A DARK VICTORY

“I know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail nonetheless. It’s frightening. Turns the legs to jelly. I ask you, to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. And now, it’s here. Or should I say, I am.”

Thanos

The following contains spoilers from the latest chapters of My Hero Academia. You have been warned.

It has been an intense story arc as the superheroes battled the Paranormal Liberation Front. Now, the latest chapter gives us a glimpse of the immediate aftermath of the war. The results are a lot sadder than I had anticipated. That happy concert the students did in earlier arcs truly was the calm before the storm. Now, hero society has gone to Hell.

On the upside, the superheroes managed to detain most of the Paranormal Liberation Front and a number of key figures. Among those arrested were Doctor Ujiko, Mister Compress, Gigantomachia, Re-Destro, Geten, and Trumpet. With these supervillains apprehended, their rampage has finally been stopped and their military strength has been severely weakened.

Despite the positive aspects of the war’s aftermath, the negative aspects far outweigh the upside. Even though most of the Paranormal Liberation Front has been caught, over a hundred supervillains managed to escape. Among those supervillains who escaped were Himiko Toga, Dabi, Spinner, Skeptic, seven High-End Nomu, and Tomura Shigaraki himself.

The superheroes suffered countless casualties; the exact number is unknown. Easily the most heartbreaking loss was Midnight, who was last seen making a last stand against a mob of supervillains. It turns out she was brutally violated and murdered by these supervillains. Her defiled corpse was found by the Class-1A students, who were already traumatized by nearly getting crushed by Gigantomachia. Seeing one of their teachers in such a state will scar the students for life. Midnight was another longtime friend of Aizawa and Present Mic. They were already angered by the death of their friend Shirakumo and his subsequent transformation into Kurogiri. When they find out that Midnight is dead and learn of the exact nature of her death, it could push them over the edge.

The mass destruction and civilian casualties were extreme beyond imagining; far exceeding anything we have seen in the series so far. Because of these developments, the country is starting to lose whatever faith they have left in the superhero society. Some citizens are even considering leaving the country. Even some of the superheroes are thinking of resigning and finding new jobs, having been disillusioned with the status quo. To make matters worse, Dabi’s revelations about Endeavor and Hawks are already spreading like wildfire. This will add further damage to the people’s fragile sense of security.

Most crucially of all is the fact that Tomura Shigaraki escaped with the vestige of All For One possessing him. Now, at a safe distance, Tomura Shigaraki/All For One orders his remaining Nomu to break the original All For One out of Tartarus Prison. Meanwhile, the original All For One in Tartarus Prison mused that despite a few miscalculations the war unfolded just as he wanted.

Apparently, All For One wanted the war and the resulting chaos to happen so he could break his original body out of prison. That is a brilliant usage of three dimensional chess that would impress Darth Sidious. I can’t help but wonder why All For One would want his original body, which is barely able to function on its own, when he already has a new one in Shigaraki. Could All For One have some kind of plan that involves making Shigaraki’s incomplete body 100% stable? If this happens, will Shigaraki regain control of his body or will All For One take over completely? I guess we’ll find out soon.

With the Paranormal Liberation War complete, we finally reach the long-awaited prison break story arc. With most of the surviving superheroes dealing with the war’s aftermath, Tartarus Prison will be lightly defended. It is not just the original All For One who might be broken out, but every supervillain who has been arrested so far in the series, including all the Paranormal Liberation Front members who were just detained. If these recent arrests are broken out at this stage, it will pour additional salt into the superheroes’ wounds and make their few hard-won victories in the war amount to absolutely nothing. Also, Tomura Shigaraki/All For One will have a golden opportunity to replenish his ranks. With the superheroes weakened and the supervillains acquiring fresh troops, Shigaraki/All For One will be able to strike back at society with a vengeance; effectively delivering the killing blow to superhero society.

Overall, it has been an intense story arc and the aftermath has been sad and heartbreaking. Although the superheroes won the physical battle, the supervillains have won the moral battle. The superhero society is on the verge of imploding and things are about to get a whole lot worse with the upcoming prison break arc. It feels like the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. I look forward to seeing how the story will unfold from here.

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