First Look: My Hero Academia

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Alternative titles: Boku no Hero Academia
Manga Adaptation by Studio BONES
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

In a world where nearly everyone has superhuman abilities or ‘Quirks’, Izuku ‘Deku’ Midoriya is one of the unlucky few to be born powerless. That hasn’t stopped him from being a huge superhero fanboy, but without abilities of his own will he ever make the leap from fan to full-blown hero?

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Zigg’s verdict: The Hero We Deserve

Sometimes a show doesn’t have to be particularly clever or interesting to be fantastic, and that’s exactly the place My Hero Academia finds itself in. We’ve seen a lot of this before – the powerless protagonists, jerk bully, desire to be special, and the chance encounter with an idol – but there’s an energy and excitement to the presentation and world-building that’s infectious. Deku is a great protagonist and immediately likable, goofy without seeming stupid and upset without slipping into tortured. He’s also beautifully animated by BONES, a bundle of gangly teenage energy, thick tears and adorable smiles. The studio’s animation work is, as ever, a huge asset to the production and there’s some great hero design and sharp cinematography to boot. Being so heavily built on cliche might be an issue down the line, but right now this is just a classic old-fashioned hunk of shounen adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

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Iro’s verdict: Excelsior

This was pretty fun! I’d heard chatter of this being a ripoff of One-Punch Man (or the other way around), but they clearly have different priorities and only share the distinction of the superhero genre. The show does a great job of making Deku seem like the ultimate underdog – even though I don’t doubt that he’ll end up with amazing superpowers within another episode or two – and the art style is great for crazy colorful costumed crime-fighters. BONES has a solid track record with adaptations, and this also shares a director and composer with Glorio favorite Gundam Build Fighters, so I’m looking forward to actually having something good to watch this season.

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Gee’s verdict: Grand (Texas) Smash

As a longtime fan of the manga, you can imagine my utter delight when I heard it was getting an adaptation animated by BONES with Gundam Build Fighters’ director and composer on board. Suffice to say, My Hero Academia starts off on the right foot with a strong introduction. Deku’s sheer optimism and dedication to heroism is one of my favorite things about the manga. No lie, some of Deku’s most heroic moments nearly brought me to tears when I read the original manga, and watching those scenes with music and animation was just as effective. BONES did a great job adapting original author Kōhei Horikoshi’s comicbook-inspired artstyle, now with flashy colors to accompany it. It’s fantastic to see the likes of Deku, Bakugou, and All Might animated in all their energetic glory. Special props to BONES for totally nailing All Might’s distinct appearance. Just wouldn’t be the same if he was walking around without his black shading. My only concern is that the first episode basically covered about half of chapter one, so with only 13 episodes to work with, I wonder about the pacing. Even with less than 100 chapters available, there’s still far more of My Hero Academia to adapt than you could fit in such a timeframe. Still, the anime is everything I could have hoped for, and I can’t wait to see how they take on the next few chapters.

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2 thoughts on “First Look: My Hero Academia

  1. Yep I enjoyed both ep1 and 2 of this show. It could stay on my list well past ep3 but I worry about pacing. It’s all well and good we have a joe schmoe as our lead but it all depends on how quickly he developes his powers. I’d hate to see Deku at All Mights strength levels in 4 episodes.

    • As a fan of the manga I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that even after Deku gets his powers, they come with some big drawbacks he has to work with as someone who didn’t get them naturally.

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