My Hero Academia's manga has speed headlong into something much bigger and more serious than the series has ever dealt with: a full-on war between the Pro Hero world and an evil army, led by the League of Villains. This new "Paranormal Liberation Front" has one dark goal: shatter public faith in Pro Heroes - but there's also a darker schemed unfolding. The Paranormal Liberation War is the stage that All For One is using to execute his master plan, by transforming his protege Tomura Shigaraki into the most powerful user of All For One ever! Shigaraki's reawakening has sent out a wave of destructive energy, and provoked a big One For All awakening in Deku, as the two prepare to throw down!
Now the war is officially on, and it is easily My Hero Academia's best arc yet. Scroll below for the breakdown of all the epic things the "Paranormal Liberation War" arc is doing for My Hero Academia!
Real Heroes vs. Villains Event
My Hero Academia has been largely focused on its titular concept: educating the new generation of heroes. However, in getting the story of Izuku Midoriya and his friends in Class 1-A, we've also been introduced to an entire Pro Hero world. But while the Pro Heroes have been active in shaping the path for Deku and friends, we've never seen the series really pull off a major Pro Hero event, on an Avengers level scale. Well, with the Paranormal Liberation War, we are now getting just that kind of event - with the new Top 10 Pro Heroes the anime introduced leading the way - and many heroes already giving their lives on the battlefield!
Up until now, My Hero Academia's biggest "event" moments have been pretty much contained to local villain or criminal groups, who are trying to pull off some kind of scheme. That's obviously the classic superhero vs. evildoer trope, but it's also a level of conflict where the stakes are much lower than what you would typically call an Avengers-level event. However, the Paranormal Liberation War is definitely on a different level. Not only are Pro Heroes trying to stop a massive coordinated attack by an entire villain army, there are also some new horrors that All For One's disciples are unleashing against the hero army, with levels of power we've never seen. It's an intricate chess game of warfare afoot, and it's thrilling to see it playing out.
This war clearly has some major stakes involved, but no matter how it goes, the Pro Hero world will never be the same again. Whether it's major losses (more on that next), or the final shattering of the Pro Hero / quirk use status quo - or the dreaded Qiurk Singularity doomsday event - this is indeed a war, and that war will have some of the biggest consequences that we've ever seen in My Hero Academia... and it makes every new chapter that much more exciting.
My Hero Academia has teased dread and loss in some of its big battle events (see: The Battle of Kamino), but actual deaths and significant losses have been few (see: battle with Overhaul). However, in just the opening salvo of the Paranormal Liberation War, there has already been a brutal hero death, a big villain death, and numerous serious injuries to some key players in the series - with others now facing similar peril (as of the latest chapter at the time of writing this). The potential is sky-high for the Paranormal Liberation War to kill off multiple major figures in My Hero Academia's lore (All Might, Endeavor, Hawks, Class 1-A, even League of Villains members), and it makes every battle in this war a nail-biter.
Next Level Bad Guys
As stated, the hero army isn't just up against a large faction of powerful villains in the Paranormal Liberation Front (like Re-Destro): they're also up against the next evolution in the League of Villains' power. Twice became a veritable one-man-army of clones that can take out the heroes; All For One's scientist disciple Dr. Ujiko has unleashed a new breed of highly-intelligent Nomu; all while Ujiko had Tomura Shigaraki in a stasis tube, boosting his disintegrating powers to a horrific new max level. It's a new level of threat in every way, and the heroes are already paying the price for combating it, in blood, sweat, and tears.
As stated, the Paranormal Liberation War is revealing new levels of quirk powers for Tomura Shigaraki, and frightening new forms of Elite Nomu that can think, talk, regenerate and access nightmarish quirk combinations. However, the lead-up to the war arc has also been hinting at Izuku Midoriya's next level of quirk evolution with One For All, and all the powers of past users that come with it. This war very well could be the event that pushes Deku and Shigaraki to make the dread Quirk Singularity theory a reality!
True Price of Heroism
For fans who just got done watching the My Hero Academia season 4 finale: This Paranormal Liberation War arc is making the new crop of top-ranked Pro Heroes earn their status. Endeavor, Hawks, Mirko (even Crust!) have all shed their own blood for the cause of battling the Paranormal Liberation Front, and looked damn cool doing so. Even Class 1-A is stepping up to the plate, with unexpected students like Tokoyami and Kaminari jumping into the fray and scoring their own heroic moments.
Time to Grow Up
The best things that the Paranormal Liberation War arc could do for My Hero Academia is set the series up for a much-needed transition for Class 1-A. Whether it's a time jump, or simply the lasting scars of a war that force kids to grow up faster, the kids of My Hero Academia are going to be changed in some significant ways.