My Hero Academia: The League of Villains Is More Dangerous Than It’s Ever Been

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 24, "Tomura Shigaraki: Origin," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.

Ever since their introduction in My Hero Academia, the League of Villains has had a highly erratic growth curve. Their debut in Season 1 teased a vast organization with unlimited resources and members, but that notion was almost immediately banished.

The group's defeat at the hands of mostly first-year U.A. students and Eraserhead forced the League's Tomura Shigaraki to adopt a quality over quantity approach -- until recent events in Season 5. The League of Villains can now boast of both numbers and highly skilled membership. Here's how it happened.

Re-Destro -- the leader of the League of Villains' adversary, the Meta Liberation Army -- invited the League to Deika City intending to end them once and for all. The group's aim of anarchy and terrorist acts threatened to undermine the MLA's agenda, putting them within his crosshairs. Rather than just eradicate them, however, Re-Destro intended to make an example of them. His plan was to use their stories to garner public sympathy for the cause of Quirk liberation. The Army already had the numbers -- this was a ploy to increase their social capital.

In picking a fight with the League of Villains, however, Re-Destro bit off more than he could chew. The Liberation Army's overwhelming force proved to be the exact catalyst the League needed to go beyond their own limits. While facing Miss Curious, Toga had a Quirk awakening. Her transformation Quirk was no longer simply skin deep; she could suddenly use the Quirks of those she'd transformed into. At first glance, Toga's awakening may not have seemed like a drastic power-up but it may have alarming implications. The idea of a Pro Hero's Quirk -- or any U.A. student's -- in the hands of a villain as capable as Toga can only spell bad news as My Hero Academia moves forward.

Toga was not the only member of the League who received a Quirk Awakening. Prior to heading toward Deika City, Shigaraki had been worn down attempting to defeat Gigantomachia. His exhaustion from facing the Meta Liberation Army put him in a trance-like state that unlocked his earliest memories, as he remembered his life before meeting All For One and realized the subconscious limitations he'd put on his Quirk. Free from his haunted past, Shigaraki's Decay was suddenly able to spread unchecked, no longer limited to objects he was directly touching.

Re-Destro was in awe of the newly awakened Shigaraki, recognizing his rival's careless use of his destructive Quirk as exactly the kind of ideal the MLA meant to promote. After judging the League's leader as far more liberated than he had ever been, Re-Destro abdicated his position as head of the MLA, offering the organization and all its resources to Shigaraki. This includes their considerable influence countrywide in print and digital media, as well as social groups like the Hearts and Mind Party. In an instant, My Hero Academia's League of Villains has gone from a downtrodden group of six members to a formidable organization over 100,000 strong -- with every single one of them adept at wielding their various Quirks.

The additional members were more than welcome but after Twice's awakening, the League of Villains could honestly have done without them. Driven by the urge to save his precious comrade Toga, Twice overcame the complex that made him unable to duplicate himself. Suddenly, he's no longer the League's comic relief but potentially its most dangerous member. His ability to clone an unlimited number of times makes him a veritable one-man army. This liberated Quirk is so dangerous that Twice had to hold himself back from wiping out the rest of the Liberation Army on his own -- all 100,000 of them.

To cap it off, the League also added the monster Gigantomachia to their ranks, as well as the full support of All For One's right-hand man, Dr. Garaki. Gigantomachia's strength potentially rivals that of All Might's and should all go according to plan, he won't be the League of Villains' only uber-heavy hitter. Garaki promised to give Shigaraki unrivaled power if he was ever able to make Gigantomachia submit to him, and now he intends to make good on his word.

All Might's earlier retirement in My Hero Academia leaves the heroes shorthanded and, at the moment, woefully unprepared for the looming threat. Even though the current #1 Pro Hero, Endeavor, promised to bolster their ranks, one can't help but wonder if their efforts will be enough to deal with the pantheon the League of Villains currently commands: The Paranormal Liberation Front.

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