My Hero Academia – Preview
My Hero Academia:
Original Air Dates: April 3rd, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Izuku has wanted to be a hero all his life. He lives in a world where people are born innately with quirks, and if so chose, can go down the path of becoming a hero, choosing to fight those who would use their birth given abilities for evil rather than good. It’s a difficult path for anyone, but near impossible for Izuku, who was born quirkless, without any innate powers of his own. He’s mocked by his classmates, who rudely nickname him Deku, but Izuku holds onto his dream no matter what.
Izuku’s life is forever changed however, when he has a fated encounter with All Might, the mightiest super hero of them all. Through this encounter, Izuku will find his path towards becoming a super hero, a path not easy by any means.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Academia starts off strong with what could possibly be some of the highest quality animation this season. Not only are the characters’ well animated, but they are also drawn in a style that’s faithful to its source manga, and thus has a markedly unique facial design style. The colours on screen are popping and help make the story and characters feel intense and beautiful.
Tom: My Hero Academia’s art exudes with the quirky nature of the story, immediately recapturing the wonderful work of Kohei Horikoshi. Perhaps they exaggerate his art a bit further, taking things a tad more extreme, but no matter what My Hero Academia makes for a visually striking series amongst so many generic visuals each season. In addition, the voice cast seems to mostly fit, bringing each of the characters to life, especially Deku, or Izuku, who immediately sounded perfect and in fitting with his character. All Might was good, but didn’t sound “yankee” enough to me for someone who’s spent much of their life in America.
Linny: The voice actors definitely do a great job overall, bringing the characters to life and imbuing them with lots of personality. Yes, this show has an underdog of a protagonist, which isn’t uncommon, but it doesn’t do that annoying thing where he’s an underdog only because he is clumsy or discriminated against. He genuinely lacks superpowers and has a dream that truly seems impossible. This episode focuses mainly on Deku, which is fine as he makes for an interesting narrator with his expressions and reactions to the world and events around him.
Tom: One of the things I’ve always loved with Academia is how easily identifiable Deku is for the audience. Izuku has a big, near impossible dream and I think everyone’s had that childhood, or teenage moment when it becomes obvious that achieving your dream will be increasingly hard, if not outright impossible. It’s a heartbreaking topic and one portrayed with such weight that I couldn’t help but tear up as Izuku looked to his mother for reassurance that he’d one day be the hero he wanted to be.
Linny: This show has one of the saddest origin stories in anime and manga history that didn’t involve any deaths… other than the possible death of a dream. I remember tearing up when Tom read the manga to me, and I teared up again as Deku’s voice actor and the animated expressions perfectly nailed the heartbreak and despair of realizing the hopelessness of your dreams. It’s sure to yank at the heartstrings of viewers as they are reminded of their own dreams or the moment they had to sacrifice one. The story also features a classic childhood bully antagonist, someone who’s clearly going to be around Deku for a while, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is eventually revealed to have a personal struggle that will humanize him.
Tom: In its attempts to be as faithful as possible to the manga, Academia’s anime has opted not to squeeze in Academia’s rather lengthy first chapter into just one episode. The very first manga chapter is adapted over two episodes. This has the unfortunate side effect of giving Academia’s first episode a mildly anti-climatic ending as we’re still left without the resolution to Izuku’s very first story. But episode one should still prove gripping enough to suck most viewers in.
Linny: There’s also plenty of humour to entertain the viewers this episode. A lot of it comes from the reactions and physical gags engaged in by the characters in the show. Academia even offers a bit of fan service in the form of a skintight suit-clad super heroine making her debut (up above) and that’s sure to please the male gaze. The world of superheroes in anime is a familiar concept but looks like Academia might repopularize it by offering us a chance to view it through the eyes of a true and utter underdog.
Tom: My Hero Academia does what every great, or you could even say Legendary, shounen manga does: It tells a classic story with all its own flare and passion. My Hero Academia, I believe, is the next Dragon Ball, or One Piece, or Naruto, a story bound to capture the hearts of many teens out there, and older anime fans who fell in love with Shounen during our own childhoods. I cannot recommended Academia enough.
Linny: My Hero Academia seems slated to be one of the new favourites of the anime community, having already made a big impact with its manga. There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had even for people who have never heard of it before, especially if they are fans of comedic fantasy and action heavy stories. The show has got heart, superpowers, high quality animation, and laughs by the truckloads and should probably appeal to the viewer through one of those avenues if not all.
My Hero Academia is available for streaming via Funimation.com