It the final game of the informal Hero League Baseball season between the Orcas and the Lionels with the winner claiming the championship of this super powered sandlot league. Both teams have brought in ringers from outside hero agencies and with the pride of their baseball careers on the line they are in for the game of a lifetime.Meanwhile a mysterious new villain is spreading chaos and laughter across the city as he vandalizes buildings with his street art. The foul miscreant known as Mr. Smiley has the power to induce debilitating laughter in anyone who sees his face. With no one left to turn to authorities ask Endeavor and his work study proteges to take down Smiley before he can paint the town red with crime.
The last time we got some between-season MHA OVAs it was a pretty forgettable time. Not terrible but a very obvious retread of ideas both the main series and previous OVAs had covered more than enough without any new twists to make them stand out. Thankfully while these new extra episodes are not essential viewing they have got a lot more energy and character to them than yet another training exercise. They even work that good ol anime magic and make the worlds most boring sport into something fun to watch.
HLB is definitely the more attention-grabbing of the two up front taking place during some nebulous period in Season 4 during Class 1-As work studies and exists mostly to continue the grand tradition of anime baseball episodes two teams made up of students and pro heroes into a no stakes and thus the highest stakes super powered baseball game. The setup of superhero baseball is already a pretty great one and as a bonus the episode features a number of side characters who almost never get the spotlight in the main series. Along with fan like Gang Orca and Jiro you get the return of Fatgum Suneater and even some left field inclusions like Mt. Lady and Kamui Woods. If you are a viewer who gets tired of seeing Deku Bakugo and Shoto taking up the lions share of screentime this offers a reprieve that lets other characters personalities and powers enjoy some leg room.
Its a fun time but part of me can not help but feel a little disappointed. Theres some funny moments and clever implementation of Quirks during the game Mineta of all people gets one of the funniest gags in the whole episode but by the end of it all it still felt underwhelming. If you are the kind of superfan who would check out any scrap of MHA media you can find you could almost certainly come up with wackier ways for the characters to implement their powers and with the running gimmick being characters getting knocked out of the game theres not a lot of room for the kind of fun banter you come to side content like this for. Slapstick violence is all well and good but after the fourth or fifth time Gang Orca tossed a character into the air the joke was done. It all ultimately comes together as an alright time but compared to the likes of Gundam Build Fighters baseball gunpla showdown it can not quite compete.