WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 21, "Revival Party," now streaming on Funimation, Crunchyroll and Hulu.
Tomura Shigaraki stands as the League of Villains' new leader, but he has competition. The newest villainous faction in My Hero Academia, the Meta Liberation Army, seeks to overthrow superhero society and liberate all people so they can use their Quirks freely, as nature intended, leading the villain rivalry to heat up quickly in Episode 21 of Season 5.
The Meta Liberation Army has some overlap with the League, such as a rejection of pro heroes and the strict rules of modern society, but Re-Destro shows open hostility to Tomura's League since he has grander ambitions than Tomura can dream of. The latest My Hero Academia episode reveals how the Army got started and hints at where it might go from here.
The Meta Liberation Army's Origin With Destro
Episode 21 of My Hero Academia Season 5 makes it clear that the Meta Liberation Army is one of the oldest Quirk-based organizations in the world. In fact, the Army's very name alludes to this group's age -- the Meta Liberation Army. In the early days of Quirks, no one used the term "Quirk" yet; they called these supernatural gifts "meta abilities," and a man named Chikara Yotsubashi declared his intent to set all meta abilities free. He despised the idea of people restraining their meta abilities for the sake of societal stability and saw meta abilities as the next great stage of evolution. Any rule or law that suppressed the use of meta abilities was by default oppressive and tyrannical, even cruel.
Destro formed the Meta Liberation Army as a movement to keep all meta abilities free, and he attracted many followers. In those pre-hero days, Quirks were still new and confusing, and no one fully knew how to reconcile them with society. However, Destro was defeated and arrested, and he wrote his manifesto in prison before ending his own life in despair. He passed the torch to a new generation of freedom fighters with his book, and in the present day, his hard work pays off. Hawks, the double agent, spreads the gospel of Destro with that book everywhere, and even Endeavor got a copy. Destro's ideas far outlived the man himself.
The Meta Liberation Army's Plans For the League - and the Future
In My Hero Academia's present day, many loyal men and women follow the gospel of Destro, to the point that they call their gifts meta abilities rather than Quirks. The new leader, Re-Destro, has enshrined Destro in a framed photograph, and clearly takes the late Destro's ideas and legacy seriously. Re-Destro aims to tear down the stuffy, bureaucratic society around him and let meta abilities run free, and he views pro heroes and the League of Villains alike as obstacles.
As of now in Season 5, Re-Destro shows no intention of cooperating with the League of Villains, and his followers are ready to fight to the end. However, Tomura Shigaraki has a plan to sic Gigantomachia on the Army, and he and Himiko Toga just upgraded their Quirks in the heat of battle against the League. All this may prompt Re-Destro to adjust his plans.
Re-Destro may find himself in a position where he and the League avoid mutually assured destruction by calling a truce or even combining their numbers, which will require some careful diplomacy and management skills. If so, the Army's future lies with the ideological overlap with the League and fighting their common foe: pro heroes and the oppressive system they represent, which is what Destro always wanted.