My Hero Academia is no longer the 2nd coming of Hunter x Hunter. Rather, it is starting to look like the 2nd coming of Fairy Tail.
We don't really have any plot or driving motion in the series anymore. The lack of build-up in former seasons is backfiring hard, and the pacing which is all over the place is not helping. The content itself is practically pure heroism for the sake of it, and heroes winning because they are the main characters. Really starting to look like it's made by Marvel.
The new arc is really bad. First part of the "training" ending in 5
minutes without there being any content whatsoever. At least series like Yu Yu Hakusho --which did the same thing-- had different routes which people could choose within the forest. HxH did the same thing and it lasted 11 episodes and it was fantastic. Naruto did the same thing and introduced key plot elements and characters. In Hero Academia's case, there is no content behind it. All characters just use their trademark moves once. Literally nothing happens outside it. After a hard day of doing the said nothing, we get some manservice/fanservice, women and men bathing because apparently that's the point of this series now.
I am afraid the word "terrible" is not even enough to describe the current writing. Fanservice fillers, romantic feelings used as a running gag. The main content is comedy. C o m e d y. Jokes that aren't funny at all. The pinnacle of the humor was a scene where dude ate cake while lifting weights. Thus far, the series has focused most on eating food. What type of a person writes FTS like this? This isn't shokugeki no souma... The series doesn't even look like it's based to a written story, more like seems to be some premade story macro which the author forgot to fill with content.
While the characters are the reason why I am watching this show, they are being handled really poorly. Much like with the story, there is no development with the characters either. Unless we consider asspulled power control "development". The filler where they act out of character and look like clowns is really not serving any of them. Does Bones not know what Source Fillmaker is? We literally don't need soft-core fanservice, thank you very much.
Kacchan has been super annoying since the very beginning and looks like he is suffering the Sasuke-effect forever and always, much like that Bullet for my valentine song. It's so frustrating and unnecessary. Could they please develop him into a decent character already instead of making him look like the combination of Hulk and the main dude from Black Clover. So many of the rest of our heroes-in-training only radiate comedy, not characteristics. I don't like that very much.
The villains are the best and the worst part. Really simple-minded characters who have basically no reason to do anything they are doing. Giggling evily because they so evil and whenever they do anything it's practically keikaku doori tier meme. At least they bring some interesting factors to the series and look cool, some even badass. They are supposed to be the half of this show, after all what are heroes without villains... Yet at the same time they seem to only exists for the heroes. Like in episodes 3-4 "yo, we came here now because lol iunno we wanna scare you." This is not how you write villains. No matter how you look at it, the boss villain had no reason to send anyone there. Keikaku doori once again I guess.
The only character who gets thru any development is an angry kid who is mad at heroes.. hmmm. doesn't this sound familiar? Anyone remember the part where Sasuke and Naruto learned to control chakra with anti-gravity trees? Didn't we have this exact kid right there. In here, he is just so random it's almost as if the author thought he was cool in Naruto and wanted to put his own here. He even says the same line "like person like that exists". Believing all ninjas, oh sorry, I mean heroes are selfish. smh
Art and sound:
Bones has been putting effort into it and never stopped. It's the same as before and that's exactly how it should be. Of course, the series could use approximately 20 times less of those comedic relief scenes. Some nice songs are present, but there really should be more. Many of them don't really shine,. Especially the battle OST is there in the shadows behind prioritized voice acting. The OP song is really acquired taste tho. I like how it seems better every time I hear it. Voice acting is obviously identical.. outside the out of character filler where they acted like bunch of clowns, of course.
I like this show. I have always liked this show, but damn if I don't wish it was better. There is practically nothing new (currently) for a person such as myself who has seen all BTS series already. I can safely say that Hero Academia is currently being as bad as shonen series ever are. This isn't what the characters deserve at all.
After a great first season and a no less than fantastic second season My Hero Academia is back at it again with season 3, not even six months since season 2 ended. I wrote in my early review for season 2 that I was skeptical that it would be able to carry on being as well refined as season 1 was. Now that the second season is done there is no doubt that I was worried all for nothing. This is the exact thing I'm feeling heading in to the third season of Hero Acca. I'll just sit back and enjoy the ride, cause I
can already tell it'll be a good one.
Story: Great (8)
There isn't much that can be said about Hero Acca that hasn't been said already. The story is nothing really special in terms of its originality but it’s in the sheer polish and perfection of the tropes and standard shounen elements that Hero Acca shines. Season 1 we had the very standard, but brilliantly phased, origin story of our main hero as well as most of the lovable supporting cast. Season 2 we got the best god damn tournament arc I've had the pleasure of beholding alongside the obligatory teacher-student-mastering-your-power-arc™ but adding some great curveball such as a whole new main villain which overshadowed most other antagonists not only in the show itself but most of the shounen genre. Season 3 has thus far only begun, but by a handful of episodes in we've already set the groundwork for some of the best character interactions with the increased focus on Hero Class-B as well as the huge cast of newly introduced villains, some of which I hope can match Stain in either depth or impact. Sadly, it still gets points taken for lack of originality but since the show is clearly not going for being original at this point, I wouldn't say that its inherent lack of originality hurts the show as a whole.
Art & Animation: Great (8)
With dynamic movements that really feel like they've got some weight behind them and fewer static panning shots than ever the general animation of Hero Acca remains as great as the previous season which itself was quite a leap up from the first season. I think that what truly makes Hero Acca look so nice is the lack of any major dips in animation quality generally found in most other anime. This consistency lets the viewer get deeper immersed in the show. Instead, Hero Acca has a tendency to suddenly spike in animation quality, seen many times during the previous seasons, especially season 2. I have no doubt in my mind that season 3 will deliver in that regard, partially confirmed by the fantastic fight scene in episode 4. It's really in the art department that Hero Acca suffers. Or rather, the background art and world that suffers. I've mentioned the lack of originality of this show multiple times already, but never is it as apparent as when looking at the background art of Hero Acca. It could be replaced with the background art of most other shows and the average viewer wouldn't even know something had changed. This is a critique of Hero Acca in general, and not just season 3.
Sound: Great (8)
The voice acting is great as ever, delivering deep, believable emotions despite the language barrier. Neither sound design or soundtrack is really worth mentioning though since they're in all honesty pretty forgettable. The fact that I can't really remember any of the background music reinforces that statement. It works well enough for setting the right tone for the scene, but it simply doesn't stick with you when you've finished the episode as some great soundtracks can. So, based on all of this how come sound still receives an 8? Simple. Because the OP and ED are kick ass, as usual. Rarely will a show keep me hooked from the very first second all the way until the screen fades to black. Not to mention the story that has been told continually through all the openings ever since the first season. I highly suggest you check out Mother's Basement's video on the topic. Hands down some of the best OPs and EDs out there.
Characters: Fantastic (9)
It's with its characters that Hero Acca always has shone brighter than most and the show shows no intent on giving up on developing its characters to a downright astounding point. If there’s one thing that most shows fail to do it would be to develop a character. While simply giving a character a believable motivation and one or two personalizing traits might seem enough at times that would not be good enough for Hero Acca. Not even as an introduction to a character. I could bring up the best episode of the series so far, Deku vs Todoroki in the Tournament arc (fight me) as an example of absolutely stunning implementation of character development but since that discussion rightfully belongs to a season 2 review, I’ll use a brand-new character as an example (light spoilers for ep 1-2 of season 3), Kouta Izumi who is probably the most interesting character of season 3 thus far.
Kouta has a very complex heritage to deal with, being the son of two heroes called Water Hose who both died fighting the villain Muscular when he was very young. Because of his youth at the time of his parents’ passing he couldn’t quite understand the why and how of it all. He felt that they left him alone. This has caused Kouta to feel a deep distain towards not only heroes but hero culture as a whole. Without hero culture, his parents might still be alive. The complex part of this comes from his pure love towards his parents blended with his rage and hatred towards all that they represented. He’s too young to see that by spitting on hero culture, he doesn’t just disregard his parents’ ambitions and beliefs but also their love for him because there is no doubt that they did what they did every single day to keep others safe, to keep him safe. He has even gone as far as to set aside his quirk he inherited from them, thus disrespecting their very memory. The fact that he loved his parents more than anything while displaying such hate towards everything they stood for which for all intents and purposes hatred towards them directly.
Koutas character reminds me of Todoroki and his until recently neglected quirk inherited from his father who he hated more than anything until Deku helped him realize his own person and who he intends to be and to step out of his father’s shadow, but if I got started on that again I’d be here all day.
The groundwork laid down by the previous seasons of Hero Acca guarantees that most of the cast is as developed as they could possibly ever need to be but with the introduction of brand new villains and a greater focus on Hero Class 1-B there is plenty of work to be done still. Only time will tell what happens but if the past is anything to go by I’ve got nothing but excitement for this season.
Enjoyment: Outstanding (10)
I probably haven’t enjoyed a show as intently as Hero Acca Season 3 since well… Season 2 probably. The excitement I feel every time I fire up another episode can only be matched by shows such as Gurren Lagann and Mob Psycho 100. My eyes are glued to the screen from start to finish. I can go from sporting the widest grin or laughing along with the characters to feeling real despair or wiping away tears from my cheeks within the margin of a few minutes, all in pure enjoyment. This show made its well-deserved way to my top 5 nearly by pure heart alone.
Overall: Fantastic (9)
Hero Acca Season 3 stays on the same path as its previous seasons to become a great classic shounen. From a stellar story filled to the brim with polished and extremely enjoyable clichés to some of the most alive animation and fantastic openings and ending to hands down the most well-developed cast of its size I’ve ever seen. I love every single thing about Hero Acca, and season 3 looks to be nothing if not more Hero Acca!
But both turned to be an obstacle in each other’s road,
One is a hero that’s always praised,
And the other is a hero that’s unrecognized,
Aggressive, prideful and a bully boy,
Who sees the other as a nothing, but an annoy,
Cheerful, shy and a dreamer youth,
Who can pay anything just to rescue someone, even if the price is a tooth,
Both are like water & fire,
The only common thing was the person whom they admire,
And becoming his
successor, was their desire,
Hence, they had to fight,
Deku vs Kacchan ….…. With all of their might!”
Boku no Hero academia is one of the most popular shounen animes in the recent years, it acquired it’s fame mostly cause of season 2 which was in 2017, and today, the 3rd season is officially finished.
The story in this season continues the track of the pervious prequels, no much new things to say, however, the story was progressing throughout this season, The U.A students were honing their quirks, fought against villains and had the hero’s license exam too.
Now, that’s will be long a lil bit. In my opinion, one of the strongest points in BnHA is the characters. Throughout this season, we got many new MVP characters and well-development scenes too. Deku surpassed himself and changed his fight style, Kirishma was the most caring one for Bakugo, All might showed us that heroes can be badass and cool and finally, the best character in this season was .. Bakugo!
Hate or love Bakugo, it doesn’t matter. But we all must agree that Bakugo is one of the most unique characters in BnHA. Bakugo didn’t turn into “Sasuke v2.0” who accepts to be a villain just to beat deku. No, Bakugo may seems like a villain but in reality he’s just an angry boy who wants to be a cool hero no matter what. Moreover, Bakugo’s breaking down scene was stellar. He showed us that despite the “rough” ,”Aggressive” and “bully” side of him. He still has the humane side or the soft side deep inside of him, he has feelings too and can feel pain. In addition, Bakugo & Deku could understand each other a bit and they finally became true rivals, which can be highlighted as a significant development in their characters and in the story.
On the other hand, we’ve got a large cast of villains, some are blend and others are interesting. We have an edgy dabi, a transgender dude, a ninja turtle fighter, a horny toga and deadpool v2.0. However, there’re 3 villains that are interesting in this season, which are : deadpo-.. I mean, Twice. Who had an epic monologue in episode 24, stating that Heroes save the good people only, despite that sometimes there’re “insane” people who just want someone to understand them, but sadly this doesn’t happen, hence these kind of people turn into villains as they can find some people who can understand them, which gives a depth in the realism of the story. Overhaul, who looked like a real badass villain. And finally, All for one !
All for one, basically resembles the idea of “A Villain is another one’s hero”. All for one was the dad-figure for shigaraki. This man’s ambitions are so vague and unclear, he is intelligent, has an unlimited power, lived for many & many years, but his goals are not 100% clear to the audiences. This villain caught my attention at once actually. And it seems that … Shigaraki is going to have a major development to be a real villain with an ideology in the near future.
We got also some new characters like the big 3 who will take a big role in season 4. And there’re new characters from other schools like Inasa and Camie etc ..
ALSO DON’T FORGET BAKUGO’S THICC MUM !!!
To be honest, this is the weakest point in BnHA s3. Don’t get me wrong, there’re many good and emotional OSTs, but the real problem is, the choice of the OSTs ! During the most of the fights in BnHA, the used OSTs in the background somehow don’t suit with the fight.
The first OP of season 3 (ODD Futre) was lit, honestly I think it’s the best among all BnHA’s OPs. The 2nd OP (Make my Story) wasn’t that good. The EDs are lame anyway.
The animation in BnHA is medium, not perfect nor bad, although, during the fights it is something else, Bones tend to use their budget in the worthy fights only. I think it is a clever way to not waste their budget and make the fans addicted to the epic fight scenes in this anime.
The first cour of this season was astonishing, I was tense while watching each episode, and I re-watched most of these episodes even. Some episodes were pure masterpiece like Episode 4, 9, 10, 11. We had many emotional scenes, action scenes, tension scenes and even some sad scenes. However, every anime has its ups and downs, the 2nd cour was seriously a big down. The License exam arc was long and predictable in most of times. Bones even added a stupid filler in the middle of the arc. I felt that I was watching another anime actually, but after this arc, we returned back to the awesome episodes of BnHA, starting from Deku Vs Bakugo, Twice’s monologue, the revealing of new badass characters, smoothing down the road for the dark “internship arc” in season 4.
Some people compare the previous seasons to this one, In my opinion, every season has its ups and downs, this season started like a bombshell but dropped down slowly. But it returned back to it’s prime in the last couple of episodes. This season was manly about fighting villains. Showing how the young lads are now grown enough to be in danger and that they have to improve their skills tho. This season was boring in some episodes and very splendid in other episodes. Some people say that BnHA is an overrated series. however, in the last couple of years, the number of good action animes are decreasing gradually cause of the low quality and bad adaption, so an anime like BnHA is like a diamond that brings good sells to the studio. I hope that season 4 surpass the flaws in season 1, 2 and 3 and deliver to us the perfect quality of an action anime.
The beloved shounen series is back again, adapting some of the manga’s finest arcs.
Although it starts with a slightly unnecessary, but well-handled recap episode, it gets right to the story afterwards, starting off with some cool set-up and character moments. Then, things get serious.
Suddenly, villains are everywhere, putting everyone to a test.
What is so loveable about shounen is the theme of not giving up and pushing to the limit, overcoming your obstacles no matter how great they are. Which BNHA exemplifies. On one side with the battles themselves. Especially the fight between Izuku and the physically superior Muscular will have you hyped,
with its awesome visuals, set-up and epic sound. On the other side with the characters.
In the first arc of the season, multiple characters get a lot more time to shine, showing what they are made of. So we get to see them use their powers more and work together. Aside from that, class B also gets a spotlight on them after they were introduced in Season 2. Not forgetting to mention the cool villains, each of them unique and promising, with special mention here to Toga, Twice and Dabi. It’s so great to see everyone getting moments of character. The large cast of BNHA has always been entertaining due to its diversity and organic feeling, mostly with all the interactions taking place between classmates. All of the characters are likeable and quirky, but they are also distinct and unique in their own way.
The animation is on point again with its artstyle, cinematography and most appealing of all: the simply awesome fights. Studio Bones reminds us again what they are known for.
As for the opening, it took a little while to get used to. However, it still has some great visuals and a track that will be in the playlists of many fans, even if the two of them don’t seem to mix together at first. The ending is loveable and cute, giving some nice time spent with everyone in manga panel style. However, let’s not forget the epic music that plays at the moments it counts. You know, the moments that will stick out in our memories.
There were moments that made my heart race. I’m enjoying the anime thoroughly, and will see it through towards the finale, expecting to see more of what we love about Boku no Hero Academia.
I always considered mha for a mediocre enjoyable show. 60 episodes in and we had very little story progression and world building which is dissapoiting.
Season 3 started of with a typical generic school trip. Few attempts of comedy here and there that simply didn't land. Other than that some todoroki development and deku vs muscular build up were only things worth seeing first 3 episodes.
Characters training was much longer than it should have been. Wasted some time imo. Deku vs muscular fight was okay. The animation was great but again it was so generic and it lacked both creativity and choreography. No tactics used at
all. It was just a flashy fight with 2 dudes punching each other with fists. I know, i know you are gonna say "BuT MHa fIgHTs aRe ABouT StorY" so is almost every fight in anime, that doesn't mean it should be mindless. On the plus side deku got some development.
Am i the only one that noticed how repetitive mha is?
Season 1 is basically characters training, villains invading
season 2 is trounament arc, villains invading and finally season 3 is characters training and villains invading. There is nothing new. There is no bigger, deeper plot to get invested in to.
Like always bunch of dumb villains that lack motivation appeared and i simply didn't care for them. There was that tsundare girl, that discount dead pool guy, mindless musuclar who is just killing for the sake of killing, that discount stain guy that was like a lizard or something, dude with big lips and uhhh what was his name again? That dude that's obviously todorokis brother or something. It's so predictable. On the plus side one thing that mha does good is the character desgins. Despite them looking goofy at times. At least they are memorable even tho the characters themselves aren't.
Long story short students fight some villains and bakugo gets captured even tho bakugo clearly could have prevented it but he didn't because... he is a angry brat that wants to be acnkowladged.
Next up is AFO vs All might fight... Again some good animation even tho there were some errors. We still don't know anything about AFO's motivation like with almost every vilalin in this show. He was supposed to be badass and his OST was supposed to be scary but it just wasn't. Not to mention his generic quirk... All might vs AFO was the peak of the season tho. It told the great story and it was good for all mights character. But we all knew all might was gonna win and he wins the most generic way possible. With final punch... The fight was dull from the actaul fighting perspective.
This show is just too safe. There is no suspenese, we just know good guys are gonna win. Even when bakugo was kidnapped he got retrieaved at the end. Everyone was just injured and they recovered. Even tho all might is my favorite character, his death would have made this show so much better.
Second arc was sooooooooo boring even tho it was filled with action. There was literally almost nothing big happening. There was a whole episode dedicated to rooms lmao. And again we get to the generic tournament arc with too many boring side cahracters that i don't care for. Mha is introducing too many, too fast. Side characters are very forgetable and the development is unievene. Even tho the cast is better than the terrible plot of this show it's still highly overrated. Too many bland characters with generic motivations and view points. Bakugo vs Deku was actaully good. I like bakugo more now even tho i still think his peronality is forced. Like why do you scream so much? I get that people had high expectations for you since birth but why so much? Tone it down ffs lmao. He is literally yelling at everyone around himself. It makes his personality unbelievable. The fight itself had the best choreography out of the 3. The animation was great too. "The big 3" was pretty overhyped. In temrs of character designs they are basically naruto, sasuke and sakura. Mirio is only one with potential out of the 3.
The art style this season is basic like always. All in all mha is enjoyable show with terrible plot. This season has very little story progression. The show itself doesn't stand out in any way.
P.S people are giving mha too much credit for executing the generic tropes well. It doesn't do it THAT well. It's a overstatement.
(Note: I wrote this review right after episode 9 of season 3 of BNHA, so if you want to read my thoughts on episode 10 and 11, go to the section that starts with “EDIT.” This isn’t a traditional review of season 3, it is more of a retrospective for the entire series up to this point. This is not my full review, as it is too long, if you want a link to my full review, pm me.)
Considering the praise that Boku No Hero gets, a lot of the fans of the series usually include the clause that the reasons that BNHA is popular,
is more so from the execution of its concepts and themes more so than the actually originality of it’s premise or setting. I can agree to this notion, what BNHA excels at is the execution of its ideas, at least compared to its lackluster premise. But in many ways, this has only secured the anime as being mediocre instead of actively bad. There are many things that BNHA does right, but this never overcomes the myriad of both narrative and thematic problems that comes with the nature of it’s story. What should also be said is that BNHA when compared to most other shounens, fails at basic narrative and thematic storytelling. This retrospective will contain spoilers for every season of BNHA, Naruto, The Law of Ueki, Madoka Box, HxH, FMAB, Shokugeki No Soma S1-S2, YYH, and Giant Robo: the Day the Earth Stood Still.
As I mentioned in my previous review for BNHA Season 2, I feel like the character motivations of most of the characters are pretty decent if not good; I can still attest to this, the main draw of BNHA is its character. I still also agree with my assessment of the lack of personality traits that each character has. Under further consideration, I feel like the characters have more problems than just the dearth of legitimate personalities within the show. The most prevalent of the problems is the amount of characters that the audience is expected to care about, in class 1-A, there are 20 students and 6 teachers in total. This is the “main cast” of characters, and as an audience, we are expected to care about every single one of them. Unfortunately, the amount of main characters reduce the amount of screen time any one character gets to a handful of minutes. In season two, Uraraka, Todoroki, Iida, Yaoyorozu, and Tokoyami all had character “arcs,” but, calling the scene or two that each character got a character arc would in actuality be exaggerating the amount of development any one character got.
Uraraka’s arc was maybe my favorite of the bunch, as the feeling of failure and disappointing those you love, is more or less a trancedential feeling that everyone has experienced at some point. The problem with her arc is that it felt more or less truncated because we really had no reason to really care about Uraraka winning the sports festival, she really never had the necessity to accept failure and the sports festival was a poor outlet for this arc as well. The sports festival may be an important event to the school and the economy of Japan, there really isn’t that high of stakes for the actual students who attend UA. Although it may be a good opportunity for the students, the sports festival occurs every year, and it has very little bearing on the student’s lives while attending UA. There was the empty threat that those who don’t perform well at the sports festival might be moved class 1B, but knowing that they both cover the same course material, the actual changing of classes seems very stakeless. There was room for Uraraka’s arc to potentially be amazing, her motivation to become a hero to help her parent’s struggling financial state is compelling. But, the placement of the arc within the sports festival and the little amount of time we see Uraraka spend interacting with her parents, makes her arc one of the more lackluster of the bunch. It would have been much more intriguing had the audience got to see what Uraraka’s home life is actually like, more or less, the audience only gets a monologue from Uraraka about her homelife; her monologue also doesn’t go into enough detail to really sympathise with her struggle as much as an actual scene at her house would bring to the audience. I feel like aside from seeing Uraraka’s home life, the other thing the anime/manga should have done was to make UA much more cutthroat than it comes across as in the show. A good example of what they could have done was to create a school setting more like the one from Shokugeki No Soma. Toutsuki Culinary Academy feels cutthroat, this is partially because of the personalities of the characters in the anime/manga, but the real cause of this feeling is that the threat of expulsion is always hanging above the heads of the characters. There is no arc within the first two seasons of Shokugeki No Soma where any of the characters feel secure in their position at the academy, and this is what BNHA needed to make Uraraka’s arc compelling.
Todoroki and Iida both suffer from similar problems that cause their arcs to be as lackluster as Uraraka’s. The main problem that I have with their arcs is that any subtle development of the characters are quickly undercut by the writing. Todoroki’s arc was perhaps the most fascinating from the second season, it had themes on abuse and identity that I could personally relate to. My family aren’t abusive, but I was attracted to the themes of accepting one’s own identity. Unfortunately, the lead up and pay off of Todoroki’s arc undercut all of the dramatic setup of the premise. Ultimately, I believe in the intelligence of the audience of a story when it comes to understanding symbols and themes; Kohei Horikoshi, does not. My main problem with Todoroki’s arc was the lack of subtlety in the resolution of the arc. What can be said, and what should be said, is that trauma is a deeply personal issue that when written about with fictional characters should be overcome through deep introspection and somber monologues; but, the resolution of Todoroki’s arc was Deku screaming “it’s your power as well!” while in a fight between the two of them towards the end of the sports festival. After the festival arc, Todoroki approaches Deku and says something akin to “I’m not totally over the trauma, but what you said to me really helped.” I feel like this stole a potentially emotional realization from the character, and the lack or subtlety in the character writing of the arc caused me to have a sour taste in my mouth.
Iida’s arc on the other hand struggles due to the awkward fitting nature of the arc to the character it’s attached to; At the end of the sports festival, it is revealed that Iida’s older brother, Ingenium, was hospitalized by Stain, this leads Iida to try to take revenge against the villain. The main problem is that up to this point, Iida has been a stoic character. Thus the portrayal of him giving in to his emotions feels more like a wrestling heel turn rather than a natural progression of his inherent character traits. I am fine with the idea of Iida giving into his emotions, but after Stain is defeated, he returns back to what he always was. Deku’s virtue signalling yet again made the arc feel relatively week; the flow of the story telling at the point in the anime felt very off. I am no storytelling expert, but what I can say is that Deku and Todoroki saving Iida from Stain as they discuss the virtues or heroism, was perhaps the most boring way to resolve this arc. Iida pretty much reverts back to the character he always was, I would say he might actually be a worse character because of this arc if anything. I always saw Iida as the moral compass of the series, in season 1 and season 3 so far, this has been true. I felt like Kohei Horikoshi missed the chance to make a much better arc here; What could have happened was the family of students at UA could have been targeted by Stain in order to filter out students that can’t handle the trauma that professional heroes have to deal with on an average basis. Deku’s mom could have been targeted and either seriously injured or killed, and he could have been the one that went after Stain. This could have been a great chance to see what Deku would do if the villain he had to catch, harmed a family member. Iida could have been the moral compass in this arc for Deku, and this would have given the Deku (The main character of the series) more reason to become a hero than his stated goal throughout the series.
Yaoyorozu and Tokoyami’s arc both feel really truncated when we consider their inclusion in the actual series. I guess the one I would start off by discussing is Yaoyorozu’s arc, mostly because it is non-existent but it’s presence in the series has been used to counter my notion that the characters in BNHA seem flawless. Her arc was about gaining more confidence in her own abilities; but the audience were never given any reason to care about her confidence issues up to that point. I would also argue that there was no evidence that she had these issues up until the midterm exam arc where she has to beat Aizawa with Todoroki. In this arc, her confidence problems are introduced and resolved by the end of the episode, so considering it to be actual development would be hyperbolic to say the least; to the average viewer, she has always acted like she was at the end of the “arc.” Yaoyorozu, like most characters in BNHA is a non-character, she may do things in the story but she doesn’t really have any traits that she can call her own. Most of the side character’s personalities blend together to make any if not all of their dialogue interchangeable. A good example of this unique trait that the side characters have in BNHA, Episode 8 in S3 gave to us the “I want to save Bakugo too, but it’s dangerous” episode. In this episode, every character at some point says a line like that; there is not a unique reaction from any of the characters.
People have also argued to me that Tokoyami had a character arc in S2, and had plenty of room to develop. This argument stems from the fact that Tokoyami doesn’t have full control over his shadow abilities. What I would argue against that however, is that isn’t a character flaw nor is it a thematic idea that can be built off of; this is mostly because most people conflate character growth and character development, these ideas are similar but not the same. Character development is the progression of a character’s personality. Character growth on the other hand is when a character’s skills and abilities become more competent. Tokoyami doesn’t really have any character flaws, even if he gains better control over his quirk, I doubt his personality would change in any meaningful way.
What this is to say, is that the bigger cast of BNHA might be the biggest problem that the anime has; most characters don’t have enough screen time to develop in any meaningful way. What I have noticed is that everyone says that BNHA is building up to a grander thematic narrative about the nature of heroism; I can agree that BNHA is about the circumstances and environment that create a hero. Unfortunately, I don’t think BNHA is actually saying anything about heroism. In my review on S2, I mentioned my myriad of problems with the Stain Arc, and I still hold to my thoughts on that particular arc. Stains arc was meant to justify the setting of the series, it was supposed to discuss the trivialization of heroism within the setting. Yet we are given very little reason to actually agree with his stance on heroism, the series is cognisant of the thematic flaws of having a story on heroism being set in a hero school, but it doesn’t take any serious action to discuss its merits as a setting.
As I’m writing this, we are 9 episodes into season 3 of BNHA. At this point, Deku is still the same character he has always been. At this point, the writing is the same quality it has always been. At this point the setting is as dull as it has always been. In many ways, this season so far has epitomizes the problems of BNHA as a whole much more so than the other two seasons have. From this point on, I’m going to be drawing a lot of comparisons between BNHA and other shounen series.
Naruto can be called the muse for BNHA, the influence that BNHA draws on from Naruto is clear as day; In many ways, it is the Naruto of the new anime generation. Naruto however, is actually really good and doesn’t suffer from the same style of character writing that plagues BNHA. To prove my point, I would like to draw comparisons between the parallel characters in both series. First of all, I think there might be some merit in discussing the characters of Naruto and Deku on a thematic level and the quality of both character’s development throughout their respective series. I would like to also emphasize that I am only 99 episodes into Naruto, so I haven’t actually seen it to its conclusion; most of the conclusions I’m about to draw is based off of my current knowledge of both series.
When comparing Deku and Naruto, what should be mentioned first is the motivations of both characters. They both have similar motivations and I feel like discussing that quality may illuminate my problems with Deku as a character. At the beginning of Naruto, it is revealed to the audience that at some point Hidden Leaf village was attacked by a Nine Tailed Fox; this demon cost the lives of a huge proportion of the population of Hidden Leaf village, it also couldn’t be defeated by normal means and had to be sealed in Naruto Uzumaki at the cost of his parent’s life. Being parentless and having the Nine Tailed Fox sealed within him, he was ostracized since he was born. This lead him to become somewhat of a delinquent because of the lack of attention he received from his teachers and other authority figures. This caused him to want to become the Hokage, and this also satisfies his need for attention. At school, he is bullied and ostracized even more because he is a slow learner, his slow learning is caused by the Nine Tails and how it biologically messes with his body. But, being a part of squad 7 and going on various ninja missions slowly lead to him gaining more and more maturity as the series goes on, it also lead to him gaining more friends and overall gaining elements of his life that as a child he didn't have. Various characters like Jiraiya and Tsunade become parent figures to him, and Sasuke and Sakura fill in various gaps in his life.
Deku on the other hand was bullied as a child because he was quirkless, this lead him to have a complex about this aspect of his life and as such he begins idolizing All Might and hero society based on how they protect the weak. This leads to him dedicating his life to become a hero. After displaying an act of heroism in front of All Might, All Might decides to give him his quirk and train him to become the world’s greatest hero. So the main problem with Deku’s character is how his motivations are very barebone, as a character, he doesn’t have much going on. What makes Deku worse as a character is that he already has all of the qualities of a hero; so we don’t really see Deku develop, we just see him becoming a better hero in terms of combat. This makes any conflict involving Deku really boring, and the potential drama regarding him is lackluster at best.
The character that Deku has the most in common with from Naruto is probably Rock Lee; but the key differences between both characters are important ones, and they shouldn’t be overlooked when analysing both series. Rock Lee is a side character first and foremost, this is where he belongs as a character because aside from being lovable, he doesn’t have many traits that could be built upon if he had his own story. Rock Lee was born with the inability to use genjutsu and ninjutsu, in school he was bullied for this; but, the society of Hidden Leaf village prioritizes ninjas and they are the most respected members of Hidden Leaf society. As such, he pushes himself to the limit to prove that he can become a ninja, so he pushes his body to its utmost limits to master taijutsu. He wasn’t given his power, and when he is in a fight the dramatic weight that comes with his loss is much heavier than Deku’s. Rock Lee has clear, defined, limits and these limits come to ahead when he fights Gaara only to get disheartened after he loses because it made it clear that it’s impossible for him to overcome those who have the ability to use genjutsu and ninjutsu. After he recovers from his hospitalization, he goes back to train in order to someday become a fully fledged ninja. Deku is given one of the most powerful abilities in the series, but it felt very unearned. When we consider the dramatic weight that Deku remaining quirkless could have brought with it, the series could have given Deku more depth than what he has at the moment. Deku has a good foundation as a character, the execution of characterization in a few places was also fantastic, but Deku could have been better had certain choices regarding his power been made.
Kota Izumi from season 3 also has a counterpart from Naruto; he is essentially a worse written Konohamaru. Yaoyorozu feels like a poorly executed Ino mirror. Aizawa is just a different version of Kakashi. Todoroki is essentially a toned down Sasuke. Uraraka’s brand of uselessness is pretty much a mix between Hinata and Sakura. There is very few aspects of BNHA that are actually original, and this is a problem because the story isn’t well enough executed to overlook how derivative the story is. That being said there are aspects of the show that I do like. All Might has a legitimately great character arc. Unfortunately, these aspects are few and far between.
When we examine the setting of BNHA, the first thing one may notice is how it normalizes fantasy. This comes with a myriad of benefits but the drawbacks that come with it’s setting far outweighs the benefits. The population of the world is 80% super humans, but the world does not looks different in any way. The multitude of institutions that were created in a response to super powers are all very unoriginal and they all seem way too bureaucratic; the setting, more or less seems like a generic anime Japan rather than a realistic portrayal of a setting like the one in BNHA. Yet BNHA isn’t fantastical enough to be compelling, the fantasy of BNHA is very subdued and overly regulated. In the mrbtongue video called “TUN: Magic” he makes the argument that what makes fantasy compelling is how it represents the in between of reality and imagination and the normalization process of most stories only weakens the overall quality of the fantasy setting. Although quirks aren’t exactly magic, the normalization of the quirks and the realistic system for quirks zaps away all of the creativity either way. It says a lot when the most fantastical power the audience has seen thus far is Mr.Compress’ ability to trap people in marbles.
The setting of BNHA is one of the weakest areas of the entire series, as such, I would like to compare the magic/power settings of FMAB and HxH to the power setting of BNHA. Since BNHA yearns to be realistic, a comparison between alchemy and quirks is merited. Alchemy from FMAB is probably the most grounded magic system in any shounen anime, it has hard rules that the characters have to abide by. “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.” Alchemy isn’t a power that can create, it is inherently transformative in nature; Alchemy is also a rigid in nature, those who don’t follow the rules or practices of alchemy usually get punished. This is how the Elric Brothers became deformed, since FMAB is a story about trauma and greed, a rigid magic system where those who use forbidden teachings or tries to against the laws of alchemy are punished, was inherently a good decision for the story. But on a minute to minute basis, alchemy feels pretty realistic within its setting because of the effort made to make it feel real within the setting. A great example of this is the alchemy circles, in order to perform alchemy, alchemy circles are necessary (unless you are the Elric Brothers). Edward Elric doesn’t need to draw a alchemy circle before using alchemy, but he does have a prerequisite that most other alchemists have; he has to clap his hands together and then touch a surface before he can transform anything. This was a conscious choice by the mangaka because it connects to the themes of religion within the show since his hands clapped together look like an act of piety, and he never had to do this before he meet the Truth. This is an ironic power because he is an atheist. So from FMAB, we get a very rigid, realistic, and thematically relevant, magic system.
This is what BNHA should have been like with its power/magic system, here and there we get glimpses of what could have been but these glimpses quickly come in conflict with how quirks actually work within the setting. 80% of humans in the setting of BNHA is born with a quirk, these quirks very somewhere between useful to useless abilities. These abilities more or less come with drawbacks as well. Since quirks are based on the biology of the person who uses them, it is similar to using a specific muscle or body part, overuse leads to great strain on the user. Mineta can only throw a small amount of his weird hair balls before his head starts bleeding, Kaminari isn’t insulated to electricity and his head short circuits if he uses his power to much. In the S2 of BNHA, this is a pretty important plot point in the fight between Deku and Todoroki, Todoroki in that arc chose to not use his fire power because of his strained relationship with his dad. This ultimately leads to his body freezing up because he overuses his ice half. His power was intended to balance eachother out if he utilizes one half more so than the other. So far, I’m pretty sure that the power system sounds pretty decent in BNHA; however, the system actually doesn’t work that way. There are a myriad of heroes that don’t have drawbacks when over using one's own abilities. A great example of this is Tokoyami, his ability is pretty much just magic, and unlike Todoroki, Mineta, and Kaminari, his power doesn’t come with any physical strain. His power only has one drawback, and that drawback is that his power can become uncontrollable at night. Deku also doesn’t have clear drawbacks with his power, I guess the one drawback is that you have to be moderately fit in order for the power to settle in your body. Kirishima also has no drawbacks for using his hardening ability. Tsuyu is just a frog. Mezo’s healing and replication abilities don’t seem to have any clear limits, nor does he have any real drawbacks for using his abilities like he does.
BNHA’s powers are too realistic to be inherently interesting, but not realistic enough to be immersive; So I want to take a brief aside to discuss HxH and how Nen works. I feel like HxH has one of the best magic systems in all of anime, it does a lot right, it scales, its intuitive, and it’s flexible enough for anything to be possible. This matches the tone of HxH, it’s a story about wonder and freedoms; There is a real sense of adventure in HxH that isn’t present in a lot of other series. It captures this feeling with flying colors, and the magic system of the series is partially responsible for this. Nen, like spirit energy in YYH or chakra in Naruto, is a form of spiritual energy that can be used and refilled over durations of rest. In HxH, Nen can manifest in 6 different ways: Enhancer, emitter, transmuter, conjurer, manipulator, and specialization. Each way Nen can manifest is largely based off of a character’s personality, and the amount of variety in each type of Nen is tremendous. What is also nice about HxH is seeing the characters improve their fighting techniques in various ways; It is also possible to learn techniques from multiple different nen trees at the cost of never mastering a specific tree. If this sounds very game like to you, I would agree, it does sound like a game. But I would argue that it is immensely more interesting than watching Deku just become stronger.
The power system in BNHA isn’t it’s biggest problem when it comes to the conveyance of fantasy, the powers themselves are very boring. I also have seen shows that have made very similar systems to quirks but succeeded where BNHA has failed. Two good examples of this would be The Law of Ueki and Medaka Box, they both have powers that serve a similar role within the plot and are about the same power level.
The Law of Ueki, like BNHA, is overall pretty lackluster; both series have similar problems but one area that The Law of Ueki excels at and BNHA fails at, is the concepts for the powers of the characters. What I mean is, BNHA has boring powers, and the mundanity of its powers comes at the cost of the entertainment value of the show. Let’s compare and contrast the powers of BNHA to that of The Law of Ueki. In BNHA, the main character’s super power is super strength (and speed, it comes with the territory), in Ueki, Ueki has the ability to turn trash into trees (he also has angel powers later on). The side characters of BNHA have super speed, fire and ice powers, lots of them have super strength, the ability to make things float, weird appendages, and so on and so forth. Let’s now compare that to Ueki: Seiichro Sano has the ability to turn towels into steel so long as he holds his breath. Hideyoshi Sayo has the ability to turn sounds/voices into portraits that he can place on surfaces. Ai Mori has the ability to turn other people into a lover of glasses so long as she gets her opponents to make a cutesy pose. Rinko Jerrard can turn beads into bombs. The inherent level of intrigue between a fight with someone who has the power to turn trash into trees, and a man who can turn towels into steel so long as he holds his breath, is inherently more interesting than anything that has come out of BNHA. This makes BNHA rely on cheap gimmicks to make the fights “interesting,” but many of these gimmicks are either forgotten about or the audience gets desensitized to the gimmick pretty fast. I have seen Deku break his bones so many times that it feels like it doesn’t even matter when it happens anymore; So far, the second and third seasons made a big deal about him learning how to ‘fight in a new way,’ but the ham fisted way that he has leveled up so far makes his struggle feel cheapened. He learned how to go full-cowl after hearing about taiyaki in a microwave, and then he jumped around in a alleyway for like an hour. What this is to say, is that the threat of breaking bones in BNHA is around the same level of threat to the character as Yusuke (from YYH) using all of his spirit energy at once. Pair the empty threat of injury in the show with Recovery Girl’s ability to heal injuries, we have a show with very poor direction when it comes to its action. This is made all the worse from the first scene of the first episode, where it is revealed that Deku will become the greatest hero of all time; since the goal of becoming the greatest hero of all time is the assumed end point of the show, we as an audience know that he won’t die.
A show that inhabits a similar setting and similar powers, is Medaka Box. However, Medaka Box has great fight choreography. As such, I want to compare BNHA’s best fight (in my opinion) in terms of choreography with various fights from Medaka Box. Although this might be a controversial opinion, BNHA’s best fight is still probably the fight between Deku and Bakugo; there is a certain energy and interpersonal drama in this fight that isn’t present in All Might vs. Nomu, Deku vs. Todoroki, Iida, Todoroki, and Deku vs. Stain, and Deku vs. Stronk Villain. I will get to my problems with those fights when I discuss the individual arcs and their merits.
As I mentioned before, I like the motion/rhythm and the interpersonal drama of Deku vs. Bakugo in season 1 because it represents a bunch of feelings that hit close to home for me; change is a thing that can split friendships apart, rendering them irreparable because certain relationships can survive under very specific circumstances. This is the case with Deku and Bakugo; Although I will get to the specific details of their relationship later, I think a basic understanding of the character conflict is necessary. After Deku gets One For All, Bakugo loses his shit, this is more or less because he finds himself being surpassed by Deku; he sees his childhood ‘friend’ and he sees how Deku has developed, whereas he himself has been relatively stagnant since then. Deku on the other hand, has to prove to All Might that he is worthy of having One For All. Thus when they come into conflict during a practice simulation, it becomes a conflict between these two conflicting goals. Although the stakes aren’t that high in comparison to any fight from the sports festival arc or really any other arc, the personal drama between the two is largely what makes this compelling. But in terms of choreography, this fight may be the best. The other fights in the series has largely been slug fests that stay relatively stationary, but in this scene we get to see Deku pull off martial arts grapples. The tight corners and the more interesting win condition for Deku (capturing the fake nuclear bomb) more interesting than had it been a straight up fight between the two characters. This also gave the audience a taste of Deku’s intelligence, which at a later point he has been defined for; The show does this by having Deku analyze Bakugo’s combat style as they are fighting, the resolution of the fight, where he uses One For All to destroy the upper floors of the building to give Uraraka the chance to get past Iida and take the fake nuclear bomb. In turn, he took a major blow from Bakugo. This breaks both of his arms, and at this point in the series, the audience hasn’t been properly desensitized to his injuries, this was an intense fight and the resolution of the fight was fun but was also a good moment for characterization for Deku. It reinforces two traits of Deku, it reinforces his self-sacrificing nature, and it displays to the audience his intelligence.
What this fight reminded me of was a similar series of battles that came from Medaka Box S2. The second season of Medaka Box was dedicated to the conflict between the student council and the mysterious elite class. In the world of Medaka Box, there are three different kind of people: normals, specials, and abnormals. Abnormals themselves are split up into two different types, positives and negatives. Normals have no special abilities, specials are those born with talent but don’t really have any attributes that can be considered supernatural, and abnormals have supernatural abilities and between positives and negatives these abilities can be a net positive ability (like supernatural reflexes) or negative abilities that usually come at a cost, like the ability for anything that is touched will rot away. The goal of the elite class is to create more specials and abnormals, it is revealed that the entire campus of the school is a testing ground for these experiments; the current plan that the elite class is going to sacrifice the entire school population to have the few that survive gain the abilities of specials and abnormals. This leads to the intervention of the student council. This leads the student council to infiltrate the elite class’ hideout, the infiltration is intense; its set in a underground facility that seems like it is miles deep and the structure is labyrinthine in structure. As they descend further into the underground facility, the fights and action gets more intense, the tension is palpable when watching this arc because the verticality of the series coincides with the party getting further from safety. Medaka Box uses a specific troupe in shounen anime to its utmost extent, it’s the troupe where the party gets split up and each of them have to overcome obstacles/opponents that make them display their own unique talents and powers. Needless to say, all of the fights are great, I’m not sure if any one fight is better than Deku vs. Bakugo, but the strength of the entire arc and the context surrounding each battle is better than the classroom scenes that surround the aforementioned battle in BNHA. But this season of Medaka Box made a big deal about verticality in it’s cinematography, and that connects to it’s themes on social structures and the idea of power, it is also represented in the majority of the fight scenes in this season; the biggest example of this is Kouki Akune vs. Itami Koga and Youka Naze, where the characters are breaking through floors and pulling off a mix of wrestling moves and kamen rider special attacks. The best I could say about BNHA’s direction is that it doesn’t always use arial swoops and not all of the trees are layered pngs.
I guess I am being forgiving when I don’t compare Jojo and Naruto to BNHA in terms of fight choreography; I know that a lot of people like to say that Deku is “one of the smartest shonen protagonists, if not the smartest,” I can say without a doubt in my mind, that he is about average intelligence when we compare him to actually smart characters. In BNHA, there is nothing near the level of Shikamaru vs. Temari, Naruto vs. Neji, or Squad 7 vs. Zabuza. In BNHA, there is nothing like any fight in Jojo. The powers of BNHA are too generic to really make any complex fight where intelligence is really necessary to win, the closest the show ever gets to being actually smart with it’s fights is Deku, Todoroki, and Iida vs. Stain. But, even then, the fight choreography made the fight pretty boring. The hypest moment in the show so far has been All Might vs Nomu, and even then, the fight choreography was rather simple if not a little boring. I am aware of the upcoming fight between All Might and All For One, and that may take the place of the last hypest moment from the show. As I stated earlier, I like everything that has to do with All Might, and the resolution of his arc in the show may make me increase my score for the show up to this point.
The next part of my review is dedicated to examining every arc up to this point, this is to examine the themes on heroism in BNHA and to elaborate on my problems with the narrative up to this point (in the anime).
The UA Entrance Exam Arc: The entrance exam arc was a pretty good start to BNHA as a anime; It sets up the goals of the series and is probably the reason why many people believe that Deku is not only the hardest working shonen protagonist, but also the smartest. It’s set up in the first scene of the show that Deku will become the greatest hero of all time, this leads me to believe that the show will be dedicated to showing Deku’s development into the greatest hero of all time. Thus it can be assumed that the story’s themes is about the environment and the circumstances that creates a hero. Cool premise, am I right? I have a bunch of problems with it though, the first and foremost problem is that Deku already is pretty much the embodiment of a hero from the get go. He attempts to save Bakugo in the first episode despite the likelihood that he would die in the process, and by the end of the entrance exam, he is voted into going to UA because he displays all of the character traits of a hero. I guess there is no way to make BNHA a show unless we have Deku get a quirk and have him get accepted into UA; so functionally, I guess this is how he gets in. He works out for a summer until he is given One For All by All Might. At this point in the show, I was thinking that perhaps Deku’s understanding of heroism is superficial and that by attending UA, he will somehow become more heroic. At this point though, I was still a little mad that the show is set at a school. If we recall the premise of the show, it’s roughly about the environment and circumstances that create heroes. BNHA’s answer to this question is: Hero School. It is perhaps the most boring answer to that question, because it trivializes the concept of heroism to be something that can simply be learned at school. I then came to believe that maybe the story will acknowledge this fact, and maybe it will discuss the artifice of hero society. I mean, from the first episode, it came across as most heroes were superficial and did things for publicity, fame, or fortune; I mean even All Might isn’t above the commoditization of heroes in this universe, I mean, there is All Might action figures and posters. When people want you to remember things, they usually say “put a pin in that,” but the fact that All Might is a sell out as well is such an important fact that I want all of you reading this to nail it to a wall with a railroad spike.
2. UA Introduction and Villains’ Invade UA Arc (aka everything else in Season 1): For the most part, I can say I enjoyed the rest of the first season of BNHA. I do have a load of problems with the series at this point, but, there isn’t anything too egregious in this part of the series. The worst I can say about this section of the show is that the focus of Deku’s journey to become a hero is slowly lost. The show at this point begins to focus more and more on side characters that I don’t really care for; As I mentioned before, the show feels truncated when it comes to character development and focus because the anime wants to give attention to every character. This makes most of the characters in the series at this point seem more like gag characters or bait waifus/husbandos. At this moment, I was thinking that BNHA would be as superficial and romanticized in its depiction of heroism as it had lead on to be. This prediction held true, but at the moment, I was still optimistic. In this part of the series, we are also introduced to The League of Villains, I thought these guys were going to be relatively minor characters throughout the series, but this notion proved to be incorrect. The climax of season one also made me rock hard because of All Might vs. Nomu; BNHA put a carrot on a stick and was dangling it right in front of my face. It had yet to actually do anything with it’s themes but rumors I heard on the internet was foreshadowing two things to me: One, there will be a tournament arc, and it will be cool. Two, there is a character called Stain, and his arc is all about the deconstruction of heroism. The series had me hooked at that moment, I was destined to watch every season of BNHA to come out at that point, and so far this has held true.
3. The Sports Festival Arc: This arc was a massive disappointment to me, and there are a lot of contributing factors to this disappointment. I guess the biggest reason is that the sports festival arc contains to much content for it’s short run time to really develop upon. BNHA really wants us to care about all of it’s characters, as such, it tries to give each character in the show something to do in this arc. This could be seen as a good thing, but the fact that we have to be introduced to class 1B, have Uraraka’s and Todoroki’s arc, and set up Stain in 11 episodes is a lofty goal for any series. Pair all of that content up with the amount of characters that Kohei Horikoshi wants to give attention to, we have a arc that has horrible narrative focus. Uraraka gets like 3-5 scenes to both start and conclude her arc, a talented director could somehow make this work; but since this is an adaptation, the show more or less has to stick with the source material.
Everything in this arc seems like it was seriously rushed, the most egregious example of this is Todoroki’s arc. Todoroki’s arc has a lot of strong parts to it, it gives us a very great backstory to Todoroki, and it goes a long way to set up certain setting details that I thought were going to be relevant later. In many ways, it also contextualizes Endeavor as a character to the audience and it reinforces the idea that heroism is dead in BNHA. That being said, the arc is so fraught with problems that the construction of the arc seems a bit misguided from the beginning. I think Kohei Horikoshi wanted to discuss trauma, but he has no experience writing about such topics, so it comes off across like he had no idea on what he was going to do with the character. I guess I should elaborate further on this problem; the main problem with Todoroki’s arc is how Deku resolves Todoroki’s trauma. As I stated earlier, trauma is a pervasive, it isn’t a character flaw, and nor should it be treated as such. Kohei Horikoshi treats it as such, his development is very unnatural; it feels like he is a wrestler that pulled a heel turn. He is portrayed as a villain because of his trauma, but his motivations seem very reasonable, so I can’t really side with Deku when he reforms Todoroki. The show treats Todoroki’s trauma as a character flaw, something he could get over easily if he has some sort of realization. This steals a very introspective development arc from Todoroki, he could have been one of the greatest characters in BNHA if he was given the development required to properly make a recovery arc compelling. Instead, Kohei Horikoshi decided that the best way to resolve Todoroki’s trauma was to have Deku yell at him for twenty or so minutes, contained in the most boring fight scene I have ever seen.
I guess I should talk about the tournament arc, it wasn’t that good overall. That is not to say that it didn’t have it’s moments but the structure of this arc is a bit lackluster. Like I stated before, the Sports Festival Arc loses narrative focus, since that’s a lofty statement, so I guess I should elaborate on that. Deku doesn’t really have any way to develop in this arc, his goal for this arc, more or less is to prove himself to the world. But this is a pretty uncompelling goal, and I don’t like how the show portrays this vanity as a good thing. That was a pretty petty complaint, but I feel like Kohei Horikoshi would agree with me because this whole arc is dedicated to giving the side characters things to do. It was just kind of boring to see characters with no personality, doing things I couldn’t give less of a fuck about. In actuality, who cares about Kirishima and TetsuTetsu? TetsuTetsu is more or less a gag character, it’s pretty annoying how much time I remember was spent ‘developing’ his character. In actuality there is no depth to his character, so it feels rather misguided how much time has been spent in season 3 to him; but this is a trait that is pervasive throughout all the members of class 1b. I also feel like it’s rather misguided to have more characters introduced when there was already too many characters in class 1a. To reinforce this fact, let me ask a few questions. What is the name of the character who has weird plant hair power? Is Bakugo a good character? Who actually cares about Mina vs Aoyama? Will Toru ever get any development? Will Sato, Koda, Jiro, Sero, Ojiro, Aoyama, Shoji, Mineta, Toru, Mina, or Asui ever do something of any importance? Of the students that I have deemed important, how much of that actually matters when it comes to the themes or the narrative of the story? Who actually cares about Yaoyorozu vs. Tokoyami? Has any character actually developed throughout the course of the series so far? Aside from in doujins, does Midnight have any fans? (aside from the ones who just like her appearance) For that matter, does any female or male characters (aside from Uraraka, Iida, Deku, Todoroki, AM, and Yaoyorozu) have any actual fans? Did anyone feel any tension for the characters in season 1 when they were in danger? As a continuation to that, did any of you feel any tension when the class was being attacked by villians in S3?
These questions were just the first thing that came to mind when thinking about the characters of BNHA; but these small/petty complaints and questions start building up. At times, I feel like there really wasn’t any narrative coherence in this section of BNHA because it keeps jumping from character to character and each and everyone of them is boring. For that matter, every character’s goal in BNHA is the same, every student wants to become the greatest hero ever; that really robs Deku of his most identifying feature. I guess that Deku is supposed to be a neutral audience stand in, and the fact that he is boring may be a good story telling technique; that being said, it most definitely doesn’t work for me. What also doesn’t work for me is how Bakugo is supposed to be a foil for Deku, and the fact that they are both 1 dimensional pretty much makes this connection all the worse. In a better series, I wouldn’t be thinking about why characters are popular or what their function in a series is. I would be immersed in the series, but this series does everything in its power to take me out of my immersion.
4. Hero Killer/Stain Arc: This is most likely the most analyzed arc in all of BNHA, many people also herald it as one of the best arcs in shounen manga/anime. I have also heard innumerable think pieces on how Stain is one of the best villains in anime, and how the idea of Stain alone is a great concept. I would say Stain is a victim of three problems: The setting and the goal of this arc are at odds, the writing for Stain is pretty lackluster, and the thematic ideas behind Stain’s character, despite being in the right place, are poorly written.
Let’s start with my first problem with Stain’s arc. The setting of BNHA is pretty unbelievable, this is only a problem when we consider that Stain is supposed to be the spark that influences others to start becoming villains. As such, it would have behoved the series had the setting of BNHA been more gritty, less romanticized, and more polarizing. It’s not that there is a dearth of setting details that could have been used to help immerse the audience in the world of BNHA but all of the setting details are really misused; for example: due to Todoroki’s backstory, we learn that many heroes choose partners that would directly lead to stronger children. We also learn that many heroes are treated like celebrities, and many of them have various endorsement details. Some heroes, like Mt.Lady come across as directly reckless because they like the attention it gets them. We as an audience even learn that heroes might be directly leading to crime based off of how hero culture embellishes villains, we know this because in towns that have lower hero activity, there is less crime. What would have really driven this narrative home was if the students at UA were less pure than they were. Another factor that could have helped this narrative would be if All Might and other characters we were supposed to think were icons of heroism were actually scumbags in real life. The only hero that comes across that way is Endeavor, and he was intentionally made to look like the biggest dick ever. But, all of these postulates are wrong, this isn’t actually what this arc is about. The Stain Arc isn’t about how the commoditization of heroes in BNHA lead to these destructive drawbacks. We know this because Stain idolizes All Might; now I want you to take the fact that I had all of you nail to the wall earlier, and take a look at it. All Might is as much of a sell out and or a commodity as much as any other hero if not more so. It is also implied that Mt.Lady was only being reckless because she is a relative newcomer to professional heroism. Also the audience isn’t given much reason to believe hero culture is actually a bad thing, society in BNHA is as clean as it gets, and the amount of regulations on heroes that are present, pretty much assures that most heroes are under inspection by big brother at all times. The anime also tells us about a lot of problems in hero culture, but it doesn’t show us anything of substance. So the audience doesn’t really have a gauge to decide for ourselves if hero culture is good or bad, as far as we know, it is perfectly fine and should be protected. So if we think about it, what is Stain’s arc really saying about heroism?
This leads into my second point about the writing of Stain, it isn’t ever clear what he means when he idolizes All Might. Eventually it comes across as All Might is the best because he is stronk and he acts like a hero; Stain seems to make a deal about how most heroes are really weak and how that is a bad thing for heroism, but in reality that isn’t really saying much about hero culture. It isn’t really the deconstruction of heroism that I was lead on to believe. It’s a very superficial commentary on heroism, and it is a terrible learning moment for every character involved in this arc, since it doesn’t really give any character pause for introspection. I guess Iida has his moments to ‘develop’ but as I argued earlier, it isn’t compelling because it is so unbelievable. But, when it comes to the actual dialogue of Stain, he basically talks in edge. I have been told that I should cut him some slack as a character when I analyze his intentions and his motivations, because he is a crazy person and that what he talks about only appeals to those who are already unstable. However, the last episode of season 2 proves this point to be mute because videos on his narrative is spread around/ gone viral and is widely accepted as a valid viewpoint by the public. I think he was meant to be a compelling idea to both the audience and the characters of BNHA but in reality the end goal that he was meant to serve was greatly missed if that was the end goal for the character.
I get why Stain was necessary for the plot, as I stated earlier, he was most likely created to course correct the plot of BNHA; it was meant to give the plot more narrative focus, it was also meant to raise the stakes of the plot. In many ways, it could be argued that Stain was introduced to correct the thematic ideas of BNHA: since BNHA is set in a hero school, this could have been a great opportunity to discuss the notion of heroism. But, the Stain Arc cheapens the idea of heroism more than anything else. I also know that I am right because the scumbag Endeavor and Mt. Lady become role model figures for Deku in S3; So the social darwinist position of might equals right is very much true in this series. Even though I am a ancap, but I hate this thematic position because of how much it demystifies the notion of heroism. BNHA does everything in its power to make heroes and heroism as lame as possible. Mother’s Basement has argued that BNHA is thematically a capitalist story, but the anime/manga missed the opportunity to discuss the nature of commodity fetishism in this arc. Thus helping my belief that saying MB is wrong is like saying the sky is blue.
Anyways, I still can’t figure out what the Stain Arc is really trying to say about heroism. I think the reading that hero culture enables villainy is the best reading of this arc, but it kind of fails at the execution because of the writing. I could just be wildly off base, but I kinda doubt that.
5. The Midterm Exam Arc: Nothing of note happens when in this arc, it just shows the students of 1a becoming more capable professional heroes and nothing else. This is probably where Uraraka’s arc should have been placed because she never really had anything to prove during the Sports Festival Arc, the threat of failing the test is more high stakes to her character than doing only pretty well at the Sports Festival. Yaoyorozu’s character arc is in this arc, it was pretty bad in terms of character development. But, seeing her work with Todoroki to beat Aizawa was pretty fun. This is also where Uraraka’s love for Deku is revealed.
6. The Training Camp Arc: This arc is pretty much a continuation of the Stain Arc, most of the events that transpired in that arc directly lead to the events of this arc. At this point, the story was doing two things that I really like. The first thing that I really like is the darker tone, it raised the stakes and the villains actually being successful in their mission made them feel less like the saturday morning cartoon villains that they felt like earlier. The second thing I liked was the writing, I would argue that it is still far from optimal, but we can tell that in between the Stain Arc and this arc, there has been a noticeable mitigation of edge. The edge has been replaced with legitimate intimidation and dark feel. That being said, the show still hasn’t taught Deku anything and Kota was a pretty terrible addition to the story.
So there was a lot that I liked from this arc, the best example of what I liked was the fight between Deku and Stronk Villain (I forgot his name). Even though I knew that Deku wouldn’t die, the direction in this scene and the animation worked perfectly in tandem to reinforce the emotional response of helplessness and then lead to the sensation of overcoming a tough obstacle. That being said, I didn’t like the events surrounding this particular fight nor did I like the choreography that much. But on a emotional level, it worked perfectly.
That being said, the fight earlier was in service to the development of maybe one of the worst characters of all time, Kota. This scene was supposed to display to the disillusioned Kota, the value of heroes. I think the main problem with Kota is that he is super generic, to the point where I was able to predict his backstory and the resolution of his arc, I was even able to verbatim quote what he would say. His character was so bland that I can’t believe they actually included him; I think what makes Kota not work at all as a character is how he is a one shot character. I think he was just introduced as a means to get Deku to fight stronk dude and nothing else, he isn’t really that likeable and he is pretty much the worst iteration of this archetype. If you want to watch a good iteration of this archetype, I would suggest watching Naruto, Konohamaru is a much more compelling version of this character because he parallels Naruto as a character, and the development that Konohamaru matches Naruto’s because Naruto slowly becomes a mentor figure to him (a character, who like Naruto, doesn’t have any parents). Kota’s development pretty much is just a bland realization that heroes are necessary and that he should feel bad for punching Deku in the balls. What this is to say, is that Kota is a bad character because he contributes very little to the themes of BNHA. This is true of most characters if not all of them, just remember my postulates on the characters of BNHA earlier. I am still not sure what the purpose of Deku or All Might really is, especially in the Stain Arc and this one.
The Setting of BNHA: One of the biggest flaws of BNHA is it’s poor execution of many of its characters and it’s themes, this is probably due to two reasons: One of them is the aforementioned amount of characters, but the problem I want to focus on at the moment is the setting of BNHA. Settings can be a powerful tool when utilized right. The setting of any iyashikei or slice of life relies heavily on the characterization that is personified because of the setting; the same is true of shonen series. HxH is about childhood wonder, so it relies heavily on the sense of wonder that comes with the setting. FMAB is a story about war and loss, thus it is set in a WW2 style setting. Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still is a deconstruction of classical characters; thus the setting has to work in two regards, the first of which is to recreate the classic feeling of the 70s Giant Robo series, and the second is to make it a setting where it is possible to have leagues of villains and giant robot fights, a setting where it is possible to have police officers with super powers. It executes this by having most buildings have a classic european design, the show also has a nostalgia inducing color palette. If I had to describe BNHA’s color palette, I would use the adjectives sterile, and bland. On their own, these words aren’t inherently bad; but when it comes to a series that sets out to have a specific, romantic tone to heroism, I think these attributes are not good. The colors of BNHA are neither subdued enough to feel nostalgic or reminiscent, but they aren’t bright enough to be cartoonish or cheerful. It is in that sweet spot where almost no emotions can be evoked from the scenery in the show. Pair this with the very thin line work, and everything seems way too clean than it should be. A great example of this is the entirety of the UA Campus, the worst offender of this is the classroom which is as sterile and bland as it gets. There is nothing like building a tone based off of bland industrial rooms with no interesting aspects aside from how bland it is. The setting of BNHA should have been more similar to Kekkai Sensen, they both inhabit similar worlds, since in both settings’ the populace is mainly super human. BNHA should have been dirtier, more crowded, vertical. They imply that those with great quirks tend to be near the top of the hierarchy in BNHA, but we really don’t get a sense of the society in this world, nor do we get a sense of any outside world. I feel like if anything, BNHA seems like it is too self contained within Japan. This containment lead me to ask a million questions that I know won’t be answered. For example: Why are almost all of the top heroes and most powerful villains in Japan? This question alone subsequently creates more questions, why is All Might the symbol of peace world wide if all he did was protect Japan? Why is UA in Japan? Are there people with more powerful quirks than One For All? What is society like in China, America, Britain… etc like now that there are superpowers? I guess because Japan looks the same as it ever was, so would every other country.
Mrbtongue made a great video on Mass Effect 3 that includes the postulate that science fiction is a socratic seminar between the author and the hypothetical. Every science fiction/science fantasy work is the answer to a hypothetical situation. Using this reading, BNHA’s setting is based off of the premise “suppose that 80% of the population of the world was born with super powers, what would happen?” BNHA answers the questions that come with this hypothesis in the laziest possible way: superpowers cause heroes and villains to become an industry of their own, institutions are made to regulate superpowers, the world is basically the same as it ever was. Perhaps BNHA’s world is as boring as it is to have as much mass appeal as possible. I mean western superhero movies take place in modern, clean, cities, and they also have flimsy excuses for premises. BNHA is accessible if nothing else, it uses western comic iconography whilst being cliche enough to WSJ fans. It isn’t smart enough to really answer any of my questions, so I feel like BNHA is only supposed to be appreciated on a surface level, the entire world and conflicts that take place within it is as superficial as it gets (even Stain, if not especially Stain).
I guess I am not sure what else to add to my analysis of each completed arc so far; but I just remembered that I never talked about each fight. In many regards, my forgetting about writing on these fights speaks louder than any analysis that I could write on them. Most fights in this series are boring and uninventive, and the few fights that do something new usually have other elements that piss me off. I guess that is because shonen anime is notorious for having lots of character development scenes contained within fights; I’m not about to start complaining about that necessarily, but I would have preferred it if some development scenes didn’t revolve around fights. The most egregious example was Todoroki vs. Deku, and all of my problems with treating trauma as a character flaw and also resolving his issues in a fight by yelling at him.
Furthermore, the astote readers would have probably noticed a running theme in my analysis of BNHA so far. That theme is that Deku isn’t really driving the plot anymore, his personality traits and his motivation hasn’t been the main focus to the plot for a while, he has just felt more like the passenger in his own story. None of the conflicts from the second half of the first season onwards have been driven by Deku as a character, he is just kind of there doing his own thing, learning nothing. People might argue that he is becoming more heroic because he saved Kota, but we all know that he would have done that if he was replaced with his counterpart from the first episode of BNHA.
There is an argument that Deku’s arc is that he is becoming more responsible as the show keeps going on. The examples I can think for this arc comes from the first episode and has continued up to this point; let me explain, in the first episode Deku ran up to a villain that he had no chance of beating to save Bakugo. This shows that his self sacrificing nature is a bad trait, because he keeps putting himself in danger. In his fight against Bakugo, Deku sacrifices both of his arms to secure the fake nuclear bomb. In his fight against Todoroki, Deku breaks both of his arms and all of his fingers to get through to Todoroki. When he saves Iida from Stain, he goes into the alley (and signals that he is in danger) and fights against a threat that has taken out countless heroes. In the third season, Deku goes against Stronk Boi in a 1v1 fight to save Kota, and in the current arc he relied on Todoroki, Iida, Yaoyorozu, and Kirishima to save Bakugo. But, my argument against this arc is two fold. The first problem with it is that we never got a sense that Deku would try to do things by himself, or that he was reckless/irresponsible to begin with, he has always been a team player and he has always been portrayed as in the right. He has always been rewarded if not enabled to be irresponsible, and we only get hints here and there that he might be over his head but he is never outright wrong in any of his actions. My second problem with this arc is that every single shounen series has a arc similar to this contained within it, if anything, the great majority of shonen protagonists have similar arcs and they are also usually more subtle than the one from BNHA. Naruto, Deisuke, Gon, Soma, Ueki, Yusuke, and Edward Elric, all have the same arc as Midoriya but they are all better than his.
So I’ve roughly been complaining about BNHA for the past 10’000 words, why does it matter what people think of this series? Well first and foremost, the “new big three,” is BNHA, Boruto, and Black Clover, all three of them are Naruto fanfiction. Ten years into the future when no one longer cares about BNHA, I would argue that every series will basically be derivative copies of BNHA and the fans of BNHA will most likely complain about the newer series. So I just want to say that it is a cycle, and we have accepted that future series will be unoriginal; the fact that the main argument that many use as a defence of BNHA is “it’s unoriginal but it is well executed,” only proves that as an anime community we have accepted mediocrity. It turns out Digibro was right all along, the main shows that are popular now of days are simply echoes of a better time for the medium and BNHA is the epitome of this.
Before this, I would recommend reading my reviews of the first two seasons of Boku no Hero Academia. Many details that explain my opinion on this series in a broader sense are already covered there.
This season picks up where the previous season left off, with the students preparing to go to an inevitably doomed summer training camp. The plot takes a much darker tone this season, with The League of Villains newly-emboldened by Stain's actions in season 2, and full of fresh faces. The first arc of this season gives the new villains a chance to show off what they're made of, and set up
the league as a more immediate, tangible threat.
Without spoiling too much, the following arc goes even further into developing The League of Villains, finally introducing their leader and revealing his true plan. It also sets up for a changing of the guard for both the heroes and the villains, building towards Deku and Shigaraki becoming arch-enemies in the vein of their mentors.
While these two arcs excel due to their establishing a greater cast of villains and creating a sense of genuine threat, the following arc doesn't fare quite as well. The Provisional License Exam arc doesn't serve much purpose in the overarching plot other than to get the story from point A to point B. While there is some exploration of Todoroki's grudge against his father, this isn't anything we haven't already covered elsewhere. Ultimately, without it being as firmly rooted in the emotional journey of its characters, it has a lot less substance than the other arcs, and feels awkward and transitionary.
This is exacerbated by some uncharacteristically bad pacing for this series, with two filler episodes sandwiched into it along with some added scenes and dialogue, presumably included to make sure that the season ended at a good point rather than smack in the middle of another arc.
While one of the two filler episodes (technically three, but the first was a start-of-season recap) follows a similar idea to season 2's surprisingly good filler episode, in covering events that happened offscreen to secondary 1-A characters, the other is a completely unnecessary waste of time that accomplishes little more than plugging the movie. And even the better of the two fails to repeat the same success of season 2's filler, partially because while the previous one came as a breather episode inbetween story arcs, this one directly interrupted the plot in progress. It also doesn't help that Tsuyu is a better character than Yaoyorozu (fight me, nerds).
The writing is also noticeably worse during filler, in particular for Uraraka and Bakugo. Uraraka gets a lot of screentime in additional scenes, but almost all of her dialogue in these scenes revolves around her uncertainty around her feelings for Deku, something we had already established and which didn't need repeating ad nauseam. Bakugo on the other hand plays up all his worst character traits in the movie-plugging filler episode, but where his recklessness in canon is usually due to his anger and frustration with Deku, here it's pure idiocy.
Once the exam is over, however, the quality immediately picks back up. And whatever disservice the filler may have done for Bakugo, it's easily forgotten after he gets some long overdue character development. While Bakugo was never a bad character, he wasn't a likeable one either. But Bakugo's character arc has been long in process - with his entire worldview being flipped on its head the moment Deku gained a quirk, Bakugo has been challenged with the thought that he's no longer superior to everyone around him - a belief that he had always taken for granted until then. This season finally takes this setup and brings it to a conclusion redeeming an oft-maligned character in the process.
Overall, while the quality of this season does take a noticeable dip during the provisional license exam, even then it isn't bad - just underwhelming in comparison. Outside of this arc, it matches (and in places exceeds) the benchmark the previous season set.
And for any mistakes the series may make, it still manages to retain investment in both the ever-evolving setting and its quirky (pun not intended) ensemble cast, the latter in particular benefiting not only from more character arcs, drama, and development, but from increased downtime letting us see more of these characters outside of their roles in the plot, fleshing out more of their personalities and character dynamics.
With the series ending on a foreboding note, Hero Academia promises great things to come - but for now, Hero Academia 3 is an impressive, if uneven, entry in the series.
Superhero stories feels like it’s been populating the entertainment industry from these recent years. Marvel and DC successfully adapted many of these superhero tales with huge fanbases. The CW Network have aired shows with a large following like The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. My Hero Academia always reminds me that it has a place with its own set of superheroes and villains. With that in mind, I was pretty ecstatic about the return of My Hero Academia.
The third season does a bit of recapping at first to get viewers comfortable with its characters, story setting, and general concepts. As someone who has
been following both the anime and manga, I knew what was to expect as the series is structured with story arcs. From the first half of the show, we follow Class 1-A as the first semester at U.A has concluded. Known as the “Forest Training Camp Arc”, it details the events of our young heroes participating in a training camp. They are supervised by a hero group known as the Pussycats but incidents happen that leads the arc into quite a chaos. It’s no surprise either as My Hero Academia likes to build tension and make story with its characters. From the Training Camp arc, we are introduced to a character named Kota who has a distasteful view towards heroes. The show explores his reasons for this while also adapts how he begins to change after meeting certain people. Enter Deku. He is pretty much symbolic for what Kota detests because of his values and desire to become a hero. The arc details of what it really means of being a hero and opening his eyes to reality.
Moving on, it’s also clear that the series has dangerous adversaries for the heroes to face. The League of Villains has been teased from season 2 and in this season, they make themselves known with malicious intentions. Their core members exposes the dangers our heroes faces but they also have a hidden agenda. That brings into the question of a guy named Katsuki Bakugo. You’d remember him as the arrogant guy who always strives to be the best with a huge ego. From this season, you’ll also see what it means to be a hero from his point of view. Nonetheless, I think there may be an overemphasis on the idea of making heroes. Every episode and arc dedicates an immense amount of time to such concepts that sometimes, I wonder if there’s just too much. I say this because after a certain amount of episodes, the storytelling feels a bit redundant without much development. Heroism becomes too symbolic even in the case of All Might. On the contrary, one could also mention that All Might is a symbol of being a real hero. He represents courage, integrity, peace, and self-sacrifice. The apex of the show has him battle out against a powerful enemy from the past that draws out perhaps one of the most important episodes of the franchise. While still overemphasizing the idea of heroism, it’s significant enough to prove what being a hero is all about.
Meanwhile, the series still has its sense of humor. There exists many moments in the show that offers to delivery comedy ranging from Mineta’s ridiculous perverted antics to an episode about checking out everyone’s rooms. Bringing back to the main plot, the second half of the show features the hero license exams and internship arc together. It now transcends from young heroes to take their next step in following their dreams. New characters are introduced while familiar ones are bought back together to add to the drama. It also adds bits of tense rivalry between certain characters that may or may not be pleasing to remember. But I must say, preparing these heroes in such a way feels like the pacing could have been improved. I’m not a big fan for the latter half of the show as most of those episodes didn’t make much of an impact. Even in terms of personal enjoyment, I find myself losing interest when watching Deku, Bakugo, Momo, Todoroki, Enji, Tenya, Ochaco, or others compete to earn their spot. Some of the new characters like Mei did occasionally spark my interest but nonetheless felt underwhelming. What about the new characters like the ones from Shiketsu High School? To me, they’re unique individually but lacks development and isn’t well crafted enough for true appeal. I’m not going to lie, it felt like the show sometimes has too many characters in a story arc at once and doesn’t really bring out their true potentials.
Speaking of which, I guess you may be asking if character relationships develop further in this season. It definitely proves itself being able to capitalize on the complex relationship such as with Deku and Bakugo, Deku and All Might, or Deku and Koda. But for other characters like Ochaco, they really take a pitfall. There’s obvious romance that blooms from her towards Deku but the season acts more like a ship tease with no true hope of sailing sail. Never say never though, right? Just not this season.
Coming back to this franchise definitely reminded of the Shounen Jump action I was looking for. A superhero action series like this isn’t complete without its colorful character cast and their action roles. It offers all sort of characteristics where every hero or villain is unique. However, it may be noticable that some episodes dropped in quality compared to previous seasons. Yoshihiko Umakoshi worked on a variety of roles from previous seasons ranging from character designs, chief animation director, and key animation. In this season, he’s absent as a role of animation director. That doesn’t mean the third season fell apart though because in some of the more climatic episodes, there’s definitely high quality animation. The explosiveness and energy of the fighting scenes from some of the more important episodes really are worth praising. There’s also the dynamic character motions with emotional content that adds more value to many scenes this season. There’s even environmental physics and other background animation that are worth paying attention to. To me, I think My Hero Academia Season 3 started off a bit slow but was able to work itself up again to bring these storybook characters to stardom. The familiarity of the soundtrack also brings together moments that you won’t forget.
After three seasons of My Hero Academia, I think it’s safe to say that the momentum of this roller-coaster isn’t going to stop for a good while. Superhero shows often portray characters as exactly what they are – a symbol of justice and peace. While My Hero Academia does continue to follow that concept, it has moments that truly capitalizes on the meaning of this ideology. With more episodes on the way in the future, I still have bright hopes for this franchise.
Hero Academia's poor character development has ruined an otherwise engaging story.
If you enjoyed the first 2 seasons in spite of a few absurd story arcs and silly character development, and you're willing to overlook poorly thought out character motivations for the sake of grand themes of heroism then you might be able to enjoy and even fully embrace season 3. I disliked the nonsensical villain motivations in Season 2 and I feel that their motivations seem to make even less sense in Season 3.
Since Season 2, we have seen that most of Hero Academia's villains want to kill All Might because he happens to
be the so called "symbol of peace". Why would any villain want to kill the "symbol of peace"? According to Hero Academia, villains want to kill the symbol of peace because they want to deprive Japanese citizens of the hope that any hero can save them from any kind of danger at any moment in time. By the way, we don't really know if any country other than Japan actually exists in this fictional superhero and that just makes suspending one's disbelieve a little harder needs to be.
How exactly does a villain materially or emotionally benefit from depriving people of the hope that All Might or any other hero can save them at any point in time? How does killing All Might or any of the students of UA high satisfy a villain's emotional or physical needs? None of these important thematic questions are ever answered. The sad fact is that almost all of the villains have motives that conveniently push the plot forward and create some much needed suspense and tension. But in their attempt to kill All Might and UA students, the villains have sacrificed their physical well-being and their emotional needs. It makes no sense for villains to have motivations that don't personally benefit them in any imaginable way.
In real life or in stories that have realistic characters, villains have one of the following motivations; greed, curiosity, a lust for power, a desire for revenge, spiteful envy or a desire for dangerous fun. Is it possible to write villains who want to kill All Might or the students of UA High for realistic reasons? Of course it is, but it's generally easier to write villains who exist for the sole purpose of perpetuating a poorly conceived storyline. Made in Abyss and Kokkoku both have villains with interesting and unique motivations that actually make sense. You can check out my reviews for those two anime.
I recommend watching the first seasons of both of those anime rather than watching the 3rd season of Hero Academia, unless you like Hero Academia's world building and you want to find out how the story's going to end. You can watch this shipwreck to the very end, but I'm jumping ship with what's left of my sanity.
Now back to my review. The only one or two villains in Hero Academia have a somewhat realistic motivations and they're just minor characters who get as little screen time as possible. The villain I liked, fights for fun and his goals occasionally conflict with the goals of the Villain Vanguard. He's like a less interesting version of Bleach's Kenpachi. This is actually the least disappointing aspect of Season 3's storyline.
To get to the heart of the problem of villain motivations, we need to examine Hero Academia's most important villain: Stain. In Season 2, we were introduced to a villain called Stain. The extent to which you like Stain's character development will determine the extent to which you will enjoy watching Season 3. If you love Stain then you will love Season 3. If you hated Stain then you will hate Season 3. If you felt ambivalent about Stain's character then you will feel ambivalent about Season 3's storyline.
Villain motivations is just one of the fundamental problems that plague Hero Academia's storyline, but I think the single biggest problem: is Stain's character development. First of all, Stain has no backstory in the anime nor does he have a backstory in the manga. Why exactly Stain set out to kill licensed heroes he thought were fake heroes with ill motives remains a mystery. Season 3 expects us to believe that lots of villains were inspired by Stain's actions, which makes no sense because that implies that lots of villains actually care about the heroic qualities of Japan's heroes. By definition, the word "villain" implies that one has a selfish and self-centered worldview. To truly be worthy of the title of "villain" one's priority should be one's personal well-being not someone else' heroic qualities. You cannot be a "villain" if you selflessly want to better society by purging it of incompetent and ill intentioned heroes. If you had Stain's motivation, then you would feel deeply insulted by the idea of being called a "villain" and you would never associate yourself with someone called a villain. Anyone who claims to be motivated by Stain's ideology would never to call themselves a villain or even allow themselves to be within spitting distance of anyone who happens to have villainous intentions. Horikoshi, Hero Academia's creator, has never described Stain as a misunderstood vigilante and that makes the fact that he inspires individuals who openly describe themselves as villains even more confusing.
Horikoshi also does a piss poor job of convincing us, the viewers, that any so called villain who believes in Stain's incoherent ideology has an emotional makeup that makes even a lick of sense. Humans can have irrational motivations, but even irrational motives make some kind of sense to those who hold such motives. Terrorists and suicidal cult members, however bizarre their motivations may seem to the average person; can easily articulate or demonstrate the motives behind their actions. The same cannot be said for anyone of the villains in Hero Academia.
The other problems that plague Hero Academia's storyline and character development include; Deku's and other important heroes' increasingly powerful plot armor, the nonsensical rules that hero students are forced to abide by for the sake of maintaining some semblance of tension or drama in the story's overall plot, and the subtle but pernicious sexism that undermines some of the series best story arcs.
Since Deku mastered the One for All quirk in Season 2, he has not encountered a villain or obstacle he could not physically or emotionally overcome. Not only does this plot point suck away all the drama and tension we enjoyed at the beginning of series, it also makes the overall plot a bit too easy to follow.
And any hope we had for some dramatic tension later on in the story was crushed by the fact that Hero Academia's plot armor not only protects Deku from being killed, but also prevents him from experiencing any kind of emotional suffering. Since he mastered his quirk, he has not lost a single fight to a villain. If he lost a few fights to some villains once in a while, the story would be a lot more interesting and exciting. Deku's ever growing plot armor makes the story monotonous and predictable.
Now it's time to get into what might be the most controversial part of my review: Hero Academia's pervasive and pointless sexism. There are 3 main problems with the way women are portrayed in Hero Academia. The first of which is the fact that no matter how hard superheroines work, they never achieve as much as their male counterparts even when they have superior quirks. Momo is a great example of this. Her quirk is incredibly powerful and she should be the number 1 student at UA high based on her grades and her masterful control her of work. But Horikoshi never let's her unleash her true potential. There are so many so many things she do with her powers that series never even hints at. She could spawn grenades, heat seeking missiles, ultrasonic guns, tear gas and any number of incredibly useful tools from her flesh. But Horikoshi paints her as a surprisingly unremarkable superheroine with the emotional weaknesses of a stereotypical Japanese girl.
Since Season 2, Momo has not come any closer to being UA's best student despite her amazing potential. Like a lot of female characters in Hero Academia, she lacks self-confidence and believes that she cannot make important life decisions without the emotional support of a man. In Season 3, Momo is relegated to the role of a mildly interesting side character and it's up to the toughest male characters to almost singlehandedly save the day.
Secondly, women are consistently portrayed as being less motivated and less hard working than men for no other reason than the fact they are women. Even if we suppose that women in real-life Japan don't work as hard as men even when they are exceptionally talented, this series forces all it's female characters to never even attempt to push beyond the artificial physical and emotional limits they place upon themselves. It's fine if one female characters fits a certain gender stereotype, but a story in which all female characters suffer from the same female problems is not only less realistic, but also less fun to watch. The 1st episode of Season 3 portrays all the female characters as lazy fun lovers, but portrays men as hardworking and dedicated to their training as heroes. Someone will argue that female social pressure makes the ladies less motivated and a little more relaxed, but that makes no sense in the context of a dangerous and life-threatening school environment where students are attacked by powerful villains on a regular basis. The terrifying prospect of being killed by a villain should be enough motivation to keep any student on their toes regardless of their gender.
And lastly, too many female characters seem to lack self-confidence simply because their women. There are no men in Hero Academia who lack self-confidence and that's really suspicious. Even Mineta, one of the weakest quirk holders and arguably the least motivated male character, never experiences a crisis of confidence or a moment of doubt. He never even considers quitting UA High. In this series women are less self-confident, regardless of how powerful their quirk is, simply because they're women. There is a difference between revealing gender stereotypes and reinforcing them. Hero Academia wholeheartedly indulges in gender stereotypes that weaken the impact of the story. If any of the male heroes questioned their abilities as heroes or decision makers, the story would be more interesting and engaging. What if Deku experienced a crisis in self-confidence? Wouldn't that be fun to watch? Or are all men immune to the emotional suffering that plagues female characters? The fact that men never hesitate or falter in this series, makes Hero Academia feel like a silly power fantasy written by a man for men.
Whether or not you're convinced that Hero Academia's veneer of thematic depth makes it the greatest shonen anime ever written, at some point in Season 3 you're going to feel the crushing weight of all the story problems I've just described.
Boku no Hero Academia is probably the most popular anime of recent years and is widely regarded as a great series. But I’ve never understood the hype. There are familiar characters with dull motivations and extremely boring humor. BnHA is pretty much 50 percent "comedy" comedy with BIG quotation marks and 50 percent fights. I'd like to explain why I think BnHA fails in both of these departments in this review.
I'll be comparing an anime with fantastic fights: Hunter x Hunter with those in Boku no Hero Academia in these segment so if you haven't
seen Hunter x Hunter, what are you doing? watch it. But the second part might not be as relevant to you if you for some reason haven't seen it
The fights in BnHA aren’t good. There are no brains used in any of the fights. In the end, it’s always the one that punched harder that’s victorious in the end. There’s this one fight in season 2 where Uraraka actually uses her smarts to try and win against Bakugo. Her plan succeeded, but she still lost because Bakugo used his power harder. I’ve seen many comparisons between Boku no Hero Academia and Hunter x Hunter. I also don’t really get these, because Hunter x Hunter is one of the best animes ever made. BnHA is not. Let’s just compare the fights.
Fights in Hunter x Hunter are always extremely thought-out and mentally challenges our heroes. The fights always have a setup and a point either to prove how much stronger a character has become by doing something that they couldn’t do before. Some fights can start whole character arcs. One fight that started an arc was when Gon first encountered Hisoka during the Hunter exam arc. While Gon was trying to steal his numbered plate Hisoka just knocked him to the ground in one punch. He then gave his plate to Gon either way and said: “I’ll let you keep it till’ you can punch me like that”. And then many episodes later when Gon lands his first Punch and finally lets Hisoka have his plate back is SO satisfying. And that’s only because this fight had a long setup and gave the characters good motivation. The first fight between Hisoka and Gon is just one of many examples of great fights in Hunter x Hunter.
I’ve already talked a bit about the fights in BnHA so imma keep this shorter. I just want to make the point that the fights in BnHA are nearly the exact opposite of those in Hunter x Hunter. The fights are mindless and dull and the characters don't have real motivation to beat the shit out of each other more than that one of them is good and the other is bad. In most cases, some sort of motivation is revealed during the fight but not before to give the characters some motivation to fight in the first place. Often you don’t even know who the villain is before the fight has started. But then they reveal something like “I killed your parents” or something in the like. There’s one more thing that REALLY bugs me off about the BnHA fights. And that is those goddamn speeches in the middle of the fights that everyone has. Like when he stands there screaming some generic nonsense, JUST PUNCH HIM. In almost every fight Deku looks down at the ground talking silently. Then we get a shot of him clenching his fist, then looking up and starting to scream before getting some power boost. And the villain just stands there and listens to him talk about how All Might gave him his chance in life or whatever. Deku could be so beat that both of his arms could be broken and he barely could stand. But after holding a speech he magically beats the bad guy. Maybe Deku wasn’t quirkless after all.
The art in both of these animes is actually quite amazing. That’s the one thing I will give to BnHA, it’s visually pleasing. Both have very good character designs that make the characters stand out and you can clearly understand at least a bit of the character just by looking at them.
BnHA is one example of the most boring comedy in an anime that I’ve ever watched. Between the dull fights, our other boring characters interact with each other. And they often lean on this pervert for comedic value. But it’s just not funny. It really cannot get a smile out of me. I’ve never liked the slapstick kind of comedy. I don't find it funny when people get hurt or get extreme nose bleeds because one of the female cast members are in a bikini. I find the friendly banter between the characters in Hunter x Hunter to be much more effective. Between the fights in this much better shonen are there most often interactions between our four main characters. And these scenes actually make us believe that they are friends and have an honest to god relationship. They fight with each other, joke and laugh things real friends do.
People always say that humor is subjective, and I beg to differ. Humor is not subjective, but what YOU find funny is. If you have ever watched an interview with a comedian then you can easily tell that all of them have plans and tactics on how to make you laugh. In the simplest form, you have to have a set-up and a pay off to make a joke that some people find funny. They either tell a story before the punchline or make a call-back to something they said before. This is where Boku no Hero Academias' comedy fails. There's no set-up and barely any payoff to any of the jokes (there are a few exceptions tho). The characters just make a funny face and scream loudly, that's comedy for you. The comedy is on Instagram-comedians level for god's sake. And just the fact half, if not more of the time is spent on this godawful comedy is mindboggling to me.
In conclusion, writing this review has made me realize how much I like Hunter x Hunter but also how much I dislike Boku no Hero Academia. So if you wanna take something from this review, watch or rewatch Hunter x Hunter. :)
[THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS for Hunter x Hunter, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Naruto, and Boku no Hero Academia Seasons 1, 2, and 3]
Whenever a show gets super popular here on my anime list dot com, a large group of anime viewers watch it and give it a rating. This rating is calculated with all the other user's ratings and creates an overall ranking system. The system MAL employs emphasizes an overall ranking that naturally lends itself to abuse by people who want their favorite show to be #1. This results in a lot of fluff being upvoted to near the top, and it
also gives shallow people a means to push shows they don't like down the rankings. It emphasizes all the bad things about criticism, leads people to attack each other based on whether or not they gave their favorite show a good enough arbitrary number, and unfortunately can also lead people to have a lot of false expectations based on a misleading number.
Which leads me to Boku no Hero Academia. a show that has drawn comparisons to Hunter x Hunter and taken the anime community by storm, while sporting 3 seasons with very high ratings in the MAL rankings. It is these comparisons to Hunter x Hunter and the bloated MAL ranking that gave me the impression that BNHA was going to push the shounen genre in a bold new direction, much like Hunter x Hunter did.
It doesn't. Boku no Hero Academia is an average superpower shounen that follows closely (extremely closely) in the steps of Naruto and Hunter x Hunter without really adding anything new to the genre. Normally I would watch something like this, shrug, and move on. But the MAL ranking raised my expectations, which led me to be disappointed. It's a rather odd predicament as I'm forced to find some middle ground between my expectations based off what I was told, and the reality of what Boku no Hero Academia actually is. It fails to live up to the gold standard Hunter x Hunter set, but should I really be comparing the two? Comparing anything to Hunter x Hunter is rather unfair, but if the community wants to make those comparisons I'll be happy to tear them down. let's begin!
We’ll start off with the best part of the show: the art and animation. Everything is certainly drawn and animated well, and all the backgrounds appear to be drawn well.
That isn’t to say that I don’t have serious gripes with the how the show chooses to present itself visually. You see, in most shows I would call good, a number of non-verbal techniques are used to tell the audience things about what they’re seeing without telling them. Usually the staff find ways to let the audience know that the fight or confrontation they’re witnessing is important, or they convey what feelings the combatants are experiencing via the camera, animation, body language, etc. This can be depicted with audio or visually but for something that’s animated, visual usually works best. Stuff like this is NECESSARY during big fights to sell the significance and scope of what’s happening.
The point of a big climactic fight is to create a duel of clashing ideologies of characters that come to a head in a dynamic battle that is SUPPOSED to be an emotional crescendo where everything is hashed out and everything they’ve wanted to say and express comes out. This does not happen in the fight between Deku and Bakugo. It should have. Their rivalry is key to the structure of the series and it is supposed to carry a lot of emotional weight behind it. It’s the BNHA equivalent of Naruto vs Sasuke. Yet watching what is supposed to be the climax to season 3, the dominant emotion I felt during it was boredom. It doesn’t successfully convey any of the emotions of their jagged, unstable relationship and the fight itself doesn’t really solve anything. In big fights like Gon vs Neferpitou and Naruto vs Sasuke, the characters actually talk to each other. They yell at each other, respond to the others’ comments, and are driven emotionally and strategically by the actions of their opponents. This does not happen during the Deku-Bakugo fight. Deku spends the entire fight thinking about their relationship, while Bakugo has a few lines that don’t connect emotionally due to how restrained the vocal delivery is. This is the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen Bakugo and this is really the best direction they could accomplish? His body language doesn’t change. His movements don’t change. Neither do Midoriya’s. This is a problem, as it implies that the emotions of the scene aren’t changing their behavior. This is just another angsty fight for them.
To elaborate with an example (spoilers for Return of the Jedi): during Return of the Jedi, there is an excellent fight scene between Luke and Darth Vader. A part of the reason this fight works so well is that Luke’s movements and body language change during the fight. At one point, Vader really gets under his skin by making some comments about Leia. While Luke does indicate this audibly (yelling), its his attacking style that changes the most. Suddenly, he’s hammering Vader with really violent, angry strikes that indicate his emotional state has been changed and he can longer control his anger. It expresses the emotions of the fight in a subtle way that’s engaging to the audience. This is also important because it indicates Vader is succeeding in trying to corrupt Luke by making him give in to his anger.
Now think about how a scene that’s also very important in BNHA season 3 handles it. Deku and Bakugo do not change their general fight movements and strategy during this fight at all. They also don’t talk to each other much, making this a very awkward-feeling fight that doesn’t convey much emotion and doesn’t accomplish anything. The animation style doesn’t change either. What Deku and Bakugo are feeling is established entirely through their inner thoughts or outright told to us. This is a big no-no when it comes to a visual medium.
For an example in the realm of anime, Naruto employed non-verbal storytelling extremely well during the fight between Rock Lee and Gaara. After Lee removes his weights, the animators employ a lot of speed blurs and very quick animation to indicate Lee’s blinding speed. Rather than throwing Lee into a speed-line tunnel like most shows would, you see Lee’s extremely blurred outline zip across the screen. They do tell us Lee’s fast, but they support this by having him zip around while Gaara is moving like normal. This does an excellent job of establishing how ridiculously fast Lee is flying around by showing his speed relative to Gaara’s normal movements. Having the camera pan around Gaara also helps sell this by conveying to the audience the same disorienting, overwhelmed feeling that Gaara is experiencing.
This is another thing the fight between Deku and Bakugo, and all the fights in BNHA, lack. The animators neglected to take advantage of the visual medium they were using to add a creative spin on the storytelling in fights. It’s the same restrained animation during the fights and outside of them, which leaves the fights feeling flavorless and dull. There’s no visual pop at all. No fun angles, no experimental animation styles, no interesting framing. Nothing.
There are ways to tell the audience things without using words, and BNHA has consistently displayed no capacity to employ aspects of non-verbal storytelling. It would rather tell you what characters are thinking and feeling rather than showing them. This is a sin in storytelling, and one of the first big no-no’s you’ll learn in any film school or lesson in storytelling.
Without a creative way to express its story and emotions visually, it would be difficult for me to say the animation department did a job here. Everything moves as it should, but that’s the absolute minimum compliment you can give something that’s animated . Animation/art 6/10
The score in this show is extremely bland. I can’t think of a single track that sticks out, and its placement is equally bland. Music 5/10
I have a mountain of criticisms regarding the story. (Here’s the key points if you wanna TLDR: villains are basically team rocket in that they always lose, no one ever dies so the plot never establishes a truly dangerous or threatening tone, the story is full of extremely safe and recycled storylines, and there are far too many characters focused on which bloat the run time and slows pacing to a crawl.)
For starters, one flaw that kept popping up in this season was how they attempted to keep developing ALL of Deku's classmates. This results in a plot that moves slow as molasses. The "testing/graduation" phase of Hunter x Hunter focused on 4 individuals mostly, allowing it to truck through the entire testing process within just 11 episodes. BNHA has trudged through this same process for going on for 3 seasons now. There is no need to keep track of how minor characters are training to develop their powers. It's excessive. Deku, Bakugou, Iida, Todoroki, Uraraka, Tsuyu, and maybe Tokoyami are the ONLY student characters who should be focused on at this point. That's it. AND THEY'RE TRYING TO KEEP US UP TO DATE ON 20. You can keep SOME of the minor characters involved, but not every last one of them! That bogs down the pace and makes small arcs take an eternity!
You do not need to let the audience know every single thing that's happening to every character. It's excessive and takes too much time. Some things just aren't going to be relevant to the story down the road. Do I really need to be shown exactly how the tape guy is getting stronger? Is it going to become important? I doubt it. A single line of dialogue later would serve the same purpose. It's unnecessary, it bloats the run time, and in most cases takes up screen time that could be used to help the audience get to know the main characters better. This issue comes up constantly, starting with the opening recap that takes forever to re-establish the quirks of the heroes because there are WAY too many of them.
Second, people die a lot in Hunter x Hunter. And they die in Naruto, too! It's a good way to keep the viewer on their toes and to keep the universe the creators established feeling dangerous and threatening. Whenever I see an expendable character like Pixie Bob not die in a situation she probably should have died in, it annoys me because it reinforces the notion that none of the characters in BNHA can or will die. As such, I find it hard to feel invested when there's no threat of actual significant harm to any of the main characters. They all have blatant plot armor. Other examples included Best Jeanist surviving in episode 9 in what would have been a great opportunity to establish the overwhelming power of All for One by having him wipe out the number 4 hero; and All Might surviving the fight with All for One when again…having AFO killing him would have been a great way to establish how powerful and threatening he is. Instead, All for One loses to a total asspull in which they wave off All Might’s crippling injury because “people give me strength” bullshit.
Speaking of villains, they certainly fail to leave an impact. They tend to go on long tirades to make up for their lack of interesting backstories or motives, but that isn’t their biggest problem. The biggest flaw here is that they never, ever win. How great would it have been for All Might to have died to establish All for One as an overwhelming villain? Killing the number one hero would've done it. Hell, killing Gran Torino or Best Jeanist would have done it. Just SOMEONE. That way I can believe at some point the villains in this show might actually succeed long-term. Turning Bakugo into a villain which might destabilize the wills of the heroes? They failed. Neutralizing anyone on the kill list during the forest raid? They failed. Accomplish anything during the raid in season one? They failed. Killing All Might when that is all All for One wished to do? He failed. The villains in this series are no better at their job than Team fucking Rocket. There’s nothing to them, they always lose, and they aren’t even entertaining. They exist purely to give the protagonists something to fight.
There’s also a lack of long-term consequences in this universe. What I mean by that is that any time a potential idea that could shake up the narrative is introduced, it’s immediately waved off at the convenience of the plot. For example: how lame is it to have his mom take a hard stance against UA's irresponsible bullshit only for All Might to go on some heroic spiel and neutralize her concerns. This would have really made things interesting, as not being allowed to go to UA would have: 1, surprised me for the first time in the entire series and 2, would have been a grounding moment in Deku’s development. He’s basically completely disregarded his mother’s feelings and anyone else’s who might have cared about him by being reckless and throwing himself into danger with no disregard to his own safety. But it’s immediately forgotten after All Might basically begs. Lazy.
Another good example of this is when Eraser said he thought about expelling the students but doesn’t. Mainly because they should be expelled. This is where the concept of BNHA taking place in a school kind of hurts it. Once a student is expelled, obviously they're done there for good. But in, say, Hunter x Hunter, the Hunter exam is just that: a test. Anyone can take it however many times they want. That means that if characters take some drastic action that disqualifies them, all they would have to do is just re-apply the next year. The writers took advantage of this by doing exactly that to Killua, in the process establishing his homicidal nature and unbalanced emotional state. Point being, Hunter x Hunter set itself up for success by thinking 2 steps ahead. Also, they were willing to take chances like separating Killua from Gon in a year to establish an important character trait. That's excellent writing. BNHA's half-assed one foot in-one foot out approach to grounding its characters looks shoddy by comparison. If you’re gonna expel them, do it. Don’t pretend like you were going to and then wave it off because it’s convenient. And don’t pretend like the outcome of the exams matter if you’re just going to let anyone who failed take a couple classes so they pass anyways. It’s lazy.
That about sums it up. Story 3/10
I previously mentioned my issues with focusing on too many characters. But even the ones that are supposed to be focused on really haven’t developed much at all. The best example of this I can think of is Deku and Uraraka.
The "romance" between Uraraka and Deku is one of the most pathetic and undercooked romances I've seen across all of film and TV. It's already hard enough to care considering how their relationship stays parked firmly in neutral and has been for 3 seasons now, but was it really impossible to give Uraraka a personality? She is easily the least fleshed out character of the main bunch and this half-assed romance crap is thrown in our face in almost every arc. They have done absolutely nothing to advance the relationship, so why does it keep coming back for no reason? At this point bringing it up again and again only reinforces the growing notion that Uraraka’s only personality trait is liking Deku.
As for the villains, I already mentioned their problem: they never win and they have no interesting backstories or motives.
I don’t really grade for enjoyment. How much you enjoy something is determined by the product of your experiences in life and what you consider to be a quality production, which are different for every single person. As such, attempting to grade something inherently subjective with an objective grading metric is a paradox. I will leave this score blank.
I’ll put it bluntly: The key weakness BNHA suffers from is that it has no balls. It takes no chances, has no creativity, makes no sacrifices, and displays no ability to do anything new with the shounen genre in its 3 seasons of existence. But this may not necessarily be entirely its fault. After all, the reason I came into BNHA expecting something great was because it was burdened with unfair comparisons that were unlikely to be met.
The reason I initially thought it was bad was because I was comparing it to Hunter x Hunter, and the reason I did that was because the high MAL ranking and constant comparisons to it in reviews raised my expectations beyond what was realistic to expect. Divorcing BNHA from those lofty comparisons and what I'm left is a totally average and acceptable shounen that has passable animation, average music, mediocre characters, and a bland story that lifts heavily from Naruto and Hunter x Hunter without adding anything of its own to what it borrows.
This season was just more of the same of the previous two except longer. We first get another training arc, where the students are training to improve their quirks. The training portion amounted to “the more you use it, the stronger it gets.”, how exciting. The author must have realized how dull it was as it only lasted about half the episode and was never to be seen again for the rest of the season.
Next was another attack by the Shigaraki and goons, their goal this time is to kidnap Bakugo. We’re also introduced to a new one dimensional villain called Muscular, who
debuts and is defeated by a 1000000% smash asspull from Deku the same episode. I also can’t get over how stupid it is that the students need permission from their teacher to use their quirks despite being in a life or death situation (Even made more annoying is the fact that such a rule wasn’t present in the first season when Shigaraki and friends first attacked). Anyway, the League of Villains succeed for once and kidnap Bakugou. Why? Because they want to recruit him. That’s right, someone who chooses to enroll in one of the top hero school totally has his eyes set on becoming a villain apparently. Stupid shit like this is why the villains in this show can’t be taken seriously (And it doesn’t help that we still know next to nothing about them). We’re again introduced to another new, bland villain named All for One, who is the villain counterpart to All Might. The two eventually engage in their last battle and All Might wins.
With the exception of the first fight between Deku vs Bakugo, the battles in this series are generally lackluster, and All Might vs All for One is no exception; there was no build-up, the fight itself was mostly talking about All Might’s mentor (Who we still don’t know enough to care about) and at most there were about 4 exchanges overall with explosions everywhere, how exciting.
The final arc of this season is again, an examination. This time they’re going to take an exam in order to get their “Provisional Hero Licenses”, which allows them to use their quirks to save people and put down villains. The first portion of the exam consists of playing dodgeball, I shit you not, this is how they pick heroes who can be entrusted with saving lives and taking down villains. One Punch Man had a better examination and that was a freaking parody. Second part of the exam wasn’t so bad until Todoroki gets into an utterly stupid quarrel with a newly introduced character named Inasa, and holy shit, this guy takes pettiness to a whole other level; Inasa apparently was suppose to enroll into U.A but instead chose to literally go school in the other side of the country just because he didn’t like Todoroki, and it’s not like Todoroki did anything to him, he just didn’t like the vibe Todoroki gave of. Due to Inasa’s actions both him and Todoroki fail the exam, but wait, there’s actually another test that those who failed can take in three months to earn their licenses, consequences be damned.
So again, we get more training, more Shigaraki "doing stuff" and more exams. Most shonen have repetitive formulas but they are at least heading towards something, MHA’s just going in circles from the looks of things, I mean, this season is almost over and we’re getting yet again, another fight between Deku & Bakugo (Though if it’s anything like the first one then it’s might be worth looking forward to). The show doesn’t even have anything to make up for it’s lack of story; the world building is practically non-existent, the fights consist of either talking or spamming the same technique for majority of the battle, and most characters are incredibly shallow (Seriously, a lot of people claim the characters in the show are well developed and fleshed out but that couldn’t be further from the truth, only Deku, Bakugo & Todoroki get anything worth noting).
Long story short, the show gets worse each passing season with it's only redeeming quality being its animation at this point.
3rd season of Boku no Hero Academia review:
(My English is not that good but atleast I tried)
-Plot/story , main idea:
The story and its meaning did'nt had much thought in it. characters are training to be heroes and to defend the world from evils. evils are trying to block the 'heroes' actions to take the control from them to achieve their goals.. It's all same
in 3 seasons!
The story improvement system always goes on : 'training , war with villans and regroup and the fall of the symbol of peace' in all 3 seasons.main idea: study hard and fight till you win by improving yourself. Does'nt change after 3 seasons....The anime was all clear like child shows. Theese are why Bnha is repetitive and bold.
Succeeding the main idea is not important. It's important to improve viewers view on a topic or an idea. If the show keeps going on a monotone path , the main idea and story will be less unique and effective. That won't be an improving anime , it just would be waste of producers effort and viewers time..
-Art and animation:
There was nothing that I can call beautiful because there were no detailed drawings and ambiance.
Color use in this show makes it more lively -because every character had different type of hair and overly colorful costumes-. :d
Animation is fine , there were no gaps or misuses. Only the abrupt movements of characters make the action more powerful but exaggerated.
Every character has 1 point of view since the 1st season and the anime shows only one characteristics of the characters. (not Todoroki and lida) Characters are all narrow viewed OR 'they aren't introduced to us much'(no) 3 seasons damnit. Deku wants to get stronger and save people... Purple guy wants tits... Bakugo always wants to be in the top(hero) with a true match... every character has only 1 feature and It does'nt even change in 3 seasons. After the boss villan attack they tried to add 'depth' to characters by showing their rooms that they designed. (adding more meaningless variety of colors do the trick , right?) ffs-.-* And they wasted more than 3 episodes for 'character showcase' scenes. And why tf their quirks keep appear on the top every time we see the characters like the viewers are morons? And quirk explanation for every character is more than a minute.
They created variety of Teen characters which at least one of them relates to viewers by making the viewers feel closer to the character and the anime. It made this series more popular a lot easier and made this series overrated with this use.
Talking during fights and analyzing the fights lasts for too long mostly. It's scene time waste. They could use the screen time to improve characters.
Fan service has always been a dissapointment in anime by lowering the characters view , characters action width and communitys' quality.
-Sound and ambiance:
Music makes act of characters and action scenes a lot more exaggerated. I really dislike that most of the animes have a moving music in a slow part/scene. Music should give a background effect and help creating the ambiance like Made in Abyss. Music should'nt be the main effect.Music should be like dust in the wind.
There are 4-5 musics used on repetition it makes the anime repellent.There was nearly no ambience effects to make the scenes attractive and they did'nt add meaning to aesthetics. They always use the same music and effects when they show a new training place and when they fight. This makes the occurances 'cliche' and less effective.(every monotone uses makes anything more cliche and overdone)
SFX were coherent. They don't stand out much because of loud music mostly.
''The main idea may be superficial but It gets to its point with less flaws''(no).
If the fiction does'nt have depth , it won't have flaws much. That makes it
run of the mill. they shouldn't just train or fight the villains, there must be a psychological change, change on the hero system or world balance at least (not the fall of symbol of peace). An effective show must have improving story system and idea to create depth.
This anime is'nt much different than American supernatural films. It feels like they got effected by Hollywood.
I had the same view from the 1st season. I guess this won't change till the end.
Maybe there will be spoilers, maybe there won't. I'm writing this on the spot.
I enjoy this show for the same reason I enjoy Fairy Tail. For every passing moment that the episode continues, I imagine the unspeakable atrocities that I would commit on this cast of boringass characters. I shit you not. I've been watching a decent bit of Fairy Tail and my imagination is the sole reason that I'm able to handle Natsu's shit.
If you like this anime, that's fine. If you think it's good, that's fine. If you think it's a 10/10 though? That's also fine. But when people start praising this heaping
pile of absolute steaming feces as though it's some kind of shounen perfection, a masterpiece of never-seen-before levels of quality, I have to just step in and remind people that this is most definitely the first anime that they've ever seen. Also that the show isn't without its seethingly glaring flaws.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. 90% of the side-characters are stale as fuck and could be thrown away without the show being affected in the slightest. Now I understand that side-characters aren't supposed to have huge roles in a story, but a well-written side character contributes a small but meaningful amount to whatever story they're a part of. MHA keeps on giving these worthless characters screen time, shoving them down our throats without actually making them do anything. Kirishima is one side-character that matters. There's probably another one. Throw away that perverted ball-headed dude. What's the point of that guy with the tail? Or electricity dude? Or literally any of the girls? (Whose character designs are appreciated but whose effect on the story is practically non-existent)
Also Bakugo. I can't stop complaining about this dude. He's like a worse-written version of Vegeta. Did you get that? A worse-written version of a character written by Akira Toriyama, a man whose writing is notorious for its myriad flaws. Unlike Vegeta's early hatred for Goku, which was justified by a history of classism that was an integral part of a long-dead society that Vegeta was once a part of, Bakugo's undying hatred of Midoriya is justified by, uh, the latter suddenly getting stronger? Can someone please explain to me? I'm sure this character dynamic means a lot to some people, and I'm interested to see the analyses of people who view this show more positively than I do, but for now I cannot fucking understand why Bakugo hates Deku so much. I could understand if Bakugo was angry and frustrated with himself, and fearful of Deku, someone he deems as weak, surpassing him. But so far in the anime (and the point I'm at in the manga), there hasn't been any hint of character development in Bakugo.
Todoroki is the only truly great character in the entirety of the show. He has this unique backstory that adds to the world and setting the show takes place in, as well as a dynamic with his father that is sure to pay off later on in the show. The way that he acts makes sense to us because we’ve witnessed his motivations, and we’ve seen how other characters (mainly Deku) have affected change in him. Easily my favourite character. Iida is good too.
I guess, because this is a review, I have to talk about something beyond the characters. The art is decent. The music is nothing to write home about. The story is adequately written, and it also helps that Horikoshi is a master of introducing new plot points, although it's a shame that she is master of little else. I think she's talented though, and she will hopefully go on to create better works once this abomination is cancelled because everyone on Earth magically regains their sense of taste and collectively throws this shit in the trash.
Now back to the characters. I kind of like Deku, but he would have been higher on my list of favourite characters if it weren’t for the greatest writing error in shounen manga history occurring so early on in the show. At first I thought Deku was going to have to compete quirkless in a world of superpowered freaks. I thought he was gonna have to overcome obstacles with his brilliant mind, and through sheer dedication and hard work. His place among heroes would have been similar to that of Batman's among the Justice League. But he just ended up inheriting the abilities of All Might, the world’s strongest superhero. It’s just way too painful to ignore such a massive missed opportunity. This could have literally changed the shounen manga/anime landscape. But when he gets powers, what is the point of the show? Can anybody tell me? If we're not watching a show to see a person overcome physical and social challenges, or to experience an interesting and dynamic cast, or to bask in the glory of its aesthetic decisions, then why are we watching it at all? At the end of the day, my main complaint towards "My Hero Academia" is that there is no reason for its existence as a piece of art, anime, manga, or otherwise. Had it not been Studio Bones that picked it up, it would have just been another throwaway show in a sea of new releases that never saw the light of a second season. Now, as I stated before, I'm not saying that you can't like the show. I'm not even saying that I don't like it when people like the show. I love talking with people whose view of certain anime is the polar opposite of mine. But that's only when they articulate their points well and actually understand why they like the damn thing. Most of the compliments and positive comments I see directed towards MHA are the same vapid, pointless comments that I see directed to literally every other anime. The only difference in this case is that there are more of them, which prompts me to talk about it.
I think it's worth noting that my previous review of this show was a 6/10, way more positive than the 3 I'm giving it now. But that's always been the case with this particular work. The longer it goes on, and the more that I think about it, the less I enjoy it. At the very best, I can call this show, "an anime about things."
This is actually my very first review so I'll try to be proper in terms of critique.
(Very Light Spoilers!!)
Boku No Hero Academia is one of those animes that I actually consider as mediocre regarding on how generic it is but at the same time I hate it because of how it leaves out many things in terms of characters, plot etc. and that will be explained in this review
The Plot of this season was based on the Licenses that they were supposed to be receiving through training in the woods and actually applying for the exam. Compared to Season 2, it wasn't done
extremely well considering that the beginning arc was rushed and went straight to the actual fight within 5 episodes or so, Compared to the U.A sports carnival Arc where they took the time in order to finish it and its end was enjoyable to experience. The Forest Training Arc was somewhat rushed and was not being able to completely finish due to the events that occurred but was later finished by the training they did prior to the exam so that's a plus. The (someone) retrieval mission, to be honest, was really unnecessary considering the character was formidable enough to defend himself (This was due to the fast pacing in the beginning). Besides that everything about the season was ok but didn't really reach up to standard.
This part doesn't really need to be explained considering the modernised art style of the season was good but not the best of course so it gets a solid 8.
Boku no Hero Academia doesn't disappoint in its osts including the Op and Ed which were good but the repetitive tracks that are being used are why it gets a 7. It would've been best if it's sound was diversified.
I know you guys would be screaming at me for saying this was probably the best part, but for me, this was the worst. An anime basing off 2-3 characters and saying that the rest of the characters are practically meme material is not what I'd consider the best characters. Bakogou's development was the main focus of this season and honestly considering the character he is from the 1st and 2nd season, I was surprised that this occurred and I feel like it'll get better later on. The main issue to BNHA is the characters mostly due to the lack of development. Midoriya is practically the most annoying MC I've ever seen because of how he's more of a crybaby towards things and that's what disappoints me a lot but the worst part is leaving out the majority of Class 1A, heck it's been 3 seasons and I don't know anything about the characters and they don't shine a lot and I got bored when they focused more on the MC's then the supports which makes this the worst anime for me in terms of its characters. It's generic, typical and boring at most points because of lack of screen time for the whole class (1B is seen a lot more and they get more attention TBH and I feel like they skipped they whole entire class for no reason.) I could go rant the whole time but I actually want to get to the end but you get the idea. Focusing on 2-3 characters doesn't justify why the whole part of character development is done well. You forgot the other characters and that's something most people tend to ignore.
Would I recommend watching Boku No Hero Academia, well yes and no depending on how you like your Shounen animes but this was indeed the worst Shounen I've ever seen and I don't understand the amount of love it has besides the memes. I don't really have high hopes for the 4th Season because I feel like it'll do the same mistake and I'll still have the same perception of it but considering how the next arc is one of the bests (from most sources) it's a show to take into consideration of if you're starting to watch anime but if you're a full pledged weeb then this isn't the anime for you, it'll just bore you to death.
⋆Overall- 3⋆ (Plot-wise, it's bad. The other factors doesn't contribute to the overall score)
After 12 episodes I can say this season is by far the worst. I thought the end of season two was the worst part but nah, it was only the tip of the iceberg phui. I dont want to spoiler at this point but to summarize it: the third seaon is almost one piece/fairy tail level. The first season started good, new, fresh and promising, but unfortunately, now it is getting annoying/boring.
For example, like how often the mc break his body parts. No one cares at this point. Sorry, one scene where the doc says, dont do it again boy or the next time your
arms are rip, is not enough.
For the love of god and anime what was this scene at the start, the swimming thing? Was that necessary? Does is help in any way. Imo no.
By far the forst scene was that one episode where they train in the forest. Blabla they have vacation but they have to do it with their class. A tycpical anime thing. ok. But was is necessary to animate the thing where the speaker tells everyones power and what he/she is training. For the love of god and anime was the money worth animating this 2-3min long thing for no reason.
After the 5th or 6th char I thought are they kidding me.
Some ugly chars like the dude with engine in his legs, the thirsty mfer with balls on his head, or the stupid/annoying/brainless childhood friend from the mc or other chars that are no even thinking are at this point ok. The worst part of this show now are the fillers and some dump fights.
Spoiler from here! First, the fight againt the muscle dude, that looks like bakus dad lol. What was he thinking. Ye ok, he was "PLAYING". Tells their plan, like does he ever stops to speak? No!
He was ez winning but he wasnt paying attention so he lost. Yeah super good. Not. Btw
midoriya broke his arm again.
But now the worst part of this season. The fight in episode 11-12. Now a super broken villian appeared and wipes everyone in a blink of an eye. Not even all might could do something in the beginning. The villian had a type air gun thing pushing him away. The villian could have ez kill all might. In the middle of the fight the villian said, now lets do serious or so, I thought he does a laser type air gun thing now or some crazy ability, but all we got is scrap arm. SCRAP ARM. Also now he has the idea to gettining closer to all might. WHY? This is like suicide. All might is the strongest in close range combat and what he does is cuddling, god I was so angry.
But it was all ok until they showed the stuff like his flame goes out. He has no power and stuff.
I thought they are doing you know. Making the show interesting. But now all might remebers, like the dude from seirei tsukai no world break and boom the most ridiculous fight ever. I am done. I was giving the show another chance from the end of season two thing. What took ten years but this is unbearable. I am done.
This is a review for overall BNHA although a little bit focus on season 3
BNHA is a Shounen series where superpowers , hardwork , talent , good vs bad and society are involved , and it is inspired from western superheroes as its base design.
Shounen done right, nuff said. the pacing is on point while not neglect the comedy / slice of life moment of Shounen series completely. might be a little bias , but I love Shounen but hate how Fillerto , Filler Tail destroyed it, where they could bother to create a brand new 1 cour arc and it was for nothing, not
even character development that matter to the plot , and this is not the case with BNHA.
almost every episode introduce something new , either plot advancement , new result , new progress or some slice of life moment (not that much , maybe 1 episode worth). did you hate how sasuke cry about his brother complex until the end of Naruto and doesn't even get a bit of progression? fear not. BNHA also introduce that kind of character but actually gives progression in just 3 - 4 episode.no prolonged issue that just slog the series.
in Season 3 , they introduce new arc. it's your "mini-faction war arc" that always present in the Shounen. think like chasing sasuke arc. they introduce the villain early , and they start clashing since episode 4. most of the character has their own fight and it was packed greatly so you didn't exhaust yourself like other series that use 2 episodes to talk , 2 episodes to fight, 1 episode for flashback and 1 episode for conclusion. The Arc seems flow naturally , this happened and then the other thing happened, and they are connected briefly and within the timeline. they keep me excited for every episode because the plot keep moving as the episodes goes.
In short , if you love Shounen with superpower , protagonist that tried to be better , school, friendship , rival , and Shounen drama but hate filler from Naruto / Fairy Tail then this series is for you.
One of the most popular JUMP-series finally get the sequel they deserve for being super fantastic last season.
Boku no Hero Academia once again bring the storm to anime-community and has proven that they're the best modern-shonen in the business. The last three episodes spoke for itself.
Starting the show with a very weak start, most of the watchers have let their guard down only to be blown away by the superb-quality from the best episode so far in the series, which is fourth episode. Oh well, if you haven't catch up until the fourth episode, watch it immediately, and it will be the best thing
you will do all day. Shoutout to the Midoriya's voice-actor and especially Bones for making one of the best fighting-scene I've ever watched.
The important thing that should be mentioned is the mediocre Class B finally move-up from their comfort-zone to working-hard and slowly becoming a Hero they've always wanted to be. All characters have a great development equally, something that has always been missing in most of shonen-series. Almost all of the support-characters in shonen-series are usually overshadowed by the main characters, but Boku no Hero Academia change that perspective in spectacular way. The way of the story-writing feels a lot like Eiichiro Oda, a perfectionist who never wants to left a weakness in his story.
It’s still at 6th-episode, but Boku no Hero Academia already broke all of people's expectation. So, it’s safe for us to always expect something greater.
Have you ever liked an anime's characters so much you wished they got out of the dreadful story they are involved in?
Well, BNHA is this case.
Why does a season 2 or a season 3 always get more praise than season 1? That's because people who already saw the awful plot already dropped the series and the only ones remaining are the ones who praise it a lot.
But why do i keep watching it even though i almost gave Season 1 a 5? Well, because people told me Season 2 was a "masterpiece". I decided to give it another chance and I was not
disappointed. Midoriya's plot armor had disappeared for a time being and the anime focused on other great characters (such as Todoroki and Ochako).
As a matter of fact, I decided to give Season 3 a go. Season 3 is the worst season of BNHA, and it's not hard to know why (spoilers ahead):
1) Plot armor. Midoriya once again defeats a strong enemy (who nobody cares for btw) using an asspull power-up. All Might defeats the most powerful of all enemies by just talking and a Smash, ugh.
2) Filler episodes. They stretched the whole License Exam arc, one of the worst arcs out there. Playing dodgeball? Ugh. Rescuing people? Ugh. The worst of all filler episodes was the mystery episode. Midoriya solved the case just himself, which takes me to the other point:
3) Midoriya. He is becoming the Kirito of BNHA. He solves cases, always saves his classmates, girls love him, boys praise him. even the teachers always speak about him "he's the heart of the team". And what even bothers me most, is that Midoriya can't stop crying. He has to cry 2 times each episode. It doesn't feel emotional at all, it feels horribly forced. When Bakugo cried, it felt real. Midoriya is just crying and crying for everything. He is the worst character in this series.
4)Arcs and villians. Have you noticed how we are moving in a full circle? That's because this story is not going anywhere. We get a "training arc", then an "exam arc", then the villians appear out of nowhere with no special reason and we get the "Villian team arc". Then, a bad guy (nobu, stain, All for one) appears and the pro heroes have to defeat him with the help of the students. Then we go to the starting line. I don't think that after 50+ episodes, some students have only figured this much of how to use their quirks. For example, the acid girl now just uses her hands to shoot at larger distances. Midoriya only figured that he has legs, Bakugo now shoots an explosive beam. We are going nowhere if you think they are progressing.
5)Filler characters. Each 2-3 episodes, we are introduced to great new characters. These characters are designed perfectly. They are great, i am not kidding. The guy who can manipulate his skin? Great! The gale guy? Amazing! What's the problem? They are only introduced with the sole purpose of giving one fight and never ever appearing again. They even introduce us "The Great Three"; i am sure they will get disposed once this arc ends.
But not everything is bad about BNHA, I mean, i love its characters (except mineta, the tail guy and the sugar guy). The animation is superb, the fights are amazing too. The music is meh. But I am seriously considering to stop watching this after too many Deku-focused episodes, too many filler and it's horrible writing.
Well, I have been told "Overhaul" arc is super dark and i cannot miss it. Maybe I can give S4 a go, but if it dissappoints me, I can assure you I won't hestitate in dropping this series.