The Fall 2022 Preview Guide
My Hero Academia Season 6
How would you rate episode 114 of
My Hero Academia (TV 6) ?
Community score: 4.2
What is this?
This new season adapts the "Paranormal Liberation War" arc of Kōhei Horikoshi's original manga, which features an all-out war between heroes and villains.
How was the first episode?
While this may technically be the premiere episode of My Hero Academia's sixth season, that's more a coincidence than anything else. This small portion of the story was never designed to draw people in and keep them hooked for weeks to come. Rather, it's just another chapter in the ongoing story—and not a particularly captivating one at that.
The majority of this episode is simple groundwork. It shows where our young heroes are, why they are there, and what they're supposed to be doing. It also gives a bit of backstory explaining how the heroes got the information for this major, multi-pronged strike against the villains. From there we get to see the start of the operation as Endeavor and his team go after the man behind the Nomus—All for One's right hand mad scientist, Dr. Ujiko.
Now while the episode is more than a bit paint-by-numbers, we do get to learn a more about Dr. Ujiko; namely that he has perfected copying quirks—even multiple ones—onto others. This even includes quirkless people like himself. This means there's no telling who among the villains has crazy new power combinations that take them to a whole new level. It's a great way of raising the villains' threat even higher off-screen.
The other high point of the episode is the focus on the fifth-ranked hero: Rabbit Hero Mirko. While she's been in the background a lot, it's here that we see without question why she's a top hero—she's basically My Hero Academia's take on Wolverine. She violently tears apart the Nomus she encounters without breaking a sweat (and all with a bloodthirsty grin on her face). As the next episode seems to be all about her based on the title, I'm sure to be tuning in next week to see her in action again. (However, I won't pretend there's not a nagging worry at the back of my mind that she's only being introduced as such a badass so she can be smacked down to make some villain or another look like a credible threat.)
Well, it's happened. Hell has frozen over, cats and dogs are living in harmony, and MHA finally opened a season without a generalized recap episode to explain the basic premise to anyone who might have accidentally stumbled into a show over 100 episodes deep. I never thought the day would come.
Though that doesn't mean we're off to the races just yet. “A Quiet Beginning” here definitely earns its title, as most of this episode is backtracking for the audience to better understand just how we got to where we are from the chaotic conclusion of last season, before firmly setting up the stakes for both sides. That's probably a good thing, because damn near every character who's ever so much as breathed a sigh in MHA is here now, ready to jump onto the front lines of the impending war between the pro heroes and the League of Villains. Yes, I'm going to keep calling them the League, despite them changing their name last season. You don't give up primo branding like that on a whim, dammit.
Anyway, while this opening is quiet and slow, it uses that time to build tension, alongside giving the viewer a clear idea of where each character is in this big, soon-to-be-chaotic battlefield. You've got one large group storming the hospital where the League's mad scientist is pupating Shigaraki 2.0, along with an adjacent group of mostly UA students who are busy evacuating the surrounding city in case the battle spills outside. Meanwhile another force is ready to storm the Liberation Army's headquarters, also with a group of students acting as backup. Oddly enough, most of the heavy hitters of 1-A are away from the front lines, with only a choice few students joining their mentors in the main fight as support. The laws of shonen protagonism mean Deku is going to have to get involved at some point, but for the time being it looks like the spotlight will be on the extended cast, and since that extended cast includes Mirko, I am certainly not going to complain. More directly, the larger scope helps communicate just how important this battle is going to be – this isn't something Deku and his schoolmates can handle on their own, and that helps sell that the stability of superhero society is teetering on razor's edge.
And while this episode is largely the show revving its engine and checking its turn signals, it does peel out over the starting line before the end credits. The sight of the Nomu busting through the foundations of the hospital is great, and I love the zombie movie-style camera work used when Mirko encounters them in the underground passageway. The action beats themselves are short and fast, but they work to establish an immediately chaotic fight that's sure to get hairier when the second front begins in earnest. Plus, we get to see Mirko cut through Nomu like a hot knife through butter, which is just really satisfying on a spiritual level.
All that means this episode is mostly setup, but it's necessary prep for the lengthy turn of events to come, and by far the most compelling season opener of the show since the first. MHA has just entered its biggest and busiest conflict after a whole other season of buildup, and the powder keg is just about ready to explode.
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