While it started with an incredibly long training arc and work-study after that, Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Season 5 has slowly been building up to something. With the strange pacing, it’s been quite frustrating waiting for the story to work its way back to the meat and bones; however, since episode 101, the series seems to be ready to go back to the good fight between the League of Villains and the heroes. A secret conspiracy has been building up in the shadows and Hawks (Quirk: Fierce Wings) and Endeavor (Quirk: Hellflame) are perhaps the only good guys who know about it. Episode 101 showed snippets of an impending disaster that will destroy Deika City and set into motion a series of catastrophic events which will change the tone of this season entirely. With the most recent episode, things have started to make a little bit more sense, but we remain relatively in the dark as to what horror is about to transpire.
The beginning of this season revealed 2nd-ranked hero Hawks’ secret double agent mission. He has infiltrated the League of Villains and interacted with the leaders behind a secret plan being hatched behind the scenes. As a result of the spaces he’s been in, Hawks is under constant surveillance from both his bosses at the Pro Hero Association and his new “friends”, the Meta Liberation Army. The goal of the Meta Liberation Army is supposedly the creation of a brand new superhuman society where people are encouraged to make use of their Quirks, and everybody has been granted the opportunity to explore the full extent of their Quirks. To this end, the Liberation Army has in their arsenal drugs, expertise, and equipment that allows them to synthetically enhance an individual’s quirk.
The Meta Liberation Army has orchestrated a nationwide plan, the contents of which are still unknown. However, according to Hawks’ intel, we know that the enemy’s numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. This is a conspiracy the likes of which we are yet to truly see in Boku no Hero Academia and after the rather tame beginning of the season, things are finally heating up! While it seems that the League of Villains and the Meta Liberation Army have similar goals, the latter wants to show its intent by crushing the former, starting by kidnapping a League of Villains member, Giran. While this is happening; however, Shigaraki is faced with the task of retrieving a gift left behind by All For One—a behemoth known as Gigantomachia. The problem is, Gigantomachia is incredibly loyal to All For One, so Shigaraki has to prove himself to the brute before he can control it as its master. Keep that in mind. While the Liberation Army may have kidnapped and tortured one of the League of Villains’ operatives, they also give Shigaraki a proposition: that he come to Deika City and see their operation.
One of the major puzzle pieces regarding this part of the fifth season is the mysterious white-haired individual we see rising from the ruins of Deika City, filling the air with evil laughter that sends chills down your spine. The anachronistic telling of events in this season adds to a feeling of unease when it comes to the movements of the villains in this season, particularly Shigaraki Tomura (Quirk: Decay), leader of the League of Villains in the absence of All For One (Quirk: All For One). The white-haired guy looked a lot like Shigaraki, a theory supported by the developments in episodes 107 and 108, where the major players of this arc finally reveal themselves.
Remember what we said about the Liberation Army being in possession of some nifty toys that allow them to synthetically enhance a Quirk? In episode 107, we are shown Shigaraki in some strange facility, bound to an operating table with all kinds of wires hooked up to him. It appears that they’re administering some kind of strange shock torture thing that we assume is to enhance his Quirk, Decay. The pieces are coming together—Shigaraki Tomura, the Meta Liberation Army, Quirk enhancement, and the destruction of Deika City. Are we on the brink of seeing an elevated Shigaraki? Will the heroes be able to handle the army that will begin its mission in four months’ time? No idea, we haven’t seen anything yet, but it feels like we’re sitting on what is going to be one wild arc!
A Fate Worse Than…
Since the last battle involving the League of Villains back when raiding the Shie Hassaikai, the heroes have managed to take the League of Villains’ core member, Kurogiri, into custody. However, they are unable to question him about the League of Villains because he rebuffs any questions on that topic with complete nonsense. Then they found out: Kurogiri is not a League of Villains operative with free will—he is in fact a Nomu, a fighting warrior borne from the engineering (and overall desecration) of a corpse. Nomu are effectively brainless, and at their least sophisticated, know nothing but instinct and violence. However, at their most sophisticated, a Nomu will appear to be an intelligent being, much like Kurogiri did.
That being said, Kurogiri was programmed specifically to avoid sharing any details about his own creation, or the League of Villains. Through this revelation, we are given a chance to zoom in on a backstory we didn’t even know we needed. We see Aizawa (Hero Name: Eraser Head; Quirk: Erasure) in his student days at U.A. High alongside Present Mic (Quirk: Voice) and their friend, Shirakumo Oboro (Quirk: Cloud), who died tragically during an internship. The shocker is that Kurogiri’s base—that is, the corpse that was modified to create the Nomu that is Kurogiri—is none other than Shirokumo Oboro. Chances are, the vast majority of the Nomu come from the dead bodies of highly skilled individuals whose Quirks have been modified and changed, probably through the use of All For One.
While seeing some of Aizawa’s past was great, a huge issue with this season, as we’ve said before, is the pacing. With this particular situation, we saw a largely rushed backstory that felt like it would have hit more if it were given more time to be fleshed out and explored with more intention. As it stands, this season of My Hero Academia is suffering from a case of giving too much attention to certain aspects, and not enough to others and a feeling of rushedness that cheapens certain parts, especially because we’ve been waiting forever for things to finally get to the business end.
Frankly, season 5 of My Hero Academia started off fun, but a little frustrating given the weird pacing. There have been plenty of great moments and episodes leading up to this point too, as well as some major developments surrounding Deku that we’re only just getting into! We’re also finally about to see what all the setting up was for, and there’s a high chance that this is going to be more epic than anything we’ve seen from the series thus far. How have you found My Hero Academia Season 5 so far? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts!