My Hero Academia: How Class 1-B Quietly Schooled 1-A at the Sports Festival

AbraxasNovember 3, 2021

In MHA, Class 1-A constantly outshines the underrated Class 1-B, but the Sports Festival gave the underdog class a chance to show off.

My Hero Academia mostly centers around the exploits of Izuku “Deku” Midoriya and his fellow Class 1-A students, but there are plenty of other noteworthy students at U.A. High School. Class 1-B is of equal importance to 1-A in-universe, but they’re given little screentime to prove it. In fact, most of the students don’t even have their Quirks revealed until the Joint Training Arc all the way in Season 5. Despite this neglect, there is at least one point prior to Season 5 where Class 1-B gets to show what they’re all about:. the U.A. Sports Festival, especially the first two events.

While the “U.A. Sports Festival Arc” focuses heavily on Midoriya and his classmates, Class 1-B works hard to take center stage from the main cast. 1-B doesn’t necessarily excel in the games, but they do surpass 1-A in a critical way. Class 1-B has a much better sense of teamwork.

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Anime My Hero Academia Nirengeki Shoda With Class 1-B

The students of Class 1-A are focused on showing off their individual talents for most of the Sports Festival. This is done under the pretext that the Sports Festival is being observed by people across the country, including talent-scouting Pro Heroes. Bakugo especially is determined to take first place in the Festival, regardless of who he has to step over, while Todoroki states outright that it’s not a team effort. Even Iida treats Midoriya more like a rival than a friend in this arc because he wants to show what he can do on his own.  There are moments where the students of 1-A work together, but they are primarily focused on their own individual goals.

1-B has 1-A completely outclassed in terms of group synergy. Since 1-A is reknowned for surviving a villain attack, they naturally pull the audience’s attention fixed to them. 1-B opts to counter this by doing whatever they can to show off their own class’s merits. Everything 1-B does during the Sports Festival is done with the intent of bolstering the popularity of the class as a whole.

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Deku and Shoto prepare to fight

Even the first event of the Festival, an obstacle race, is finished by Class 1-B as a team. The race is specifically designed so that contestants will have to try and outperform one another. After all, only the first 42 students past the finish line advance to the second event. The students of 1-B subvert this expectation by focusing on getting all 20 of their classmates into the top 40. The energy that would have been spent on making it to 1st place is redirected towards observing Class 1-A and their Quirks. Not only does all of 1-B make it to the next round, but they also gather important information about their opponents: the entirety of 1-A.

Class 1-B’s teamwork is further showcased in the Cavalry Battle. The event has teams carrying one teammate wearing a headband. Points are based on the headbands, so the goal is to take the headbands of other teams and accrue the most points. This event is team-oriented, so it would seem natural for the students of 1-A and 1-B to work closely together with their classmates. However, even this event shows the contrast between how 1-A and 1-B handle teamwork.

The students of Class 1-A, despite their need for teamwork, still end up turning on each other. This is partly because Midoriya’s headband is worth an overwhelming 10,000,000 points, so whoever has it automatically wins. All of Midoriya’s classmates end up going after his headband for the sake of placing 1st in the Cavalry Battle.

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Anime My Hero Academia Shihai Kuroiro Class 1-B Sports Festival Rankings

Class 1-B, in stark contrast to Class 1-A, continues to focus on passing as many of its students as possible. Instead of focusing on Midoriya’s headband, they instead target as many other headbands as possible. This strategy, instead of getting any students in 1-B to 1st place, gets as many of them as possible to 2nd, 3rd and 4th place, which qualifies them for the next event. To this end, the 1-B teams work together and support each other.

Class 1-B’s overall efforts throughout the Sports Festival successfully show that they’re just as qualified to be Pro Heroes as Class 1-A. In fact, they’re arguably even more qualified thanks to their sense of teamwork. Class 1-B is focused on the long-term and is determined to win the Sports Festival as a whole, even at the cost of placing well in most of its events. Unfortunately, most of 1-B, despite their efforts, still don’t get the recognition they deserve from fans until Season 5. Despite this, 1-B undoubtedly proves themselves superior to the main cast and achieves their moment in the spotlight, even if it is only a moment.

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