Boku no Hero Academia: A superhero story with a twist


Kōhei Horikoshi, Shueisha [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Boku no Hero Academia logo.

Michael Wafford, Staff Writer

Heroes and villains have fascinated the public for ages. From the somewhat realistic ones that inspired the europeans of the middle ages, to the super-powered gods that began to rise from the print in the 1930’s, and no show has brought this idea to its basics like My Hero Academia.

My Hero Academia (or Boku no Hero Academia in Japanese) is an anime based off of a manga by the same title that began airing on Japanese television April 3, 2016. The story was created by Kōhei Horikoshi, and follows young Midoriya Izuku, who lives in a world in which everyone has some sort of super power, called a “quirk”, except for him. The challenges and benefits of a super-powered society has made something possible that was only a dream a few generations ago; professional heroes have begun to take the place of the police, who now work more as investigators and guard criminals. Following the rise of professional heroes, a school called U.A., designed to train students to become heroes, opens up. Midoriya hopes to attend the school one day so he can be like his idol, the number one hero, All Might. Although the benefits of a society like this sound positive, a world with heroes is also an invitation for organized evil, such as the League of Villains, to begin wreaking havoc in cities around the world.

Midoriya has many encounters with the league and is tasked with defending himself with his peers in class A, the most important : Uraraka, a bubbly girl who serves the purpose of an ally and a motivator for Midoriya (who she somewhat idolizes) their friendship is almost enviable as most of their interactions are helpful towards each other and they root for each other in whatever they do , Bakugou, he is a somewhat erratic person who used to bully Midoriya in middle school and now sees him as a threat to his goal, and lastly, Iida, the class president. He seems to do everything with excellence and urges his classmates to do so as well. He chose to be a hero because of a sense of duty that he inherited from his brother, who is a professional hero, but i feel that he may not fully understand the justice he is fighting for. The story fits in well with the classroom environment, and all students are reaching to be the top hero and any failure affects them deeply, resembling the competitive classrooms of Japan.

Boku no Hero Academia is fun and playful, but at times can be deep and dramatic.”

What I really liked about Boku no Hero Academia was the way the characters progressed over time. The shows creators clearly put work into building a world that modeled ours but with a fantastical twist. The characters are funny and well developed and the story is engaging and makes me want to support certain characters especially Midoriya. I really can appreciate Midoriya’s personality because it’s hard to pull of an engaging character with no obvious flaws. Midoriya executes this character perfectly because he’s the kind of person that people really want to root for, he has such humble origins that it wouldn’t be right not to love him. I feel like his underdog role is something that is timeless and just a part of good storytelling in general.

There are so many positive things that I have to say about this show that I can’t think of many disappointments. One slight discontentment that I have though is that I really would have liked if Midoriya had attained his power on his own. The idea that Midoriya was given his powers seemed like a hack, even if he did it for noble reasons. Seeing as the advertisement I received implied that he had no powers by showing off these people with obviously superhuman quirks while Midoriya only threw a ball (pretty far) with determination. After I had watched the show for a little while I realized that this was the only realistic way that Midoriya could achieve his goals.

What I like about the animation is the sunset scenes, you can tell that this has been mastered by the animator’s. The dramatic lighting in these scenes make you think about the story more seriously because they aren’t something you would see with an American cartoon for younger children. During these scenes the characters get a little more detailed ,and many important pieces of information are revealed, or character personalities are expanded upon.

If I were to describe the show in one word there wouldn’t be a single word, because Boku no Hero Academia is fun and playful, but at times can be deep and dramatic. These elements really even themselves out, the more cheerful times that make up most of the show are kept from turning the show into another show about kids with superpowers in high school by using the dramatic scenes every so often to remind the viewers what the main issue is (the League of Villains ) and to discuss the more serious topics of the show. The most important issue being the idea of justice, the faith that heroes really do exist in this muddled gray world.