My Hero Academia (2016)

May 11, 202180/100199713 min
Alt. Name
Boku no Hero Academia
Release Date
Spring 2016
No. of Episodes
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Art Style
Animation Production
Rating Summary
When Marvel Comics meets Japanese Animation, thus is born My Hero Academia! This fantastic anime series is sure to be an excellent stepping stone towards anyone's anime journey. With its exciting story and endearing characters, anyone whose a longtime and newcomer to anime will be sure to have a fun time with this series.

My Hero Academia is a 2016 Superhero Action anime series from the Japanese animation studio Bones. At the same time, the studio has created many beloved anime series and films in many of their respected genres. Their entire studio is split into multiple different studios, which regarding My Hero Academia Studios A and C, were behind this series. Though when it comes to having two separate studios working together, the odds of the product being good to tend to be a little less than half. However, stranger things have happened, and having a series that deserves massive attention is not unheard of. But the real question still stands, is this anime worth all the hype it constantly receives?

The story within this series is somewhat basic when giving a short synopsis and without spoiling any essential details. The appearance of superpowers, called “quirks,” has been newly discovered and has been steadily increasing over the years, with 80 percent of humanity now possessing various abilities from manipulating elements to shapeshifting. Unfortunately, this leaves the remainder of the world completely powerless, and Izuki Midoriya is one such individual.

Since he was a young child, the ambitious middle schooler has wanted nothing more than to be a hero. But, unfortunately, Izuku’s unfair fate leaves him admiring heroes and taking extensive notes on them whenever he can. But it seems that his unwavering persistence has finally started to pay off; Izuku meets the number one hero and his idol, All Might. All Might’s quirk is as unique as much as he is, so much that someone can inherit his ability, and he has chosen Izuku to be his successor!

Though the road to becoming a full-time hero is nothing but work, he endures many months of grueling training. Izuku enrolls in UA High, a prestigious high school famous for its excellent hero training program year’s freshman look especially promising. However, with his bizarre but talented classmates and the looming threat of a criminal organization, Izuku will soon learn that being a hero is never easy. Sometimes, heroes must die to protect the people.

While on paper, this synopsis may seem attractive in parts, this does not live up to what the viewers will see. The story itself is better than what some may expect, but what was more surprising is that the action is a slow simmer throughout the season. It starts a little fast, which is expected within any action type series, but quickly dies it down. A story that focuses more on the balance of story and action sequences within a stylized superhero series is an incredibly positive aspect that many non-superhero series fail to do.

Another remarkable aspect that this series story had was that when the writers use other genre elements, they do not overdo it. For example, the series does not use cheap laughs to break the tension or melodramatic characters when expressing the situation. Having a series that does not rely on that is quite refreshing and expands the possibilities of the characters and the story as well.

Though My Hero Academia had a few problems, one was unavoidable in the superhero genre, and others were odd choices within the series. The most obvious concern for the superhero genre is that everyone automatically knows no matter what happens, the character will be okay when it comes to the main character within any series. Although having that element within the genre is not detrimental to the story, it loses its dangerous appeal.

Outside of the simple negative, a few others seemed to be a tad more questionable. For instance, the story has interesting characters, but we do not learn much about them other than their quirks or the bare-bones level of personalities during the entire season. Of course, having so many characters within a series, there are bound to be some more minor airtime characters than others. When most of the characters are unknown, outside of their quirks or names, that problem can lead to a bigger one later on down the road.

Another problem that this story may have on some viewers is that the story itself seemed too predictable in the first half of the series. While this may not be a deal-breaker for a vast majority, those who cannot get into the series within the first couple of episodes will have a hard time until that halfway point. Somehow My Hero Academia finds its groove, but for viewers who are not interested in comic book superheroes or marvel-like characters, it will be slightly an uphill battle.

When it comes to the artistic styling of My Hero Academia it’s undeniable that it gets high remarks, and well deservingly too. The bright color pallet combined with the sharp character designs reminiscent of Mark Bagley’s Ultimate Spider-Man makes the entire series pop. Everything is appropriately made to have the correct amount of anime-meets-American superheroes, which was a massive obstacle to overcome. The outfits are stylish and very memorable and very modern, fitting for dealing with crime-fighting series.

However, the one area that seemed to have lacked a better word, the weakest link, would be the animation production. Now it’s unfair to say that this is the most vulnerable of the entire season, but it seems to fall short compared to the art style. While the opening theme song is wonderfully created, and that’s no surprise when the band that made the theme song was Japanese rock band Porno graffiti, which are no stranger to anime since they’ve been used in multiple anime series. The ending theme, appropriately titled “heroes,” was performed by Brian the Sun.

Though the ending song didn’t seem to have the same impact as the opener, the song still has a significant effect. The opening and closing animations were very pleasing. They can become anyone’s favorite without any worry. However, the ending sequence seems to have a little more of a forgettable quality than its predecessor. Perhaps that’s due to the importance of an intro versus an outro. Overall, these two do a terrific job and to the series justice. But what was remarkable was that the series was able to control the production quality during the high points and the settle moments without dropping any rate.

Throughout this entire season, this anime was something, unlike other anime series. This can easily be seen as an exciting way to bridge the gap between anime and properly fitted action series without going overboard like many western franchises. The easiness of the story shifting from action to drama with ease was somewhat surprising, but it was well enjoyed. Considering that most other series within the genre mainly focus on the move or one of its subgenres. Leaving the viewer at a loss due to the inability to properly transition from one area of the story to another halts the tale itself and potentially ruins the entire build-up the series was attempting.

In particular, when it comes to this anime series, one who is not interested in comic books, superheroes, or even school stories. Nevertheless, they’d be hard-pressed not to enjoy this series with its proper use of multiple genres and fascinating appeal with the flashy art style. Series like this in any medium of entertainment are sometimes hard to find. Still, with a series such as My Hero Academia, they have surpassed every expectation that I had going into this series, and I hope that the future is just as good as its start was.

Cody Senpai

Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.

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