My Hero Academia Chapter 336, Villain Review: Oh, Horikoshi. You Delightful Troll, You.

So, we all just got trolled.
Last week, when Chapter 335 of My Hero Academia was released, I considered doing a review of it after the cliffhanger reveal that Tooru Haguakure was supposedly the UA traitor.
I had mixed opinions about this apparent reveal when it happened.
On the one hand, Tooru being the traitor lacked any emotional impact because she is one of the most underdeveloped characters in Class 1-A, heck, in the entire story.
But, on the other hand, her being the traitor would allow Horikoshi to flesh out her character and actually provide her with something memorable.
Despite my mixed feelings about this supposed reveal, though, I decided not to review the chapter and just wait until the next one, where Horikoshi would undoubtedly expand on the traitor plotline.
That way, I could see what he planned to do with this twist, so I could fully judge it.
Well, after reading Chapter 336, “Villain,” I can say that I am glad I waited for this chapter to talk about the traitor storyline because Horikoshi played us all magnificently.
It turns out the Tooru cliffhanger was actually a red herring.
She was actually tracking down the true traitor who is Yuga Aoyama.
This is revealed in a great full page spread of his distraught face, followed up by the explanation for why he betrayed UA.
As it turns out, Aoyama was born Quirkless, much like Izuku, so his parents made a deal with All For One.
He would give Aoyama a Quirk and then, in return, Aoyama would spy on UA, or All For One would kill his parents.
I actually find this reveal to be a lot more emotionally impactful than one of the UA students actually being a villain sympathiser because, despite what he claims at the end of the chapter, Aoyama is not a villain but a victim.
He has been put in this terrible situation by the decisions of his parents and now has to protect them, while betraying his friends.
However, despite this, he still strives to be a hero and has done heroic things.
This can be seen most of all in the forest attack, where Aoyama attacked Mr Compress, allowing his classmates to rescue Tokoyami.
Aoyama did this knowing full well that it could put himself and his family in danger but he did it to protect his friends and make up for the terrible situation he had put them all in.
Then, there’s his previously established friendship with Izuku, where he sought to get to know him because of how he thought they were similar, both having Quirks that hurt them.
Well, it now turns out that Aoyama is way more similar to Deku than first thought because they directly parallel one another with this reveal.
Deku was given his power by a hero and Aoyama by a villain, yet both both are striding towards the same goal: to be heroes.
I hope that Aoyama can find some redemption and truly achieve his goal in the process.
As for Tooru not being the traitor, I will admit that I am a little disappointed that she is probably going to remain the same boring character by not being the traitor, but Aoyama is still the better choice and his story now directly parralels with Deku and the themes of the story.
As for the rest of “Villain,” it is short but decent, beginning with Class 1-A training and discussing why All For One will not be tracked down so easily.
It is the Aoyama reveal where the real cheese of this chapter is.
I just have my fingers crossed that this plot twist has some significant consequences and is not just going to be wrapped up in a few chapters, given the breakneck pace Horikoshi has been taking the story recently.
For now, though, I have to praise Horikoshi once more.
You tricked us all, you delightful troll.

My Hero Academia Season Five, Episode Twenty-Four, Tomura Shigaraki: Origin Review: Rise of the Demon King.

If I’m honest, The My Villain Academia Arc has not exactly been handled well in this fifth season of My Hero Academia. 
It’s pretty obvious that Studio Bones just prioritized the heroes development over the villains here, with them rearranging the arc and giving it less time to be fleshed out because of filler episodes and moments beforehand, most of which were to hype up a non-canon movie.
This has made the My Villain Academia storyline a disappointing adaptation, which is extremely unfortunate when you compare it to the greatness of the manga.
You know something went wrong when plenty of people think that the Joint Training Arc was adapted better than the My Villain Academia Arc.
Well, at least I can say that Studio Bones finished the arc well.
The last half of Tenko Shimura: Origin did a fantastic job of adapting Shigaraki’s backstory and, now, Tomoura Shigaraki: Origin has continued this by ending the storyline with even better quality.
I wish the rest of the My Villain Academia Arc had been adapted as well as it was in this episode.
Picking up from the reveal of how Tenko Shimura “accidentally” murdered his family in the previous episode, we see the poor boy walking the crowded streets, filthy and bloody.
Surely someone helps him, right?
Wrong, because as soon as anyone gets a good look at his frightening face they naturally assume a hero can deal with it and abandon the child.
This perfectly points out the flaws in My Hero Academia’s hero society.
The civilian population is so complacent with the system that they full-heartedly believe a hero can solve any problem, and they don’t need to do anything, so they leave a child begging to be saved alone.
Unfortunately for Tenko, and the world at large, the only one with an interest in saving him, for undoubtedly nefarious reasons, is All For One, who stretches out a hand to Tenko, just as All Might did for Izuku at the beginning of the story.
The parralels between our hero and villain are greatly portrayed here.
While Izuku had someone to help him down the path to be a hero, Tenko had someone to manipulate him down the path of a villain.
Tenko did not spend a long time in All For One’s care before the criminal mastermind had convinced him to kill two street thugs who he had restrained himself from killing previously after they harassed him.
This leads to All For One also convincing Tenko to wear the hands of his dead family, now dubbing him Tomura Shigaraki, Tomoura meaning mourning, and Shigaraki being All For One’s own last name.
Now remembering everything about his past, in his present fight with Redestro, Shigaraki reflects on how, in his eyes, what happened was no tragedy.
All of this leads to his awakening, as he crushes the supposed last hand of his dead family, declaring he doesn’t need it anymore, before unlocking his Quirk’s full potential, just as Gigantomachia arrives on the scene.
Redestro’s efforts in using a mecha suit to up his stress does no good, as Shigaraki unleashes a seemingly unending wave of decay in some fantastic animation that really highlights the danger he will pose going forward.
Destroying much of Deika city, Shigaraki leaves Redestro crippled, after the Meta Liberation Army commander is forced to amputate his own legs to stop the decay from killing him when his feet touched the ground.
Although this clearly has an effect on Shigaraki himself, given how his own skin cracks and his hair turns almost a glowing white.
Yet, this destruction is still enough to leave Gigantomachia in a state of shock and cause him to finally submit after seeing how Shigaraki’s liberated and terryifying strength then causes Redestro to sign over leadership of the Meta Liberation Army.
It is here where one of my issues of the episode comes in because, when Redestro submits to Shigaraki’s leadership, Shigaraki says that because he is the CEO of Deternat he must have money to give them, since the League was down on their luck before this moment.
However, because the anime adaptation cut out the beginning of the My Villain Academia Arc, including Redestro’s entire introduction, this information feels very forced and shoved in.
Oh, and Spinner also gets more of his character arc cut.
Seriously, you really have to feel bad for Spinner since this is the arc that turned him from a very forgettable character into a relatable and somewhat interesting one.
Along with this, his character arc shows Shigaraki’s growth through how Spinner starts off questioning his leadership of the League yet by the end of the storyline he is fully devoted to Shigaraki.
Cutting all of this not only makes Spinner a much weaker character, but will also make his actions in the next arc when we get Season Six mean a lot less.
But, hey, not like I expected this episode to actually give Spinner anything, given how much they cut from him before.
Other than these issues though, Tomura Shigaraki: Origin is still a great episode.
Following Redestro’s surrender, we then cut to the League and Shigaraki being touted as the new leaders of the Meta Liberation Army, now named the Paranormal Liberation Front.
Redestro is now fully devoted to Shigaraki, along with Gigantomachia, there is a funny gag about Toga’s clone, Twice’s split personality is still in place, Shigaraki has one of the dead hands left, and Dr Ujiko prepares to experiment on Shigaraki to give him an even bigger upgrade.
And all of this is happening while Izuku is definitley beginning to unlock his own Quirk’s potential, through learning how he will inherit all of the Quirk’s from the previous holders of One For All.
This should make for an interesting fight between Deku and Shigaraki when the two finally face off.
I just hope that such a fight will not get the same treatment as the My Villain Academia Arc.
While I can say that this storyline has been good in the anime, there were so many cuts and it went by so fast that it just does not have the same impact as the manga.
I just hope the next season takes the arc following this seriously because it is by far the best storyline in the entire manga, in my own personal opinion.
Despite my feelings about the My Villain Academia Arc as a whole though, I cannot deny that Studio Bones at least ended it well, with Tomura Shigaraki: Origin being a great finisher for it.

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Twenty-Three, Tenko Shimura: Origin Review: Half and Half.

Coming into the latest episode of My Hero Academia Season Five, Episode Twenty-Three, “Tenko Shimura: Origin”, I had my fingers crossed that it would live up to its potential, making it one of the best episodes in the entire series.
After seeing it, can I say that it achieved this?
Well, like Todoroki’s Quirk, it’s half and half.
The first half of “Tenko Shimura: Origin” is honestly a bit dissapointing with its lackluster animation, while the second half definitley lives up to its potential, delivering a fantastic adaptation of the darkest moment from the manga.
Before this, though, there is the already mentioned weaker first half of the episode, where we first see Twice creating a clone of Toga to do a blood transfusion, followed by some Spinner development as he fights the politician Trumpet.
However, since the beginning of Spinner’s entire character arc was cut  from the “My Villain Academia” episode, this is just pay off to scenes that never happened so it lacks impact.
Then there’s the fight between Shigaraki and Redestro, which suffers from feeling overall a bit stiff and limited, although this may come from me comparing it to other fights in the series.
Along with this, the censorship does not really help because it does raise certain plot holes about why Shigaraki is not able to simply decay Redestro, and anime only viewers will probably not have realized that Shigaraki has lost some fingers here.
Also there are some weird moments when Shigaraki has blood all over him, yet in the next shot all this blood is gone.
Kind of reminded me of there not being any blood on the knife in that one The Promised Neverland Season Two episode.
As the fight between Redestro and Shigaraki continues, with Redestro’s stress quirk building, Shigaraki admitting he only wants to destroy, and Gigantomachia arriving on the scene, we finally get the dark second half of the episode that shows Shigaraki’s backstory.
We see his life with his family, and how his father, Kotaru, Nana Shimura’s son, was ruthless in his hatred of heroes for his mother abandoning him to fight All For One, to the point that he abused Tenko whenever he tried to play hero.
This complicated matters when Tenko’s sister, Hana, showed him a picture of their grandmother, inspiring Tenko to be a hero further, only for her to put all the blame on him when she got found out, resulting in more abuse directed at Tenko from Kotaro.
It is at this unfortunate time of high stress that Shigaraki’s Quirk activates while he is hugging the family dog for comfort outside.
This decays the pup and, wow, is it a lot more brutal than I thought it would be.
Yes, there is some censorship when the dog sadly crumbles, but the aftermath is on full bloody display, with chunks lying strewn around a puddle of red.
The horror only grows when Hana comes outside and flees in terror upon seeing what has happened.
Thinking a villain is attacking, Tenko goes to grab her, only for her to decay into a disgusting bloody puddle of human chunks as well.
The shots of Tenko tearing at his face after this, while his hair turns white, are also particularily disturbing.
Now beginning to understand what is happening, Tenko next unleashes his new power on his mother and grandparents for not helping him, causing his mother to die as she falls to pieces trying to reach out and hold her son.
Imagine being Kotaro: You have just read a letter from the mother who abandoned you, and this letter has made you decide to try and be a better parent, only to go outside and see that your son’s new power has gruesomely killed your entire family.
The narration from Nana that she hopes Kotaro lives a happy life makes for a grim overlap to this scene, made even grimmer by Tenko’s subsequent murder of his father.
When Kotaro tries to defend himself from his own son’s attacks, giving him one of his singature scars even though he still pleads for help, Tenko snaps entirely, giving into his murderous impluses completley.
Slamming his hand onto his father’s face, Shigaraki kills him, a disgusting look of pleasure matching his innner thoughts as the itch that was plaguing him for so long finally disipates, bringing a horrifying end to the episode.
This dark reveal of Shigaraki’s past was a fantastic adaptation of the manga.
Everything clicked from the animation, to the voice acting, to the music, bringing the darkest moment of My Hero Academia to terrifying life.
I just wish the first half of the episode was this good.
Still, “Tenko Shimura: Origin” is a great episode for its second half alone, and I do have high hopes for the next one, considering that it will continue to adapt Shigaraki’s backstory and it appears that Studio Bones is willing to put much of their resources into that.

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Twenty-Two, Sadman’s Parade Review: I am Pleasantly Surprised.

In my review for the previous episode of My Hero Academia I said that I would be pleasantly surprised to see Episdoe Twenty-Two of Season Five, “Sadman’s Parade,” adapt the manga in a way that does it justice. 
Well, thankfully, I was indeed pleasantly surprised because “Sadman’s Parade” is a very well done depiction of the chapters it adapts, bringing Twice’s development and the beginning of the fight with Redestro to the screen in various exciting scenes. 
The episode picks up from where “Revival Party” left off, with Toga about to be killed by clones of Twice created by one of the leading members of the Meta Liberation Army, Skeptic. 
Having been unmasked, Twice is undergoing a mental breakdown, horrified because he thinks he is seeing himself trying to kill Toga, and this causes him to recall his past. 
We already knew from previous flashbacks that Twice used his Double Quirk to create clones of himself so he could have friends, only for them to all declare they were the real one and kill each other, making Jin himself wonder if he was the real one at all or just another double. 
This lead to him developing a split personality and eventually joining the Legaue of Villains as Twice. 
However, in this episode we get even more great details. 
We see how, before he resorted to using his doubles for friends, he accidentally hit someone with his bike because they ran out in front of him. 
While not entirely his fault, the man he hit unfotunately had connections to Twice’s workplace, causing his boss to assault and fire him, eventually pushing Twice into his life of crime with his doubles until they caused his mental breakdown.
This is where his saviour, Giran, came in. 
The information broker brought Twice into the League, giving him the family he never had, and it is this motivation for his newfound family that gets Twice moving to save Toga, only for Skeptic’s puppets to break both his arms. 
This was a bad move on Skeptic’s part though because the pain causes Twice to realize that he really is the original Jin Babaigawarwa because he has not melted away like one of his doubles would.
It is this relization, which allows him to unlock the full potential of his quirk, like Toga did last episode, unleashing inifinte doubles in his new ultimate move, the titular Sadman’s Parade, to fight off the Liberation Army, having overcome his trauma. 
“Learn to fear my Quirk,” indeed. 
The animation for Sadman’s Parade is actually quite good, bringing this powerful moment home. 
Before watching the episode, I was afraid that this moment would be composed of entirely still images but there was a fair amount of animation to these infinite Twices. 
Another piece of animation which I was pleased with was the Dabi fight with Geten. 
Like the evolution of Twice’s Quirk, Dabi’s battle with the ice user is quite well animated. 
It also leads to the revelation that Dabi’s own flames eat away at him, meaning that the scars he has across his face and body are likely self inflicted. 
Before this, we also get a closer look at the Meta Libertation Army’s ideology through Geten, showing how deporable they are. 
Geten says that the world they strive to create is one where only those with strong Quirks can prosper above all. 
Kind of creepy to think about what would have happened to Deku if he had remained Quirkless and such a world had come about. 
Dabi seems to share the sentiment of this world view being a terrible idea, calling it a sad ideology and the two begin to fight again.
While this is happening, Shigaraki and Spinner push forward with the help of the army of Twices, only for one double to reach the tower first, confronting Redestro with a double version of the League.
It is a shame that Redestro is much too powerful, laying waste to all of the doubles, with the exception of one Twice clone who runs to Giran’s side, tearfully saying he has nothing to apologise for. 
This is interrupted when the double version of Shigaraki is revealed to have survived, attacking Redestro in a well animated fight scene, where Redestro reveals the origins of Destro and the Liberation Army. 
It is revealed that the term Quirk came from a mother who begged a prejudice crowd to accept her son’s “Quirk”, only for the crowd to kill her. 
Her child was the original Destro, Redestro’s father, and now Redestro believes he has inherited his will, which should allow him to defeat Shigaraki.
This seems to be the case, until the real Shigaraki shows up at the bottom of the tower and disintergrates it with a mere touch. 
As Redestro emerges from the rubble, his Quirk fully acitivated, Shigaraki recognizes him as the boss of the Liberation Army because his strength allowed him to surive the fall, ending the episode. 
On another note, I was a bit disappointed to see Shigaraki not mention that he recognized Redestro from the Detnerat commericals, like in the manga, but Redestro’s introduction was cut so it makes sense why this line was removed. 
In any case, next episode looks to be a great one, what with Gigantomachia now approaching, since the Dr woke him up early this episode, and Shigaraki’s full backstory fast approaching. 
I hope we get this backstory adapted brilliantly in all of its horrific glory because, if it is, it could be one of My Hero Academia’s best episodes.  

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.

My Hero Academia, Chapter 322, Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight Review: The Bakugo Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For.

I can remember beginning to read the My Hero Academia manga right after I finished Season Three, however, I have reviewed very few chapters since then.
This was because, with a very frequent release schedule, I was concerned focusing on it could put other reviews I had planned on the backburner.
So, I decided to only review chapters that really impacted with me.
One of these was Chapter 290, “Dabi’s Dance”, which is currently my favourite chapter of the manga and was so good it had me reviewing its follow up chapters for a few weeks until I stopped again.
Well, I just read another top ten My Hero Academia chapter, so I just had to review this one, which is Chapter 322, “Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight.”
The reason this chapter is so amazing is because of how it masterfully delivers a scene that Bakugo fans have been waiting years to see: his apology to Izuku.
Back when I watched the first season of My Hero Academia, I could not understand why so many people liked Bakugo.
I certainly understood his character and why he was so mean to Izuku but it in no way made him a likeable character.
However, as the series went on, I began to slowly realize why people loved Bakugo’s character and honestly I came to feel the same way as I watched him progress, realizing his own weaknesses and beginning to regret his past actions.
His breakdown in front of Izuku at the end of Season Three, showing how he blamed himself for All Might losing his power, really floored me the first time I watched it because I had no idea Bakugo was suffering internally like that.
As I read the manga, I continued to watch him grow as a character, liking his development more and more, especially the moment where he recreated Izuku saving him at the beginning of the story, with his body moving on its own to save him in the War Arc.
Well, in Chapter 322 we finally get the culmination of Bakugo’s character arc, which was all building up to this moment.
As the fight between Izuku and Class 1-A winds down, Bakugo explains to Deku why he saved him during the War Arc, following this up by explaining his horrible actions at the beginning of the story, how he came to realize his own weaknesses and how the time has finally come to tell “Izuku” his truth.
And yes, he does actually call Izuku by his real name instead of Deku, the name Bakugo has used to degrade him throughout the series.
He follows this up by finally apologizing in a fantastic panel, even bowing slightly during his apology.
This, right here, is already one of My Hero Academia’s best moments.
It’s honestly baffling and kind of concerning how some people are against Bakugo apologizing to Izuku because they saw themselves in him when he was unrepentant.
Relating to a remorseless bully who doesn’t change… okay?
Thank goodness this is not what Bakugo’s character is actually like.
Not only is his apology to Izuku the culmination of his character arc up until this point, but it is also beautifully highlighted by Kohei Horikoshi how far both Bakugo and Izuku have come to get to this point.
As Bakugo prepares for his apology, explaining his actions and how he has changed to Izuku, the two symbolically change appearance throughout the panels.
First, we them as kindergarten students, then middle-schoolers, then in their UA uniforms, and finally their hero costumes.
Along with this, Izuku’s expression also changes across the panels, being as dead-eyed as Shigaraki before Bakugo brings him back to himself.
All of this comes togethor to create what is, again, one of My Hero Academia’s best scenes.
It is not the only moving moment in the chapter, though, because there are multiple parts like this throughout, like at the beginning when Mina tells Izuku to come back to UA because she cannot stand the thought of losing anyone else, obviously calling back to Midnight’s death.
Then there’s Kirishima calling back to Izuku saving Bakugo, Bakugo catching Izuku when he falls, and the final scene, where it looks like Uraraka is about to stand up for Izuku.
This scene happens when Class 1-A brings the unconcious Deku back to UA and are met by Thirteen, who we see unmasked for the first time.
What is more surprising than this, especially so for Izuku, is the state of U.A.
With its giant wall constructed to keep citizens safe, it looks a lot like Tartarus prison once did.
Let’s hope it’s even more secure than that was because, if it’s not, then we’re going to be in for a world of hurt once All For One attacks.
The citizens taking refuge at UA are just as concerned about this.
When they recognize Izuku as the one Shigaraki was after, they demand he leave for their own saftey, so Shigaraki will not attack.
Izuku is about to do so when Uraraka grabs his hand and assures him it will be okay.
She thinks about how Ida and Bakugo started to bring Izuku back, and now it might just be her turn because she again wonders who will will protect the heroes when they need it, as she appears to step towards the angered crowd.
I hope this means next chapter we will see Uraraka speak up for Izuku and convince the crowd to allow him inside.
After all, Bakugo and Ida both got their big moments in bringing Izuku back to UA and now I think it is Uraraka’s turn.
In any case, “Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight”, along with being a mouthful of a title, is one of My Hero Academia’s best chapters.
It has a lot of great moments but Bakugo’s apology scene just steals the show.
I wonder how his character will continue to grow from here?

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Ten, That Which is Inherited Review: The Controversial Twist.

4 and a half stars
The events of Episode Ten from Season Five of My Hero Academia are ones I have been interested to see adapted in the anime for a while.
My reason for this is that not only was I excited to see the big twist play out, but I was also curious to see what the fan reaction would be.
The reveal that One For All would give Deku multiple Quirks was a controversial one when it happened in the manga because many thought it would make him too overpowered and lessen the stakes.
Personally, I think it has been handled great so far in the manga, although I won’t be saying anything more about the source material beyond that.
It also seems that the anime only reaction has been mostly positive as well, which is good to see, with fans seemingly open to see where this goes, even if they have concerns about it, which, to be fair, are natural.
As for the episode itself, “That Which is Inherited”, directed by Ikurō Satō, it is the best episode of Season Five so far and gives new life to this arc, along with the previous two episodes, which were also pretty great.
Before those episodes, the arc had been a bit drawn out, with the anime making things longer than it should have been by adding various recaps to things we did not need them for.
“That Which is Inherited” does prove the importance of this arc, though, because the big reveal is clearly one of the most important moments in My Hero Academia, being one that shapes the direction the story is going.
The episode begins in a rather creepy fashion, opening up at Tartarus Prison where All For One is being held.
The king of all supervillains is under constant surveillance in his prison cell and the guards express concern at his movement in his cell along with the movements of his subordinates in the League of Villains who are still at large.
It is at this moment where the creepy factor comes in, as All For One is revealed to have heard them talking and aplogises for making them nervous, before saying he can hear his brother’s voice, which makes sense considering how One For All’s true potential is about to be activated.
This scene is followed up with even more hints at One For All’s unlocking, as All Might recieves a call from Gran Torino about something his predecessor and mentor, Nana, told the elderly hero.
She said to him once that she dreamed of a man in shadow telling her, “the time has not yet come.”
From here, the episode goes into the hyped up final fight between Deku and Monoma’s team.
We see the moments before this fight, as Monoma has a talk with Shinso about how they are similar, since both were told they couldn’t be heroes because of their Quirks.
This heart to heart actually does a good job of building up Monoma as a character, which is good for him because I usually find him to be incredibly annoying, what with his constant, annoying shouting about how better his class is than 1-A’s.
We also get a good bit of foreshadowing here for the event that will unintentionally unlock One For All, as Monoma asks Shinso how he got Deku to talk so he could brainwash him during the sports festival.
Shinso says he insulted his classmate and the look on Monoma’s face just screams that he now has a plan to use his Copy Quirk to brainwash Deku.
With this plan now set, so begins the attack on Deku’s team by Monoma and Shinso’s group.
We also get an introduction to the other members of their team but they’re not important so I won’t go into their Quirks.
What really matters is the fight between Deku and Monoma, as Monoma sets his plan to brainwash Deku into motion by insulting Bakugo, saying his actions brought down the symbol of peace.
This turns out to not be the best plan, though, because it pushes Deku’s buttons enough that it unlocks One For All’s potential, and the Black Whip Quirk explodes from Deku’s hand.
The way this scene is animated and edited is stellar, with the sound cutting out completley for a bit, followed by All Might’s horrified face as Nana’s words ring in his head.
With Black Whip going crazy and Deku desperately trying to control it, the music and the reactions of the characters and are particuarly great.
I really liked the moment when Deku bursts through a wall and we get to see Shinso’s shocked reaction.
Even though we can’t see his mouth, it’s clear he is terrified by what’s happening.
Now, with Deku unable to control this new Quirk, who should come in to save him?
None other than Uraraka, as she jumps up and grabs a hold of Deku in an effort to calm him.
We then get more of an exploration of her backstory, as we see that along with her wanting to become a hero to help her parents financially, she also became one because she loved helping people and making them happy, building into the present where we see her help Deku.
There is also a great line in this scene, when Uraraka wonders, “who protects the heroes when they’re hurting.”
Much like Monoma, I am glad we got some Uraraka spotlight this episode.
It’s pretty clear that My Hero Academia is a show where the male characters get a lot more spotlight than the female ones.
Not to say that the content the female characters get is bad, far from it, but it is far less frequent to get character development  and important scenes for the girls in My Hero Academia, so it was nice to see Uraraka finally get some of the spotlight in this episode.
That said, don’t expect her to have much more importance after this moment, unfortunately.
Well, at least the content we get from her here is pretty good, as she calls for Shinso to save Deku by brainwashing him, which succeeds, propelling Deku into One For All to talk with a Vestige.
This past user of One For All informs Deku that the Black Whip power he used is actually his Quirk and soon Deku will inherit six others, as One For All has finally reached the singularity point mentioned in the season premiere.
Not only this but these Quirks are much stronger than they were originally because they have been cultivated by One For All over the years.
Given how strong this will make Deku when he activates all six, you can see why it would make plenty of readers concerned when it was revealed in the manga.
If used wrong by Horikoshi, this power up could completley break the power scaling of the series.
Again, though, I do think that the way it is used in the future of the story is well done, so I advise those of you who have doubts to continue watching, before making your own judgements on this.
Maybe you will come to like this twist and its impact on the story, like I do.
Anyway, following this reveal, Deku awakens from Shinso’s brainwashing and the fight continues, with Deku and Uraraka having each other’s back and Aizawa deciding to allow the match to continue, bringing the episode to a close.
All in all, “That Which is Inherited” is the best episode of Season Five so far.
It adapts the twist of One For All’s upgrade really well and portrays the initial horror of Black Whip activating greatly.
There are even some good comedic moments, like one good gag with Jiro.
The twist may be controversial for some but I hope they come to like this twist and its impact on the story as the anime goes on.

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode Two, Vestiges Review: A Look Into the Past.

4 stars
After the filler first episode of My Hero Academia Season Five, I’m sure many people were excited to see what the outcome would be of Dabi’s first meeting with Endeavor. 
Well, we we got the answer to that in the second episode, “Vestiges”, directed by Shōji Ikeno, and I have to say that I’m quite impressed with how they managed to temper expectations but still make it satisfying. 
Before seeing the end of Season Four, I was sure that Dabi’s arrival was going to be the big cliffhanger to get viewers excited for Season Five. 
However, instead the episode cut right before his arrival, instead leaving it for the end of last week’s episode. 
Not only this but they also showed that the fight would not end too badly for Endeavor, given that they showed him alive in the hostpital, before cutting to the cliffhanger of Hawks meeting with Dabi. 
This all allowed viewers to temper their expectations, going in not expecting a big fight, which would leave them satisfied with the outcome, instead of disappointed when they didn’t get what could have been hyped up for ratings. 
In any case, we get to see Dabi and Endeavor’s first meeting in the opening of “Vestiges” with the villain confronting the wounded hero, only to be interrupted by the bunny hero Mirko.
This forces Dabi to retreat using the vomit sludge that was seen all the way back in Season Three.
He does get one last jab in at Endeavor, though, telling him not to die on him and calling him by his full name. 
Yeah, dramatically calling people by their full names is kind of Dabi’s thing. 
He did it with Shoto and now he’s doing it with Endeavor. 
After this brief confrontation, we get the moment teased in last week’s cliffhanger, Hawks meeting with Dabi. 
Turns out that Hawks is actually a double agent working under the orders of the Hero Commission, acting like he is on the side of the League of Villains to get more intel on them. 
Dabi is still naturally suspicious of Hawks so refuses to allow him to meet Shigaraki. 
As the he departs, Dabi recalls the Pro-Hero Snatch, who he murdered during the Overhaul Arc, before saying that he thought so much about those left behind that it drove him insane. 
He also appears to be crying blood when he says this. 
Quite curious. 
Cutting back to Endeavor, we get a family meeting fueled by tension as he begins what will undoubtedly be a slow process in making amends with his children for what he did to them. 
Fuyumi seems entirely willingly to forgive her father but Shoto and especially Natsuo are less certain. 
Shoto gets a good dig in when he brings up Endeavor’s scar, forcing his father to look at his own son’s scar, which he inadvertantly gave him through pushing Rei into a mental breakdown. 
Natsuo is far more uprfront in his anger, calling Endeavor out for neglecting them and keeping them all seperated from Shoto. 
Of all the Todoroki siblings, Natsuo will definitley be the least likely to ever forgive their father. 
Endeavor has certainly changed for the better, though, refusing to ask for forgiveness because he only wants to atone for all he has done. 
The episode then switches perspectives from our slowly reforming hero to the up-and-coming hero Deku, who experiences the titular vestiges of One For All in a dream. 
In this dream, he experiences what lead to the creation of the One For All Quirk. 
As All For One rose to power, removing Quriks from those who saw it as a curse and gifting them to those who had none, his younger brother stood against him.
Wanting to bend his brother to his will as well, All For One forced a Quirk on him, unintentionally creating his arch nemesis, One For All. 
How ironic. 
The scene where One For All is created is especially good, as the first holder uses an argument about a comic book they both read where a demon king rises to undermine All For One’s point of view. 
The first holder notes how All For One only read to volume three and, at the end of the story, a hero saves the day because the bad guy never wins. 
Before the dream ends, the first user of One For All finally talks with Deku, informing him that they are past the singularity point, causing Deku to wake up and shatter his window, which was the cliffhanger for the post credits scene of Season Four.
So, now we’ve finally caught up on all the events teased in the Season Four finale and are left with more questions, like Dabi’s motives and the supposed singularity point the first holder mentions. 
It’ll be interesting to see how anime only viewers react to what these answers are, both in this season and further down the line. 
Overall, “Vestiges” is a solid episode of My Hero Academia that will build nicely into the events of the next story arc. 

My Hero Academia, Season Five, Episode One, All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A Review: A Much Anticipated Ending.

3 and a half stars
Well, My Hero Academia has finally returned with its fifth season and it began just like last season’s premiere, with a filler episode, albeit a better one.
I’m not the kind of person who usually enjoys filler so I was not eagerily anticipating the first episode, “All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A”, because I thought every scene would be kind of meaningless in the long run.
While this is mostly true, with none of the filler scenes in this episode seeimingly having any importance to the story, the ending did surprise me with a scene I thought we would be getting next episode that I had been looking forward to for a long time.
Not only this but the filler content is actually pretty funny.
Directed by Tsuyoshi Tobita, the episode follows Class 1-A as they go through a hero training course, in which they have to beat the fake villains, Tamaki and Nejire, and rescue the fake civilian, Mirio.
It is Tamaki and Mirio who bring the biggest laughs here with Nejire, as per usual unfortunately, falling into the background.
Mirio is absolutley hilarious as the clumsy civilian who constantly needs to be saved and Tamaki is just as funny as the villain who just wants to go home.
What isn’t as enjoyable is the show once again going over who all the characters are and what quirks they have.
We’ve been watching this show for five seasons, almost all of us know who these people are and, even if we don’t, we still remember the important characters the story focuses on.
We don’t need to hear all of this info that we’ve had five seasons to digest.
It just gets tiring.
At least this filler content has a funny ending, with Bakugo going insane and trying to blow up Tamaki, who just wishes that he had chosen to go home.
Bakugo really needs to go through an anger management program before he becomes a hero.
The shot of the dazed Class 1-A students stumbling through the dust caused by Bakugo’s explosion before collapsing, including Deku with some funny looking hair, gets another laugh.
When looking at the filler content alone, I would say that the Season Five premiere has about the same ranking as the Season Four premiere for me.
Both are filler episodes with some funny moments but overall they don’t add anything to the story and mostly feel like a waste of time.
At least, I would have said this about “All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A” if it hadn’t been for the ending, where Dabi finally confronts Endeavor.
This is a scene that I’ve been wanting to see for a while and I thought we were going to get it next episode, when I learned that this episode would be filler.
So, imagine my surprise when it turned up as a post-credits scene.
Not only this, but the cliffhanger of Dabi meeting up with Hawks is also expertly placed to get anime only viewers asking questions.
The music during this post-credits scene is also top notch.
Although, there is a slight animation error because Dabi’s ears are not scarred when he goes to confront Endeavor, when they have been scarred in every scene he has previously been in.
It did take a second viewing for me to catch this, though, so it’s not a big deal and I think they’ll fix it later, maybe for the Blu-Ray.
Overall, with the unexpected scenes of Dabi confronting Endeavor and the Hawks cliffhanger, I would say “All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A” is elivated from an average episode to a good one that does a nice job of building up to the next episode.

My Hero Academia Chapter 292, Threads of Hope Review: The Return of POWER!

4 stars
After Chapter 291 of My Hero Academia, I thought that the central focus would be on Best Jeanist’s return going forward.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but another character looks set to take that spotlight away with one triumphant cry, “POWER!”
Before we get to that epic cliffhanger though, Chapter 292, “Threads of Hope” gives us more great action scenes with Best Jeanist coming in to trap Gigantomachia and the League, and the beginning of a battle between Shouto and his not-so-dear brother, Dabi.
Starting with Best Jeanist, the chapter opens with him being disgusted by Dabi airing the “dirty laundry” of his father’s abuse to destroy hero society.
I saw a lot of people taking this moment out of context, saying that Beast Jeanist didn’t have a problem with Endeavor abusing his family, when that’s not at all what he was saying.
What Best Jeanist actually means here is that he is disgusted with Dabi using that information for a specific goal in undermining a system he sees as protecting people and timing it to release when hundreds, if not thousands, of people are dead.
Best Jeanist vows to stop Dabi’s plan and he begins by trapping Gigantomachia, to Bakugo’s joy.
However, Jeanist’s threads are not quite strong enough to survive Dabi’s flames because he easily melts them and sends a blast towards Nejire, knocking her to the ground.
Looks like her screentime is getting cut again, which is a shame.
What follows is a battle between the two long lost brothers as Dabi tries his hardest to kill Shouto.
The panels of Dabi’s maniacal grin with scorch marks beginning to line his face are particularly disturbing, made all the worse by him not caring about how Natsuo was nearly killed by Ending, who he sent after Endeavor.
Dabi saying it was a shame Natsuo wasn’t killed because that would’ve made Endeavor suffer basically proves that he is a full on psychopath, with no sympathy for anyone, which he again confirms by saying he’s, “not big on “feelings” anymore.”
Following this tragic moment, we get an epic one with the chapter’s cliffhanger.
As Deku notices a group of Nomu heading for Beast Jeanist, who is struggling to contain Gigantomachia and still not back to full strength after his injury, however, Deku is too injured to back him up.
Just as all seems lost, and Deku begs himself not to go back to being the useless Deku who couldn’t save anyone, a familiar face permeates up from the ground.
With the battle cry of, “POWER!”, Miro Togata, AKA Lemillion, rises to attack the Nomu, and the fans all collectively lose their minds.
This was an incredibly epic moment and well built up in the chapter, with Mirio apparently saving Burnin from the Nomu earlier.
However, I do have a bit of an issue with it because I don’t think it was built up all that well outside of the chapter.
Sure, we saw Eri training her powers in the previous arc, but there wasn’t really much this arc to suggest Miro would be getting his powers back.
Also, while I do love Eri as a character, to the point that I included her in my Top 10 My Hero Academia Characters list, I do hope that her power doesn’t just go around undoing all of the other character’s injuries.
For example, her just magically returning Aizawa’s leg or repairing the hole in Gran Torino’s stomach.
That said, I do trust Horikoshi not to make Eri an automatic fix it button, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Overall, “Threads of Fate” is another great My Hero Academia, in an absolutely fantastic arc that has proven to be quite unpredictable.
You never know what twist Kohei Horikoshi might drop next.