My Hero Academia has finally returned for season 6, and after bingeing the previous five seasons, I am at last experiencing the anime in real-time. “A Quiet Beginning” is the first full episode of the “Paranormal Liberation War Arc” from the manga – an arc that has been hinted at in a few previous episodes. And despite the title, this episode was anything but quiet.
As I said, “A Quiet Beginning” is a bit of a misnomer, because this war starts with a bang. (Not quite literally, but Mirko busting through the secret lab behind the morgue is close enough.) There is still a lot of talking, and it can feel a bit slow-paced, but that’s expected as it’s setting up a major arc. Mostly, it’s just nice to see a season premiere of My Hero Academia that isn’t bogged down with character introductions and backstories (or long flashbacks).
There’s a little refresher at the beginning, but for the most part, this episode drops you right in the thick of things and picks up where the season 5 finale left off. Hawks is still undercover with the Paranormal Liberation Front (PLF), and literally every other hero (and student with a provisional heroes’ license) has been recruited for one massive offensive. They’re aiming for a simultaneous attack – one group tasked with cleaning out the PLF headquarters while one group goes after a still-incapacitated Shigaraki.
The numbers honestly seem to be on PLF’s side. They’ve gathered together every hero in Japan, but Hawks’ monologue reveals that there are a lot of people – not just villains – who are unhappy with the current system. There are also the Nomus to contend with. Not to mention, with Twice’s ability, they can have an infinite number of foot soldiers. It’s literally the potential for an endless army. We can only hope that this surprise attack will go a long way in tilting the advantage to the heroes.
Unfortunately, things are already not going to plan because they forgot about Twice’s Quirk. The Garaki they thought they captured was nothing more than a double. Although it is reassuring to see that Aizawa’s Quirk worked even on the fake Garaki, because they’re going to need that.
I am really excited to see Mirko in action, because she wakes up every morning and chooses violence. The fact that they sent her in alone to catch Garaki indicates that she’s got the skills necessary to do the job. She is, after all, the number 5 hero. That sequence with her just dropping Nomus as she raced after the doctor was fantastic and bloody and illustrates that she absolutely deserves her ranking. It also implies that this season is probably going to be more graphic than usual.
You know, it’s really unsettling that someone like Garaki can be a pillar of the community, opening orphanages and homes for the elderly, and yet also be the right-hand man of someone like All For One. There were people defending him against the heroes, even though he’s building an army of monsters within that very hospital. It just hits a little too close to home right now. But it also emphasizes that those who have issues with the current system have a point – if someone like that can gain status and prestige, maybe there is something wrong with the way society functions.
I don’t know if everyone has seen this recent video from ProZD, about when the opening of an anime doesn’t match the tone of the show, but I had it in my head during the new OP. Don’t get me wrong, the song is great (I love SUPER BEAVER), but the peppy, upbeat tone will contrast heavily with the war-torn arc that’s coming up. I will admit that the visuals are stellar; I love the comic book-style art.
Another thing I like is how both the OP and the ED make a point of contrasting Midoriya and Shigaraki. Despite the major differences in their upbringings (Midoriya growing up Quirkless, Shigaraki’s Quirk literally killing everything he touches), there are a lot of similarities between the two of them.
This arc is extremely important in the manga, so I do hope the adaptation does it justice. After “A Quiet Beginning”, I’m hopeful that we’re in good hands.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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