(Photo: CBR.com)

‘My Hero Academia’ goes ‘plus ultra’ with animation and complex characters

“Boku No Hero Academia,” or “My Hero Academia,” is a superhero manga series created by Kohei Horikoshi and adapted into an anime in 2017. The show’s fifth season is set to be released in early to mid-2021. 

The series revolves around a boy named Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, who does not have a power in a world of superhuman abilities and superheroes. Despite his powerless status, Deku still dreams of becoming the world’s greatest hero like his idol, All Might. He is eventually accepted into UA Academy, a prestigious school known for training great heroes to go above and beyond, or plus ultra. 

I enjoyed “My Hero Academia” for its vivid animation, complex villains and character spotlight moments. However, the development for every character was incomplete due to the shockingly large cast. There was also an overuse of anime clichés, which made the anime unoriginal. 

(Photo: comicbook.com)

Beginning with the positive aspects of the anime, the producers never fail to create adrenaline-filled fight scenes. Each fight is constantly engaging with something to focus on, such as Deku’s dark green hair or the extremely detailed close-up shots. The dialogue, scenery and music also contain a lot of emotional weight and force viewers to root for the protagonists. 

In a fight scene against an organized crime group, Deku’s monologue about the difficulty of his battle shows his determination to save people and defeat evil. Deku stands up against the villains despite the odds. 

The complex villains in the show are what set “My Hero Academia” apart from other mainstream Shounen anime, action-oriented shows targeted towards teens. These antagonists are driven by a clear goal or ideology.

For example, the villain Stain believes that all heroes are motivated by selfish reasons, like fame or riches, rather than altruism. Stain begins attacking heroes who he believes are unworthy and greedy, earning him the nickname, “The Hero Killer.” Though his actions are radical and brutal, Stain’s belief is not wrong. Many heroes choose their profession because of the benefits it comes with. 

(Photo: Twinfinite.net)

I also loved the character spotlight moments. Horikoshi gives a few secondary characters development scenes where they shine.

These moments are usually flashbacks that show a character’s backstory or fight scene, revealing their heroic side without straying too far from the main plot. 

However, not every secondary character gets a spotlight because there is an overabundance of characters. As a result, there is a huge imbalance in the development and attention each character gets from the author. 

Most characters in the show end up being random, unimportant heroes or students with just a name and face. They don’t have a personality or support the plot in any way because Horikoshi gets lazy and only works on developing a select few characters.

Lastly, I hate the overuse of anime clichés. Though every anime is guilty of it, I hate anime tropes because they are so predictable and unoriginal. 

A lot of characters in the show have very cliché personalities. One example is Uraraka, Deku’s close friend. She is bubbly and outgoing like a stereotypical, shounen female protagonist. 

In most anime shows, the primary female character is usually only created to be the love interest of the protagonist and doesn’t have any other important aspects. I find this disappointing because I would like to see an anime with a strong female character. 

I understand that Uraraka is supposed to be likable, but she seems very shallow and boring. She isn’t especially inspired to be a hero and doesn’t have a proper scene to show off her strengths.  

Overall,  “My Hero Academia” is a great anime for anyone who likes action and superheroes. It has complex villains and amazing animation, and the only downside is the overabundance of irrelevant characters.

My Hero Academia
Animation
Characters
Story
Reader Rating3 Votes
Pros
Creative character backstories
Good world building
Detailed art, especially in fight scenes
Cons
Overabundance of characters, so not everyone is relevant to the plot
The spotlight is primarily focused on male characters
4.3
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— By Lauren Lu

Review box photo retrieved from IMDB.

Originally published in the Sept. 22 issue of the Octagon.