The My Hero Academia Anime Mishandled The Manga’s Best Arc

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

My Hero Academia is one of the most popular anime right now, but that hasn’t stopped it from being criticized for poor writing, especially compared to the manga. Those who only watch the anime may not be aware of how entire character arcs are dropped when the series is being adapted, but manga readers certainly notice.

The worst offender to date is the “My Villain Academia” arc that closed out Season 5, which is a shame, as this is the one time that viewers could learn more about the various villain’s motivations and relationships outside of the heroes being involved.

My Villain Academia

The first part of the problem was that the My Hero Academia animation studio, Studio BONES, moved the story from right after the “Joint Training Exercise” arc to the back end of the season, swapping places with the “Endeavor Agency” arc. This was done because of the film World Hero Mission, but it also led to a boring season, with countless manga fans waiting for “My Villain Academia,” only to be extremely disappointed when the entire structure of the villainous story was changed.

Spinner Gets Ignored

The worst change, in my opinion, is that the anime did away with Spinner’s narration, which added a layer of sympathy to the Stain-worshipping lizard villain. His passionate “Where are we going with this?” cry for help is sort of included, but gone is the access to his inner thoughts about how low the League of Villains has sunk. To make it even worse, the My Hero Academia anime also removed the Creature Rejection Clan, a group of people who were racist to those with quirks that make them look different from “normal” humans.

The Villains Do What The Heroes Won’t

During Season 6’s “Dark Deku” arc, there’s a moment of humans ganging up on another citizen with an animal quirk, giving My Hero Academia anime-only fans the first glimpse of how the heroes haven’t been able to solve the problem of racism. Gone from the moment is the echos from “My Villain Academia” when the League of Villains destroy the Creature Rejection Clan, establishing that at the time, even Shigaraki and Dabi had moral standards…sort of.

Reduced To A Second-Rate Overhaul

While I miss Spinner’s narration the most, it can be argued that a larger disservice was done to the Meta Liberation Army, built up in the background of Hawk’s adventure as a major threat, but the anime denied them the screentime to make that clear to viewers. Re-Destro’s background and the full extent of his zealotry were left out, leaving My Hero Academia viewers with a second-rate villain, while the manga explains how long he’s been working in the background for this very moment.

The MLA Needed More Screentime

The other members of the Meta Liberation Army were given the short end of the stick, with little of their background given, no explanation as to how they have been slowly turning the populace against heroes, and zero screentime for their own characterizations. Curious might have come off the best, as her fight with Toga is mostly left intact, but the rest, such as Trumpet and Skeptic, are significantly cut back.

The Villains Always Get The Short End Of The Stick

My Hero Academia may be a hit anime, but one of the earlier villain arcs, the “Forest Training” arc, was also changed from the original plan because of fan response. It seems like the League of Villains can’t catch a break, but what makes Season 5 even more egregious is that the manga did such a great job of giving them layers of characterization. Now that the manga is finishing up and the anime is getting ready to adapt the final chapters, you can expect more moments that exist for world-building and character depth to be sacrificed.

You can catch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll.