Why is Stain's Capture Actually Good for the League of Villains?
by Nicholas Dupree & Michelle Liu,
Everyone in My Hero Academia is recovering after their terrifying encounter with Hero Killer Stain, but maybe they shouldn't be getting too comfortable. This week in anime, we explain why the real battle is only beginning.
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.
Don't be silly, you can never be too old for anime, death itself be damned.
I guess I can't feel too old considering I still get up every saturday morning to watch superhero cartoons.
But you mean the other Saturday superhero show, right? The one with the pure good children.
Yes, that one
Yeah, so this week MHA decided to go Anime Original and focused a whole episode on America's Favorite Frog.
move aside, kermit, it's tsuyu time
But we're Hard. Core. Canonists. So instead we're gonna be talking about the real star of this series:
I'm so down for bloodthirsty schoolgirl villain, can't wait can't wait
I just meant that she's symbolic of the encroaching spread of villainy in the wake of Stain's capture actually. But if that's what you're into, I won't judge you
I'm just saying if MHA decides to become the Himiko and Froppy Show I wouldn't be upset at all. But yeah, last time we saw Stain get captured, but that's not the end of his influence by any means.
Nope! Turns out the real villain of MHA was kids on YouTube. It's an interesting direction to take though - it reminds me of the end of momentous story arcs in One Piece, where the focus temporarily shifts to the world at large and how the fallout is changing things outside of our main cast. Stain's been caught, but the most viral thing in the world is an idea, and unlike Shigaraki, Stain's conviction spoke for itself.
Plus, look at all the media coverage he got. I'm sure that's not inspiring anyone to act out haha
It's eerily similar to the, for lack of a better term, "fandom" that forms around infamous serial killers and the like. Stain's a murderer, but to the average person who doesn't have to fear him directly, his story is basically entertainment.
MHA's addressing the situation in a way that's almost uncomfortably real. People eat up the story they're fed, that he's captured, that's the end of it, but those who don't turn to alternative sources - in this case, the internet. You get enough folks to realize there's an outlet for their less savory opinions and coalesce around that conviction, now you've got a movement on your hands. Who knew the real league of villains was an angry subforum all along?
What's interesting to me is the way it's compared to the cult of personality All Might's fostered in his time.
We've seen the positive influence he's had throughout the show - Deku, Todoroki, and countless others have been inspired by him to become heroes and do good in the world. But it's pretty fair to say All Might was Stain's inspiration too - and he used the "Symbol of Peace" as a benchmark to justify killing and injuring dozens of "lesser" heroes.
Now Stain's turning into the inspiration for people with, uh, alternative ideas of what's right/correct/morally good.
And they're all being funneled into the League of Villains - led by a manchild who we already know will pay lip service to anti-establishment rhetoric to justify his real motive to destroy whatever he wants! Yayyyyyyy...
we sure haven't heard anything like this ever before, nope nope
IMO it's a fascinating place to go for a superhero story. Especially MHA, which has always posited that true heroism inspires others to act in turn. In a lot of ways, Stain's an interrogation of the show's underlying themes, which is really neat to see.
Yeah, aside from the whole killing people part, Stain could easily be twisted into a hero: someone using their powers to improve society and make the world a better place, inspiring others to do the same. Like if you can look past the murder, that's a pretty solid goal. If you can manage those mental gymnastics, I mean. For the people in MHA's world who don't have a personal attachment to Stain's victims, that might be a little easier than it should be. So yeah, he's becoming this twisted version of All Might in the popular consciousness, for better or for worse. Mostly for worse.
What's ironic is that Stain's actions are being made as public as possible, while Deku and friends aren't even allowed to speak about what really happened.
For all the general public knows, Stain was only targeting heroes like Endeavor - stickin it to the man or something
The media story isn't "hero children save lives" but "murderer maybe had a point if you think about it". It's depressing to say the least.
But hey, look, the police chief's a puppy!
Puppers and froggos can only do so much to make the whole thing less depressing though : (
I'll just take comfort knowing that at some point in time Kōhei Horikoshi definitely saw Dog Police
But yeah, it'll be interesting to see where MHA goes from here with all this. This feels like a pretty big turning point, even if we might not see the full extent quite yet.
I'm just fascinated by how it's tackling the way media can radicalize dissatisfied people. Looking forward to seeing what kinds of villains crop up soon, and not just for the stabby girl.
Until now, the League of Villains was basically Shigaraki, his talking TV set, and a group of randos. But now it's gonna have characters! With names! And ridiculous designs like this walking Hot Topic store
oh my god, that's some real A e s t h e t i c right there
Well before everything goes to hell, how 'bout that Froppy?
I can't believe she joined the navy seals, er, navy seal
I can't believe we got a close up of his starboard bow
Tired: boob shots Wired: humanoid seal bulge
Hey, there's room for boob shots too
I look forward to more buff skintight suit seal action in next week's episode of Froppy's Wet 'n' Wild Adventure.
Or I guess we can go back to the heroes and villains stuff if we HAVE to...
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