Great Power Isn’t Given:
Lately I’ve noticed something about Japanese Super Heroes compared to the American alternative. When you watch something like One Punch Man, Boku No Hero Akademia, and even (as much as I hat to admit it) Dragonball Z there’s an emphasize on honing your powers. The only superhero I can think of off the top of my head that comes close to that is Captain America and Daredevil. In American comics it almost always seems like the powers are just given to the character without any means of earning them. Superman and Ironman would be the obvious example of heroes who were just given their powers without any real form of earning them. I bring this up because I want to talk about an anime series I really think might be one of the best damn series I’ve seen in a long time and has skyrocketed into my top five favorite anime series.
Boku No Hero Akademia is a true anime gem in my opinion. There’s so much potential in this series to possibly not only be a Naruto replacement, but even surpass the series. Much like One Punch Man this is another action anime series I can highly recommend to a non anime watching person. It mixes in both Japanese and American depictions of heroic story, but still kind of keeps things fresh and strong. You can guess how I feel about this series just based on this paragraph, but let me tell you why you should watch it.
The story of this anime is that the world has been introduced to superpowers, it awakens in normal human beings which they call quirks. A quirk can range from any form of supernatural powers from super speed, flying, and mixed DNA. The minority in this world are the people who have no quirk which appears to be extremely rare. Itsuki Midoriya is one of those rare oddities without a quirk, but wants to become a hero regardless much like his idol All Might. One day when Midoriya is having strong doubts about being a hero he finds himself being rescued by none other than All Might. Finally being able to meet his idol in person he decides to ask if he could ever be a hero himself and receives a harsh reality check as he’s told no.
What I appreciate most about this series is the main character Itsuki Midoriya. When you watch that first episode you really have no faith in Itsuki to be any kind of a heroic figure. He’s a fairly weak kid, extremely skittish, and unsociable. Despite those weakness he still has a strong desire to stand and do what he believes to be right, and when you think about it that’s the thing all heroes must have. Itsuki works his butt off to earn the powers he’s given and even when he’s given that power he still has to learn to control in properly. I think a character who works for his powers is far more impressive than a hero who is just given a hand me down power like most American heroes.
Now if I have one complaint about this series is that it falls in the anime troupe of high school dedicated to a certain group (Soul Eater, Blue Exorcist, etc.). It isn’t a super huge problem, but it might scare some people off, but don’t fret it is good. I think the best comparison I can describe the setting is the movie “Sky High” if it was done correctly. Unlike that movie (that could have had potential in my opinion) Boku No Hero doesn’t have stupid cliques and the students (with the exception of one) have a level of respect for one another as they’re all equals and acknowledge each others respected quirks. The highest point in this series are the characters in my opinion, and the series makes you wonder about how characters quirks work as some are never revealed by the end of the series.
The series has a well balanced level of action, comedy, and drama that appreciate. I think the balance of these elements are well in each episode, and when the drama hits, it hits hard. I think the first two episodes alone nearly had me in tears for Itsuki just watching his struggle with accepting his fate of possibly never achieving his dream. The action is astounding as to be expected by the animation of Trigger (Kill La Kill, Little Witch Academia, etc.). The action is over the top and beautiful to watch. Every time All Might makes a punch it is the most epic scene ever about the same levels of awesome as Saitama from “One Punch Man.”
The world of Boku No Hero Akademia plays huge respect to the super hero genre, both for the Japanese heroes and American. All Might representing the stereotypical American superhero, Atsui a possible Spiderman reference, and Ida possibly Flash/Quicksilver. With so many interesting characters and unanswered quirks it’s no surprise that the second season is one of the most anticipated seasons of 2017, and I look forward to watching it myself.
I really have no negative thing to say about this series, and I highly suggest you watch the first two episodes. If you’re not hooked after the first two episodes like I was then I can give you credit for at least trying it, but I honestly think it’s worth the watch.
Final Thoughts: “With the large wave pools of American Super hero movies coming out it’s nice to see an anime that shows the importance of why we love Super Heroes in the first place.”
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