Time to take a look at the just-finished-airing second half of My Hero Academia’s fifth season, adapting the Endeavour Training and Meta Liberation Army arcs. While the first arc had some good moments it’s the latter that really shone, casting light on our lead antagonists and not actually featuring the protagonists at all. “My Villain Academia” indeed! … Let’s take a look!
Todoroki, Midoriya and Bakugo to join Endeavour’s hero agency for their Work Studies, but learning under the Number 1 hero is more challenging than even they thought…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Endeavour tries to think where he went wrong… here’s a hint: emotionally abusing your wife and young son. That was probably when it went wrong…
The actual Endeavour Training Arc takes place across only Episodes 101 – 107, with 101 having very little to do with the main premise and Episode 104 being filler (see below!), so there isn’t a lot to say. Endeavour is still a closed book and treats our trio of protagonists harshly but does at least try to spur them on and even passes some good advice to each in terms of increasing their powers. The other big wrinkle in the story is the Number 2 hero Hawks, who is undercover with the League of Villains and soon finds out about a group called the Meta Liberation Army but due to being under constant surveillance is unable to give Endeavour any clues beyond a book where he transcribed a code. Then we get Bakugo and Midoriya joining Todoroki and Endeavour at their house for dinner, seeing first hand what a bad job the Number 1 hero has done as a father, especially from the mouth of Todoroki’s brother Natsu.
Natsu is then kidnapped by an insane Endeavour “fan” called Ending who tries desperately to get his hero to kill him. His plan fails thanks to not just Endeavour but our trio of protagonists showing off their new skills (naturally!) In the end Endeavour admits he’s been a crap Dad and that any dream he has of his family eating together happily doesn’t include him, so he offers to move out in atonement and hope his family can be happy without him. I’m still not sure what to make of Endeavour, his past behaviour is hard to forgive but he does at least seem to care about his family… all of a sudden, admittedly. Fascinating character at the very least, which he wasn’t at all when the series started.
Shigaraki remembers where it all went wrong… and loves it!
Then we get to the “My Villain Academia” part of the story, which was fantastic. Shigaraki and his League of Villains are tasked by All For One’s old assistant Dr. Ujiko to get their old master’s massive henchman Gigantomachia under their control as a test, but they find it hard going to say the very least. They’re then contacted by Re-Destro and his Meta Liberation Army, who want equal opportunities for all Meta users and see the League as a thorn in their plan, so they get invited to their base at Deika City. The League is happy as they hatch a plan to unleash Gigantomachia on them so they can weaken the giant and Shigaraki can then step in and beat him but the plan goes awry when the entire city turns out to be Metas on the side of Re-Destro.
We get several episodes focusing on the backstory of the likes of crazy blood-drinking Toga (her quirk requiring blood drinking ostracized her from society), multiplying man Twice (his own created clones were his only friends causing him to eventually go crazy…) and lastly Shigaraki himself, who as a child was punished for thinking he could be a hero and even hit by his father, leading to him accidentally using his disintegration quirk on his dog… then his child sister, then mother and eventually father. The hands he always placed on his body and face contain the remains of his family, which is frankly all kinds of disturbing. We also see how All For One manipulated his lust for killing and turned him into what he is. As the battle rages Toga, Twice and Shigaraki all evolve their quirks into more powerful forms thanks to reaching their physical and mental limit, with the League head honcho defeating Re-Destro with such massive power that Gigantomachia, who just arrived in the city, stops in amazement and agrees to serve him as his new master. The animation is top notch during Shigaraki’s “level up”, it was quite stunning. We then see Shigaraki merge the League of Villains with the several thousand-strong Meta Liberation Army to form the “Paranormal Liberation Front”, then agree to undergo a torturous treatment by Dr. Ujiko to make him yet more powerful still…
Gigantomachia… is actually a word, refers to when Giants went to war with Gods… or each other, I’m not sure. I was just confused when Word didn’t put a red-line under it during the review writing and quickly looked it up…
Obviously Episode 104 being entirely filler surrounding Uraraka and Asui meeting up with seal-man hero Selkie to stop some smugglers wasn’t that entertaining. It was all done to set up the third My Hero Academia movie, which I guess is fair enough. It did rake in major cash! Still annoying when you’re watching it a week at a time.
Also Episode 101 was based mainly around a Christmas party, which ignoring the fact the episode aired in August was still very “filler-ish” in that it felt like everything ground to a halt (minus a few Hawks / League of Villains scenes).
Oh yeah right: Our main characters! Forgot about them.
My Hero Academia’s Fifth Season comes to a great end, with a basic “hero gets stronger” story mixed with more layers of interest being placed on Endeavour, then ends with a hell of a bang as we focus on our lead antagonist and his rather hellish origin story. Then we tease the next, much bigger, story arc! Sounds good to me…