My Hero Academia, or Boku no Hiro Academia in Japan follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers in a world where they are the norm, but who still dreams of becoming a superhero himself, and is scouted by the world’s greatest hero who shares his powers with Izuku after recognizing his value and enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training. The story follows Izuku’s struggles in his attempts to prove himself a worthy successor to his idol, as well as trying to walk among his gifted peers.
This anime is a fantastic deconstruction of the “shonen hero” genre. In every famous shonen story, where it be Dragon Ball-Z or Naruto, the hero always has something that gives him an advantage over everyone else. Goku is part of an alien warrior race, and Naruto has the nine tails demon inside him. My Hero Academia completely subverts shounen genre norms, as Izuku is a protagonist with a disadvantage, and seen as weak in the eyes of society. He struggles to keep up with all those around him, and finds it difficult to maintain the resolve that he could actually become a hero, and make his dreams a reality. I binge-watched this show over the weekend, as I’m done with my assignments, and I just could not put it away. I watched season one and two back to back, and it quickly became one of the best things I’ve seen this year. The series does plenty right and very little wrong, and it is incredible in maintaining momentum with seasons so closely released. The writers are fantastic in making our protagonist a relateable hero, and not another child of prophecy like we see all the time. Izuku is a hero I could get behind, and is a person you genuinely want to see succeed because of who he is, and not because he’s the hero. The main characters in the story are all well-fleshed out individuals with goals and dreams, just like Izuku, and aren’t just means of helping our hero’s end. It’s a fantastic to experience such a seamlessly told story, and each character is different with vast complexity and drive. Each episode was so thrilling that I would literally scream when it ends, trying to get the next one playing as soon as possible. I think, what makes this series such an incredible story is the fact that it is the opposite of everything that make sthe shonen genre popular, and it humanises every character, and puts them in extremely difficult situations. Constantly, Izuku is put on the losing end of each important situation, and the power he ultimately gains makes him a liability in every fight as opposed to a hero you expect to succeed.
It is an entertaining story filled with epic moments of character development. This show reminds me of why I love anime so much – which is for the same reason I love comic books; each story is an unpredictable thrill-ride, and you could never have a superior story than the other, as every single story you experience, is different and a lot more complex in its own way. The world of My Hero Academia is fully established and although the style and drawing of the different characters is some of the best things I’ve ever seen, the writing of the story cannot be understated. The characters, no matter how powerful and vastly talented, are humanised and made more relateable and likeable. Izuku, as a main protagonist, to me, is one of the best characters ever written, in the way his character is so grounded, and his strength never exaggerated. The most important thing in any anime is a good main character. Only through the main character, can a writer show his true intentions. Character archetypes are all deconstructions of everything we’ve grown to know about manga/anime shonen structures, which gives the show a vast element of unpredictability and danger. The exciting world of My Hero Academia has qualities that simultaneously reflect hope and danger, and an incredible amount of fascination from the first episode of the show. I like especially the transition of our main character, Izuku, who goes from a timid, little child who’s the weakest person in every room, to a gutsy, strong young hero with conviction and a drive to prove himself to all those around him. This results in giving us the sense that Izuku is a person with room for growth, and gives way to a character you actually sympathise and immerse yourself in. The sheer diversity and appearance of its characters, is one that gives the story a highly varied cast of supporting characters who, like Izuku, are trying to find their way. It is a series of characters with different backgrounds, different appearances, different beliefs, and different stories, and not many characters look entirely human, which stands as a testament to an ever-changing, universal world of equality and the quality of each individual character and their personality. Characters are each distinct in their appearances and their superpowers, and are all judged and preconceived by said quirks and not their appearances.
Its highly episodic nature would sometimes suggest that some episodes would be more interesting than others, but such is not the case here. My Hero Academia is a never-ending series of fun-filled episodes and quirkiness. But, I’m not saying that the anime is perfect, because there is no such thing. I think the faults of the show lie with the under-developed supporting characters. Don’t get me wrong, the supporting characters are well-established, but when they are not, they become too tedious and borderline annoying. Particularly, the character of Minoru Mineta. There are times when the character is genuinely funny as comic relief, but when he is not, he becomes bland and flat. Each character has some funny moments and interactions, which makes it hard to believe that the show needs a comic relief character. Also, besides Izuku, and a handful of the inner characters, most of the supporting characters are not really given any room to grow, which becomes a letdown as the characters are extremely well-developed, and setup without a pay-off. With that aside, the show is great and is a brilliantly entertaining story with an amazing narrative and an incredibly well-established world.
The Geek Writer