My Hero Academia: Season 1

In 2014, manga artist, Kohei Horikoshi published a manga series for Shonen Jump titled, “My Hero Academia.” The manga focuses on a teenage boy named, Izuku Midoriya/Deku. Born without a superpower or quirk, he’s given a chance to fulfill his dream as a superhero under the mentorship of his idol, All Might. Deku enrolls at a school for superheroes much like mutants attending the X-Mansion learning how to control their powers. After acquiring All Might’s quirk, Deku clashes with his rival, Katsuki Bakugo/Kacchan, meets new friends and encounters an evil organization.

My Hero Academia’s first season aired in 2018 (same year Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse came out) on Adult Swim’s block Toonami. It received positive reviews from critics, anime fans and viewers alike. As an anime enthusiast growing up on Toonami. I wanted to give My Hero Academia a try. See what the hype’s all about. Turns out I got hooked from the first episode. As of 2023, the anime spawned five seasons, merchandise, costumes, action figures, video games and three movies. A seventh season is in development. So far, the manga has a total of 37 volumes.

This review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving some of you a chance to see My Hero Academia’s first season.

Strong & Weak Aspects

Strong: Justin Briner, Clifford Chapin, Christopher Sabat, David Matranga, Monica Rial, Ian Sinclair, Mike McFarland & Justin Cook all did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.

Animation brings the world to life including character models, fluid moment and environmental locations.

Action Sequences showcase various characters’ using their superpowers or quirks.

Chemistry between Deku & Kacchan serves as the main highlight. Flashbacks show their rivalry since they were little kids.

Character Development involving Deku. As the each episode progresses, he endures intense training and learning to control his quirk given to All Might.

The lore surrounding superheroes all started with a baby born with radiated light spreading across the world affecting 80% of the population with a unique quirk. While 20% of the population never manifested one. I find it interesting to see Deku struggling to fit in society in a world of superheroes as must learn to control a quirk given to All Might.

I never felt bored. I was hooked since the beginning of the first episode.

Humor has some funny moments. Particularly Mineta’s antics.

The anime’s influenced by “Dragon Ball,” “Naruto,” “Ultraman,” “Star Wars,” “X-Men,” Harry Potter” & Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man Trilogy.”

All Might is the series equivalent of Superman. He has a permanent injury from an intense battle forcing him to transform into a skinny guy. Every time All Might speaks, I can automatically picture Piccolo and Vegeta. Obviously voiced by Christopher Sabat.

Opening Theme, “The Day,” makes you feel pumped up for some action.

My favorite characters are Kirishima, (voiced by Yusuke himself, Justin Cook) Tsu (pronounced like Sue) & Mineta.

My favorite Story Arc from Season 1 is the U.S.J. Arc when the League of Villains show up to attack the heroes. to quote Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys II.” “S**t just got real.”

Episode 13’s Post-Credits Scene sets up Season 2.

Weak: It can be difficult to remember a bunch of characters. Dragon Ball’s early story arcs didn’t rely on cramming numerous characters. Each one’s introduced slowly by getting to know an individual. David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” also had a character problem dumping every single one without a proper introduction.

The Final Verdict: A-

Despite one flaw over too many characters, My Hero Academia’s first season is a strong start. If you’re a newcomer to the anime like me, stream it on Hulu or Crunchyroll.

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