My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Review
Hey dear readers, this review will feature SPOILERS about My Hero Academia: Two Heroes! You’ve been warned. If you’d like to avoid all spoilers, please skip down to the very last paragraph of our review.
It’s without question My Hero Academia is popular. The super hero-themed anime has gained a big fan following because it’s so many things. It’s a coming of age story, it’s teenage angst, it’s running commentary on achieving dreams, and more. Now that it’s enjoying a third season, a full feature film was only a matter of time. So this week there were select theater showings of their first film of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes – Of course I took it upon myself as a fan to check it out.
Quick synopsis; My Hero Academia is the story of how a young Izuku Midoriya (hero name Deku) becomes the world’s greatest hero. It’s a world where most people are born with special abilities; quirks. Society at large has changed to where the profession of hero is very prestigious. Heroes and heroines are symbols of stability and the status quo. So the path to being a hero involves a lot of work and character. We see Deku and his friends grow (hopefully) as people as well as a heroes to achieve their dreams.
If this (or the show) reminds of you some what of X-Men and other comics, that’s not your imagination. The author/creator Kōhei Horikoshi at 31 years old, grew up as a big fan of North American comics. So those influences are peppered through out his series.
Our film begins with one of the major reason fans want to see this story – seeing All Might in his youth. So, in his college years he was an exchange student in California. During this time, he started to gain notoriety for his heroics. He did this along side his best friend/partner David Shields; a genius and man dedicated to justice.
Side note: The world of My Hero Academia has black and brown people?! As evident by the film, you’ll only find people of color in the US. I will admit seeing PoCs here and there was pleasantly surprising. I think there was even a brown skin hero as well? Any who, they were beautifully animated and we need more of them. We need more of them please and thank you.
In present day, Deku and All Might are traveling to I-Island. A floating city of technological advances, Disney World like wonder, and pro hero sentiment. Shortly, we met Melissa Shields; a genius much like her father David. All Might is so close to her and Dave that she acknowledges him only as uncle. A relationship much different from any we’ve seen him have. Which gives us an another look into All Might’s life. The film also reveals that all of All Might’s costumes, past, and current have all been designed solely by Dave. This is like little nods to us diehard fans. It’s just cool to know these things and get a better understanding of where his western like aesthetics came from.
All Might’s trip to the island has ulterior motives though. He came to seek out Dave’s expertise in quirk science. Perhaps he can help and prevent him from eventually losing his powers. This is unlikely as One For All(All Might’s quirk) carries secrets that only a small number of people know in the world. Exposing more people to the truth would place them at risk.
The film also notes certain societal aspects we as fans never really got numbers on. Of note, All Might’s work/influence has kept the crime rate of Japan down to 6%. Where as the entirety of the US hovers around 20%. Although low, Dave can’t shake he could help America more. So he often looks at the picture of young All Might during his stay in the US in remembrance of the good old days.
Later on, we meet our show favorites among Deku’s classmates. Well almost all of our favorites, Froppy was absent in the film. Bakugo is still his explosive self, Todoroki is pretty chill, Iida still functions like a chaperon, and etc. Eventually our lovable (except Mineta) super-powered teens decide to met up for a party later.
Before transitioning to this party we see Melissa and Deku from a budding hero partnership. We learn that she and the young hero have much in common. She was also born quirkless however her father served as motivation to be a scientist to benefit heroes and mankind. Deku shortly finds himself equipped with a fancy new age gauntlet she designed. Because helping out heroes is what she does.
Then we get to enjoy a scene of our favorite teens all dressed up. By the way, even when Deku is in a suit, he still wears those red sneakers. It’s his signature after all and you can’t imagine him without them. My guess is that their based on Nike sneakers. During all these good vibes and there’s nefarious movement in the background.
Villains eventually hold All Might and the island hostage for their plan. We don’t know their goal exactly but it’s evident the main villain is following orders. Dave and the second highest level researcher; Sam are whisked away by the villains obtain some tech.
True to the show, Deku and his friends jump to action to stop the villains and save everyone. Because that’s what any hero would do. You know, the main point of the narrative.
What follows are some of the best animated fights and interesting team ups. Can you say Bakugo and Todoroki team up?
We eventually learn whom is the mastermind of this whole incident. It really blindside’s viewers, as there was a lack of hints or tell tell sings. However that reveal is upset by double crossing and some ominous monologues. Got to love those monologues!
Deku has no choice but to fight his heart out to stop the villain. Yet like any Shōnen anime movie, this little hero, gets beat up. I mean really beat up. I’m not sure what it is about anime films but they love beating the stuffing out of their leads. As our favorite freckled faced protagonist flatters, he’s joined by his classmates when it’s clutch time.
But the real action kicks in when All Might joins the battle as well. What I’m going to say maybe hard to believe. However, this film features the best sequences of action this franchise has given us. The sheer spectacle, the grandeur, the momentum, etc. If you enjoy a good sequence of action and animation you’ll really appreciate this. The whole theater was in awe.
My Hero Academia: Two Heroes really is 2 hours of the series finest. The plot is focused, there’s little room for fluff, and quite character driven. There’s little to be disappointed in unless you wanted to see all the kids. Although, our favorites were in full effect no one stepped out of their role. This isn’t so much a complaint because they reminded us why their our favorites. Deku got beat up and smashed things. All Might got beat up and smashed things. Oh wait, I forgot to mention the film’s subtitle. You’ll just have to watch it to get it. You definitely won’t be disappointed as a fan or first time viewer.