My Hero Academia Is Superhero Anime For People Tired Of Superheroes

If you're feeling superhero fatigue, don't sit My Hero Academia out. It may just remind you of why people love superheros in the first place.

My Hero Academia takes place in a world where most people have a super power of some kind, which are called "quirks". Most quirks are minor and mundane, such as the one possessed by Deku's mother, who can use telekinesis on small objects. Some, however, allow people to become superheroes who protect the city and fight crime.

Deku, the protagonist, is a kid born without a quirk, but he still has a powerful desire to become a hero and help people. He's close to giving up on his dream until his personal idol, the hero All Might, reveals that he can pass on his own quirk to Deku, granting Deku superhuman strength. Since no one else knows that certain quirks can be passed on to other people, Deku has to keep his connection to All Might a secret.

Now that he has a quirk, however, Deku is accepted at the prestigious hero academy, UA High School, where he'll learn the ropes of being a hero and eventually become one himself.

The show is a pastiche of a lot of my favourite superhero tropes. All Might is a selfless and earnest Superman type, and Deku's quirk-y classmates give My Hero Academia an X-Men feel. Deku's classmates and their parents are wrapped up in their own petty bullshit in a way that makes some of them pretty cynical. Their rivalries with each other sometimes overshadow what they're actually here for - to protect people.

Deku sincerely just wants to be a good person, to the point that he filled notebooks with notes on other heroes to try to learn how to fight against them even without a quirk when he was younger. His earnestness and desperation gives the show such a pure heart that it's hard not to root for this kid.

The moment the show sold me was at the very end of the second episode. Prior to getting his quirk, Deku is close to giving up on his dream. After seeing Deku's desire to save people, to the point of rushing into the fray to try to save someone from a superpowered villain despite being quirkless, All Might comes to him to thank him for being such an inspiration.

"Top heroes have stories about them from their school days," he says to Deku. "Most of the stories have one thing in common: Their bodies moved before they had a chance to think. That was true for you too, wasn't it?"

All his life, Deku has only ever wanted one thing, and he's been told over and over that it's impossible. We know what he's about to hear, but as Deku bursts into tears, falling to his knees, I started crying with him. All Might says, "You can become a hero." The music swells, and Deku thinks, "Dreams can become reality."

For me, dreams becoming reality is what superhero stories are all about. They're about the idea that one person can change the world and inspire others to do the same.

One of my favourite scenes in a superhero movie is the scene on the train in Spider-Man 2, where the passengers realise that the guy in the spandex suit shooting webbing from his wrists is just a kid. One of them says that they have a son that age, and all the passengers stand up to protect him Spider-Man.

Yet right now, in the bowels of Infinity War frenzy, I'm feeling a little bit of a superhero fatigue. When the threats are as big as Infinity War's galaxy-destroying Thanos, I feel as though I'm missing the heart of why we look up to these heroes in the first place.

In My Hero Academia, even as Deku and his friends at UA High School face bigger and bigger threats, you never lose sight of his desperate, lifelong wish. All he has ever wanted is to be a good person, and watching My Hero Academia always makes me feel like I, too, can change the world. 


Comments

    My advice would be push through the first 2-4 episodes. I dropped the show thinking “eh it was ok” after watching the first ep.

    Got back into it a few months ago at the suggestion of a friend, and then couldn’t stop watching. It’s taken Dragon Ball Super’s place IMO as the show to hang out for each week now that S3 is airing.

    It’s not a mind blowing show, but it’s executed pretty damn well.

    Also, All Might is voiced by Chris Sabat in the dub (Vegeta/Piccolo) so there is that.

    Last edited 05/05/18 10:13 am

      Why would you watch the Dub? Sub Or Nothing. :P

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    Agreed. It doesn't start off very well.... And I kind of just watched it because I was like "Meh, why not?". But then I found myself hooked. That scene in the Alleyway with Stain DEM CHILLS

      Thing is, I think with long-form Anime like Hero Aca is, or Naruto or One Piece, you need to watch about 4-6 eps before you work out if you are going to like it.

    Crappy anime with exceptional execution making entertaining to watch .

    Welp, this hasn't really done anything to quell my concern that it's just another "Good person wants to do good things" hero anime. If there's some particularly interesting quandaries presented to the heroes or it's like Tiger and Bunny and focuses on the relationships between people more than heroism though then that would be enough to pique my interest.

      You dont need to have stakes as high as the world ending, like superhero training involves disaster search and rescue training as well as supervillian punching

      The story is about the struggle of talentless but hardworking vs pure natural talent wich is a big thing in japan if you fail tests in MIDDLE SCHOOL your life is screwed because then you wont get into the right high school, then the right college, and then the right job

      Deku is no captian america type
      And all the other characters have non "i just want to save people" motivations we have people doing it for fame or to live up to the family name or to prove they can suceed without the family support or even just straight up for money (in a non bad guy greedy way, in a my family didnt have enough money growing up kind of way)

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