There’s only one Anime/Manga that has turned fans into members of a cult-like following. That Anime is… well, that’s Demon Slayer, which is currently selling records for Manga issues sold. But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about My Hero Academia, the extremely popular YA anime series that is one of the most critically acclaimed series in the history of Shonen. The series, starting it’s Manga run in 2014, borrows from X-Men, Harry Potter, Naruto, and Dragon Ball to craft a story about a group of teens who hone their superhuman abilities in an academy dedicated to developing future heroes.
After completing it’s fifth season (Japanese/Sub only, the Dub has not yet released), the franchise is celebrating by way of a brand new film in theaters (both Sub and Dub versions available). That brings us to My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, which sets up to be another action packed adventure to hold fans’ appetite in-between seasons. Truth be told, season 5 was a disappointment, and seemed more like a bridge season to set up bigger payoffs down the road.
However, what has not disappointed yet are the feature films in the franchise. Two Heroes, released in 2018, was a solid action movie. Then, the bar was raised with the excellent My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (2019), whose state of the art animation propelled the My Hero franchise to perhaps it’s highest peak. Which means that World Heroes’ Mission will have a really tough act to follow, but based on the official trailer there may be no reason for concern:
It seems clear that this new foe is one who disagrees with the status quo of how quirks are utilized in society. Which has become quite the trend in the series – villains are unhappy with the balance of power, and will attack the ethics of the ruling class in an attempt to unbalance it. This will leave Deku, Bakugo, Todoroki, and the rest of U.A. High with the unenviable task of thwarting yet another attempted coup from a group of underground villains.
Plenty of analysis can be read in the morality at the center of My Hero Academia. On the one hand, it inspires viewers to be diligent, hard working, self-sacrificing, and thoughtful to the challenges of their community. However, the series can be interpreted as an approval of tradition, as well as enabling social norms that turn a blind eye to systemic issues. Treading the fine line of establishing solid moral values, without venturing into exceptionalism, is a tricky task. Nevertheless, we can only wonder how World Heroes’ Mission will tackle these themes, or if it will settle into a comfortable/familiar Shonen formula. Either way, I think most fans are just expecting a fireworks display of animated wizardry, and we’re almost guaranteed to see that.
My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission will see its North American release, in theaters in both Subbed and Dubbed formats on October, 29.