When I say I love superhero stories, I mean I love just about everything a superhero concept will entail: the costumes, the powers, the over-the-top scenarios, the quips exchanged between hero and villain – just about everything! So when I came across an anime title revolving around superheroes, I just had to check it out. Without a doubt, I can say Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia in English) is an anime title that reminded me why I got into anime in the first place a long time ago – it is just good fun!
The superhero spiel is quite niche, but you should not let the costumed characters deter you. If you approach this anime title with an open mind, I assure you the show’s real charm and substance will reveal itself beyond the capes and masks.
From Zero to Hero
The setting of My Hero Academia takes place in a world where 80 percent of the human population naturally develops superpowers called “Quirks” from a young age. These Quirks run the whole gamut, from enhancing the bodies of their users, manipulating the laws of physics and so much more.
In a society filled with Quirk-enhanced individuals, both heroes and villains exist to dictate the balance. There are people who would become villains by using their Quirks for wrongdoing, while the heroes act as society’s protectors and fight against those who would do such a thing.
Of course, the show’s main protagonist named Izuku “Deku” Midoriya happens to be an individual unfortunate enough to be Quirk-less. Despite being teased nonstop by his peers for not having a Quirk of his own, Deku aspires to be a great hero someday. He is completely hero-crazy and spends a lot of his time idolizing heroes from afar, jotting down notes about their heroic deeds so he can one day apply what he has learned.
But fate decides to throw the underdog a bone when the hero named All Might takes Deku under his wing. All Might’s Quirk can be inherited by another person, and thus All Might chooses Deku to be that lucky successor.
With a lot of hard work, determination and guts, Deku enrolls to UA High along with other talented classmates. At this special high school, students learn the real quirks and nuances of being a real hero. Despite being disadvantaged, Deku must prove to others and himself that his heart is in the right place. He sets out to be the greatest hero of all time.
SUPERbly Told Storytelling
Perhaps what I like most about My Hero Academia is how it presents the plot in a silly, yet serious fashion. On one hand, you have a world where it is the norm to have superpowers, where people just accept that most kids will develop a random power at an early age. And of course, with this being an anime, there has to be a high school that would teach kids how to use said superpowers for heroic purposes.
In regards to Deku as a protagonist being an underdog in this story. Well, I really enjoy how he is portrayed. He quickly becomes a character you want to root for, you develop a desire to see him overcome whatever obstacle comes his way and watching him turn into a real hero thus becomes both captivating and entertaining.
By all means, the premise is ridiculous. More than half of the actual characters in this show are ludicrous, both in their respective powers and concept. For instance, take a gander at Deku’s childhood friend and rival named Katsuki Bakugou in his hero costume.
Katsuki’s power is the ability to make explosions with his palm sweat, and his hero costume is laughably overdone to match such an idea with oversized grenade gauntlets. But this is the point of it all. Everything is just dialed up to the max in terms of superhero cheese, but you cannot help but indulge in all of the zaniness.
If you sit back and just let these characters ham it up, where their individual Quirks match their personalities, there are lots of good laughs to be had. Beneath the skintight superhero suits and funny gimmicks, an actual good story is taking place. Needless to say, I will be looking forward to seeing how My Hero Academia plays out each week for the rest of this spring anime season.
My Hero Academia images belong to the Bones studio. My Hero Academia is licensed by FUNimation Entertainment.