The appearance of "quirks," newly discovered super powers, has been steadily increasing over the years, with 80 percent of humanity possessing various abilities from manipulation of elements to shapeshifting. This leaves the remainder of the world completely powerless, and Izuku Midoriya is one such individual.
Since he was a child, the ambitious middle schooler has wanted nothing more than to be a hero. Izuku's unfair fate leaves him admiring heroes and taking notes on them whenever he can. But it seems that his persistence has borne some fruit: Izuku meets the number one hero and his personal idol, All Might. All Might's quirk is a unique ability that can be inherited, and he has chosen Izuku to be his successor!
Enduring many months of grueling training, Izuku enrolls in UA High, a prestigious high school famous for its excellent hero training program, and this year's freshmen look especially promising. With his bizarre but talented classmates and the looming threat of a villainous organization, Izuku will soon learn what it really means to be a hero.
Note: Tl;dr at the end for the lazy ones.
*MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*
Inspired by American superhero comics, Horikoshi Kouhei's Boku no Hero Academia (or 'My Hero Academia' in English) manga started publishing two years ago, but got gained a lot of popularity only after the release of One Punch Man anime. But being honest here, I must say that I was somewhat disappointed by it.
The story is rather childish. In the world of My Hero Academia, on one fine day, out of nowhere, new born babies started having some random super powers which are called 'quirks'. With that, evil villains emerged, and with that heroes emerged
too, which soon became usual and was accepted by the society. Our main protagonist of the show, Izuku Midoriya, who is always bullied by his childhood friend Bakugou Katsuki who has a great quirk, wanted to join the prestigious 'Hero School', UA, and become the best hero in the world like 'All Might'. But he discovered in his childhood that he is 'quirkless', but finding the potential in him due to various situations, All Might passes on his quirk to him which is somewhat like ultimate strength, speed and endurance. But due to his weak body and lack of practice, he always hurts his body due to the recoil. Anyway, he manages to clear the UA entrance exam and now he must struggle in the school to pass out as a pro hero.
Okay, so far so good. But from this point, the excitement goes downhill. Bad jokes, predictable events, childish plot, and what not, makes it seem more like an American Cartoon than a Japanese Anime.
Bones Studio, very popular for it's work in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, delivers some of the best artworks out there. But this time, it gambled with My Hero Academia. The graphics are very sketchy and it feels like we are reading a comic book. It may be a hit for some people. But honestly speaking, it was a miss for me.
There is no doubt that Porno Graffitti, the most misunderstood band name, did an amazing job for the OP with the song 'The Day'. The fast and catchy song and the visuals along with it are very good and fits the mood. 'Heroes' by Brian the Sun is another great ED. And guess what? Kaji Yuki performed the role of Todoroki Shouto! Also other talented voice actors like Okamoto Nobuhiko, Suwabe Junichi, Kitamura Eri, Yuuki Aoi, Inoue Marina did a great job. The OSTs during the action scenes are really good too.
This is the biggest negative point for the show. The characters, are well, lame. Everyone is either silly or one dimensional or simply annoying. They all have unique quirks which make them different from each other. But still, they are lame.
Bakugou Katsuki is the lamest and the most annoying of all the characters. He exists just to bully Midoriya Izuku to make the anime more shounenish.
Midoriya Izuku is no good either. A lame-ass who usually cries over stupid things instead of fighting like a man. He is a fan boy who cries tears of happiness like a girl when he is able to see some pro hero. That's seriously lame.
All Might, the strongest hero in the world is the silliest childhood-hero like character. He has got some weird hairstyle and dialogues without any punch. He has one alternate form in which he shrinks to a thinner size with a gunny un-proportional face and body, which may have been shown for comedy, but I found it silly.
Eraser Head is the only character whom I found interesting and mature. Reminded me of Kakashi Hatake from Naruto. :P
I enjoyed the show only in some parts of it (mostly the action part). The rest of the show was silly, childish, predictable and it felt like it was targeted for pre-teens. But anyway, if you have already watched a lot of good anime, then this anime is suited for casual watching.
If you are a pre-teen or younger, you will like or maybe love this show. It has all the scenes and factors which today's generation kids love (I guess). If you are a matured adult who is not into silly comedy, bullied-kid-turned-into-superhero or someone who finds funny villains evil, you should probably avoid this anime.
+A few action scenes
+Good for audience below the age of 16 years
-Poor plot, many loopholes
-Silly and annoying comedy
-Silly and annoying characters
-Comic book sketch-like art
-Not good for mature audience
It's like a rip off of Marvel, DC and One Punch Man. But a bad one. Good for casual watching, if you have already watched a lot of good anime and have nothing new to watch. If you like shounen super power anime, then you will like this anime. I have a feeling that the sequel is going to be better. Let's wait and see.
Boku no Hero Academia is an anime that lives and dies by the conventional. While that could be seen as a negative feature in most scenarios, for a superhero shounen that understands its limitations, it's actually quite refreshing.
Being satisfied with maintaining a status quo in a medium that constantly pushes the envelope may seem like the wrong direction to take, until you come to realize the confines the show is working with. While some shows of this nature tend to sabotage themselves with poor narrative decisions, most are usually knocked off, not by their content, but by their desire for more, despite not having
the content needed to back it up.
Shounen stories by design are meant to be delegated to the fundamental building blocks of easily digestible themes. After all, their target demographic is 1st and foremost young boys to teens, before concerning themselves with any other target group. While some titles have successfully escaped this genre's trappings to garner appraisal from a more demanding audience (Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter X Hunter etc.), most of it tend to fall apart when they attempt to push beyond the capabilities of its written material (Owari no Seraph, Blue Exorcist etc.). This isn't to say that a creator shouldn't attempt to do more if they think they're capable of pulling it off, just that knowing what material you have to work with is also key to creating a successful work. You can't exactly create thematically rich content from something that didn't contain it in the first place. But what you can do is make the best product possible with the hand you're dealt.
And this is where Boku No Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) comes in. It's a shounen story that isn't ashamed about its humble offerings, nor does it display delusions of grandeur for accolades out of its reach. While other content creators are busy navel-gazing, Academia uses that time to create something that's full of whimsy. It's an anime that lives comfortably in its realm of customary standards. And really, isn't that enough? Academia doesn't work because it offers more than other atypical shounen titles, it works because it decides to be the best it can be in its current position it is given. And what better way to show strength within one's limitations, than by having the story revolve around characters that put forth their best effort in the face of adversity.
Academia tells a story that I'm sure any veteran viewer of anime is familiar with. The classic underdog story; the naive boy growing into his own, the bonds he forms with like-minded individuals, and the life lessons he learns along the way. It's a simple tale, one of perseverance, childish ideals and believing in oneself.
Izuku "Deku" Midoriya is that naive boy and the object of his admiration is that of All Might: the idealized embodiment of peace and justice. The story chronicles his attempts to become an admirable hero like the one he looks up to, as well as seeing him overcome the obstacles he's bound to face on that uphill battle he's undertaken to get there.
Set in a universe where superpowers manifest itself within 80% of the world's population, becoming a professional hero has become commonplace. These innate abilities that people find themselves with are referred to as "Quirks". Naturally, the 20% that's born without a Quirk is at an inherent disadvantage to the rest of the population. And as you would guess, our protagonist Midoriya is one of these unfortunate people that life handed lemons to. Despite his situation, our protagonist still desperately seeks out the chance to become a hero. But it isn't until a faithful encounter that his dream could become reality. Fast forward a few months later and Midoriya finds himself at the gates of one of the most respected schools for heroes in training. And so begins our tale.
The first thing you'll probably notice about Academia is just how expressive its art and animation is. The show looks like colored panels jumping right off the pages of its manga counterpart. This is further illustrated by the dynamic movement of the characters, instantaneously eye-catching character designs and ultra-vibrant color scheme. Studio Bones rolled their sleeves up with this one, delivering a visual spectacle that they're known to be capable of pulling off. And since they're adapting the material verbatim, none of their infamous plotting issues makes its way into the narrative, making Academia into a cohesive body of work, the likes of which wasn't pulled off by Bones since their adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist. It's the studio at their best, which not only spotlight their talents to others but also helps Academia to shine its brightest.
To further heighten the visual treat, we're also given a soundtrack composed by Yuuki Hayashi, which was, for the lack of a better term, hype-inducing. Lending his talents to Kiznaiver, Death Parade and other projects, Hayashi is quickly making a name for himself within the industry and is a talent worth keeping on your radar for future works to come. With veteran Sound Director Masafumi Mima lending his talents to the project, together these two men help shape the auditory section of Academia into what it is. It's a commendable effort that's deserving of the praise received.
And just like the presentation of the show, the characters are just as lively, with a broad range of personalities and superpowers to boot, as what should be expected from a show dealing with superheroes. While they're all fairly stereotypical, what they lack in layered character detail, they more than compensated with spunk and attitude. Their eccentricities added to the show's tone and lighthearted nature. They're in no way innovative or new to the genre they're a part of, but they still serve their purpose for the content at hand.
This extends to our protagonist Midoriya as well. He is your archetypal lead in every way possible. Replacing him with almost any other shounen protagonist would yield very little change. What is interesting about him, however, is the handicap that's placed on him. Due to the inherent nature of his power, he is forced to make compromises in order to avoid extensive injury to himself. Since he spent his entire life taking notes of the anatomy and capabilities of other heroes, he's more astute than his peers. This allows him to plan accordingly, especially under stressful conditions that force him to be quick on his feet. As the show goes on, this analytical prowess of his doesn't go to waste. He brings this talent to each physical encounter he's placed in.
Speaking of physical encounters, since our protagonist makes the effort to think tactically in the midst of battle, the skirmishes he gets into are far more entertaining than what would be expected. Of course, he's still a kid, so these tactics may not be the most riveting things to see play out, but it still beats seeing senseless bishounen cock-fights that resort to shouting and punching wildly to achieve results. This was also prevalent in other physical altercations throughout the show. Again, while not the most imaginative fights, they were still a cut above the usual offerings. This doesn't mean that hotheaded characters grew a few brain cells all of a sudden, they still acted in a brash manner befitting their personality. But for those that have powers or limitations that needed adjustment, they found ways to innovate whenever it was necessary.
With the trend of superhero stories becoming ever-present across all storytelling media in the last few years, the marketplace has gotten to a point where it's on the verge of stagnation. For the general populace, that point may not be that prevalent yet, but for those vigilant viewers that recognize the pattern, it's a shit storm just waiting to keel over. Boku no Hero Academia is just another drop in the bucket. Inconsequential. A blip on the radar. But that's also the beauty of it. It's not an anime that hurts the medium, nor is it unwarranted to most that sit down to watch it. It's just a honest-to-god shounen. No gimmicks, no underhanded attempts into duping its viewer to take it any more seriously than it needs to; just a sincere piece of media made for the sole purpose of entertaining, and perhaps even more than that for wide-eyed youths that sit down to view this type of story for the 1st time.
That sort of honesty in a time where desensitized audiences have grown jaded to what's offered to them might just be the remedy needed. I always want to see the medium push forward, but when a break is needed, I more than welcome the likes of shows like Academia. It's fuel in the fire to keep going. Easygoing entertainment that I could trust at face value won't give me the runaround.
Enjoyment: 7.5/10 | Overall: 5.5/10
Academia is a rare case of where it's good because it's average. And I know that may leave many of you questioning how something could possibly be both, but really, that's the only way to explain this show's predicament. We could commend a show for trying and succeeding at doing more, as one should when a title pushes beyond what's standard fare. But at the same time, there's nothing wrong with appreciating a title that chooses to be good in a way that's not necessarily innovative in the market it's a part of.
This will be an instance where the score of "5" isn't used to insinuate inferior goods, but rather one of accurate assessment of the product at hand. It's a good show for its target demographic, just an average one given its content matter. Its modesty is endearing. And in a time when titles either over-inflate their worth or uninspiringly follow a check-list for a quick profit, Academia proves that just being yourself is never a bad thing.
Tackling a show in a negative light is usually a very tricky task, and even more so when the show in question happens to have a huge and very outspoken fanbase here on MAL. I'll consider myself to be endangered from the moment I click the submit button for this review, as these people will show no remorse if your opinion happens to be on the more negative side of things. However in this particular instance, I figured that taking the risk may be worth the trouble, seeing as the show in question is very undeserving of the praise it has gotten so far. Boku
no Pico Academia is another run of the mill battle shounen about overpowered teenagers doing overpowered things. It tries to be slightly different in essence but ultimately crumbles under its own weight.
The story is set in an alternate universe where 80% of the population have received superpowers (Quirks) and evil is running rampant. To protect society from these villains, numerous heroes have emerged over the recent years in order to make justice triumph and bring peace to the citizens. Our protagonist is Midoriya Izuku, a shy 14 year old boy who's aspirations ever since he was little were to become a hero. Unfortunately for him, he is not a part of the overwhelming majority in the sense that he has no Quirk of his own which is why he is regularly ridiculed and looked down upon by the people around him.
All of this is put to a stop when he is conveniently placed under the strongest hero of all time, Allmight. After going through a harsh training routine for a solid 10 months and gaining a Quirk of his own, he is finally deemed worthy to join the ranks of other overpowered teenagers alike and enroll at the Hero Academy in order to groom his newly-formed power and finally qualify to be a real hero, thus making his dreams a reality. Though that is just the glorified way of saying it. Around here I noticed that the story often struggles with balancing whether or not it wants to handle this plot in a serious manner or a not-so-serious manner, which makes up for some rather rough transitions down the road when the serious arcs role around.
Anyhow, the premise of the story is not the problem I have with it, but rather it's the way they went of doing things. I was personally hoping to see the plot move in a bit more serious fashion or maybe have a bit more focus on the implications and alternation of society as a whole from suddenly receiving these bizarre super powers out of the blue. Though this is a shounen after all, so we ended up taking a more shounen-ish approach to things as we follow Deku and friends through their many trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, when compared to series of the similar nature like last year's One Punch Man, it ends up falling short.
With other genres to the side, a big portion of time and effort is spent on action and comedy, as you would normally expect from a shounen series. The action scenes are usually handled fairly well due to the bizarre nature of the Quirks and there being basically no limitations to what one can and can't do which in turn makes up for some interesting scenarios. And Bones being Bones, the animation is as consistant as you can imagine. The comedy, on the other hand, is very lackluster and more often than not just ends up falling completely flat. And if it miraculously does somehow end up being even remotely funny, then you can be sure that they will re-use the same joke 5 times over and run it to the ground. A good example of this would be the gag of Allmight being anorexic.
This section plays a significant role in the series decline as like with most other shounen, the characters aren't developed that well at all. Though, that is not something I should entirely fault it for, especially considering the genre at hand. However, Boku no Hero Academia misses a very crucial opportunity here. Do you know what all the top-tier shounen all have in common? They have an actual likable main cast of characters.
Thus, we enter Midoriya Izuku, otherwise known simply as Deku. Deku, being the protagonist of the story of course doesn't have a quirk of his own and was therefore looked down upon by his peers throughout his entire life. The amount of victimization they give to this character can get pretty overwhelming at times, seeing as at one point he is laughed at by everyone in his classroom even with the teacher being present and everything. They really went all-out to make this guy the ultimate underdog, to the point where it sometimes just irritates me to watch him. He's weak, can't stand up for himself and is socially awkward around girls. However, this all changes when he conveniently meets up with his favorite and most powerful hero in all of existence and gets taken under his wing. After that, he is fed a piece of hair, thus receiving superpowers. Hooray!
I really thought it couldn't get any worse but here we are. Bakugou Katsuki is Deku's psychopath of a childhood friend, his biggest bully as well as his possible rival later on. He is usually a tool from which Deku's victimization during the series stems from, as Kacchan here is completely mental. It is heavily implied throughout the series by Deku that he became the way he is now after "straying off the path" and receiving his Quirk, yet it was clearly shown in multiple flashbacks what an egotistical maniac he was even during his childhood. There really aren't any justifiable factors for this guy. His character is very basic and doesn't ever go beyond him being a self-absorbed cunt who wants to be the best at everything for extremely shallow and selfish reasons.
Then there are some other main characters that didn't leave me much to write about either because they either weren't utilized properly or were just not very good. Allmight is the object of Deku's admiration as well as his questionably-anorexic mentor. He usually ends up defeating the villains in a few seconds and has some semi-inspirational dialogue throughout the series but is ultimately overshadowed for the majority of the show, up until the final 2 episodes. Uraraka is pretty cute and ends up giving Deku panic attacks whenever she talks to him due to his seemingly crippling anxiety around girls. I don't remember the armored guy's name but he's pretty cool. As for the antagonists, their motivations never get explored and we're just left to our imagination.
Art & Animation / Sound
The art for Boku no Hero definitely isn't bad by any means, it's just very unappealing so to say. With a very cartoonish style to it, it has a sort of unique feel to it, yet still somehow looks ugly. This complaint is nearly nonexistent when it comes to the backgrounds but is very much there when I stare at the character designs for too long. Midoriya's design faintly reminds me of diarrhea, for one reason or another. Bones has continuously produced some of the best animation through each passing season for years now so no surprise here. Since it heats up during the intense moments of the show the fights are quite nice to watch. Most of the tracks from the OST were unnoticeable apart from the main theme and another track which's timing was nailed very well every time to enhance the feeling of dread once the antagonists showed up. I enjoyed the ending and especially the opening theme a lot and the voice acting was solid, albeit there were some performances that I found to be annoying.
The enjoyment of the show will mostly depend on how big of a fan of shounen you are. If you go in with the assumption that it will suck, you may be pleasantly surprised like I was when the latter half rolled around. It has deplorable humor which is a miss in 90% of cases which can easily ruin a series for me and that really was the case for the first few episodes, but eventually I just tried looking past it. The final 3-4 episodes of the show is where shit hits the fan and I don't remember the last time I was this entertained while watching a seasonal anime. Essentially, if you're a shounen fan looking for some dumb fun you'll probably love it, and if you're coming in with a skeptical mindset then try to look past the first few episodes, as the show gets better the longer it goes on.
In conclusion, I don't think Boku no Hero Academia is that bad of a series. Sure, it has its fair share of problems here and there but what my rating mostly stems from is when I compare it to other series in the same vein, be it a regular shounen or the example that I have previously mentioned which is OPM. It has a story with some potential to be found but a very mediocre and slightly disappointing execution, with every character in the show being either extremely unlikable and annoying or simply bad. At times it takes itself too seriously and at others not seriously enough, which makes up for some pretty awkward transitioning.
If you're a fan of shounen series, I'd recommend Boku no Hero with a grain of salt as hopefully you don't come in with your previous completed series being FMA and end up setting the bar too high. Though, if you're an easygoing person who's just looking for some dumb fun then this is definitely your go-to this season. All in all, it's not bad and is certainly not good but mainly fails to live up to the hype created by the community.
"All men are not created equal. This was the reality about society that I learned at a young age of four."
Thus begins the journey of Izuku "Deku" Midoriya, a dreamer, who's passion and wish is to become like his idol and role model, the Symbol of Peace, the one and only All Might.
There was never a shadow of doubt that My Hero Academia was slated to divide opinions among fans for all the not quite correct-- but inevitable reasons. Enter Izuku Midoriya, a cheerful but an extremely introvert middle school teenager who feels neglected by the society, not because of his depressive tendencies
or anything but that he's a "Quirkless" among the more common ones born with "Quirks". Quirks are something which has become a norm in the world of My Hero Academia. Nowadays most people born in the planet consist of the 80% of population which mysteriously develop supernatural powers titled as Quirks. Quirks can vary from the personalities to the genetics of the given person, and there is no clear explanation as to how the powers can manifest within a human's body. As quickly as one can comprehend it, this is the way of life portrayed in the series, and it revolves around Izuku, who is now one of those rare cases where there is no sign of a Quirk developing in his body.
Fans of the Shounen genre know all too well what to expect from the series. And for it to be coming with an ordinary premise that has been done multiple times within the genre (Which as I said earlier can divide opinions easily.), My Hero Academia certainly has its highs and lows. It gets off to a cheesy start with its nail-bitingly snail-like pace and has a nostalgic feeling to it, albeit the premise gets the better of it and it feels very underwhelming. At this point it doesn't provide sufficient meat to the viewer and it doesn't come off as surprising if the viewer decides to drop the show. While the show picks up on it and precedes it by changing the momentum and present more material to the viewer, the inception of the series leaves a bad aftertaste which cannot be shrugged off. After the initial first four episodes, the series starts to change gears and while it becomes more battle-oriented, it also doesn't leave out the characters that drive it and adds more to them. Once Izuku establishes his very own skill set after registering into the prestigious school of heroes, The Yuuei (U.A.) Academy, things look brighter for him and there's more insight to what creates and identifies him. The mid phases of the series is also where the rivalry of Izuku and his life-long friend and also enemy, Katsuki Bakugo, is at its peak.
Izuku Midoriya takes the center-stage in the show accompanied by All Might, who Izuku thinks of highly and his childhood rival, Katsuki. Izuku is depicted as a very timid, a slightly eccentric but still a cheerful boy who's one and only wish is to be a hero like his idol. In a matter of thirteen episodes, My Hero Academia manages to flesh out the basic characteristics of Izuku as he tries to overcome bullies who ridicule him on being born without any quirks. The show doesn't shy away from flashing the reality across Izuku time and time again, which gives it a little more meaning to the trials Izuku has to overcome to become like the hero he always admired. Katsuki Bakugo, who Izuku dearly calls as Kacchan, is the exact but a superior opposite to Izuku. From a very early age he is shown as someone who has immense pride in himself. This is only justified more when Katsuki's flashy quirk manifests. The middle stages of the show focuses more on the one-off between Izuku and Katsuki, and excels at presenting Katsuki's extreme pride in himself and him having a superiority complex. All Might can be said to be the most polarized character from the show. What starts as a super hero with generic drawings and whose power is not revealed, leaves a trail of identity behind which makes the viewer slowly draw in towards his charm and ultimately like him towards the end.
I have always been a fan of Studio Bones and their extremely quirky and exaggerated drawing style. My Hero Academia was a case of the two making a perfect couple. Put together with Horikoshi Kosei's Marvel and DC-inspired characters' art style, Studio Bones did what they do best at presenting the honest and fluid animations as they always have. While its a perfect ten on the visual aspect, its also a subject of mere taste. Many are put off by the Americanized character designs and personalities. So in general, its a hit or a miss on the visuals.
Getting to the sound and auditory aspects of the show, the voice acting of the characters plays a big role in conveying the full material to the audience and it was no different with My Hero Academia. Yamashita Daiki's vocals are synced to perfection with Izuku's timid characteristics. He also does an excellent job at being rational and calm while doing the narration as well. Okamoto Nobuhiko's presenation of Katsuki was nothing short of a spectacle in the show. Katsuki's psyched up reactions are handled masterfully by the pumped up and convoluted voice of Nobuhiko. Not to say that Kenta Miyake's job as All Might was any easier. "There is no need for fear. Why? Because I'm here!" These lines always burst out the joy within me. "The Day" by Porno Graffitti was a perfect choice for the intro and for a classic battle shounen such as My Hero Academia and it will definitely make your blood boil. In a season filled with some amazing openings, The Day without a shred of doubt took the spotlight. "HEROES" by Brian the Sun was nothing short of amazing too. It was more centered around Izuku's character and him coming of age.
If you love shounen anime's, then My Hero Academia will deliver. There is no doubt about that, but its a matter of perspective. It has fights which are more tactically focused and it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, and has cool characters with some ridiculous powers. My Hero Academia has a wider prospect as a second season is officially announced. The first season is an answer to the potential to be good, and that answer is yes.