“Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” literally picks up on the heels of Mirko’s striking entrance last week. These biological monsters become the target of her aggression, but this episode really relishes in the High-End Nomu in all of their disgusting glory. Dr. Garaki’s powers continue to improve and his current creations barely resemble the abomination that first attacked U.A. High during the USJ Incident. There’s some great, gory body horror that comes out of all of these rampaging monsters, but the way in which Mirko pulverizes the High-End Nomu into a pulp is even more gratuitous.
“Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” makes a huge deal over Dr. Garaki’s sweeping sadness as he watches his creations meet their ends. He’s clearly formed a powerful bond with these monsters that would almost be sweet if it wasn’t so twisted. It’s equally bittersweet when the High-End Nomu exhibit comparable emotions to their creator as they self-activate, will themselves into action, and surpass their programming to protect their master. Some are even compelled to speak for the first time, which also raises seriously interesting questions on the sustainability of High-End Nomu in the long run and if they could ostensibly replace heroes or villains as “dummies” of sorts.
The destruction of Garaki’s lab firmly ends this idea, but it’s still compelling food for thought that could perhaps at one point return in My Hero Academia. It’s one of the truest exhibits of equality and friendship in the series, as disturbing as that is. It’s another chilling way in which My Hero Academia highlights the humanity of these villains and the real feelings that exist inside of them, despite their evil orders. All of this continues to hint at Tomura Shigaraki’s awakening of unprecedented power as he benefits from all of Garaki’s trial and error Nomu mad science.
This episode’s title gives a pretty good indication that Rabbit Hero: Mirko is front and center, but so much of “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” is focused on Mirko absolutely dominating against the dangerous High-End Nomu. This episode is really her showcase. There’s such a devilish glee to her antics here and under different circumstances she’d even look like a villain. The entire episode looks gorgeous, but Studio Bones really animates the hell out of her and her fight sequences. This is the first time that we truly get to see the heights of Mirko’s Quirk and it’s a satisfying, explosive display of strength and passion. She cannot wait to end this evil.
Mirko does the lion’s share of destruction on Garaki’s laboratory, but Shield Hero: Crust also shows up to do his part and get in on the fun. Crust really hasn’t made himself known in My Hero Academia’s past, but the series leans into the idea that there are still so many heroes that the audience doesn’t know about. The fact that even strangers like Crust are showing up reflects the enormity of this threat. On top of this, “Mirko, the No. 5 Hero” also includes some touching teamwork between Endeavor and Eraser Head. The only thing sweeter than Endeavor’s offer to Eraser Head to become his sidekick is Eraser Head’s response that his heart lies with his students.
The big question that’s at the center of all of this combat is whether the Dr. Garaki that Mirko has cornered in the lab is the real deal or just another double. This complication works as well as it does because Garaki himself even begins to lose confidence in his individuality and wonders if he might actually be a clone. It’s an interaction that’s occasionally played for laughs, but in reality it’s quite disturbing.