There’s been a common theme with the past two episodes’ titles. “Name: Origin” is a sign from the creators that we are about to get a much-anticipated backstory. These stories are about the heroes/villains reaching All Might’s motto of remembering one’s origin and determination. At first, it’s odd to see two of them in secession. However, with the rapidly approaching MVA climax, it only makes sense we get an enticing wrap-up before we flip back over to the heroes.
We see how trauma from Tenko Shimura family’s death, left him alone in a world of Pro Heroes’ bystanders. The citizens passing by left a bloody child wandering the streets, thinking a hero would save him, but none came. Instead, All for One was who reached out to the child. Tomura Shigaraki, the villain, was neither born nor made. Rather he was designed, custom-built by the first person to reach out to him. This is an important point to take note on. While the modern trend of making more sympathetic villains has allowed for a lot of interesting ideas to flourish in media. The abuse Tenko suffered and his violent retaliation didn’t turn him into a villain. It left him vulnerable, fragile, and the perfect subject to be molded into the being he is today. All For One recognized that he could have grown up to be a kind and loving person with enough time and proper support. So he made sure that would never happen, raising his apprentice to embrace violence as the only outlet for his feelings and keeping the cold, dead hands of the past clenched tightly around his neck. One might hope this trip down memory lane would make him reconsider his life’s purpose; it doesn’t. Shigaraki goes the exact opposite direction. He embraces the ideals All for One taught him.
Re-Destro, the liberation army leader who witnessed this rebirth from the frontlines, can’t even put a word to what he feels staring down at Shigaraki’s final attack. Combined with the terrifying power on display and getting maimed, he ultimately handed over the reins of his organization. Rather than abolish the Meta Liberation Army, they would join forces with the League of Villains and create a new organization under the banner of Tomura Shigaraki. Re-Destro realized that Shigaraki truly embodied the spirit of Destro, and his ideals could only be fulfilled through him. With their combined forces, the Paranormal Liberation Front was formed. Shigaraki dropped the “villain” moniker to signify a new age. Society can no longer determine the line of hero and villain, of black and white. The world will be covered in grey ash.
More importantly, this episode makes a worthy conclusion to My Villain Academia. There’s still one episode left, likely to set us up for the coming conflict, but on a story and character level, this is absolutely the climax of My Hero Academia season 5.