My Hero Academia: Season 6 - Episodes 113-131 (The Paranormal Liberation War Arc)
So... originally the idea was that I'd be doing entries for each handful of episodes. But seeing as I've binged this whole arc over the last couple of days, it seemed pointless to do that since I'd have to do several entries in one day. So, instead, I'm going to do a summary post for the arc. Fair warning, there's probably going to be spoilers below.
This is where MHA takes a jump in intensity, brutality and also emotional weight. The heroes mass their forces to go after the Paranormal Liberation Front created by the merging of the old League of Villains and Meta Liberation Movement. They split into two groups, one to raid the hospital where the Nomu's are being manufactured and Shigaraki is being enhanced and one to go after the Front's main base. Students are primarily handling evacuating nearby settlements and being backline combatants/support. Naturally, this does not go as planned on just about any level.
This was clearly going to be a big arc with ramifications that will be felt for the rest of the series and it lived up to that expectation. From the very beginning of the season, the action and drama were already at an all time high as was the excitement and character moments. Early on we go scenes like Kaminari, motivated by thoughts of Kyoka and his classmates rushing in despite being nearly overcome by fear and completely shutting down a PLF leader and Mirko rushing ahead of the rest of the hospital raid and having to fight seven high-end Nomu's on her own, fighting like mad to hold her own until Eraserhead, Endeavour and others could arrive. That was all within the first like... 2-3 episodes.
From there, the intensity and weight of the situation only increased - and we had our first real deaths of names characters in the series. We saw Hawks try desperately to convince Twice to surrender and then having to kill him to prevent him from just auto-winning the fight for the enemy. We saw Crust, Native and Midnight die at the hands of Shigaraki or the Front. We saw a city erased from existence, numerous. We saw the UA students banding together to face down Gigantomachia, a monster who the pros couldn't even really handle and succeed in their plan only for it to not be enough to immediately stop him, allowing him to head towards Shigaraki and destroy more settlements along the way, leaving even more injuries and death in his wake.
And, of course, then there was the real big part. Shigaraki, now with All For One and biological enhancements that put him physically beyond even the Nomu's without his quirks even activating, with his own Decay quirk levelled up a mukload from the previous season. We watched as Endeavour, Ryoku, Gran Torino, Eraserhead, Deku, Bakugo and Shoto all had to put in huge amounts of effort to effectively just get a tie, culminating in Dabi finally dropping the reveal we all already knew about in advance - that he was Toya Todoroki - and the remaining League/Front members escaping to then break All For One and several other dangerous people out of prison.
That's a barebones summary, honestly. A ridiculous amount of wild stuff happens during this arc. What I love about it though is that the severity of the situation is never understated. The story doesn't pull punches here. The deaths, injuries and destruction all carry the kind of weight that tragedy of that scale should carry. While both sides are left in ruins, ultimately the heroes are losing the war. Masses of people, heroes included, are horribly wounded or dead. After the heroes failed to stop the destruction and the reveals about Toya and the death of Twice, the public are in despair and losing faith in heroes. The heroes are questioning things and losing faith in themselves. The losses - of every variety - by both sides are felt.
But, conversely, towards the end there was a problem. I have little to complain about, truthfully, most of the arc was incredible. But it tries a little too hard to give us every amazing or dramatic thing that could have happened all at once. Subsequently, some pretty huge events that should have been treated with a lot of attention and gravitas were barely even addressed. Things like Eri successfully managing to control her quirk for a short time and Lemillion getting his back and joining the fray again, Eraserhead cutting off a limb to keep his quirk from being sealed off, Mr Compress mutilating himself to free the other villains and getting captured as a result and a couple of other smaller things. The return of Best Jeanist could have been a bit more too, but it was impressive enough. The former two things in particular though... I was not happy with the execution there.
That is basically my only gripe though. The music, animation and voice acting were all as good as the best episodes of previous seasons for the most part - but for every episode of the arc just about. Narratively so much happened that mattered here, that felt like it mattered. We learned some new stuff about One For All as well and the state of the world has been changed. The stakes are higher then ever and I'm looking forward to seeing how things play out now with Deku going rogue for a bit.