I have decided that I don’t want ‘straight-ahead’ super heroes any more. I get kind of tired of whatever Marvel/DC have to offer in the way of ‘serious’ stories. I feel you have to have a silly story, keep the ‘serious’ aspects of it, but turn the genre on its head. This was done quite well with “One-Punch Man” and continues with “My Hero Academia” (“Boku no Hīrō Akademia”).
In this world, everyone seems to have a ‘quirk’. This is a special ability that will allow you to become a super hero. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, (that guy in green, down in front) a boy born without any quirk, in a world where they are the norm, but who still dreams of becoming a superhero himself. One day, his friend Katsuki Bakugo (the guy right above him and, yes, that is a grenade he uses as his fist), is in trouble and he comes to save him, even though Midoriya has no abilities. This impresses All-Might (the really heroic-looking dude above them all) and he does what he can to get Young Midoriya (what he calls him) into U.A. High School, the place to be if you want to be the next generation of heroes.
However, All-Might also imparts to Midoriya the dark side of being a super hero and that much is asked of you and much is taken from you in your quest to make the world a safer place. This is marvelously revealed during the run of the show. We also see how people adapt and adopt their quirk. Some are very serious about it (“With great power comes great responsibility.”), some are a bit embarrassed by it (Tsuyu Asui, she is right at the bottom and she has frog attributes), some have to prove what they can do by kind of not using their quirk (Shōto Todoroki, that ice guy just above Tsuyu). It is an astounding menu of quirks.
Now, I did get soured on the earlier episodes, as most of the people with quirks have fallen in love with their magnificence and look down on those that either have no quirk, or have a quirk of a lesser power or ability. Katsuki has the ability to make his palm sweat turn to nitroglycerin and he can detonate it. Yeah, that’s a good quirk. Being invisible? Needs a bit more work. The show really takes off when all the students in Class 1-A (and that’s the lot of them there) go to the Disaster Dome, a training ground where you learn to be a hero in all kinds of weather conditions and location scenarios. There, they are beset by The League of Villains and it is up to these tyros to try and defeat much stronger and better adapted quirk users.
One can admire Midoriya’s dedication to being a hero. He has piles and piles of notebooks, where he has detailed super heroes and their quirks, so he is very knowledgeable on them, but lacks the ability to control what he has. You also never think about a super hero academy. You are of the opinion that you don the silly suit (and you will see your share of very silly suits in this show) and go out and kick butt on the villains. It’s far more complicated than that and the conclusion guarantees a second season (which was confirmed as I was writing this review).
The only question that hasn’t been answered: in a world where about 80% of the people have a quirk, what are we going to do about the glut of super heroes? I guess that will await another day to answer. In the meantime, see what it really takes to be a Protector of the People.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Really over the top in character design)
Plot 9 (Good reworking of an old trope)
Pacing 8 (Especially the fight sequences)
Effectiveness 8 (Good use of back story)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (Got a bit sluggish in spots)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Everything is fine because I am here.