Boku no Hero Academia (Anime) add (All reviews)
Jun 26, 2016
The story is set in an alternate universe where 80% of the population have received superpowers (Quirks) and evil is running rampant. To protect society from these villains, numerous heroes have emerged over the recent years in order to make justice triumph and bring peace to the citizens. Our protagonist is Midoriya Izuku, a shy 14 year old boy who's aspirations ever since he was little were to become a hero. Unfortunately for him, he is not a part of the overwhelming majority in the sense that he has no Quirk of his own which is why he is regularly ridiculed and looked down upon by the people around him.
All of this is put to a stop when he is conveniently placed under the strongest hero of all time, Allmight. After going through a harsh training routine for a solid 10 months and gaining a Quirk of his own, he is finally deemed worthy to join the ranks of other overpowered teenagers alike and enroll at the Hero Academy in order to groom his newly-formed power and finally qualify to be a real hero, thus making his dreams a reality. Though that is just the glorified way of saying it. Around here I noticed that the story often struggles with balancing whether or not it wants to handle this plot in a serious manner or a not-so-serious manner, which makes up for some rather rough transitions down the road when the serious arcs role around.
Anyhow, the premise of the story is not the problem I have with it, but rather it's the way they went of doing things. I was personally hoping to see the plot move in a bit more serious fashion or maybe have a bit more focus on the implications and alternation of society as a whole from suddenly receiving these bizarre super powers out of the blue. Though this is a shounen after all, so we ended up taking a more shounen-ish approach to things as we follow Deku and friends through their many trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, when compared to series of the similar nature like last year's One Punch Man, it ends up falling short.
With other genres to the side, a big portion of time and effort is spent on action and comedy, as you would normally expect from a shounen series. The action scenes are usually handled fairly well due to the bizarre nature of the Quirks and there being basically no limitations to what one can and can't do which in turn makes up for some interesting scenarios. And Bones being Bones, the animation is as consistant as you can imagine. The comedy, on the other hand, is very lackluster and more often than not just ends up falling completely flat. And if it miraculously does somehow end up being even remotely funny, then you can be sure that they will re-use the same joke 5 times over and run it to the ground. A good example of this would be the gag of Allmight being anorexic.
This section plays a significant role in the series decline as like with most other shounen, the characters aren't developed that well at all. Though, that is not something I should entirely fault it for, especially considering the genre at hand. However, Boku no Hero Academia misses a very crucial opportunity here. Do you know what all the top-tier shounen all have in common? They have an actual likable main cast of characters.
Thus, we enter Midoriya Izuku, otherwise known simply as Deku. Deku, being the protagonist of the story of course doesn't have a quirk of his own and was therefore looked down upon by his peers throughout his entire life. The amount of victimization they give to this character can get pretty overwhelming at times, seeing as at one point he is laughed at by everyone in his classroom even with the teacher being present and everything. They really went all-out to make this guy the ultimate underdog, to the point where it sometimes just irritates me to watch him. He's weak, can't stand up for himself and is socially awkward around girls. However, this all changes when he conveniently meets up with his favorite and most powerful hero in all of existence and gets taken under his wing. After that, he is fed a piece of hair, thus receiving superpowers. Hooray!
I really thought it couldn't get any worse but here we are. Bakugou Katsuki is Deku's psychopath of a childhood friend, his biggest bully as well as his possible rival later on. He is usually a tool from which Deku's victimization during the series stems from, as Kacchan here is completely mental. It is heavily implied throughout the series by Deku that he became the way he is now after "straying off the path" and receiving his Quirk, yet it was clearly shown in multiple flashbacks what an egotistical maniac he was even during his childhood. There really aren't any justifiable factors for this guy. His character is very basic and doesn't ever go beyond him being a self-absorbed cunt who wants to be the best at everything for extremely shallow and selfish reasons.
Then there are some other main characters that didn't leave me much to write about either because they either weren't utilized properly or were just not very good. Allmight is the object of Deku's admiration as well as his questionably-anorexic mentor. He usually ends up defeating the villains in a few seconds and has some semi-inspirational dialogue throughout the series but is ultimately overshadowed for the majority of the show, up until the final 2 episodes. Uraraka is pretty cute and ends up giving Deku panic attacks whenever she talks to him due to his seemingly crippling anxiety around girls. I don't remember the armored guy's name but he's pretty cool. As for the antagonists, their motivations never get explored and we're just left to our imagination.
The art for Boku no Hero definitely isn't bad by any means, it's just very unappealing so to say. With a very cartoonish style to it, it has a sort of unique feel to it, yet still somehow looks ugly. This complaint is nearly nonexistent when it comes to the backgrounds but is very much there when I stare at the character designs for too long. Midoriya's design faintly reminds me of diarrhea, for one reason or another. Bones has continuously produced some of the best animation through each passing season for years now so no surprise here. Since it heats up during the intense moments of the show the fights are quite nice to watch. Most of the tracks from the OST were unnoticeable apart from the main theme and another track which's timing was nailed very well every time to enhance the feeling of dread once the antagonists showed up. I enjoyed the ending and especially the opening theme a lot and the voice acting was solid, albeit there were some performances that I found to be annoying.
The enjoyment of the show will mostly depend on how big of a fan of shounen you are. If you go in with the assumption that it will suck, you may be pleasantly surprised like I was when the latter half rolled around. It has deplorable humor which is a miss in 90% of cases which can easily ruin a series for me and that really was the case for the first few episodes, but eventually I just tried looking past it. The final 3-4 episodes of the show is where shit hits the fan and I don't remember the last time I was this entertained while watching a seasonal anime. Essentially, if you're a shounen fan looking for some dumb fun you'll probably love it, and if you're coming in with a skeptical mindset then try to look past the first few episodes, as the show gets better the longer it goes on.
In conclusion, I don't think Boku no Hero Academia is that bad of a series. Sure, it has its fair share of problems here and there but what my rating mostly stems from is when I compare it to other series in the same vein, be it a regular shounen or the example that I have previously mentioned which is OPM. It has a story with some potential to be found but a very mediocre and slightly disappointing execution, with every character in the show being either extremely unlikable and annoying or simply bad. At times it takes itself too seriously and at others not seriously enough, which makes up for some pretty awkward transitioning.
If you're a fan of shounen series, I'd recommend Boku no Hero with a grain of salt as hopefully you don't come in with your previous completed series being FMA and end up setting the bar too high. Though, if you're an easygoing person who's just looking for some dumb fun then this is definitely your go-to this season. All in all, it's not bad and is certainly not good but mainly fails to live up to the hype created by the community.
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