My Hero Academia Season 6: Dark Deku arc Review

Synopsis: In the aftermath of the double raid of the Paranormal Liberation Army headquarters, many heroes have perished. Because of Dabi’s revelation about his real relationship with No. 1 hero Endeavor, the citizens’ distrust of heroes is at an all time high. The cities are in shambles and people have resorted to taking refuge in UA and other hero schools with fortified defenses. Even heroes have been disillusioned and quit their jobs. Fearing for his friends’ safety, Deku leaves UA and opts to master One for All in isolation, working only with a handful of heroes who know the secret of One for All.

I read somewhere that My Hero Academia Season 6 was nothing short of a masterpiece and I could not agree more. The tension, the action, and the backstories that built up into a major collision leading to this encore was amazing.

The second half of Season 6 focused on the Dark Deku arc as All Might’s chosen successor tried to master all the quirks that came with One for All with the help of the previous wielders. Let me just say, I cried buckets during this arc when Deku began to transition into this dark and gloomy figure whose sole purpose was to master his power and save the people from despair. In this arc, the overly optimistic Deku of seasons past was gone. As was his smile and his endless spring of optimism. As he spirals under the pressure of his mission, he isolates himself further from those who were closest to him and it was depressing to watch.

Deku always made me cry but always for an inspiring reason, but this time, my tears for this young hero was purely because of heartbreak. And in the heart of it all, he remained true to his core and never faltered.

However, in a turn of events, at his lowest point, it was his tormentor, rival and childhood friend Bakugo who had his best interest at heart — who knew that he needed help and would not ask for it because he cared about his friends too much.

Even though he bullied him relentlessly, it was Bakugo who knew Deku best and knew when he was at his limit. The strength of the bond of Class 1A was at its peak this season and truly, I was crying as much as the animators were letting tears flow from the eyes of our crybaby hero. The Deku vs Class 1A battle was an utter gem from the animation to the dialogue. You can really tell how far the class has come from Season 1. And Uraraka is such a keeper. She always stands up for Deku despite her own fears and reservations. Her speech deserved a chef’s kiss. Truly.

On the flipside, the Paranormal Liberation Army has grown more and more powerful with the jailbreaks and the invasion of Tartarus, which effectively freed All for One. While I could not help but hate Tomura for killing all of those people from Season 5 and 6, I also felt sorry for him after learning about his origin story. Its a good thing Deku has not quite given up on a bloodless resolution to stopping him.

I liked that there were subtle nods to fallen heroes who never got their hero moments during the battle such as Eel Boy (the first to get killed at the Paranormal Liberation Army base raid). He got his shining moment and it came in the form of Uraraka’s flashback. Since I rewatched episodes from the first five seasons before delving into Season 6, I also noticed that the dude with stars on his head who made a speech about the heroes was one of the spectators during Mt. Lady’s debut. And of course, Deku’s reunion with Koda was quite touching. It would have been cooler if all the people he saved over the years came forward instead of just the two.

Another plus in this second half of MHA Season 6 was Stain and All Might’s interaction. I feel like the hero killer will be essential to taking down the baddies in Season 7, especially given that Spinner, now the right hand man of Shigaraki, is a devoted follower of his ideologies.

Before the season ended, of course, another problem loomed in the horizon. With yet another surprise bombshell that will push Tsukauchi and the heroes to launch a preventive attack against Shigaraki (again), it stresses me out to wonder how many more heroes will die before the end of this series. And the arrival of American hero Star and Stripe doesn’t seem quite hopeful for me. It seems she will be more a liability than an asset. But that’s just a feeling.

While the season ended on a positive note, with Deku finally reunited with his friends and safely within the walls of UA, I would very much like to take this breather in between seasons to recover from the massive emotions that came with Season 6’s developments. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride for sure with the three remaining arcs in the manga left to be animated. My poor heart better be prepared.

Spoiler alert: Check out the epic battle between Deku and Class 1A below. Note that Deku used multiple quirks but never tried to hurt his classmates.