Heroes and Vigilantes!
We are gathered here today to do a bit of a rewind and discuss the very first season of the My Hero Academia anime. If you are looking for a multi-layered story that will keep you watching—then go ahead and give My Hero Academia a chance, I promise you will not be disappointed. After being rewatching old anime for so long, this was refreshing and surprising and kept me binging for a couple of days afterI first started watching. It is one of those gems I am incredibly happy everyone is catching up to and enjoying. I laughed, I screamed at my TV, I screeched… and yes, I cried… but I will never own up to that again!
The story is fun and straight to the point, the plots that carry over different episodes are not stretched out and move at a great pace. The anime follows our main character Izuku Midoriya (Deku) on his road to becoming the number one hero. In a world where majority of the population have quirks (powers) – a world where you can make being a hero your day job – he was one of the few who never developed his own quirks. Despite setbacks, he never stopped dreaming of being a hero and pursuing the answer to his big question: what makes a hero? The character was immediately likeable and relatable—always bullied for being different, but never holding any grudges. He is always observing from the outside and taking notes on everyone’s quirks to analyze and study.
It all starts the day he meets his own hero, All Might: the “Symbol of Peace.” He becomes a fanboy and stalks him making time pass and finding All Might’s big secret after an incident years back. Deku somehow manages to make an impression on All Might, who takes the young boy under his wing and sets up a plan to get him physically and mentally prepared to qualify for the most prestigious academy for heroes, the U.A. – but not before passing on his own power to Deku, who now has a bigger challenge: learning to control and manage it without killing his body in the process.
Along the way we meet the rest of Class 1-A at the U.A. Despite Katsuki Bakugo, Deku’s foil and a troubled kid who is as hot headed as his power and Deku’s bully since kids, the other classmates are just as likeable and layered as Deku. An essential aspect of the anime is how many awesome characters it follows and learning each of their stories. They are a bunch of smart and supportive kids, with a bit more pride in some and a bit more humility in others. Together, they do make a great team that can learn from each other as well as can push each other to be top heroes in training. As for our villains, they are a pretty fascinating group with so much potential for background stories. We do not get as much yet and until the last few episodes where they execute their first attack toward All Might.
If we’re talking characters, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the obvious: the heroes. The focus isn’t just on them being heroes, but on what being a hero in this world entails as well as what they have to do in order to make a legit living. They are ranked just as superstars are in the real world and they compete hard for the spotlight – even while some of them serve as instructors at U.A.
Hands down, Shota Aizawa (Eraserhead) must be the most straight-forward and coolest of them all. There is something about the way he pushes his students, making them feel as if he does not care – yet internally he is studying them and finding what their biggest strengths and weaknesses are. In a way, he is the opposite of All-Might—unable to show how much he cares and way more blunt than the former, unable to soften his words for fear of not teaching his students the reality of what it takes to stay alive and be the best. Something I truly loved about Aizaway/Eraserhead was his seeming non-interest in being the number one hero or “Symbol of Peace,” making him a nice counter-balance to All-Might: the shadow to All-Might’s sunlight; the Batman to All-Might’s Superman.
If there is something that makes My Hero Academia truly enjoyable is that in the end, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions that actually goes somewhere… with meaning. It has very serious and deep moments perfectly contrasted by little scenes or episodes of comedic relief without crossing the threshold of silly.
5 Best My Hero Academia Moments:
● All Might explains to Deku his power and where it comes from; he also assures Deku that he can be a hero as well and asks him to continue his legacy as the next symbol of peace. Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I cried as much as Deku did.
● Mr. Aizawa threatens the worst student with expulsion pressuring Deku to figure out a way of using his power. I truly love Aizawa though – he is such an amazing character: always hyper aware of his students and pushing them to be better despite seeming to now know how to properly express emotion.
● Inko Midoriya, Deku’s Mom, apologizes to him for “giving up” on and doubting him. It was so sweet to see him wear the costume his mom made off of his designs.
● Deku vs. Kacchan… I love that Deku won. I love that Bakugo lost. I have a love/hate relationship with Bakugo– it really had me praying for the day we all could understand the very angry part of him.
● Students help All-Might defeat the nomu before losing all his power.