Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

My Hero Academia Season 6 Dealt A Devastating Turn (& Other Anime Creators Should Be Taking Notes)

"My Hero Academia" has revealed one shocking revelation and plot twist after another in its daring sixth season. Hundreds of heroes craft two joint efforts to stop the Paranormal Liberation Front and the League of Villains once and for all, as dozens of large-scale conflicts began across Japan.

Of course, what the heroes of "My Hero Academia" didn't know was that Tomura Shigaraki (Koki Uchiyama/Eric Vale) had been in the process of having his quirk leveled up considerably and inheriting many of All for One's (Akio Ōtsuka/John Swasey) quirks as well.

This surprise set the stage for a devastating turn of events, killing hundreds of heroes and civilians. Others were permanently maimed or disfigured, and the attack leveled the city in one fell swoop. While "My Hero Academia" has gone down dark roads before, most notably with Shigaraki's brutal origin story at the end of season 5, the series has never gone this far in robbing hope from its protagonists and viewers.

The heroes have never taken a loss like this before...

Generally speaking, "My Hero Academia" is a show full of hope. Although stories have taken a dark turn — like when All Might (Kenta Miyake/Christopher Sabat) and All For One fought in "My Hero Academia" season 3 — there were happy arcs too. More importantly, despite taking casualties, the heroes won in those conflicts.

However, with such a divisive loss suffered in season 6 of "My Hero Academia," the villains may have finally gotten what they wanted: The public to lose faith in the heroes, forcing the superhuman society to crumble as a result. As Gran Torino (Kenichi Ogata/Charles C. Campbell) said: "What's the point of all of these heroes if we can't even stop one villain?"

That's the question that fans are left with at the end of season 6's first arc — using its final shots to show their dead, unconscious, or maimed heroes amid a desolated city. This visual echoes the protagonists' devastating losses. To make matters worse, the villains only lose two key players: Twice (Daichi Endo/Newton Pittman) and Mr. Compress (Tsuguo Mogami/Kent Williams).

Other anime could benefit from such a shocking tonal shift

While other anime series have gone much darker with shows like "Goblin Slayer," "Berserk," and "Attack on Titan," as some examples, what makes the shift to darkness and hopelessness more effective in "My Hero Academia" is that it's so at odds with the show's general tone.

After all, this is a series with entire arcs comprised of the heroes, teachers, and students of UA High School hanging out and having fun or competing good-naturedly against one another. In that sense, the closest analogy would probably be the "Harry Potter" series, which got increasingly bleak with its last few stories, despite the lighter tone of the earlier books and films.

Other anime creators and writers can learn from the popularity of "My Hero Academia" season 6 (via Parrot Analytics). Fans will respond when a show with a lighter and hopeful tone does a 180-degree turn and goes full-bore in the other direction. The change in tonal energy may leave fans in a heavy place. Still, the shock to their senses is worth it, as it shows fans that anything can happen now in this fictional universe.