Anime, Shows

MHA Season 5 is a Disappointment

Anime Review (with spoilers):

My Hero Academia Season 5

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Warning! Spoilers Below!

Overview

Pros

  • Comedic beginning
  • Creative quirks
  • Character design is interesting
  • We get to see more of class 1-B
  • Different winter outfits
  • Characters have developed
  • Villain backstories revealed
  • Backstory for the original wielder of One-for-All
  • Attractive intro and outro
  • Good music
  • Original art style

Cons

  • For most of the episodes, almost nothing of importance happens
  • Hawks would have been better as a real villain
  • The new villains that were introduced were uninteresting and, while formidable, were not easy to take seriously
  • They try to make Endeavor a character to sympathize with and fail
  • The amount of recap and flashback was obnoxious
  • Midnight is creepy, Mineta is the usual perv
  • Aizawa is revealed to have only ever temporarily expelled students
  • Trauma dealt with lightly at one point

Review

My Hero Academia Season 5 was released in 2021. It is 25 episodes long, and was produced by Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki.

First I will talk about the intros and outros because I enjoyed those. I go over these first here because I love intros and outros in anime–I almost never skip them.

Image from Intro 1

The first intro is attractive and shows off many of the members of Class 1-A in their winter garb, warming up for battle. It shows glimpses of Shinso, a popular character from the Tournament Arc, revealing that he will be included in the season. The song in the intro is No. 1 by DISH.

Image from Outro 1

The first outro is really cool because it shows the heroes in their everyday clothes doing everyday tasks such as shopping at the outlets and a grocery store. It’s nice to see what the characters are like on their off days. I like how even the outros can add development to already interesting characters. The song is Ashiato by The Peggies.

Image from Intro 2

The second intro of the season uses bold colors and warm light to set the scene. The focus is on Midoriya, Todoroki, and Bakugo. Not the best intro but it has some good shots of the heroes and villains. The song is not my favorite of the season, but I grew to like it more. It is called Merry-Go-Round by Man with a Mission. Seeing the music video I can see why the song was chosen for the show.

The second outro does a lot in terms of animation, with water, reflections, and flight. It is aesthetically pleasing and the song is slow. The song is Uso Ja Nai by Soshi Sakiyama.

I actually liked the beginning of this season because it was funny and engaging. We get to see some of how the characters have grown. A mock emergency in which fake villains (Amajiki and Nejire) attack and endanger civilians is the training exercise the students are partaking in. Amajiki is hilarious because the poor guy just wants to go home. Mirio, still quirkless, plays the civilian and keeps intentionally getting himself into dangerous situations and needing rescued. It was nice to see them change up their costumes for the winter weather. It was a good start to the season. The only problem was most of the episodes were like this, feeling like the preliminaries before the real action started.

In the meantime Endeavor and Hawks are collaborating. They are not a great matchup since Hawks is so laidback and Endeavor is all stress and frustration. It doesn’t help that I do not like Endeavor in the least. You’ll see why later. I got excited when it seemed like Hawks may actually be a villain, because that would be unexpected and raise the stakes. But no, he is just infiltrating the villains. Figures. If they had the guts to turn a well-liked hero into a villain the season may have been more interesting.

Almost right away we get some backstory for the power of One-for-all and the original wielder. It was helpful to know but so slowly revealed and kind of what was expected that it didn’t interest me that much.

Seeing Class 1-A vs. Class 1-B battle each other was interesting but got old after awhile. The best parts were seeing Class 1-B’s quirks, that Shinso was involved, the battle between Kendo and Momo, the revelation of Midoriya’s new power, and Bakugo’s growth.

Class 1-B had some interesting quirks including gyration, traveling through darkness, making dangerous mushrooms grow, softening solids, etc. I appreciated that. The character design is also top-notch, although most of Class 1-B does not get much or any character development.

Shinso is one of my favorites. He is that character from back in the Tournament Arc with the purple hair and mind control powers. I was drawn to him because despite having a power most would consider better for a villain, he wants to be a hero. I love that Aizawa has taken him under his wing, where he seems to have thrived. He has Aizawa’s binding cloths and a new skill called Persona chords that allow him to mimic anyone’s voice. I love that he has so much in common with Aizawa including a love of cats. Additionally, he is even more formidable than he was before.

The battle between Kendo and Momo was satisfying because they are pretty equally matched. They make good rivals and both did the team battle really well. I was impressed. During that battle Tokoyami also showed off his new move which allows him to fly. He learned it during his internship with Hawks. Both sides fought so well and wholeheartedly that it was enjoyable to watch.

After the matchups with Class 1-A and 1-B, a whole lotta nothing important happens. Bakugo, Todoroki, and Midoriya have a short internship with Endeavor that is unsatisfying and anticlimactic. The new villains are formidable but fail to intimidate.

Maybe it’s the pointy nose, but he looks about as threatening as Dr. Doofenshmirtz from the kids show Phineas and Ferb most of the time.

I don’t like the way the girls barely get any screen time. Then when they do show them they give a stupid beach scene with bikinis. Cuz girls just wanna have fun….groan… They did too much in that episode with a beach day, plane crash, and drugs. But come on! The girls deserve better.

We get some awkward moments when Todoroki brings his friends home. Their home life is a mess. Endeavor screwed everything up in his family by being a terrible father. Then, when Natsu gets kidnapped by a villain obsessed with Endeavor, Endeavor hesitates to save him because he is afraid Natsu will hate him anymore. What type of parent does that? He is so worried about his own redemption and how he is viewed by his son that he fails to save his son’s life, and a bunch of interns have to do it for him. This is what convinced me that Endeavor really has not changed. He is as self-centered as he has always been, even if his parenting is not abusive anymore.

Another complaint I have with this season was that the amount of recaps and flashbacks was a pain. It felt like a good portion of the episode in each case was reminding you what happened in the previous episode. That seems completely unnecessary. Many people these days just binge shows so in that situation it would be even more obnoxious.

I hate that this season also revealed Aizawa as a big softie. He was always an edgier teacher and that was what made him likeable. But we learn that he alone among the teachers has the power to temporarily expel students. That is lame. It takes all the power out of a move like expulsion.

Mineta and Midnight are the usual creeps. Mineta will do anything in his power to touch a girl’s boobs, which is gross and just wrong. Midnight seems like that creepy teacher who has a thing for minors even though it doesn’t go anywhere. Ew…

Another thing I don’t like is that trauma is dealt with lightly for one character, Twice. He gets over his trauma after a single event, which seemed unlikely. Trauma is not something that is really there one moment gone the next. It heals gradually over time if at all.

The villain backstory of Toga and Shigaraki are fascinating.

Toga became an outcast and despised for her obsession with blood. She actually canonically only drinks the blood of people she loves. So she seems like a bisexual character. Madds Buckley actually made a really good song called “The Red Means I Love You” that sums up Toga really well. I posted it below. I fully recommend giving it a listen.

Shigaraki wanting to be a hero when he was young was so sad. I really felt for him. His father turned out so bad and was so horrible to him, physically violent. When he manifested his quirk and killed the dog I was horrified but it was what I expected. The fact that the hands on him are the hands of his family members is terrible but fitting. I especially felt bad for his kid sister. That his father’s first instinct was to strike him definitely made Shigaraki’s violent response self-defense and, while not justifiable, understandable.

I would recommend watching the season if you plan on watching the newest movie, but I would say it will be disappointing. Definitely for ages 13 and up.

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