heroes who resemble villains, along with Gang Orca and Ectoplasm. Just watch this space.

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