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Imperade

  • Joined Feb 13, 2020
  • 28

My Hero Academia

Feb 13, 2020

In many mass-audience based media products, you often have only two choices: 1) Be completely different and unique, or 2) Excel at the familiar tropes set-up already and supply that established demand.

To be completely honest, My Hero Academia is a perfect example of case #2; very little about the series is distinctly original, compared to contemporary shonen anime or otherwise, but it absoutely does manage to prove that it is competant enough in all the aspects of our favorite shonen anime series that fans enjoy, to be an enjoyable watch thus far. 

At face value, you might think that My Hero Academia has a pretty unique concept: Super Heros are more of a western-based comic style, and here we have a manga that explores that - however, we already have One Punch Man, which REALLY goes meta and unapologetically strange when it comes to exploring the Super Hero concept. I often find that My Hero Academia is One Punch man's concept overlayed on top of a somewhat simplified Naruto plot. Is this inherently a problem? Only if the obvious nature of this relationship and familiarity somehow makes you apprecite the series less... it only really affects the shows overall originality, and that's not always the most necesary aspect of any particular art - though it often is.

The characters are a solid strong point for the series, as there are just as many serious straight-forward action-based powers that one would come to expect, as there are oddball characters with strange powers. Just like how One Piece manages to deliver odd power after odd power (and odd characters overall) with Devil Fruit, the "Quirk" concept deffinitely opens up all kinds of strange and humorous possibilities. The only issue? One Punch man, unfortunately, has better Hero characters all-around. My Hero has some strong and interesting to watch characters, but it just can't compete with the heros in One Punch man... it's a shame, because I think My Hero's characters really are pretty solid and have a great mix, unique personalities, and are realtively fleshed out, but... One Punch's characters are just that much better, despite the lack of attempting to make you connect to them in the same straight-forward narrative style that My Hero Academia has. 

Deku and All Might's relationship, from the beginning, is certainly the backbone of the show. Every episode you want to see Deku improve from scrub status, and use that immense power All Might teases us with throughout the show. Bakugo is incredibly annoying, being all the worst traits of any character, even with the characters and the plot constantly giving him compliments and respect that he absolutely doesnt deserve. To the show's credit, most of the characters realize this, and a central issue of the plot is what to do with someone like Bakugo - a clear villian type. Even if Bakugo seems to have chosen to not go the path of other villians in the series, it has less to do with Bakugo showing he's a hero, and more with just Bakugo just being so selfish and ignorant that he doesn't really want to be on ANYONE'S side. I don't much enjoy him. 

Todoroki, on the other hand, is a favorite character of mine - though his switch from Gaara-like secondary rinval to only slightly off-base main goody-good is so sudden that you constantly forget he was even such a complete jerk for such a short while. The arc there isn't all that belivable as far as his change in decision making and general personality, though I think the concept of his trauma and his internal conlfict with his two powers and his parents - on paper - is a really interesting conflict. 

The rest of the side characters are solid, but really don't come close to the side-characters in Naruto or even Hunter x Hunter. The characters here have powers, somewhat unique characters, and all really get some kind of arc and attention that they deserve. Their powers are distinct, and their personal flaws allow for memorable interactions and belivable outcomes throughout the story. The villians and the few main characters really steal the show in comparison. The exception to this, however, is the main villian - Tomura Shigaraki. At first, his design is distinctly morbid and demented. His earliest appearances made me really wonder as to how strong this character was, and question how he came to be like this... eventually not only does his background become uninteresting, but his incessent whiny nature isn't executed in a way that feels appropriate and sensible... it's executed as just being whiny and annoying. I think there's a lot of potential with this kind of character, and his inability to see beyond his incredibly childish and selfish desires, but I'm constantly finding his appearance in the show to become more and more unbearable - and not in the good way that I think its intended.

The fights are all over the place... Overall, however, I'm more dissapointed than I am impressed. All the All-Might related battles have been fantastic, as they of course should be, but I'm not always as impressed with other fights. There isn't anything distinctly poor about any one specific fight... I just, in general, don't feel to hyped by any characters powers in the same way I do in other series, particularly, again, like the fights in One Punch Man. Todoroki I'm constantly hyped about, but the other characters feel generally incompetent or not as fun to watch. That doesn't mean flashly and brawny are all I care about - as a show like Hunter X Hunter, for example, is a perfect example of how to have unconventional fighting styles and powers work in ways you wouldn't see coming. My Hero can do this from time to time, but it's execution is only typically okay, rarely impressive, but only sometimes just down-right bad. The power-scaling is also a bit difficult to follow. Early Naruto, One Punch Man, and Hunter x Hunter are all substantially better shows in terms of main and side-character fights... though My Hero, as the show goes on, still has more opportunities to let this side of the show shine (and Season 4 and beyond is certainly likely to continue this trend). 

I'll definitely be following My Hero Academia, as I'm hoping it will find a way to continue to be the Naruto sucessor that it can't help but feel like. I recommend it to people that are wondering what the newer world of Shonen has to offer. 

 The villians are done exceptionally well, although I do feel like  

7/10 story
9/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
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