My Spoiler Free Impressions: My Hero Academia

***This post is a look into my personal feelings on the series My Hero Academia. This is not meant to be some deep retrospective where I take apart the series piece-by-piece, but it simply to show the feelings I hold towards this series and some of the characters.***

I think it’s safe to say by now that I’m a very big fan of Shonen manga and anime. I started out as a very young child watching Dragon Ball with my dad in the afternoon on weekdays, and then moved into Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh when they were on the Saturday morning on block on what used to be WB (now known as The CW). Those got me into trouble and they were banned from my house for a little while (don’t want to get into details) but eventually they made their way back in and I got back into the series.

Naruto was the first Shonen I watched that I actually remembered the plot. With Dragon Ball, I was young enough that I have a few memories of sitting and watching with my dad and sisters, but I don’t remember all the details of the story (*mental note to go back and rewatch it at some point*). So when I started watching Naruto in January 2007, it became my thing. I stuck with the anime while it was on Toonami, and then moved to manga as my library slowly got more volumes it, and I stuck with it until the manga ended in 2014. I still have yet to finish Shippuden, but I’ll get there eventually. I also own 64 volumes of the manga, and all six of the post-canon light novels that were released in the US.

When the Naruto manga was about to end, I started looking for a replacement series to read. Enter Assassination Classroom, which was my very first manga review on this blog. I was able to keep up through volume 6, but I’ve fallen behind (and I know the manga has ended) and I still enjoy the series very much (it’s my first OT+ rated series!), but it’s going to take me some time to get back into it.

Now, let’s fast forward to this January (2018). I had recently made the decision to subscribe to FunimationNow, Funimation’s streaming service for dubbed anime. I thought this would be a great way to get through some anime while I was on my Christmas break, and it’s proven to be worth it in the three months I’ve had it, I don’t plan to stop subscribing any time soon.

My Hero Academia (MHA) is one of Funimation’s licensed titles. They produce and release the dub version, and release the DVD/BluRay sets as well. I had started thinking about getting into MHA last year, while talking to a friend about it. I really, really wanted to get into the series last year, but because of how busy my schedule was and everything, I couldn’t. It had pushed aside because I was trying to focus on my classes and everything. It was also something that I’m not normally interested in, but I had heard so much good about it that I was interested. I mean, a story about people who have super powers (called Quirks)? That’s so cliche, would I even like it? I’m not into superheroes, but something about this series just grabbed me.

January is when I finally sat down and watched the first two episodes. They hit me with feels and I got close to crying during the end of the second episode. This was right after my spring semester had begun, and that Sunday I had a bunch of homework for one of my classes, so I pulled up the Funimation app on my Kindle and started MHA from where I left off, episode 3.

I finished the first season in a day. All 13 episodes, completed in one day. After that, I had to slowly continue on because of my classes and work. I got sick in mid-Feburary to the point I wasn’t able to go to class or work for three days, so I instead spent that time watching MHA and relaxing.

I finished the second season the week after I was sick, during snow days where my campus was closed. I was hooked. Head-over-heels in love and still am! The series is so fabulous and amazing, I’m eagerly awaiting the third season on Saturday!

I also decided I wanted to read the manga and be ahead of the anime, so I knew was happening, and because I was anxious to see what came next. As of posting this, I’ve finished all 11 volumes that have been released in English, and I’ve purchased 8 out of 12 volumes. This story is so good, it’s amazing. I’m not going to go into plot here, I may do a review of each volume separately at some point, but right now, I just want to go into my favorite characters real quick, starting with my absolute favorite character of the series.

The moment he’s introduced, all you can really think is “what a jerk”. But honestly? Katsuki Bakugo is much more complex character than that. He’s not just a school bully (although he definitely is one at the beginning, I’ll admit that for sure). He’s unbelievably confident with a Quirk that allows him to create explosions from his hands, using his sweat, and he’s determined to be the #1 hero someday. He’s quite antagonistic towards the main character, and almost anyone, but he slowly seems to start getting better, especially considering the events surrounding him in volumes 9 – 11. I understand why some wouldn’t like him, but somehow, SOMEHOW, I got attached to Bakugo immediately, and everything that happens in volumes 10&11 have solidified him as my favorite character in the whole series. He’s got to make up a lot of past wrongs, but he’ll get there. I’m sure of it.

Second, I want to discuss the character who was close to pushing Bakugo out of first place, and that’s Shoto Todoroki. I seem to always go for characters that have sad/dark backgrounds, which makes Todoroki’s place of second on my list very…odd. Normally he’d be in first, and I love him very much, for sure! His story breaks me, it’s heartbreaking, and I still am shocked by everything that happened to him when he was a child. His changes from volume 5 onward are very apparent, and important to his character. He’s a fan favorite all around (having won Best Boy at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards this year), and I’ll definitely say, if Bakugo hadn’t somehow gotten my attention the way he did, Todoroki would be in first place (I’m not gonna say it’s impossible for him to end up tying with Bakugo on my list, that may happen for sure).

Finally, for this post at least, let me talk about our main character, Izuku Midoriya. He is definitely like your typical Shonen protagonist, but he’s also the sweetest one you’ll ever meet. All he wants to do is be a hero that can smile and save people. That’s it. He wants to be like the current #1 Hero, All Might, and a chance encounter gives him what he needs in order to, hopefully, one day do so. He’s a very innocent character, a bit jumpy at times, but he also has a lot of heart and I can’t help, I have to cheer for him in everything that happens in this series. I have to cheer for him to become the #1 hero someday, I have to cheer for him to do well, to hope his friendship with Bakugo can be rescued, to hope his friendships with all his classmates holds. Midoriya is a character you can’t help but cheer for. I’ve never met a main character that was a precious as Izuku Midoriya, and I’ve asked it on Twitter, but I’ll ask it here too: how did we get blessed with such a precious main character??

All in all, even though I didn’t go too terribly in-depth with this post, My Hero Academia is a series that can’t be missed. It’s amazing. The story is getting deeper as we go, the characters are growing up and maturing (especially Bakugo), they’re learning how to use their Quirks the best they can, and they’re taking on villains much sooner than they expected, but they’re doing well.

No series has gripped me this hard and made me fall in love with the characters like this since Naruto. Seriously, NOTHING has taken hold of me like this since then. My Hero Academia is one of those manga that’s going to be remembered and well loved for a long time, and I intend to see it to the end myself.

I might make a second post about this at some point, maybe after I’ve read more of the manga or start reviewing it here, but for now, this is where I’ll stop. I hope to go more in-depth at some point, but we’ll see what happens. 🙂

 

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