My Hero Academia's manga is now into its the big "Meta Liberation War" arc. That exciting storyline sees the students of U.A. high teaming with a major coalition of Pro Heroes, to battle an entire army of villains who are trying to collapse Japan's entire Pro Hero system. As the war officially kicks off, the scope of the battle that series creator Kohei Horikoshi is putting together is truly epic. However, Horikoshi has also spent the last year or so seeding some pretty ominous possible plot developments into the arc, including foreshadows of some pretty big possible character deaths.
So which characters of My Hero Academia are on the chopping block? Here's a quick rundown:
Starting right at the top with the big fish: A lot of fans think that even though All Might isn't fighting on the front lines of the Mega Liberation War, he still may end up a casualty of it. In recent chapters of the manga, All Might was confiding in Eraser Head about finally finding the will and desire to live a full life, after his pro hero career. To many fans, that was a classic anime/manga alert that tragedy is about to strike. All Might's death is an event that fans root for and root against with equal fervor. We'll see how it goes...
Pro Hero Hawks has been playing a very dangerous game, working as a double-agent for the pro heroes, embedding himself with the League of Villains and their new Meta Liberation Army allies. It was Hawks who let the Pro Heroes get a jump on the villain army, but the charismatic hero has had a deeper drama playing out with League of Villains member Twice, whom he genuinely befriended. The ending of the latest manga chapter (at the time of writing this) saw Hawks get ambushed by Dabi - a fight that could understandably end with the hero's death (especially since his arc is arguably complete).
The Metal Liberation War arc turned Twice from the League of Villains Deadpool knock-off comedic relief, to the groups' veritable weapon of mass destruction. It's been revealed that Twice can make an entire army's worth of his duplicates - enough to invade an overrun an entire city. That's forced Hawks to make the hard to decision to take Twice out; Dabi intervened before Hawks could do the deed, but in the rage over Hawks' betrayal, Twice may finally end up pushing himself past the limit of what his body can handle.
Re-Destro is the leader of the Meta Liberation Army, and the son of a great revolutionary (Destro), but in the context of My Hero Academia's story, he's no much of a breakout villain. Re-Destro is key to the current war story arc - but just this story arc. When it's done, there's no need for Re-Destroy to really hang around, and given how tenuous his partnership with Shigaraki is, it could either be the heroes or his own villain teammates that end up doing Re-Destro in!
Rabbit Hero Mirko
Rabbit Hero Mirko has been a breakout best girl during this latest My Hero Academia arc, and with good reason. As the Pro Heroes launched their surprise attack on the lab of Nomu monster creator Dr. Ujiko, this rabbit-powered heroine proved why she is the No. 5 Pro Hero around! The only reason we have to add her to this list is because last seen, Mirko was basically making a violent last stand against a group of elite intelligent Nomu, with significant battle injuries.
Himiko Toga is a fan-favorite, for sure, but she's also grown quite close to Twice. If Twice goes off the deep end, there's always the chance that his Akira-style body-horror meltdown could ended killing the person he arguably cares about the most. That would be the kind of shock that would definitely generate a buzz.
Yes, the chances are super slim that My Hero Academia would ever do away with its favorite bad boy hero, but there's always a chance! A lot of fans expect that this Meta Liberation War arc could end with the final showdown between a new powered-up Tomura Shigaraki, and Deku's new One For All powers. If Izuku begins to falter in that battle, Bakugo still owes him a massive life debt from the very beginning of the series, which would be a full-circle milestone that launches My Hero Academia into a whole new era.
Tomura Shigaraki has been the underboss villain for My Hero Academia's entire run - the disciple of big bad All For One. A lot of fans thought My Hero Academia would be all about the mutual rise of a new generation of greatest hero (Izuku Midoriya) and greatest villain (Tomura Shigaraki). However, it would be a big twist if Shigaraki was taken out much earlier in the series than expected. He's not absolutely necessary to the story, as All For One is still waiting in the wings, on lockdown (for now). The Meta Liberation War arc has also seen Shigaraki's character rapidly expanded, including a horrific origin story reveal, and the rapid evolution of his powers. It definitely seems like Shigaraki could be the big bad of the war arc - but also the final casualty, if Deku has to put him down for good.
Class 1-A Student
We can't say which one it will be, for sure, but we know that at least one (or more) of Izuku Midoriya's Class 1-A friends will likely fall. Class 1-A has been unique in that these kids have had to face real-world villains and threats way more than any of their peers; however, this will be the first time they've been an actual war. The severity of that experience must be felt, and these kids have to come out the other side a little harder and more grown up than when they went in. Obviously some (Bakugo, Todoroki) are much more safe than others (Koji, Shoji, Ojiro, Mineta), but someone needs to die here (sorry, not sorry...).
What holds true for Class 1-A also holds true for their Pro Hero counterparts. We don't know which character it has to be (someone major like Endeavor or Eraser Head - or someone more minor like Fat Gum), but it has to be someone. That's in addition to All Might, or the clear threat characters like Mirko and Hawks are under: with the level of power that Shigaraki and Re-Destro both wield, a Pro Hero (or three) must fall in the final battle with them.
My Hero Academia's Meta Liberation War arc can be read online HERE.