My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode 20, My Villain Academia Review: It Begins… Without Really Beginning.

So, the fifth season of My Hero Academia has been interesting to say the least.
The problems fans are having with the anime have been made clear by them since season four, a season I was quite forgiving of and praised highly (although I have not rewatched it since so that could change if I chose to do so).
However, I am not as forgiving with Season Five because these problems have been bothering me.
The adaptation of the first arc, Class 1-A vs 1-B, was adapted quite well apart from a few too many flashbacks.
However, the rest of the season has not been adapted nearly as well.
The Endeavor Agency Arc was put ahead of the highly anticipated My Villain Academia Arc, which will undoubtedly make some scenes in future episodes not very tense because we know which characters will live.
Not only this but some of the episodes in the Endeavor Agency Arc were slowed down to a snail’s pace and there was even a filler episode put in.
Why was all this done?
Well, supposedly it was all for the new My Hero Academia movie, since it has characters from the agency arc and they had to move it forward to have the movie make sense to the viewer.
If this is true, it is a real shame that one of the best storylines from the manga has been pushed to the side for that.
Well, we recently got the begining of this highly praised arc with Episode Twenty of Season Five, “My Villain Academia”, and the problems with the pacing of prior episodes really affects the beginning of said arc which… is not even a beginning at all really.
Directed by Ikurō Satō and Takanori Yano, the episode skips over the first chapter of the My Villain Academia Arc entirely, which is a vital chapter because it sets up key events towards the end of the arc.
Even worse, by removing this chapter, Spinner’s entire character arc is effectively gone now.
This really makes me concerned for how this storyline will continue to be handled.
At least the scenes that were actually adapted from the manga are pretty good.
“My Villain Academia” begins with the League of Villains being attacked by Gigantomachia, All For One’s bodyguard, who wants to test Shigaraki to see if he is fit to be his new master.
Alas, Shigaraki is unworthy in Gigantomachia’s eyes, leading to the League being brought in to meet the creator of the Nomu, Daruma Ujiko, who is the Dr who told Izuku that he didn’t have a Quirk at the beginning of the story.
It is here we get our first peak into Shigaraki’s dark past, as we see how he was rescued by All For One in a flashback who then tells the young boy how he accidentally killed his entire family with his Quirk, presenting him with their hands, which are the hands he wears to this day.
Ujiko then tasks Shigaraki with gaining Gigantomachia’s loyalty in order to achieve his full support, leading to the League returning to Gigantomachia, lead by Shigaraki, who tells the giant bodyguard that his future king is back in a scene that gave me goosebumps.
We then cut to a month and a half later where Shigaraki is still struggling to beat Gigantomachia.
Spinner finally gets some spotlight, narrating about their struggles and how Toga got a new coat, however this detail now feels irrelvant because we didn’t see how much the League was struggling financially at the beginning of the arc, since this was also cut.
Speaking of things being removed, the introduction of Redestro is gone as well, so him calling on the League of Villains to fight his Meta Liberation Army feels kind of abrupt.
He lures the League in by using Giran as bait and threatening to call the heroes down on them if they don’t come to him.
Unfortunately for Redestro, he doesn’t know about Gigantomachia, and Shigaraki plans to use this to his advantage by eventually leading the giant to crush the Meta Liberation Army, planning to get him to submit after he is done.
This brings an end to a good episode, but one that is quite disappointing from a manga reader’s perspective.
There are so many cuts of relevant parts to the story that it feels like the My Villain Academia Arc will probably be nowhere near as impactful as it was in the manga.
I am still excited to see the rest of it and hope it is adapted well.
But, if it is not, I think many of us will be quite bitter that one of the best arcs in My Hero Academia was not done justice because the studio wanted to focus on a movie that isn’t even canon.

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