It’s time for an anime take on the superhero school idea. Welcome to U.A. High School – the main setting for My Hero Academia…
We are living a time where superheroes are dominating the media both in movies and on TV. From Marvel’s well established franchise to DC developing cinematic universe, it has been an amazing ride for many who grew up reading the comics as well those just learning about them. But there is a new series on the block that (believe it or not) gives an even fresher take on the superhero genre. Let me introduce, My Hero Academia (or Boku no Hīrō Akademia).
Based off a manga written by Kōhei Horikoshi, the anime series follows the story of Izuku Midoriya. Midoriya is a normal kid, normal in the sense that that he is an average human being. That might be all well and good if normal was…well…normal. However Midoriya lives in a world where 80% of the human population develops superhuman abilities, which are called quirks. Being among the 20% that doesn’t have a quirk makes him the odd one out and he’s teased by fellow classmate Katsuki Bakugou for his dream of becoming a hero when he has no special abilities. His nickname for Midoriya, Deku, reflects this since it is an alternate spelling of his first name which which literally means “one who can’t do anything.”
Despite his limitations and the bullying, Midoriya is determined and accepts that he has to work harder if he is to achieve his goal of becoming a professional hero. It is through a chance encounter with his all-time favorite hero All Might that Midoriya’s life drastically changes. After seeing him jump into action to save Bakugou from a villian, All Might deems Midoriya a worthy successor and passes his quirk “One for All” onto him. The rest of series focuses on Midoriya as he enters U.A. High School, the elite hero academy which trains the next generation of heroes.
What makes this series so great is its originality. Sure there is a familiarity about it, having superheroes and all, but there are twists that are not only unexpected but creative as well. At a first glance, All Might seems to be a Superman knockoff, but as time goes on it is revealed that there is more behind those muscles and smiling face. I particularly enjoy his mentor relationship with Midoriya and how they both encourage and inspire each other. Bakugou also plays an important role in the series as Midoriya’s rival and instead of being a one-dimensional bully, he actually has depth of character so that by the end you are rooting for him as well. There are so many more great characters with fascinating quirks, but there is no time to go into all of them here. You have to watch the series to find out for yourself.
A second season is confirmed so if you enjoy watching you can look forward to more. Or if you can’t wait you can read the manga as well, that works too. Either way I cannot give a better recommendation for anime series that breathes new life into the already vibrant genre of superheroes.