A Hero’s Journey – My Hero Academia

Hello friends and welcome to a very special entry into the Almanac of Awesome. Up to this point, we’ve reviewed classic cartoons, movies, TV shows and given you our thoughts on how to fix existing material. Going forward, we’ll be including occasional reviews of anime series that we feel are deserving of your viewing. Some of these will be series that are long since finished but are gold standards within the world of anime, while others will be current ongoing series that deserve your attention. Today I’ll be reviewing an ongoing series called Boku No Hero Academia, or My Hero Academia and giving you my thoughts on why this might be one of the best anime currently airing. As always, there will be no spoilers for the series, but instead I’ll be focusing on the general plot of the series, as well as the themes that it tries to present.

To understand the show, we need a brief understanding of the world that the series takes place in. Essentially, humanity begins to develop superpowers, but the abilities conveyed by these powers are random in nature, meaning some people can create and control fire while others can control threads. Now in this world, these abilities are referred to as quirks and about 80% of the population develops a quirk early in their childhood. The remaining 20% are referred to as quirkless and it’s from this group that we meet our hero Midoriya Izuku (I’m writing his name according to Japanese convention, meaning Last name then first name). Izuku is a 14-year-old hero obsessed nerd, who wants nothing more than to become the world’s greatest hero, a goal made difficult by his lack of a quirk. He spends most of his time filling out journals where he analyzes the abilities of various heroes and tries to understand how best to help people using abilities. Without delving too deeply into the story, Izuku draws the attention of All Might – the highest ranked hero in the world, and is given a chance to turn his dream into a reality by attending a hero training high school.

For a series that is essentially about kids with superpowers, this series does a fantastic job of bringing together characters with distinct motivations and ideologies and develops almost each one of them, to the point where it would be insulting to refer to nearly anyone as a background character. Most anime series will spend an exorbitant amount of time making you care about the main character and their immediate circle, but My Hero Academia takes the time to make you care about almost every named character, which is fantastic. Another diversion from standard anime tropes is the motivations for the various characters. While Izuku’s motivation is to be the greatest hero, he also wants to show the world that he can and will do his best. This is seen in his choice of hero name – Deku, which can have two meanings in Japanese. The word can either mean “useless” or “do your best”, with the useless version being used to mock Izuku early in the series. Some of the supporting characters motivations are just as varied and complex and range from a need to differentiate themselves from their family members, wanting to honor the legacy of their families and others wanting to support their loved ones and provide for them. Not to mention, the soundtrack for this series is outstanding, it’ll definitely trigger an emotional response in you, during both the fights and the heartfelt moments across the series. Overall, My Hero Academia completely and utterly deserves a place in the Almanac of Awesome and will soon be joined by other deserving anime series, but what do you think? Have you seen My Hero and if you have, what did you think? Leave a comment below and let us know if you have any other anime series you’d like us to review. Catch you next time – BB.

Photo Credit – https://goo.gl/Q6dbb4

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