My Hero Academia: Can The League of Villains Be Redeemed?

My Hero Academia's primary set of antagonists is The League of Villains. The team of super-powered criminals banded together under the dark shadow of All For One, and have risen under the leadership of Tomura Shigaraki. The current "Paranormal Liberation War" arc of My Hero Academia's manga has seen the League of Villains take things to the next level by co-opting their own army (the former Meta Liberation Front) and planning a coordinated terrorist attack across all of Japan. That plot has resulted in the deaths of several pro heroes, with many others severely injured. The League of Villains looks eviler than ever right about now - but could there still be redemption for the team?

One of the more interesting pieces of My Hero Academia's story is that its main villains aren't just arch evildoers in a traditional sense - they're a team of misfits and tragic figures that bonded together over a shared belief that the pro hero world and its rules were irrevocably broken. While their actions have clearly been sadistic and twisted, My Hero Academia has made it debatable whether or not their point of view is wrong. There's room in that moral gray area for the League to find redemption - if only by making their point in a different way, or perhaps by becoming the example of the ideal they say the pro heroes failed to live up to.

As for what could even make the League of Villains change its views? Well, there are two main scenarios that could cause such a big change:

  1. A threat to one of their own (or all of them) appears, causing them to fight for the one thing they may actually believe in: each other.
  2. Some kind of larger threat to the world of My Hero Academia appears, making the old hero/villain rivalries irrelevant.
My Hero Academia League of Villains Redemption Arc
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Ironically, All For One could potentially be the figure who makes both of the scenarios happen. It's been revealed that the All For One power Shigaraki now holds allows his mentor to possess his body, and the two seem to be locked in some kind of internal struggle for control of Shigaraki's body. If Shigaraki fully turns against All For One, that fight could force the rest of the League to pick sides.

Of course, the League of Villains are not a monolith: the team is made up of different members, who have different levels of insanity and/or viciousness - as well as different levels of tragedy in their respective backstories. For example, Tomura Shigaraki was driven insane through years of abuse and mind-manipulation; Himiko Toga and Dabi, on the other hand, are tragic outcasts who became sadistic killers as a way to stick it to society. Meanwhile, Mr. Compress seems like he's a career crook who could have a noble streak, while Kurogiri has been revealed as a Frankenstein monster built off one of Aizawa's childhood friends from U.A.

That's all to say: When it all comes down to it, the first step toward redemption may be the League turning on itself, as potentially redeemable figures clash with the evil true believers.

My Hero Academia is in production on season 5 of the anime. Online chapters of the manga can be found HERE.