Things reached a whole new level in the My Hero Academia Universe in 2020 as the entire year was dedicated to telling the ‘Paranormal Liberation War’ story arc. This has by far been the longest and most intense story that Kohei Horikoshi has told on My Hero Academia thus far. Every chapter in this story arc has been an escalation of the previous chapter. Now as we begin 2021 it looks like after everything all the heroes, villains, and citizens in My Hero Academia have been through in this story is coming to an end. Given what has happened we may be starting out 2021 with the lowest point our heroes have ever been. Let’s find out if that is the case with My Hero Academia Chapter 296.
Writer and Artist: Kohei Horikoshi
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: After completing their work helping evacuate and rescue people from the area the surviving heroes who could still fight, including Pixie Bob, Present Mic, Wash (Number 8 Pro Hero), and Thirteen, try to stop Tomura Shigaraki from escaping. Unfortunately for the heroes the remaining Near High-End versions of Nomu brought enough chaos to the area to allow Shigaraki, Spinner, Dabi, and Skeptic. The heroes were able to capture Gigantomachia and Mr. Compress, who were heavily injured from all the fighting.
At the Gunga Mountain Villa, Edgeshot (Number 5 Pro Hero) was successful in leading a group of heroes in a fight at the Paranormal Liberation Front headquarters. Overall the heroes and police were able to apprehend a total of 16,929 members of the Paranormal Liberation Front, including Re-Destro, Geten, and Trumpet (three of the organizations Lieutenants). It is said that there are still 132 high ranking advisers in the Paranormal Liberation Front were able to escape and scatter throughout Japan thanks to Gigantomachia’s rampage.
In another area that has been heavily damaged rescue efforts are still ongoing. Uravity (Ochaco Uraraka) and Froppy (Tsuyu Asui) help with the rescue efforts, saving as many people as they can. During all this Uravity overhears a hero who is in complete shock saying “This is too much. I need a new line of work…” as more people are heard screaming for help or crying over their dead family and friends.
Back in the Gunga Mountain Villa, the UA High School Class 1-A students, including Creati (Momo Yaoyorozu), Sugarman (Rikido Sato), Pinky (Mina Ashido), and Red Riot (Eijiro Kirishima), are left completely devastated when they find Midnight’s deceased body.
After analyzing what went on reports come out that Tomura did die when Mirko destroyed the capsule for his rebirth. The report goes on to say that what brought Shigaraki back to life was his dreams and hatred.
The news then confirms that many heroes lost their lives during Shigaraki’s attack, including Midnight, Crust (Number 6 Pro Hero), X-Less, Native, and Majestic.
Hearing this news report people around Japan discuss the video Dabi released to the media and how Endeavor respond, some even thinking Endeavor’s hero career is over.
Over in Tartarus, All For One is able to sense Shigaraki’s body from his prison cell.
All For One then speaks through Shigaraki to the Near High-End Nomus and orders them to free his real body. End of chapter
The Good: Throughout the ‘Paranormal Liberation War’ story arc we have had many destructive things go on. But because of how Kohei Horikoshi has been telling this entire story arc we’ve had very little time to focus on what just happened as something equally as big, if not bigger, was right around the corner. That “Go Go Go” pacing makes the fact we do finally have the chance to slow down and assess everything that happened in My Hero Academia Chapter 296 so jarring.
This really is the chapter where you are fully able to take count of all the major things that have happened in the ‘Paranormal Liberation War.’ Even in this chapter when we are allowed to process the impact of everything that happened the chaos is still going on. There are people that still need to be saved even though the villains either escaped or were captured. That all speaks to how well done this entire arc was in building an intensity that we are still on a high even when slowing things down.
Framing the majority of My Hero Academia Chapter 296 around the news reports that are going around Japan gave greater weight to what we just saw go down. While the ‘Paranormal Liberation War’ arc is now at the end we have only scratched the surface at what this story will mean for the future of My Hero Academia. Because we see as the rescue efforts are continuing that there are heroes who have had their worlds rocked by this event. That is shown with the Pro Hero that Uravity runs into while saving people who is now thinking that this is not for him.
That is something that is best seen with how people are already speaking about how Endeavor will respond after Dabi released his confessional video to the world. As the current Number 1 Pro Hero in Japan this revelation about Endeavor’s impacts the entire Hero community. Because it would be one thing for Endeavor to be a normal hero but because he was literally the Number 1 Pro Hero in Japan a simple apology won’t be enough. This pushes forward the whole sub-plot about why the Japanese government has accelerated having more Pro Heroes after All-Might retired more to the forefront.
Which only gets worse when thinking of how heavily impacted the Pro Hero community is as they suffered major loses. The biggest one of the deaths is no doubt Midnight. As one of the teachers at UA High School and recurring characters in the My Hero Academia: Vigilantes prequel series, we have grown to learn about Midnight. Seeing Momo Yaoyorozu, Rikido Sato, Mina Ashido, and Eijiro Kirishima discover her dead body made Midnight’s death even more heartbreaking. This is a death that was not expected whatsoever, which could be said about all the heroes who died in ‘Paranormal Liberation War’ arc.
It furthers the fact that we at a point of no return with My Hero Academia. Whether we get a timeskip or not, this story has completely changed everything about this universe. It further makes you question what the future of this series will be like. Because we even see how the surviving heroes are all rough shape, both mentally and physically. That includes Izuku Midoriya, who went all out using 100% One For All along with tapping into new powers in the process.
The same can be said for the villains side of things as the Paranormal Liberation Front have been decimated. But even in this state there is a feeling that Horikoshi gives to the way things end that this all went according to All For One’s plans. While not perfect All For one got the end result he wanted when he gave Shigaraki all the power ups. He is now in a place where he can not only break out of Tartarus but come out even stronger than before if he gains full control of Shigaraki.
For how dark things got in My Hero Academia Chapter 296 Horikoshi does a great job in showing how our heroes will fight to the very end to save as many people as possible. Whether it was Pixie Bob, Present Mic, and Thirteen still fighting to capture Shigaraki or Ochaco Uraraka and Tsuyu Asui working with other heroes to save those caught in the destruction, we got to see our heroes living up to who they are. We particularly see how much Ochaco has grown as the previous experience she had in ‘Shie Hassaikai’ arc was clearly in the back of her mind and pushed her to save as many people as she could. It’s all great growth from one of the characters we have followed since the beginning of My Hero Academia.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Kohei Horikoshi hits you with all the emotions as we begin to deal with the aftermath of ‘Paranormal Liberation War’ in My Hero Academia Chapter 296. There is so much to talk about in the aftermath as there is no going back from what we just go down. This is a turning point for the entire franchise. And that is with Chapter 296 only scratching the surface as to how this arc will impact the future of My Hero Academia.
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