My Hero Academia Review
Ok so I got current on My Hero Academia last night (Season 2, Episode 12) and I wanted to share my thoughts. First off- it’s a decent series. Maybe I’m jaded by the greats like Bebop and Trigun but I expected something more for the hype it has. Don’t get me wrong; it has a really fun premise, some slick writing at times, spats of really fun animation, is a great homage to American comic books while blending in a uniquely Japanese series, and some memorable character designs Overall, I enjoyed it- it’s a solid B+ and it’s going to at least be memorable as a solid series in a time when we don’t have a behemoth series lumbering over them (maybe Attack of Titan, but still).
There are definitely some flaws though. I’m going to be “that guy” and say it’s a Naruto clone. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a kid who is picked on in a world full of people with superpowers gains a “special” power despite having problems controlling it. He is enrolled in a school that will train him for a martial profession where his talent (and the supernatural talents of others) will help him protect others. These students include: a hyper talented rival of a cool and calm disposition (Garra / Todoroki), a prideful rival of insane power who acts kinda villainous (Sasuke / Bakugo), a female student who always teams up with the protagonist but really isn’t that useful (Sakura / Uraraka) and a colorful cast of other characters who get some development but aren’t actually all that important to the series (except for being showing being bested by others to ramp up the action and maybe they’ll have a mini arc to show some growth in the main character later on). During a mission a great, powerful, and unfair attack by villains occurs (Chunin Exam Arc / Unforeseen Simulation Joint Arc). Insert crazy villain who looks gross in a body horror sense, add a villainous teleporter and a mysterious boss of bosses you don’t see right away who is pulling all the strings, toss in a quiet but amazing mentor who is amazing but is somewhat of an oddball (their skill involves power manipulation), as well as a brash and insane physical mentor who is a foil to the other mentor, etc etc etc.
Another thing: there is some useless characters. Uraraka is suffering from some really bad Sakura-syndrome. Despite being told that she is trying her hardest all the time and people tell us how much she’s planning and thinking and all that jazz… she’s still pretty useless by herself. I know they kind of hang a dramatic lampshade on this but I really hope they do a lot more with her character besides “female emotional support to the protagonist”. Plus… goddamn that’s a super OP power if they wrote her as half way competent like they do the others.
Finally- let’s end with that point of discussion I talked about when I first watched it: the bait and switch. The set up for this series is killer: in a world where 80% of the population has some sort of superhero power a powerless person tries to become a hero. That’s BOMBSHELLS right?! Super solid premise that sets up the protagonist as a smart, creative-fighting, hero of hard work. We see that set up in the first 4 episodes then they totally destroy their own premise. It’s like they remembered they have to follow a by-the-numbers shonen anime premise so it can go on for 400 issues in an easy-to-write fashion.
So yeah- overall, a solid B+. It’s not the best but it’s the best we’ve got right now. I dig is so go watch/read it.