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My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108 Review – Best In Show

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My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108 Review – Quick Summary

In My Hero Academia Season 5 episode 108, “My Villain Academia,” the story takes us back a few months to when Tomura Shigaraki and the League of Villains were introduced to the awesome power that All for One had left for them: Gigantomachia. The trouble was, Gigantomachia thought that Shigaraki was so weak he could not possibly be All for One’s successor. So, the gigantic villain attacked the entire League of Villains. Fortunately for them, a Doctor who had also been an ally of All for One, Daruma Ujiko (name made up on the spot to preserve anonymity), offered a deal: if they could defeat Gigantomachia, he would help them continue in All for One’s footsteps.

Unfortunately, Gigantomachia proved difficult to subdue. On top of that, the Meta Liberation Army, under the command of Re-Destro, decided the time was right to destroy the League of Villains to announce his faction’s ascendency. He seemed to have the technology and the foresight to make it happen. What will Shigaraki do? And how does an intra-villain conflict affect the world of Heroes?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108: tomura Shigaraki did not live up to Gigantomachia's expectations

With Gigantomachia’s despair-fueled fury leveled at him, Shigaraki seemed to have some trepidation about his chances. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

When I saw the title of this episode, I confess I had my doubts. I enjoy how the series tweaks the idea of “hero.” At the same time, I don’t want to like the villains too much. Though thinking about it a little more, I think my attitude is just out of date. I mean, this is MHA. Playing with assumptions is what it does. And does well!

In this episode, Shigaraki thought he was going to retrieve some artifact of power that All for One had left for him as All for One’s successor. What he found was an enraged Gigantomachia who didn’t think Shigaraki or his League of Villains were worthy. As the monster attacked, the Doctor’s voice came out of the radio that had been buried with the monster. The Doctor asked if Shigaraki was well.

“Sure,” he said with a touch of sarcasm (03:07). “but I might be mincemeat in a second.”

It’s nice to know that Shigaraki can maintain his sense of proportion under pressure.

Best in Show Moment for My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108: Himiko Toga did not like what she heard Shigaraki say

I don’t think Shigaraki is afraid of Toga. But he seems to respect her enough not to make her angry without sufficient cause. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Big Ideas and Plot Points

It’s tough for a series to distinguish itself within the superhero genre. On one side, you have the classics like the early incarnations of Superman, with utterly unambiguous good guys and bad guys. Emphasis on the “guys.” There were a few women superheroes, but especially early on, characters like Wonder Woman seemed to be the exception rather than the rule.

Putting issues of gender equality aside, the focus on clearly good and clearly bad characters has given way to other experiments. One of my favorite Pixar films, The Incredibles, looks at the interaction between heroes, civilians, and governments, though it maintains a relatively firm vision of keeping the good character good and the bad characters bad. The Boys attempts to reimagine superheroes in a realistic way, complete with corporate sponsorship and everything that entails. It’s so effective I find it depressing. It almost feels like watching the news. With capes.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108: Re-Destro's tactics were realistic in a dark way

A series has to be careful not to become oppressively realistic. MHA has avoided that so far, though this scene comes close. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Then we have MHA. On the surface, MHA seems to take a similar approach to The Boys, where characters are nuanced and motivations are sometimes clear and sometimes suspect. But MHA maintains the idea that at least starting out, heroes really want to do good. It’s through their interactions with the world that they sometimes become enamored of their own fame, similar to what we see in The Boys. But not all heroes take that route, and I find that mixture of characters to be even more realistic. 

Maybe it’s because I refuse to believe that all humans, when given a choice, will chose selfishness. No, there’s no maybe about it. I actively refuse to buy into that idea. Its unwillingness to admit that selfishness and outright evil will prevail is one of the reasons I like this series.

Delivery: The Little Things Matter, Too

However, no matter how cool your themes and ideas are, if your characters don’t support what’s happening scene to scene, then the series will fall flat. Fortunately, another thing I like about this series is its variety of strong, interesting characters. Generally speaking, the gender mix is also much improved over earlier periods, though as I mentioned in episode 104, I’d like to see a character like Shouto Todoroki among the cast of women. But, I still think the show represents progress.

This episode gave me a good example of how the characters are distinctive, interesting, and consistent. By consistent, I don’t mean that they’re unchanging. I mean that they act in ways that make sense for their character.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108: Even background character moments can make the world feel more real

Consistent character details deepen my appreciation of a fictional world — like Toga checking on Jin Bubaigawara.

Himiko Toga, for example, listened intently to Shigaraki as he disclosed his vision to destroy all life. When he finished his emotional and border-line deranged monologue, Toga stepped up, her fangs visible, and asked in a menacing voice (10:45), “Tomura, you’ve been thinking some dangerous things. Hey, are you even gonna get rid of the things I love?”

He spoke in a quiet voice, saying, “There’s always room for my comrades’ wishes.”

I love little moments like that. They reinforce the world and in so doing, reinforce the show’s themes and vision. The little things really do matter!

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2 thoughts on “My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 108 Review – Best In Show

  1. This episode was a good change of pace. This could foreshadow a Toga – Shigaraki split. You can’t destroy everything except the specific interests of one person. Everything is much too interconnected.

    1. A split, huh? Interesting! I don’t see Toga as particularly powerful in and of herself, but she’s woven a lot of strong relationships within the League of Villains. Alienating her means potentially alienating a lot of others, too.

      I really like the interpersonal dynamics in this show!

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