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My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109 Review – Best In Show

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My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109 Review – Quick Summary

In My Hero Academia Season 5 episode 109, “Revival Party,” Tomura Shigaraki led the League of Villains into a Meta Liberation Army stronghold. Tomura had a plan to defeat his enemies, but it needs time. Unfortunately, Rikiya Yotsubashi/Re-Destro didn’t intend to give them any. Re-Destro’s attack was as overwhelming as it was swift. Against such odds, how can Himiko Toga, Jin Bubaigawara/Twice, Shuuichi Iguchi/Spinner, and a handful of others survive — much less prevail? And if it’s villain on villain action, which side should we root for?

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

Favorite Quote from My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109: Himiko Toka was not a fan of Chitose Kizuki!

Himiko was not in the mood to be interviewed! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Chitose Kizuki/Curious seemed like an interesting character! Too bad it seems she’s dead now… Though to be fair, she kind of asked for it!

She cornered Himiko Toga. Her tactics were sound. Ingenious, even. Curious used her skill, which let her convert anything she touched into a low-yield bomb, to turn a handful of heroes into bombs and send them against Himiko. Curious knew what Himiko would do — try to ingest the heroes’ blood to take on one of their forms and escape. Instead, the blood (and the heroes) exploded.

Curious saw herself as a journalist/interviewer. Curious made a big deal of using her fingers to frame Himiko in a fake camera shot and asking her if Himiko would give an exclusive of just how terrible her life had been.

“Will you do that interview with me?” Curious asked.

“Huh?” a battered Himiko said (05:21). With a professional level of disdain, she said, “No.” 

Misato Fukuen, Himiko’s voice actor, put an astonishing amount of personality and disdain into those two words!

Best in Show Moment for My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109: Himiko's Quirk put her on the edges of her society

At her core, Himiko wanted to be herself. It’s only partly her fault that she learned to express herself and her Quick in a damaging way. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Warning!

This episode hit on a topic that is so near and dear to my heart that I turned off the filters and said what I really think about it. You might want to skip this. I’m not kidding — I talk about how our society treats people deemed not “normal,” and I’m blunt about it.

If you don’t want to think about topics that most people in polite society shun, then there’re no hard feelings. I won’t mind if you skip this week.

On the other hand, what I’m saying means I really liked the episode. Not just any fiction can produce this kind of response!

Setup: Himiko’s Flashback

Himiko’s Parents Failed Her

Well, now the show has gone and done it. It presented a topic in just the right way to provoke a “dad” response. And not just the usual provocation that results in a “back away from my child or I will remove you from this world” kind of response. I’m talking about something that is almost as bad — and that can have implications that can affect someone for a lifetime.

It dealt with Himiko’s flashback. She had a meta ability. She drew power from blood. Apparently, the first time her parents became aware was when she brought the dead bird to them. I don’t think she caught and killed it. Have you ever tried to sneak up on a sparrow? So I think it is likely the bird had been injured. I also think it’s likely that her drinking its blood contributed to its death, if it wasn’t already dead.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109: As a child, Himiko had no idea her Quirk was unusual

Himiko was a child. She had no idea that using her Quick marked her as a social outcast. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

When her parents acted with revulsion, I wanted to wring their necks (figuratively, of course). What, you might (reasonably, I’ll grant) ask? Shouldn’t a parent react with shock and horror if they learn their child drinks blood? Well, sure, in our society. But in a society of meta abilities? In a society that gave us Shuuichi Iguchi/Spinner, who looks reptilian? Or Keigo Takami/Hawks, who has avian characteristics? 

No. Her parents failed her. They should have reached out to the Hero Association and gotten advice. Himiko should have received training to control and develop her abilities. Instead, she learned that her ability, something innate to who she was, was something socially reprehensible. 

Sound familiar?

Himiko’s Society Failed Her, Too

I’m beginning to think that MHA is trying to communicate more than I gave it credit for, and I had already given it a lot of credit. I’m beginning to think that it’s addressing something that has thoroughly pissed me off for decades. In both the world of Heroes and Villains, as well as in our own world, the entire concept of “normal” is used to punish and even kill people. 

If you’re a parent and your children fell into the “normal” range, you might not even be aware this problem exists. If you’re a parent of children whose personality exhibited traits outside of that “normal,” or if you yourself have such a personality, then you probably know what I mean.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109: Himiko showed remarkable strength and cunning

“Don’t get caught,” Himiko, in Ochako Uraraka/Uravity’s form thought. As an anime fan, you might have a passing acquaintance with this feeling. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Take a look at crime. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time, right? I used to think that way. Then I noticed something. I’ve seen individuals sentenced to prison for stealing bread or diapers for their family. I’ve seen CEOs make decisions that resulted in loss of trillions of dollars of economic value receive accolades and called be “captains of industry.” Instead of handcuffs, they earned golden parachutes.

Not only that, but I’ve seen children born with a sexual preference some think isn’t “normal” beaten to death. Until only recently, people with living with severe autism might end up institutionalized for life, where they might spend their time tied down to a bed and screaming. If you have a strong heart, research mental illness and criminality, even in the present. See what kind of treatment those with severe mental illness receive in prison. But be prepared to wonder just how the hell we call ourselves civilized. 

Because in moments like this, I certainly wonder.

Delivery: Himiko is Who Himiko Is

Have you ever raised someone with a mental illness, or some condition or behavior that others label as not “normal” — or worse? Seeing how Himiko’s parents treated her just set me off. But seeing what she became in spite of how she’d been treated? It’s both inspirational and horrible.

Curious tried to break her, but Himiko didn’t stop fighting. From my favorite quote above to the moment the fight got so bad her only options were level up or die, she fought. Her tenacity and inner strength were a real tribute to her character.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109: Curious thought she could use Himiko Toga. Curious was mistaken.

Curious did her best to break Himiko. Curious came up short. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

At the same time… Why did she have to be on the side of the Villains? Why did any of the Villains have to be social outcasts? Look at Twice. He’s suffering from a severe mental disorder. He should have received counseling, then training in the use of his power to help others — and not just others with cash or social standing. 

Yet, even as a Villain who behaved as a Villain (wow, Himiko killed a lot people in this episode!), as she lost consciousness, when pain and exhaustion and blood loss had reduced her mind to its most primitive level, her thoughts weren’t spiteful or angry or hateful.

“I’m a mess…” she thought (16:23). “Just like Izuku…”

She should never have been forced onto the path of Villainy. Her parents and society should have embraced her differentness and thrown themselves into helping her become who she really was. Despite all that, her last thoughts, at least as of now, were of Izuku Midoriya.

I’m going to go check to see if my kids need anything…

What did you think of Tomura’s power up? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel feel to let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 109 Review – Best In Show

    1. I know a lot of the manga fans have been disappointed, and I feel bad for them! Waiting to see favorite scenes animated, then not being able to see those scenes, has got to be a major letdown.

      But as an anime-only viewer, I’m enjoying this season a lot. This episode is probably the one that hit me the hardest, from an emotional perspective.

      1. The arc’s not over yet, just wait ’til you see what’s coming. Part of the reason I think this arc is so good is that it changes how you look at the rest of the series and makes you question so many things about the society that has been build up in MHA. It’s great writing.

  1. I feel compelled to say, even in a world full of quirks, consuming blood is still extremely unsettling, not to mention rare. And it’s even worse as presented in the world of MHA. Stain consumed blood and used it to paralyze his victims, rendering them helpless as he tortured, maimed, and possibly killed them (I forget, did they explicitly state that he killed heroes?). Now this girl consumes blood and shape-shifts, an inherently deceptive power, and there’s nothing wrong with this picture? Even without knowing that she can shape-shift, I’d say drinking blood is still quite rightfully unnerving. Heck, as evidenced by… I can’t remember his name, but he can basically compel others to follow his orders, which, again, even in a world full of quirks, he faced a good deal of mistrust which may not have been entirely fair but was still perfectly understandable, even justified.

    That’s not to say I’d have handled it exactly the way her parents did (I’m way behind in my MHA watching, so I don’t actually know how they handled it), but I’d certainly be disturbed. And let’s be honest, even if Japanese culture wasn’t prone to hiding anything that could embarrass the family (which it totally is, in spades), what help would they really be able to get from the Hero Association? “Hey, our daughter is not normal, what do we do?” “Sorry, we’re a little busy saving lives right now!” Or worse, “We’ll send someone like Endeavor or Curious to take a look.” (shudders!)

    And then… well, I am a huge believer in personal responsibility. That’s not to say that circumstances are always irrelevant, but whether one becomes a hero, a villain, or just a civilian is ultimately one’s own choice. The proof of that is the people who become a hero despite their terrible circumstances, and people who become villains despite more favorable circumstances. Most people just get by.

    1. “I’d say drinking blood is still quite rightfully unnerving.”

      I’d say most of the Quirks in MHA are unnerving, speaking as someone who is Quirkless! Honestly, I see no difference in levels of oddity between being able to produce huge sheets of ice on demand or ingesting blood to take on someone’s traits. In either case, my point is that personal squeamishness is not a sufficient cause to ruin a child’s life. At a certain point, a parent needs to have some courage.

      “what help would they really be able to get from the Hero Association? ”

      My working assumption, which I didn’t have time or space to expand on, is that the Hero Association would have a protocol for helping young children with Quirks that were difficult to control or were very powerful. Can’t have a kid throwing a tantrum and flattening a city block!

      And if the Hero Association doesn’t offer that service, someone has to in that world. My point is simply that the parents declared their child an abomination for having a Quirk. There is no evidence they searched for help. There is no evidence they tried to understand the characteristics of her Quirk. I find that morally reprehensible. I do not think kindly of parents who abandon their responsibilities.

      “And then… well, I am a huge believer in personal responsibility. ”

      I am too. That’s another reason I think Toga’s parents acted in a morally reprehensible way. I wish I could still believe that saying it all comes down to choice and pretending choices take place in a vacuum was a thing. More precisely: I wish I could still believe that everyone has the ability to make choices equally. Because then it’d be okay to look at anyone in dire circumstances and ignore their agony by saying, “Ha ha! You just suck at making choices!”

      The thing is, making a choice has pre-requisites. You must have a well-formed conscience. This is where Toga’s parents so thoroughly dropped the ball. They taught her that she is inherently evil because she has a Quirk they can’t understand. So right out of the gate, they compromised her ability to choose.

      Then society treated her as an outcast. When she should have been learning the intricacies of social interaction and the foundation for making good social choices, society said that because she had a Quirk they didn’t like, and that she wore an expression they found distasteful, she must be evil.

      In other words, both her parents and her society abused her.

      That abuse compromised her ability to make choices. But it didn’t destroy that ability. Even now, she makes choices to protect her friends. That’s a good thing. In previous episodes, she worried when Twice experienced an incident. She chose to look after her friend’s well-being. In spite of a world stacked against her, she’s making the best choices she can.

      Even in our society, villains are often considered so because they run afoul of laws that are inherently unjust. The example I used in the post is from real life: I have read several documented cases where an individual tried to steal a loaf of bread or Pampers diapers because they had lost their jobs, and they were sentenced to jail.

      They were sentenced to jail for trying to feed their family or keep their babies from disease — for a cost of under $20.00.

      Yet, the CEOs and others who were directly responsible for the 2008 market crash faced no consequences — despite being directly responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars. That money wasn’t just on paper. I know of retired people whose lives became significantly more difficult because of that theft.

      I guess another way to say what I’m trying to get across is this: I am all for personal responsibility. And the parents blew it.

  2. I like you take on this one. I grew up on the “different” side of life.

    Being different is never an easy thing. Unless you meet people who understand, your strengths may never be recognized as strengths and your weaknesses can doom you to 2nd class status.

    1. I grew up right in the middle of the two camps.

      Your comment reminds me of a quote misidentified as coming from Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

      Even if Einstein didn’t say it, the quote’s true.

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