Anime · Film And Television

Anime Review: My Hero Academia (Season 2 Part One)

myheroacademia
Funimation/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Available April 2nd 2018

Summary:

A school of young superheroes searching for their identity. In a world where 80% of people are born with a superpower, or quirk, Izuku Midoria (known as Deku) is unlucky to find himself one of the powerless. His character and hard-work catches the attention of the greatest hero All Might. All Might passes his quirk on to Deku at the end of Season One. Season two sees Deku return to U.A. High school in time for the annual sports tournament.

Talent scouts are watching for the heroes of tomorrow. Any aspiring hero must catch the world’s attention and gain a place at a hero agency. All Might tells Deku he must introduce himself to the world as the next great power.

As the tournament progresses, Deku rises up the rankings, but has he underestimated his rivals? Class 1B – the general studies class who failed to demonstrate a quirk during the entrance exam – are on the warpath. They are out to demonstrate that they have what it takes to be transferred to the hero course. They want to teach the world, and the hero class, a lesson.

Meanwhile Deku’s rival Todoroki is struggling with his past, and with his manipulative father’s plans. Does the side of Todoroki which comes form his father mean he will end up with the same personality?

Everybody is out to win. The young heroes must figure out what price they are willing to pay for victory.birdGeneral Thoughts:

A great coming-of-age series which will appeal particularly to teenagers. The story picks up on the pressures teenagers are under to achieve academic success, and the impact (both positive and negative) that this can have on their friendships.

Deku makes a relatable lead. Despite proving himself in Season One, he isn’t certain he belongs with the heroes. He makes a good contrast with other characters, who are top of the leader board but less good at empathising with others. The supporting characters have good storylines, which keeps us interested through 12 action-packed episodes.

Internal reflection helps us to understand the characters’ motives. These short scenes, where the characters reflect as if to camera, add variety. Although the action scenes were great, most of the episodes take place in the same arena, and the internal dialogue and the character’s motives are what make one battle significantly different from another.

The adult heroes and villains were interesting, and I would like to watch more of the programme to learn their backstory. There was a suitable level of threat throughout the series, which kept events interesting and reminded us the true purpose of the school tournament was to encourage and educate the next generation of heroes.

The animation is fantastic, with particularly strong action scenes. I also loved the must which is non-intrusive but underlines the emotional drama of the story.

This may be my new binge-watch. A programme as catchy as its theme tune.  

birdThemes:

Rivalry

The stakes are set out early. Winning the tournament enhances career prospects. Every character has their own reason for wanting the prize. There is Uraraka, whose family need a secure income, and there is Todoroki who wants to prove that he can win without resorting to his father’s tactics.

At times the characters are forced to team up and rely on friends. There are some great messages about encouraging each other and drawing strength from other people’s belief. It was interesting to see how these messages were shown alongside the idea of single-minded focus. Unlike in many narratives I have read, where friendship comes out above success, My Hero Academia shows that success does not come at once, and that we need friends along the way to help us maintain the drive which is necessary to success.

The other interesting rivalry was between class 1A and 1B. Initially Class 1A write off the general studies class, but soon learn that their rivals might also have the ability and drive to succeed.

 

Identity

The tournament forces many of the students to revise their values. There is also a big focus on forming an identity because or in-spite of adult influence. Todoroki’s narrative is all about embracing parts of himself while rejecting his father’s manipulative values. Deku is influenced by All Might, but he must find his own ways of using the quirk.

 

The Cost of Power

While Deku is physically hurt by overuse of his power, other competitiors learn that victory cannot come at the price of hurting others.

 

My Hero Academia (Season Two Part One) is available on DVD and Blu Ray from April 2nd. Available for pre-order now.

Thanks to Fetch Dynamic LTD for sending a preview copy. Opinions my own.

 

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