My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 21: The deranged smile of Himiko Toga

My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 21 opens with by exploring the ideology that was popular among metahumans, “the freedom to use their meta abilities rather than suppress them.” A man known as Destro formed the Meta Liberation Army from this ideology. However, the government defeated them resulting in the arrest and ultimately the dissolution of the MLA. From prison Destro wrote the book Meta Liberation War. The book is an autobiography that details his political views. He hates the government’s control over Quirks. Destro believes “the free use of Quirks is a basic human right.” The government and the public turned on Quirk users after the early emergence resulted in a “breakdown of society.” The police are a secondary force in the My Hero Academia universe. They generally act as clean up. They arrest villains after heroes defeat them.

There’s almost certainly crime from non-Quirk users however currently 80% of the population possess Quirks. The Pro Hero community fills the void, becoming vigilantes. The government decided to legitimize the hero community and permit the licensing of heroes. If the majority of citizens are Quirk users, then why are non-Quirk users in control at all? I expect that eventually the entire society will be run by Quirk users. Regardless, the MLA has targeted the League of Villains. In Deika City, the League is finally faces the massive MLA army. In the conflict, the League of Villains get separated. Himiko Toga is confronted by Curious (Chitose Kizuki), a reporter.

Ochaco just wants someone to love

Toga attacks Curious who uses her Landmine ability to blow her away. Her Quirk allows her to create mines out of anything she touches. She can detonate those “bombs” at any moment. Importantly these explosions aren’t deadly. Curious is intrigued by Toga’s story. She interviews Toga while they fight. Curious recounts Toga’s story, “oldest daughter of the Toga family, and missing since her middle school graduation.” Toga’s Quirk makes her an outcast. The Transform Quirk requires her to ingest the blood of others. It’s nearly impossible to imagine how she would use her Quirk in a way that’s not creepy. The society at large was always going to reject her. It has been theorized that her “twisted” personality is due to her Quirk. As a result, she finds the current world to be terrible. This is her primary motivation for joining the League of Villains.

Curious wants to understand Toga. She continues to prod her for information on her mindset. We see a news broadcast explaining the tragedy that resulted in Toga fleeing. She injured her classmate and began drinking his blood with a straw. Her parents called her a “demon child.” Overwhelmed, Toga flees while ingesting Ochaco’s blood. She envies, Ochaco’s relationship with Deku and wants to “get close to someone she loves too.” She then uses Ochaco’s Quirk, Zero Gravity, lifting Curious and her crew into the air. Toga receives the “ability upgrade,” that’s often reserved for the heroes. Unlike Ochaco, Toga is sadistic and let’s Curious crash to the ground, killing them.

Tomura gets a power upgrade

Most of this episode focuses on Toga, but we see Tomura Shigaraki kill a group of MLA members without his hands touching most of them. Tomura’s Decay Quirk is becoming more effective and dangerous. Its previous limitation was requiring Tomura to touch a solid object with all five of his fingers. If it can spread them the decay becomes nearly impossible to avoid. Tomura hasn’t slept much in the last few days and is becoming delirious. He barely seem to notice that his power has increase. Meanwhile, Dabi faces off against Geten. An ice user, Geten’s Quirk is unnamed but it allows him to “freely manipulate any and all nearby ice.” He can only manipulate ice, he cannot create it out of thin air, and if water or ice isn’t present in the surrounding environment he’s disadvantaged.

Dabi with his fire Quirk, isn’t afraid. Geten seems to dismiss the idea that Dabi will win simply because he can use fire. Geten claims that he’s been training his Quirk for far longer than your typical hero. I would be curious to see what is different about his training and what is taught outside the U.V system. As the episode closes, Skeptic targets Twice. Skeptics Quirk, Anthropomorph, allows him to create “human-sized objects and turn it into an exact lookalike of any given person.” He sends several puppets that look like Twice to trigger Twice’s mental health issues. They surround him as he tries to save Toga.