Dark Shadow and the Bad Powers, Good People trope
My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 5 continues the joint training arc, between Class 1-A and Class 1-B. I was particularly interested in the clash between Shihai Kuroiro and Fumikage Tokoyami because they reminded me of the trope “Bad Powers, Good People.” Generally, darkness is associated with evil. While this has been deconstructed in series like Black Clover (the Black Bulls) and Bleach (Arrancar and Quinces wear white), the association still lingers. Fumikage’s Quirk, Dark Shadow, can go on a rampage when in darkness. Shihai’s Quirk and how he appears can lean into this trope as well. Shihai can “merge his body into anything that is dark-colored, whether naturally dark, or dark via external circumstances, such as shadows.” His black skin and the flatting of his facial features make him appear evil. It doesn’t help that his mannerisms give off villain vibes. Unlike, Hitoshi, Shihai doesn’t seem to have any hang-ups regarding his Quirk.
The analytical skills of Momo and Kendo
My Hero Academia seems to deliberately pit certain characters against each other. In this arc, we’ve already seen Jurota versus Tsyuy, and now Shihai vs Fumikage and Kendo vs Momo. Usually, their Quirks must be similar but in the case of Kendo and Momo, it’s their high intellect and strategies that are compared. This episode reminds us of Kendo’s analytical skills. During the fight against the League of Villains, she was able to deduce the limits of Mustard’s Quirk and counter it. Momo is considered an S-Class intellect. She was ranked 1st in Class 1-A, she’s quick on her feet, and can develop plans on the fly. The other Class 1-B members are the little-known students, Manga Fukidashi and Kinoko Komori. Manga is the weirdest designed character in this series. His head is a literal “pale-white speech bubble,” that can change shape and display his thoughts. My Hero Academia never explains what “race” its characters are if they have raced at all. It’s probably for the best.
Class 1-B’s Plan B
Shihai attacks Class 1-A alone. Using his Quirk to control Dark Shadow, he punches Fumikage. Momo tells Toru to use Warp Refraction, a Super Move that redirects sunlight in all directions. Doing so weakens Dark Shadow enough for Fumikage to regain control. It turns out that Shihai’s intended target was actually Yuga. He grabs him by his cape and drags him through the pipes at high speeds. Suddenly, Fumikage appears with Dark Shadow under his cloak and grabs Yuga. Using his Navel Buffet Laser, Yuga lights up the area, forcing Shihai out. When it appears that he’s outnumbered, mushrooms appear on Momo and Toru. Kendo has predicted Shihai’s failure and has developed a plan B.