WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 20 "My Villain Academia," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation & Hulu.
Previous episodes of My Hero Academia have alluded to the mysterious Meta Liberation Army and the unknown connection they share with the League of Villains. However, the mystery begins to unravel with Episode 20 of Season 5 serving as an introduction to the My Villain Academia arc. As we take a break from Deku and the other heroes, the LOV now shine as the protagonists and are thus the main focus of this new storyline.
Meanwhile, several important details about the Meta Liberation Army come to light as they are quick to oppose Tomura Shigaraki, even willingly -- and confidently -- expressing their vast number of resources as well as their goal. With a new group of villains looking to be the next powerhouse, the MLA sets up a fated clash of evil vs. evil.
Taking place a few months in the past, Episode 20 kicks off with Shigaraki facing off against the mammoth known as Gigantomachia, a loyal servant to All for One, as Shigaraki attempts to prove himself a worthy successor to the symbol of evil. At this same moment, Twice receives a phone call from Giran, a villain and underground broker associated with the League of Villains. But the actual caller is Re-Destro, the Meta Liberation Army leader who captured Giran and tortured him, cutting off his fingers and placing them in locations where the League have made notable appearances. In short, this attack against Giran is a declaration of war.
During this call, Re-Destro unveils his identity while My Hero Academia fans get a glimpse at three of the MLA's higher-ups, who (based on promotional material) go by the names Curious, Trumpet and Skeptic. Their goal is to liberate meta powers and destroy the existing framework of society. In its place, they want to build a world where people can use their Quirks at 100-percent without any restrictions or rules.
While only recently being introduced in My Hero Academia, the Meta Liberation Army already poses an immense threat -- and not just to the League of Villains. Their ideology is strong and spreads through literature, even selling over 100,000 copies. This same book was seen earlier in Season 5 when Hawks hands them out to Endeavor and his interns: Deku, Bakugo and Todoroki. Effective distribution has enabled the MLA to garner over 110,000 spies, whom Re-Destro refers to as hidden members because they are all hiding in plain sight.
Having numerous people working for them in the shadows gives the Army access to plenty of resources. Despite being in a remote location, Re-Destro knew exactly where Shigaraki and the others were located thanks to his own satellite camera. Giran is extremely proficient as a broker, successfully hiding from heroes and the authorities for years. Yet even with all his experience, he failed to resist capture by the MLA.
The League of Villains has obtained a strong reputation over the course of My Hero Academia. Now, however, Re-Destro feels the Meta Liberation Army members are ready to make their debut. To do that, they plan on taking down the League in a massive, heated battle. If they refuse, Re-Destro will notify the top five Pro Heroes of their location. Regardless of the threat they pose, Shigaraki is eager to defeat them and views this declaration as an opportunity to prove himself a worthy successor to All for One.