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My Hero Academia





Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

It all began with the birth of a shining baby. Then, out of nowhere, countless other people began to exhibit strange superpowers, too.

“Before long, the supernatural became the totally normal,” Izuku Midoriya recounts.

In Midoriya’s day, roughly 80% of the world has some form of superpower, or “quirk.” Many of these, which often develop by kindergarten, are minor—the ability to lengthen your nose or telekinetically float a small object—and cause no real ruckus. Others, however, are much more powerful, enough for their wielders to become superheroes … or villains.

The most famous superhero is All Might, a Superman-like figure whose desire is justice and who has a smile that toothpaste brands would kill to take credit for. He’s also Midoriya’s idol, and Midoriya can’t wait for his own quirk to emerge so that he can become a hero and fight villains just like All Might.

Only…Midoriya ends up being in the 20% of people who don’t have a quirk.

The news is devastating to Midoriya when he first hears it. That devastation is further compounded when he finally meets All Might and is told that he can’t be a superhero without a quirk.

He’s so busy feeling sorry for himself that he hardly realizes when he’s walked into the middle of a villain attack. And as he looks up, he recognizes that it’s his childhood bully, Kacchan, who’s being held hostage by a gloopy sludge monster.

Without a quirk and without thinking, Midoriya finds himself running straight at the beast, desperate to save the boy.

Anyone Can Be a Hero

Well, Midoriya doesn’t really do much actual saving. It’s not until All Might steps in that Kacchan is rescued. But Midoriya’s actions make All Might realize that the boy really does have what it takes to be a hero.

He lets Midoriya in on a secret. Due to a battle scar obtained long ago, he’s unable to maintain his super muscly hero form for longer than a few hours before reverting to his true identity—that of a scrawny, blood-coughing man. And those hours are trickling down as the injury worsens and the days go by.

That’s why All Might has been looking for a worthy successor. See, his quirk, called One For All, was given to him by a previous wielder. And as it passes from person to person, the power becomes stronger and stronger, which is why the wielder must be pure of heart. And All Might thinks Midoriya is just that person.

As Midoriya soon realizes, One For All is a really powerful quirk. So strong, in fact, that he initially can’t even use a fraction of it without breaking his arm—even with All Might’s extensive training!

But he’ll need to train as fast as possible. Because a new threat, the League of Villains, is rising in power. And if Midoriya can’t master his newfound abilities soon, everything he knows and loves may be lost.

Going Plus Ultra

You could argue that anime entered a sort of golden age in the 2010s. Well-known titans in the genre such as, well, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online and Demon Slayer emerged during this time. Rising along with them was My Hero Academia.

The superhero saga follows Izuku Midoriya as the world’s most powerful superhero passes his powers onto the boy, forcing him to train hard in order to fill the sizable shoes of his predecessor. He, along with his fellow heroic classmatesat U.A. High School (Japan’s top hero school), are thrust into hero work when a villainous organization suddenly threatens society.

As you might expect, My Hero Academia offers some positive messages about self-sacrifice and about fighting for those who cannot protect themselves. It also contains a whole lot of superhero-based violence, including a primary antagonist whose quirk allows him to decay whatever he touches to dust (which can be rather frightening when he does it to a person). Another villain drains people of their blood so she can assume their identities. Blood and death are real concerns.

What you might not initially expect are the occasional sexual references. One boy in Midoriya’s class is obsessed with girls and frequently attempts to see his female classmates naked. A few female heroes have powers or suits that are quite sensual (one woman even intentionally dresses like a dominatrix), and one male hero struggles with a quirk that allows him to phase through objects—including his own clothes. Naked rears are occasionally seen, too.

My Hero Academia strives to show how anyone can be a hero who stands up for justice. But be warned: Hero work, as this show reveals, can be a bit messy.

(Editor’s Note: Plugged In is rarely able to watch every episode of a given series for review. As such, there’s always a chance that you might see a problem that we didn’t. If you notice content that you feel should be included in our review, send us an email at [email protected] (or contact us via Facebook or Instagram), and be sure to let us know the episode number, title and season so that we can check it out.)

Episode Reviews

May 5, 2018 – S1, E1: “Izuku Midoriya: Origin”

As Midoriya holds onto hope that he could one day be a hero, he’s attacked by a sludge-like villain.

The slimy villain attempts to take over Midoriya’s body by trying to enter him through his mouth, which chokes Midoriya almost to the point of death. However, he is saved when All Might blows the sludge monster away. Midoriya is beaten up by childhood bully Kacchan. A villain destroys property.

One hero, a gigantic woman named Mount Lady, wears a skin-tight costume. Reporters on the scene, when they see her pronounced rear, take photos, collectively calling it a “money shot.” Mount Lady makes a sly reference that she’s aware of how intentionally tight her costume is.

In the English dub, the s-word is used once. “D–n” and “crap” are both used, too.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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