Toshinori stared intently at the girl, watching as she took notes and looked back to him to listen. He could tell she was getting at least enough to work with to start. He could take hope she would have more than just his words to cut-and-paste for an assignment - that she would take this time to take his words to heart. Hopefully, the right ones. Even as he had been in this role for a while, he feared he still had some old tendencies. He felt his words, even now, might inspire too extreme a message in one direction, even as he had shied away from the other. He sat back at attention as Mela asked him further questions.
"Absolutely," he replied, answering her first question in the lull. "You are currently at the time for marketing yourself to agencies out there, while you do not have independent experience. Your brand is what you show your teachers here at UA, your mentors in your internships, your judges at exams and the people you meet along the way in working to become a hero. More by the day, people have changed their attitude about the big, bombastic, flashy hero. And they have compelling arguments. That sort of hero, who has already endured schooling and training, will almost always have the skill to back up their bravado.
"What people have discovered is, for every All Might, there are about a hundred imitators and wannabes who want to be the All Might type of hero, even if only one, maybe two, could actually do it at their peak. The other 98 will learn a painful lesson in some form...if they live to learn it afterward. Heroes are becoming much more focused on the practical. Get the right heroes for the task at hand, get the job done and get out. There will be time to smile for the cameras when the threat is defeated. The sort of theatrics I did are rightfully dying out. Villains aren't as patient to stand around while the enemy hero makes a show of it. They will cut your throat as you speak. If you're gonna make a statement, get the job done all the way first."
He listened as she next moved to the Sports Festival, a more immediate need for her to gain from and prepare for. He nodded after she posed her question. "Of course you want to highlight your strengths. The Sports Festival is, more or less, your commercial for hero agencies to watch. You want to show them what sort of role you can fulfill and what you are best suited to tackle. At the same time, you also need so how you can adapt if whatever situation you end up in is adverse to your skills and Quirk. You may not get to work at a hero agency staffed well enough that they can send out a specialist or two to handle certain tasks. You might have to go to anything and everything or pick up anything that happens on a patrol. Wherever you go, you will end up in a situation where you're outmatched. You have to think...you have to do your job. You will fulfill the mission. That alone makes a massive difference. It's amazing what you can do when you tell yourself you have to do it. Use your strengths when you can. Use whatever you have to when you can't."
- - -
Ryuichi once again tuned in on Nemuri as she started to give her thoughts on his self-assessment. He expected her to comb through his analysis, though she was set on teaching a greater lesson instead. He nodded along as she seemed to agree with the core of his though process regarding their hypothetical duel - he would be at a major disadvantage. She turned it back around with what she wanted him to take away from her question, however. If he was actually in against Midnight, there were ways he could accomplish his mission. He had to think more about it, depending on what else there was, though he had to figure out and do something.
"Your feelings can sway a battle. You cannot go in feeling like you've lost already." He underlined these words in his notes and seemed to look straight at them once Nemuri paused. Perhaps this was at least one of his keys to make the final knockout stage at the Sports Festival. More important, he needed this for anything he would do in the future, especially hero work. Sure, his Quirk was powerful if he could get it to work on someone. He had always been thinking about its limits. How he couldn't work it on anyone he couldn't touch. He had always adjusted and thought about the rest of his limits. How he couldn't take as much damage before yielding, and how others knew it. She hit it square as well on that matter - even if they know what he's capable of, he can still win.
"Thank you for that. I will be sure to hold onto that. I've thought of myself as a good analyst and a realist for those situations. I would guess the reality is we are called upon to achieve the improbable anyway. This does lead me to my next question. Heroes and villains alike are getting stronger as hero academies produce more graduates. You appear to be of the mindset to succeed any way possible. How does this work in the current outlook for combating ever-growing threats? How do you adapt in a world that seems to want to muscle you out of hero work?"