I’m currently hyperfixating on My Hero Academia, so here’s a list of my 5 favorite arcs from the anime. This post will contain spoilers because I’m going to go in depth about why these arcs are my favorites.
Number 5– Work Studies group vs Shie Hassaikai
In my mind, this arc includes everything from when Midoriya meets Sir Nighteye to when the work studies students leave the hospital to return to UA. I love this arc. My favorite thing about it is how seamless the character development is. For example: Amajiki overcoming his insecurities and absolutely wrecking the henchmen, Togata sacrificing himself for Eri even though it meant his future as a hero might be over, and Kirishima getting up and becoming a human shield despite being petrified by fear.
The fighting scenes are insane. They have such amazing animation and they’re choreographed so well. The final battle between Midoriya and Chisaki is literally one of my favorite fights in the whole show. I love the plot twists too, like the League of Villains being involved and Eri not having a quirk-erasing quirk but rather a rewind quirk.
This arc is definitely in my top five. I’ve read the manga of this arc too, and it’s even better than the anime version.
Number 4- UA students vs Hero Killer Stain
I think the Stain arc is so good because of the lead-up. The foreshadowing that starts toward the end of the sports festival arc is perfectly done. It was set up so well because the sports festival highlighted Tenya’s close relationship with Tensei and gave him a strong motive to attack Stain. The series of events makes complete sense both timeline-wise and in relation to the feelings and actions of the characters.
The fight between Todoroki, Ida, Midoriya, and Stain is genius because it’s both character exposition for Todoroki and Ida and it’s setting the three up to be closer friends in the later episodes. Todoroki’s relationship with his father is expanded upon a bit and Ida is shown to go against his morals because of his emotions, which explains his actions in the later Kamino Raid arc.
Stain is an amazing villain too. Stain’s actions and publicity lead to the organization of the actual LOV, who become the major antagonists for the rest of the entire series. This arc allows for almost every other arc in the series to make sense. Honestly, the Hero Killer Stain arc is the catalyst for the whole series.
Number 3- UA Students vs Early LOV at the USJ
Class 1A is fully introduced during this arc. It shows off their quirks and highlights the students who will be featured the most in the series- Midoriya, Bakugo, Todoroki, and Kirishima. It also characterizes Aizawa, who was only shown as an uptight, exhausted teacher beforehand. His actions prove that he cares deeply about his students and his abilities as a Pro Hero are displayed.
Aizawa becomes a realistic representation of how good Pro Heroes actually are. Before the USJ arc, only All Might, Kamui Woods, and Mt. Lady are really shown in action. All Might’s power is unmatched at this time in the series, and Kamui Woods and Mt. Lady are both relatively new heroes who are only showing off their strongest ultimate moves.
The League of Villains is first introduced in this arc as an organization of three powerful villains and a bunch of low-level criminals. Shigaraki, the main antagonist of My Hero Academia, is introduced. Kurogiri, who becomes important in season 5, is introduced. The first nomu is in the USJ fight. This arc is awesome on its own, but knowing everything it allows to happen makes it even cooler.
Number 2- My Villain Academia/LOV vs Meta Liberation Army
I mostly love this arc because I love the villains in the league. They all have backstories and motivations for being villains that actually make sense. In lots of other media, mental disorders are used as a scapegoat for why people are villains. However, the mental disorders that the members of the league have are in no way why they are villains. Even Twice, who is clearly severely mentally ill, isn’t a villain just because he’s mentally ill. The stigma around mental illness is broken by MHA villains, who show that evil people aren’t evil because of their conditions.
Aside from the characters themselves, I love this arc because the battle is super cool. There’s so much going on at once between Shigaraki fighting Re-Destro, Dabi fighting Geten, and Toga fighting Curious. Almost every member of the league ascends their previous power level. Twice creates his “sad man’s parade”, Shigaraki figures out how to disintegrate things without having to directly touch them, and Toga learns to recreate the quirk of the people she is transformed into. The animation is awesome, as per usual, and the emotional backstories of the villains are explored more.
At the end of this arc, the LOV and MLA combine into the Paranormal Liberation Front with Shigaraki as their leader. I’m super excited for the Paranormal Liberation War arc to come out in the anime.
Number 1- Summer Camp
This is by far my favorite arc. I’ve probably watched it about five times now. I love the teamwork between the classes, the introduction of the new members of the LOV, and the battles between the students and the villains are awesome. They’re realistic, too. Midoriya nearly kills himself fighting Muscular. It’s shown that the league has upgraded from the pathetic criminals that they used to have and now have members that hold real power.
We get introduced to new Pro Heroes, too. The Wild, Wild Pussycats are a new set of role models for the UA students. They end up being recurring cameo characters in the series. We also meet Vlad King, the homeroom teacher for class 1B. His attitude towards class 1A shows the influence 1A’s accomplishments have on the other members of UA. The other students’ disdain for 1A is explored later in the school festival arc as well.
The students become closer friends and bond over the experiences they went through at the summer camp. They all make dinner together, live in cabins together, and go in the hot springs together. Class 1A and 1B cross over and find friends. It’s nice to see the students relaxing and having fun, even if it gets ruined from another villain attack.
The summer camp arc has great fights and plot development. The best plot development is that it leads to the Kamino Raid arc. The Kamino Raid arc impacted every character in the series, but it was only really good because the summer camp arc set it up so well. The new villains are introduced and the students are set up to go try to save Bakugo even though it might kill them. The arc also is the reason why UA makes dorms for all the students, which makes for a lot more interaction between the students. This arc is hands-down the best.
These are my top five My Hero Academia anime arcs. I’m going to go read the manga now.