After a really long time I finally decided to step back into the realm of the anime. My first stop was a series that had been on my radar for quite some time, My Hero Academia. It jumped out to me as a series that had potential to be a lot of fun. I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised when I started watching.
My Hero Academia is another anime taking a shot at the superhero genre. With previous attempts like One Punch Man and Tiger & Bunny both proving to be successful series, it should come to no surprise that there would be another attempt to capitalize off of the craze. What made those other series stand out were their ability to tackle the genre in a unique way. One Punch Man took a completely satirical route of what it meant to a superhero, pushing almost toward the realm of being a parody. Tiger & Bunny was able to take one of the more unique paths within the genre by attempting to show what happens behind the scenes in the lives of the Superheroes, while going into the “what if” of the possible commercialization of these heroes. For My Hero Academia to stand out it would have to do tackle this genre in a way that those other series didn’t, and they managed to do it.
There’s nothing particularly deep about the story of My Hero Academia, but the core concept leaves very little restriction on what could happen down the line. In this world, 80% of the populations have developed powers that are referred to as “quirks.” People with these powers have the ability to one day become professional heroes. The battle between heroes and villains are commonplace in the world so they actually have academies that gauge the potential of each student with a quirk and help hone them into possible heroes.
This concept sounds fun, but not all that special. The appeal comes when we see where our characters fit into this world. This is especially true for our main character because he happens to be…
A Protagonist That’s Not So Special
In a world full of mostly super powered beings, our main hero Deku is one of the people that doesn’t have a quirk. Despite this, he’s always wanted to be a hero and always had the dream of going to the top hero academy.
It would be very easy for Deku to be one of those annoying characters that jumps into fights he knows he can’t win, but let me tell you…yeah he’s exactly like that. At the beginning of the series I wasn’t really a fan of the way he dealt with situations. I understand he wants to help people, but if you’re out there with no real way to defend yourself you become a liability. Headstrong protagonists that act before they think really need to go away.
Luckily, as the story progresses and you see where Deku’s character goes, him jumping into these fights starts goes over a lot better. We as the audience get to see that maybe he’s not as dumb as he first seemed, and that he’s actually a very smart and resourceful character. He’s often times thinking of the most efficient way to get a job done, especially considering his limited abilities. After a while he started to really win me over. He’s the ultimate underdog, yet he finds ways to shut up the people who doubt him.
Of course he wouldn’t have gotten very far if it wasn’t for his mentor…
All Might The God
All Might is pretty damn awesome. When first introduced to his character he’s seen as the most powerful hero in this world. Everyone looks up to him and sees him as this symbol of peace. Honestly, he’s pretty much the Superman of this world.
There were definitely parallels drawn between him and Superman and it shows in a lot of places during this first season. His power limits are undefinable, he believes in always doing good, and during the season a villain confronts him that mirrors one of Superman’s most powerful bad guys. Like Superman, he also a weakness. I will say that All Might’s weakness is a lot better than a green rock though. It adds a different dimension to his fights that can have fatal implications.
Being like Superman makes him a pretty good mentor for the young and naive Deku. He encourages Deku to follow his dream to become a hero, but warns him that doing so without a quirk might be impossible. As the story develops, All Might becomes more attached to Deku and their relationship turns into something truly genuine.
I really do like the main characters and how they play off of each other, but not all of the other characters in the series have the same effect. I really don’t like…
I really don’t understand this guy. He’s supposed to be Deku’s childhood friend, but he doesn’t really treat him like one. During the season we’re given a few flashbacks that show Bakugo and Deku when they were both younger, but they don’t really help to explain Bakugo’s motivations as a character. He’s unpleasant to be around ALL THE TIME and they never give a good reason why he acts that way. This is something that needs to be addressed in future seasons.
Enough of this guy, let’s get back to more of the good. There’s certainly a lot of that when we’re talking about…
The Audio And Visual Goodness
The animation in general really does its job here. I love the art style. The colors really pop out in a similar way that they did in Soul Eater. The character designs are goofy and fun to look at. One of the characters is an actual bird and I laugh every time I see him. The action sequences play out really well too. It captures the intensity of every hit and at times can get extremely brutal.
There is an English dub out for the 1st season so you know I had to check that out. I really do like the voices here. No one seems out of place and everyone gives a solid performance. Frog girl’s voice is especially funny though. Props to Monica Rial for coming up with that voice.
Anything else I have to say I can talk about in my…
Overall, I think this is a solid first season. The concept works and the main characters are extremely likable. They get a lot of things right here, but they need to add a bit more character development, especially for Bakugo. The pacing was also a little off at the beginning, but once it got going it started to hit on all cylinders.
My Hero Academia gets a 75/100