My Hero Academia, as I’m sure you know, is a renowned shonen anime that has been sweeping the world over the last few years. In case you’ve been living uncer a rock or otherwise incapacitated in such a way that you haven’t gotten around to watching it, I’m here to tell you in our My Hero Academia Review why you need to place this anime at the top of your watch list! I’m happy to inform you that I really don’t like spoilers and, as such, this review will be a spoiler free affair (even though the show has been out for a while) discussing the show in the most general of terms, being careful not to reveal too many specifics. So without further ado, let’s to our spoiler free synopsis of My Hero Academia!
Plot and Story
My Hero Academia tells the tale of a world where 80% of the population possesses some kind of uncanny ability, known as “quirks”. These quirks appeared many years ago, with the first known case being a baby that radiated light. From there, these quirks began popping up all over the world, eventually reaching the current level of 80%. Some used their newfound power to fight for justice and others selfishly abused their power for money, and petty criminal acts. As time went by, and these quirks became the norm, society began developing rules and restrictions surrounding quirks, creating quirk-specific laws and professions. The chief profession among those was reserved for those with the strength and heart to fight for justice and help those in need. Known as Heroes, they used their power to protect the innocent and fight against ought those who would use their powers for evil, known as Villains. However, things aren’t just left to be that black and white. The laws and views that people have on heroes are portrayed in varied and believable ways. While many adore them, there are those that fear them for their power. Throughout the series, people express a variety of perspectives on heroes. These perspectives have a variety of effects on our heroes as well as the development of the hero society as a whole.
Izuku Midoriya (Deku)
The story follows middle schooler and aspiring hero, Izuku Midoriya, who is part of the unfortunate 20% of humans who were born quirkless. Despite being born without a quirk, Izuku has always held an immense admiration – to the point of obsession – for heroes and a buring passion to become one. He’s about to graduate middle school and aspires to join the world’s greatest hero training school, UA High. One day, after a fateful meeting with his idol All Might, the world’s greatest hero and Symbol of Peace, his life is forever changed. To his surprise, it also turns out that All Might will be teaching at UA that year! Now he must navigate his way through the trials of life at this superpowered high school all while learning what it truly takes to be a hero.
Tomura Shigaraki and Nomu
Also, let’s not forget: what superhero story would be complete without villains? Much like heroes, the world of My Hero Academia is also host to wide cast of villains – from petty thieves to classic criminal masterminds. The main antagonist group of the series is known as the League of Villains, led by Tomura Shigaraki. They are bent on killing All Might and destroying public faith in heroes. They seek to plunge the world into chaos and reinvent this hero society as they see fit. They aren’t exactly a linear group, however. Many of them have motives that differ from one another, but they have all united under a common banner to achieve their goals, however sinister those goals may be. Though I am sometimes left scratching my head as to where class 2A is (and the rest for that matter), as well as why a group of mostly adult villains are constantly attacking the same freshman class over and over again. If someone could fill me in on that, I wouldn’t mind. For now, I’ll just chalk it up to anime logic and keep it moving. The show is still fun regardless.
From left to right: Tenya Iida, Ochaco Uraraka, Izuku Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugo, Shoto Todoroki
Izuku is an intelligent, studious kid with a heart of gold whose immense admiration towards heroism has led him to take notes on heroes and even his own powerful friends, their powers, personalities, history, strengths, and weaknesses – even to the point of discovering weaknesses that someone without a quirk can exploit. He’s always spinning the wheels in his mind and can be constantly heard muttering to himself as he tries to think his way through a situation even against the odds. He’s an honest kid who wants nothing more than to keep the world safe and protect people with a smile on his face. His bravery, even while he’s shaking in fear, is an inspiration and you can help but cheer him on.
Izuku is joined by his childhood friend and student hero prodigy, Katsuki Bakugo, from whom he received the nickname Deku at a very young age. Izuku, in turn, has always affectionately referred to Katsuki as Kacchan. They are surrounded by a cast of elite superhuman teens, such as the zero gravity Ochaco Uraraka and blazing fast Tenya Iida (who both befriend Izuku early on and support him on his way), learning to use their power for good, but also just being teens. Theres drama, tension, romance and more that the students will have to be able to navigate through if they want to survive UA, and Izuku has it harder than anyone else.
There’s plenty of character development that occurs throughout the series. Kacchan for example, hates Deku in the beginning and – well…he still hates him, but at least we get to see that there’s more to his character than just that. Even Izuku grows more confident and more driven as he gains more experience and has heavier and heavier burdens placed upon his shoulders. Other classmates such as class rep Tenya Iida and Shoto Todoroki, the son of the number two hero Endeavor, have to face their inner demons and grow because of it. These shifting dynamics are a joy to watch! Even All Might has moments of growth throughout the story as he grows into his role as no longer just an idol to the students, but also a mentor to guide these fledgling heroes towards reaching their full potential.
As the students fight alongside one another and experience true evil firsthand, the dynamics and relationships between them grow and change as they begin to consider their views of the superhuman society as well as their role in it. The same can be said of the villains. Tomura is not your typical supervillain. He and his band of villains are in a growth phase much like our young heroes. As the story progresses, Tomura begins to consider his own views as well. He gains conviction, leadership skills, tangible goals, the resources needed to accomplish them, and the loyalty of his subordinates. He becomes more targeted and deadly with every attempt. A villain that grows alongside the heroes is something that I don’t see much of and it makes things very interesting to watch.
All Might, Deku, and Katsuki’s general interactions.
Art and Soundtrack
The art of My Hero Academia is honestly something that I believe is secretly many viewers’ reason for watching it – and for good reason: the show is absolutely gorgeous. The team at Bones (Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater) is really showing why they’re considered on of the best. Many shows will up the animation quality during action scenes, and have ridiculously bad animation in the less dynamic, idle scenes. While there’s a tiny bit of that here too, it’s expected in the industry and it’s not nearly as bad as most anime out there (I wont say any names but you know what I’m talking about), and the more impactful scenes more than make up for it. Not only are the emotional scenes very well done, but the action scenes are incredible! Not only that, but the character designs are varied and creative. The world of My Hero Academia is inspired by western heroes and it shows. You can see inspiration from Superman, Deadpool, and more in some of the character designs and traits.
Next up, we get to one of my favorite aspects of the show: the soundtrack. Can you say You Say Run? I sure can, because that song is just beyond words. My Hero Academia’s composer, Yuki Hayashi, knocked it out of the park with that song and many more hits on the soundtrack. The animation team has also shown a great knack for playing the song at the most perfect of moments. It’s basically the ‘Deku is about to wind up in the hospital again’ theme, but you can bet that he’s going to do something amazing first. In addition to that, songs such as You Can Be a Hero make the series’ many great emotional scenes more impactful, really tying those scenes together into something beautiful. Those are two of my (and countless fans’) favorites from the soundtrack, but there are quite a few more that I could list. The soundtrack and animation quality truly come together to take the series’ great story, events, and moments shared by the cast to the next level.
In conclusion, My Hero Academia is a solid show, deserving of the praise that it receives. It’s got some of your typical shonen qualities, but it’s also doing something different. Not to mention, it looks and sounds great! It’s a show for superhero fans who are tired of superheroes. With an endearing lead and a varied, deep, and interesting cast, My Hero Academia is definitely one of the shows to watch in the past few years. If you’re still on the fence, don’t be. Give it a watch! You won’t regret it (but if you do, I take no responsibility), and with that, we’ve reached the end of our My Hero Academia review. What do you think? Do you like this review format? What are you opinions on the show? Comment below!
My Hero Academia as well as the My Hero Academia Original Soundtrack are available on Crunchyroll and Amazon. If you’d like to learn more about the making of My Hero Academia’s soundtrack, be sure to check out our feature on the show’s composer here.
Name: My Hero Academia
Description: An endearing battle anime, slice-of-life, and comedy with great animation that captures a wonderful, heroic world.
Story – 7.5/107.5/10
Characters – 9/109/10
Art – 8.5/108.5/10
Soundtrack – 9/109/10
- Great lead and supporting characters
- High quality animation
- Beautiful soundtrack
- Plot can be a bit outlandish