This My Hero Academia review contains spoilers.
My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 2
My Hero Academia has explored villains of all shapes and sizes, but the Nomu are a chilling threat that have been around as early as the first season. All Might’s fight against a High-End Nomu is even one of the Symbol of Peace’s first truly triumphant acts in the anime. My Hero Academia has progressively expanded upon the Nomu concept in horrifying detail as Dr. Garaki plays God to create perfect warriors and trigger transformations.
Curiously, Deku and the rest of the young heroes in the series have felt their own kinds of ambivalence and that they’re just pawns in a much bigger game. Admittedly, they don’t have a mad scientist who’s genetically altering them, but they can feel like there’s still a puppet master above them who calls the shots. “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” highlights these similarities, but more importantly, it proves what makes them different.
“Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” literally picks up on the heels of Mirko’s striking entrance last week. These biological monsters become the target of her aggression, but this episode really relishes in the High-End Nomu in all of their disgusting glory. Dr. Garaki’s powers continue to improve and his current creations barely resemble the abomination that first attacked U.A. High during the USJ Incident. There’s some great, gory body horror that comes out of all of these rampaging monsters, but the way in which Mirko pulverizes the High-End Nomu into a pulp is even more gratuitous.
“Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” makes a huge deal over Dr. Garaki’s sweeping sadness as he watches his creations meet their ends. He’s clearly formed a powerful bond with these monsters that would almost be sweet if it wasn’t so twisted. It’s equally bittersweet when the High-End Nomu exhibit comparable emotions to their creator as they self-activate, will themselves into action, and surpass their programming to protect their master. Some are even compelled to speak for the first time, which also raises seriously interesting questions on the sustainability of High-End Nomu in the long run and if they could ostensibly replace heroes or villains as “dummies” of sorts.
The destruction of Garaki’s lab firmly ends this idea, but it’s still compelling food for thought that could perhaps at one point return in My Hero Academia. It’s one of the truest exhibits of equality and friendship in the series, as disturbing as that is. It’s another chilling way in which My Hero Academia highlights the humanity of these villains and the real feelings that exist inside of them, despite their evil orders. All of this continues to hint at Tomura Shigaraki’s awakening of unprecedented power as he benefits from all of Garaki’s trial and error Nomu mad science.
This episode’s title gives a pretty good indication that Rabbit Hero: Mirko is front and center, but so much of “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” is focused on Mirko absolutely dominating against the dangerous High-End Nomu. This episode is really her showcase. There’s such a devilish glee to her antics here and under different circumstances she’d even look like a villain. The entire episode looks gorgeous, but Studio Bones really animates the hell out of her and her fight sequences. This is the first time that we truly get to see the heights of Mirko’s Quirk and it’s a satisfying, explosive display of strength and passion. She cannot wait to end this evil.
Mirko does the lion’s share of destruction on Garaki’s laboratory, but Shield Hero: Crust also shows up to do his part and get in on the fun. Crust really hasn’t made himself known in My Hero Academia’s past, but the series leans into the idea that there are still so many heroes that the audience doesn’t know about. The fact that even strangers like Crust are showing up reflects the enormity of this threat. On top of this, “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” also includes some touching teamwork between Endeavor and Eraser Head. The only thing sweeter than Endeavor’s offer to Eraser Head to become his sidekick is Eraser Head’s response that his heart lies with his students.
The big question that’s at the center of all of this combat is whether the Dr. Garaki that Mirko has cornered in the lab is the real deal or just another double. This complication works as well as it does because Garaki himself even begins to lose confidence in his individuality and wonders if he might actually be a clone. It’s an interaction that’s occasionally played for laughs, but in reality it’s quite disturbing.
What’s particularly funny, however, are Bakugo’s unconventional evacuation tactics that he puts on display. This is highly entertaining and such a purely Bakugo moment, but it’s also indicative of how successfully this episode throws everyone together in their separate circles. “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” lets these dozens of heroes intermingle and do their best work in smaller, efficient circles. Midnight gets to really step up her game and it’s a touching distillation of the all-hands-on-deck approach to this battle. These characters stop viewing each other as pros and students or old and young. They’re all just heroes, and the battle royale action scenes in “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” beautifully celebrate this.
It may only amount to a smaller moment in the grander scheme of the episode, but there’s such passionate teamwork between Fumikage Tokiyama, Kyoka Jiro, and Denki Kaminari during the episode’s final act. It’s so sweet that the episode cuts to simple moments of friendship and commiseration between them in their dorms–from what appears to be during prep for season four’s musical performance in U.A. High’s School Festival–that are juxtaposed against their passionate tag-team battle. Hopefully this freshly charged trio of friends will continue to spark and surpass expectations in the coming battle.
“Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” successfully builds upon the momentum of last week’s premiere. The biggest things have still yet to come for these characters as they remain in the earliest stages of their multi-tiered attack. However, My Hero Academia now has so many pieces on its chessboard that even holding patterns like this are still able to reach strong levels of action, suspense, and destruction. “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” gets the heroes slightly closer to their goal, all while some of the series’ underserved individuals get to properly strut their stuff.
New episodes of My Hero Academia season 6 premiere Saturdays on Hulu and Crunchyroll.