Season five of My Hero Academia has officially wrapped up. And it was certainly… something.
Today, we’re going to have a look at the season as a whole. How it made changes from the manga and how those changes helped or hinder the narrative. As well as how it stands on its own as an animated show.
In either case, it’s a little rough.
This season covers three major arcs:
- Class A VS Class B Training arc
- Endeavor Internship arc
- My Villain Academia arc
Which is interesting. Because in the manga, the Endeavor arc came after My Villain Academia. But I can understand why they made that change; it creates a sense of mystery regarding the end results of MVA and lets the season end on a dramatic bang. It does create some wonky pacing, but it isn’t an inherently bad change.
What is a problem is the pacing. This season was all over the place, dude! Some episodes were slow as hell and nothing happened. Others were as quick as lightning, giving the events no time to breath and have a proper impact on the audience! This season is many things; consistent is not one of them.
This wonky pacing also leads to some dramatic content cuts. In the manga, My Villain Academia was a fairly substantial arc. They could have gotten twelve episodes out of it, easy. Yet because of the choices they made in pacing, we only got five. Tons of content had to be cut, including some of the most interesting stuff!
And what do we get instead? Filler. Lots of it, too. Not only do we get stuck with a whole episode where the girls are just being cute on the beach, which serves no purposes beyond fan-service and a tease for the upcoming movie. We also get dozens of unnecessary flashbacks and re-used scenes. Instead of seeing Shigurake and the rest of the League wandering around, starving like homeless people, we get… Uraraka and the girls playing beach volleyball.
One of those things is significantly more interesting than the other.
Granted, not all of the content taken from the manga is interesting. A good 70% of the Class A VS Class B arc is really boring and adds little to the narrative. The Endeavor internship arc, while it does come packaged with some strong character drama, can be pretty slow and uninteresting for people looking for shounen action. Even aside from anime filler crap, the actual content is a range of quality.
The animation is much the same way. Some scenes sport some absolutely jaw dropping sakuga! These are among the prettiest scenes in all of My Hero Academia! But those are balanced out by some of the worst looking shots in the series. Favorites were clearly had during the production.
The music also seemed really underwhelming this time around. This has been a trend for a while, but the soundtrack for MHA just doesn’t hit as hard as it used to anymore. It’s never abhorrently bad, but it isn’t ever as mind-blowing as it was back in seasons one, two, and three. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I feel like I’ve been missing it.
I’m sad to say that I think this is the worst season of My Hero Academia we’ve gotten so far. It cut out large portions of the original material in favor of uninteresting filler and flashbacks, the pacing is an inconsistent nightmare, and the visuals are either the best or the worst depending on the episode. Production must have been all over the place on this one, because it really feels like the crew was scrambling.
Still, at least it’s not the end. Season six is already in the works! My Hero Academia still has plenty of time to reclaim its former glory. And if it doesn’t, the manga is still around to pick up the slack.