Every single person I’ve spoken to about this year’s Spring anime season has put Boku no Hero Academia ( My hero academy ) somewhere on their hype list ,myself included.
Boku no Hero began as a manga written by Kohei Horikoshi in 2014 and published by Viz media in Weekly Shonen Jump and from there has enjoyed critical acclaim. So does the anime adaption hold up to the source material and is the hype justified? Let’s find out…
We open on a very strong OP, with an insanely catchy tune playing alongside some gorgeous visuals, the bold and striking block colours of the show’s title are very reminiscent of early superhero shows and comic books. In a few short minutes we’re introduced to our main character, his rival and his mentor alongside the supporting cast not in the most original way perhaps but there is a lot of focus on the main trio’s personalities and I was impressed how much we were told about them without any words. The action sequences are flashy and serve to show off more supporting cast and villains. The transitioning and constant flow serves to create a sense of excitement and an urge for action.
The stylized art-style is beautiful and the character designs and costumes are original and inventive, each character stands out and is unmistakable. The animation on the whole is great and the fight scenes are flashy and bombastic with a plethora of special moves and quirks displayed just in the first 10 minutes every blow landed feels powerful and weighted. Every quirk ( the shows take on superpowers ) are all inventive and slickly animated , cleverly fitted around every character’s personalities.
Our MC is not only very likeable but an interesting spin on the shonen trope where the MC is the most talented in the world. His lack of super-powers makes him relatable to the audience who also (I assume) don’t have super-powers and thus share his feelings. He’s also a super-hero nerd again a trait most viewers will be able to sympathize with and so we want to see him grow and be successful. Other characters are personified with small touches in their animation for example in the classroom shot , you can see Izuka writing his own note furiously while Katuski is slouched nonchalantly displaying confidence and a feeling that he’s above this triviality.
Our story and main characters conflict is established quickly , he’s in the 20 % of the population born without powers who wishes to become a hero , he has a history and a ( quite one-sided ) rivalry with the top student in his class. Rather simple but it allows for a lot of drama and growth and one of the greatest parts of a good shonen is watching a well-liked character get stronger and develop.
Honestly this show reminds me a lot of One Punch Man, just with the main character reversed. They both share the same superhero culture motif, spectacular animation, fast paced if not a bit more lewd humour and awesome character designs. I’d definitely recommend anyone to pick it up and I won’t be surprised if it ends up as no. 1 on people favourite lists this year. And since this genre of shonen manga can run for hundreds upon hundreds of chapters this could end up being the “Naruto “for a new generation of young anime viewers. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a season 2 announced shortly after the first finishes.