My Hero Academia is bringing to life one of the most emotional and action-packed arcs in manga with Season 5 and Episode 121 making sure that fans feel the stakes. Last episode, the Tomura Shigaraki decided that if Shouta Aizawa could see him and seal his power, that means that he could see Aizawa, too. Set on eliminating Aizawa so that he could continue to decay the world around him. As you would expect, much of the last few episodes have been centered on the battle to take Shigaraki down, or at least try to slow down an unstoppable force. In My Hero Academia Episode 121, “League of Villains vs U.A. Students,” we shift slightly from Shigaraki to the students and stop the raging Gigantomachia.
The stakes have never been higher than this season and over the course of the last few episodes that have become increasingly more apparent. We’ve seen Mirko lose her leg, pro heroes die, Hawks maimed, and the list keeps going. With My Hero Academia Episode 121 the danger isn’t just around Shigaraki, it’s also around the students. While the adult heroes have done what they can to beat them back, there is nothing standing between the kids and the responsibility to save everyone.
As I’ve said before, My Hero Academia never forgets that its characters are children. The adult heroes are there to protect their wards as much as they need to protect the public, and here, they’re failing. As Mt. Lady is dragged across the ground and Midnight is struggling to survive, the students have to execute a plan to put Gigantomachia asleep with Momo leading the plan. This shift in focus for the first part of the episode allows Momo, Ashido, and Kirishima to all have moments of greatness, and fear. But Gigantomachia is more than just the kids or even the remaining pro heroes could deal with, even while working together.
All of that said, the back half of My Hero Academia Episode 121 develops the stakes and Shigaraki pushes past the limits of his body and hurdles toward Aizawa. At the same time, this episode isn’t just about action and stakes building, it’s also about developing Shigaraki’s motive. While Endeavor tells him that he lacks conviction, Shigaraki responds by explaining his resolve, and suddenly, it clicks for Gran Tarino. While Shigaraki seems like pure devastation through chaos, absent of reasoning, there is a conviction beneath the crazy. For Shigaraki, it’s his hatred that forms his unwavering conviction to destroy the world, and more importantly the heroes in it.
While Horikoshi doesn’t make Shigaraki a sympathetic character, and studio BONES follows suit, by resurfacing his childhood trauma and the abandonment by his pro-hero mother, you can see the resolve. By building this out, it’s clear that his violence will only get worse because while indiscriminate violence fueled by chaos is terrifying, indiscriminant violence with conviction is heartbreaking.
My Hero Academia Episode 121 is filled with action and pushes the pedal down on the gas with an emotional final moment as Gran Torino is crushed into the ground and a deletion round makes the connection with Aizawa’s leg. Fear is thick in the series right now, and having read the manga, it’s only going to get tenser.
My Hero Academia Episode 121 — "League of Villains vs U.A. Students"
- Rating - 10/1010/10
My Hero Academia Episode 121 is filled with action and pushes the pedal down on the gas with an emotional final moment as Gran Tarino is crushed into the ground and a deletion round making connection with Aizawa’s leg. Fear is thick in the series right now, and having read the manga, it’s only going to get more tense.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.