- Titles: Boku no Hero Academia 5, BNHA 5, MHA 5
- Genre: Action, adventure, superpowers, shonen
- Episodes: 25
- Studio: bones
The weight of what it means to be a hero is finally starting to bear down on the kids of Class 1-A. The internships haven’t been easy for all and there’s obvious trouble brewing out in the world. Endeavour is doing his best to fill the void left by All-Might but it takes time and that is time that could cost everyone dearly as the League of Villains is also making its move. But for now, the kids are still students, and they still have a lot to learn. For instance how to properly work together in any circumstance. Oh and Baku and Todoroki still need to get their license but that shouldn’t be too hard for those two. Right?
I know that enjoying My Hero Academia is not terribly fashionable right now with my peers. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from the few social media posts I’ve come across. But I’m going to do my best not to take that into consideration and give you my honest opinion of season 5 of the mammoth shonen.
As far as production goes, I can’t say I’ve noticed any change at all. And that’s good because I’ve always been impressed by the production. I tend to really like the look of anime created by bones in general and I was always very fond of the colour palette and backgrounds in MHA. That remains.
The animation is of course stellar, which is absolutely crucial in a series that hinges so much on action.
One thing I don,t think I have mentioned in past seasons is the voice acting. It’s good, don,t get me wrong. But it’s also very earnest which is not always my preferred delivery style. But this season had a standout for me. He’s a rather minor character that is introduced late in the season: Geten. I absolutely loved the voice acting on this character. In fact, I wrote it down 3 times in my notes and I’m not sure he actually speaks in 3 episodes. I looked it up, his voice actor is Seiichirou Yamashita, I’ll try to look out for his work more in the future!
Story & Characters
Like I said, I’m going to try not to let outside opinions influence my own. And if I’m being completely honest, I honestly think this might have been the best season of My Hero Academia ever. For me, it’s a bit of a toss-up between this one and season 3 but I think the latter half of this one just edges it out. Let me try to highlight what I enjoyed so much.
I figure there are basically 4 main plot threads running throughout the season. As far as the main cast goes, the first act is a sort of competition between class 1-A and 1-B with Shinsou being thrown in the mix.
I happen to enjoy tournament arcs. They are high-action but low stakes so I don’t have to worry too much about crying my eyes out at some point. And that’s exactly what I got. Every episode was fun, we got the thrill of a battle but not the agony of defeat. I also like the students of class 1-B, we really don,t get to see them enough. And I kind of love Shinsou. Basically, these episodes were just pure fun.
Secondly, we had to tie up loose ends and have Todoroki and Bakugo complete their provisional hero licenses. I’m a pretty basic b when it comes down to it. And I like these two. I particularly like their extreme odd couple dynamic. I thought I might get a bit annoyed at Bakugo’s constant … emotional explosions… but they actually calmed him down quite a bit this season and Todoroki turns out to be a fantastic foil. These were basically comedic relief episodes, so you know I like that but I found the conclusion of this arc surprisingly satisfying and I was way more happy to see these two succeed than I thought I would have been.
Through all these events, you have Endeavour trying to become a better person and a worthy number 1 hero and father, and Hawks bringing up the tension quite a bit by going undercover in the league.
Despite myself, I started liking Endeavourt a bit. I’m still mad that the show is trying to redeem his character. Very mad that it seems to be working on me. But I respect the fact that they actually didn’t brush his horrible past under the rug. The season brings up his past and present flaws very often and doesn’t let us forget that he still has a lot to atone for. I think the weak point here is that I don’t really know why Endeavour’s conscience caught up with him now. That does bother me and it makes his personal character journey less engaging for me.
Which sucks because they are doing a really good job at developing the character and I just wish I could lose myself in the story more.
As for the Hawks side. I hardly know the guy. I’m not a fangirl but I also don,t dislike the character. Every time he was on screen until the very last episode, I felt my entire body tensing up with stress. Those scenes were so incredibly well done.
But here is the unexpected part. The last third or so of the season completely switches gear and has us concentrate on the villains. For episodes on end, we don’t even see what the main cast is up to, instead, we’re following Shigaraki and his crew instead. We even got a few origin stories for the villains.
This was a brilliant move. It wasn’t simply an episode thrown in to flesh out the baddies a bit. By the end of it, it feels like season 5 was really Shigaraki’s season and not Deku’s. It both humanized all those antagonists we’ve been seeing for years and oddly made them more frightening in that humanity. I’ve rarely seen this in a fighting shonen.
It paints Tomura Shigaraki as a very different sort of evil from All for One. They share a sort of ambition but they’re simply not the same at their core. This means that a very different type of hero will be needed to defeat him. The particular insistence on teamwork and developing secondary and support skills throughout the season are certainly going to come into play in the future.
The season might not have had the emotional knockouts of All-Might’s last fight or the combination of losing Nighteye and in a way Lemillion last season, but it was consistently entertaining and had a great mix of comedy, tension and build up. Not to mention non-stop action. It’s a very strong showing for the series in general and I will definitely be watching more even though I’.m already a little stressed out about it.
Actually, this post isn’t doing it justice. Technically, it is a correct representation of the season but as I was going through my screencaps to add in some images I realized that I pretty much liked every single episode. Seeing Eraserhead’s past which managed to explain without exposition both his personal rigid views on heroism and expose a lot of the issues with the hero system in the first place. Watching Deku, Baku and All-Might try to figure out the mystery of the previous quirk holders with all their vastly different personalities crashing into each other. Discovering all the new quirks of Class 1-B students. Every single week I had something to enjoy and that is a rare gift!
You might like this anime if:
You liked MHA in general or just enjoy action shonen.
My favourite character:
Oh wow, this is really difficult. Not only is there a metric ton of them this season, but they went in for the character development… I mean I was very psyched to see Shinsou so let’s go with that.
- Every time Hawks looses a feather – take a sip
- Every time there’s a Flashback to a previous season – take a sip
- Every time there’s visual emphasis on hands – fist pump
- Every time we see All-Might’s master – raise your glass
- Every time we meet a new class 1B student – take a sip
- Every time Tokoyami is being a big chuuni – take a sip
- Every time the teachers worry – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentons “vestige” – take a sip
- Every time there’s a mention of All for One – boooooo
- Every time Eraserhead is nicer than he looks – awwww
- Every time a team shares a meal – get a snack
- Every time Hawks goes undercover – take a sip, you’ll need it
- Every time a skill evolves – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.