Having followed the My Hero Academia manga since it first began in Weekly Shonen Jump, I have spent months waiting with bated breath for this anime adaptation to finally air. So it goes without saying that my expectations for BONES’ adaptation were high. Fortunately for me and everyone else, the My Hero Academia anime series looks to be in good hands after this fantastic first outing into Kohei Horikoshi’s wonderful world of heroes and villains.
For those who have been living under a rock, My Hero Academia is the hottest new manga in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, with many famed mangaka giving it the seal of approval and fans touting it as the next big thing in shonen manga. Even Masashi Kishimoto of Naruto fame, has been vocal in his support of the series. It has all the right tools to be the next shonen mega hit in the same vein as Naruto, One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho or Dragon Ball Z and with this anime series that destiny is sure to be fulfilled.
The series takes place in a world where 80% of mankind suddenly developed special powers known as ‘quirks’. Soon enough these mutations began to be used for both good and evil leading to the rise of heroes and villains. Izuku Midoriya a young boy suffering from a rare case of being born without a quirk dreams of being a hero like his idol, the #1 hero, All Might.
Covering only half of the first chapter of the manga, it is immediately evident that BONES are in no hurry to blast through this story and that is a good thing. Taking time to explore these characters and really feel each moment out allowing it the time to resonate with viewers often lingering on a moment to let the audience feel every emotion. When our protagonist Izuku learns he may not be a hero, his moment of solemn acceptance with his guilt ridden mother is genuinely heartbreaking.
I have no doubt in my mind that this series is going to be a success, it simultaneously feels decidedly old school and a fresh take on the shonen genre. You’d be forgiven if you were flashing back to the 90s with My Hero Academia, because it is a series that carries on the tradition of old school 90s shonen through and through. That said, the series proves to be a modern take on that classic style, subverting the genre’s many tropes at each turn all the while giving a nod to those who paved the way for it.
One thing that doesn’t get enough credit in the anime industry is quality anime direction and My Hero Academia is a great example of this with fantastic direction throughout this first episode by Kenji Nagasaki. I particularly enjoyed the recurring element where we see focus on Izuku’s feet. As it comes to a later scene where a doctor informs him that quirkless people generally are born with an extra joint in their foot. His repeated stare at his feet is almost a constant reminder to Izuku of his status as quirkless and it was a superb job on Nagasaki’s part placing emphasis on this.
My Hero Academia has all the makings of the next anime mega hit and could very well be the series to spark the next big anime boom. Whether or not that comes to fruition remains to be seen but after a solid start, My Hero Academia is in prime position to be the best anime this season. There is a lot to like here and if you haven’t yet climbed aboard to hype train, what are you waiting for? My Hero Academia is going to be a smash hit.
You can check out My Hero Academia over at AnimeLab.