So here I was writing the review for Ace Attorney, only to remember it’s 24-ish episodes and that I didn’t need to talk about it yet. As if the delays weren’t bad enough, yeah?
Boku no Hero Academia or BnHA is the “other” hero series that’s making strides that isn’t One Punch Man back in the East. I actually marvel at how something of this genre with the whole School and Hero thing haven’t been combined before. I’m damn sure it actually has but this seems to be the most prominent one out of it in recent memory. I didn’t expect much but I was genuinely happy with what I watched.
Set in the near future, the human population begin to develop supernatural abilities and soon enough, the amount of humans with “quirks” outnumber ones without and a full system of “heroes” is put in as an official occupation. Our protagonist is Midoriya “Deku” Izuku, a studious child who observes and notes down all the superheroes he admires to one day become admitted into the prestigious U.A Hero Academy. However, Deku is a “quirkless” who aptly does not have an ability, much to the entertainment of his childhood friend, Bakugo Katsuki, whose quirk is to turn his sweat in explosions. Deku’s single most sought after dream was to become a hero similar to his hero idol, All Might and on a fateful day, he runs into All Might himself who reveals a shocking fact that he is not all that well as he was. All Might tells Deku to give up his dream on being a hero but as a catastrophic accident puts Bakugo’s life in danger and with All Might’s alter-ego being unable to activate his powers for longer than a few minutes, Deku is the one to heroically charge in to try and save his friend which inspires All Might who saves both and later tells Deku that he can indeed become a hero through All Might’s own quirk, One For All which will be passed down to him.
Something about the One For All power is both extremely generic and something I find really cool. Sure it’s just obscenely enhanced power and speed and those happen to be the basic powers of most protagonists but with what comes later in the series, I really favor it over the other powers. The setting itself isn’t all that special, especially since we had the pleasure of watching One Punch Man a few seasons back but it has both settings of the hero genre and the highschool genre neatly wrapped together.
Deku himself is as underdog as you can get, a super hero wannabe who probably cries and thinks out loud more than he’s a hero. These few episodes mostly show him getting used to his powers but even then, he isn’t an effective fighter by any means. But even though he is a crybaby, I can’t overlook the fact of his unshakeable will to become what he always wanted to be and that ideal really rings with me. All Might is the most fun character of the series and I enjoyed all of his engrish, SMASH, and his general over the top reactions. Bakugo was decent to watch but his interaction with the rest of his class made him seem a bit less of an asshole and even he got some slight development, I guess. Where else to even begin with this enormous cast of characters?
To make things easier for everyone, let’s just talk about everyone in the opening at least: Iida was literally Hanai from School Rumble without a love affliction, Tsuyu felt overrated to me, Mineta makes me question how he even got into the school, Ochako has an amazing power but barely did anything about it. The remaining two goes to Kirishima who turned out to be a bro even though he resembles Bakugo’s face and Todoroki who is absolutely overpowered having both heat/freeze combo. We also have the badass teacher Aizawa who turned out to be a way cooler guy than he first appeared to be. The villains themselves remain mysterious and I assume more of them will show up and we’ll learn more when the second season hits, and that goes for the rest of the class too.
As far as I’m concerned the “academia” portion of the title hasn’t been all that highschool like which is surprisingly, not what I was expecting since with a class this big, having some attachment to them would have gone a long way. More pro heroes will presumably show up and the big bad behind the villains will also probably show up and maybe, just maybe, Deku will learn to properly utilize his strength. All in all, it was only Deku, Bakugo, All Might, and a little bit of Iida who got anything this time.
BnHA’s particular art style and character design is pretty easy to notice with two distinct ways how the eyes are done. Half of them are round and large while the others are extremely slanted, giving them the aggressive, more distinct look on their faces. Overall, the series is colorful enough to grab a hold of your attention and with the near constant shots of super hero outfits and abilities flying everywhere, it’s a hard series not to be visually entertained by. That being said, it’s overly cartoony look doesn’t make it the most visually impressive looking series. As far as I’m concerned, I was expecting the sort of artstyle since I’m lightly familiar with the series beforehand. The animations however are very smooth and the action scenes are plentifully well done. Well, that is the few actions there are fighting which the last few episodes were able to deliver on.
The biggest commendations for this series however is definitely the music. From the upbeat intro and to the uplifting ending that always had me listening til the very end, but that might be my inner Porno Graffiti fanboy speaking. The tracks during the fight scenes and the quintessential scenes with Deku learning/performing heroic stuff were generic but the music just elevated to a different level that it just made me feel inspired, such is my weakness towards all the heroic ideals and what not. These were mostly involving All Might of course, Deku himself never did anything all that great and his voice may not convey the heaviness of being heroic, it was still hopeful in a way.
Last but not least, one thing has to be mentioned about the pacing of the entire ordeal. 13 episodes in and we just get a small amount of class-time for the academy itself and the villains appear in the last quarter of the episode count. It took us 4-5 episodes in to actually even get to our academy setting kicked off too. While I’m not going to complain too much and while I generally enjoyed the ride, I can imagine that some others might not have the same level of patience when it comes to setting something up.
For someone who loves the Hero Genre, BnHA was nice and comfortable ride that drives home some nice scenes with some fantastic music. However, for the none-patient types, I doubt that this series will entertain too much since not only the pacing might be troublesome but also Deku’s character will most likely annoy some people who can’t handle his crying and struggling. Not even the venerable 3 episode rule might not pull it off for some people but for those who can, there’s something entertaining that I feel is worth watching. With a few more episodes already on the way, I’d personally give a recommendation to watch a series because if the visuals can’t win you over, the music sure as hell did for me. Besides, anyone who gives a damn about the entire hero shtick should have an interest either way and how long an arduous journey will take to pay off. But I can also guess that those who only recently started watching won’t stop comparing this to OPM so go figure.
All in all, pretty entertaining if you can wait it out. That isn’t really a good way to go about talking about a series but it’s an appealing tale of a young man’s hopes to achieve what he always wanted by working harder than anyone else, who doesn’t like an underdog story like that?