My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
The eagerly awaited Hero Aca movie, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes has just ended its limited theatrical release here in the USA. I was able to see it thanks to Funimation extending its run by two days this past week. As impressive as My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is, it is even more impressive that I was able to see it due to the extended run.
This was done due to the success of the movie’s release which, according to Wikipedia, has earned 5.4 million, which is really good for an anime movie shown in a limited number of theaters over the course of a week or so. I hope this means that we might be seeing some more anime in the movie theaters in the future. Yes, I know that I can just watch this at home over the internet or DVD when it comes out, (and yes I will be purchasing it), but there is nothing quite like watching anime on the big screen.
At its core the plot of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes really isn’t anything special since it is basically a shounen anime movie for an anime headed into its 4th season and over 200 chapters in the still running manga. Essentially the heroes travel to some location and an incident not connected to the main storyline happens, and the heroes have to resolve it so everything returns to normal by the end. What makes My Hero Academia: Two Heroes different is in the execution and the fact that there are references made to the movie characters and setting in the anime and manga, making the movie canon. This is not unheard of as the Naruto franchise used movies to wrap up some things in the Naruto storyline and introduce the new Boruto storyline, but it is certainly not very common.
First off, the movie begins with a flashback to young All Might, which is great for the fans to see Al Might in his prime and introduce one of the main characters of the movie, David Shield. The movie also uses this and other flashbacks to introduce other characters and many aspects of the My Hero Academia Universe. I will admit seeing All Might in his prime on the big screen had my inner fanboy squealing in delight, but the flashbacks got a bit boring, and I wondered why they were there.
Wasn’t this a My Hero Academia movie, so that anyone going should already know this stuff, but then it hit me. The scenes were there for anyone in the theater who wasn’t a fan and this way they could enjoy and understand the movie, and potentially become a fan of the series. I could easily see myself showing this movie to friends and family as a way to introduce them to My Hero Academia. This is something that I haven’t seen done in a typical shounen anime tie-in movie. For example, the Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry movie essentially expects everyone to already know about the Fairy Tail anime and anyone who hasn’t seen the anime or read the manga will be a bit lost.
With the flashbacks over, the movie really gets moving as All Might and Deku arrive on I-Island, the setting of the movie, a giant mobile enclave for the top scientific minds in the world. The Island is home to David Shield and his daughter Melissa. David is a scientific super genius who makes devices and technology that the heroes use in their hero work. This is of course no surprise to the experienced My Hero Academia user as we saw these devices and their creators over the course of the show. What makes it different is that we have Melissa, who, for the sake of not completely spoiling the movie, is what I think Deku could have been if certain conditions were different.
Beyond that I find her a very likable character, and I really hope we can see more of her in anime and maybe the manga, perhaps filling a role for Deku like her dad did for All Might. A major part of her appeal is that she teams up with the heroes and for a very practical reason: Heroes are very good at fighting and breaking things, but not so much in the computer department.
Another part of the plot that made the movie interesting is that, while you know going in that Deku and All Might are going to be in it, My Hero Academia has a huge cast of characters, far too many to be included in the movie, so the question is who gets to join in the action? Some are easy guesses like Bakugo, Shoto, and Uraka.
What I didn’t expect was for Mineta and Kaminari to be in the movie or play such an important role. Momo wasn’t much of a surprise, but I would have expected Tsuyu, instead of Jiro, but it worked out great either way. I didn’t expect Kirishima or Ida either, but in retrospect I probably should have given how things have been going in the manga. The choices were interesting as the writers and animators made full use of the characters’ abilities and showcasing just how they could be used in various situations to full effect. Lastly, let me add that I liked how each of them had a good reason for being on the island.
I didn’t find the villains to be all that interesting, but it was nice to see how they did connect back to the main storyline of My Hero Academia. In closing, the plot twist near the end was one I did not see coming, but in retrospect it made sense, and it is one that I am surprised hasn’t cropped up in the anime or manga.
As I tell my students from time to time, I am very good at art appreciation, but art creation not so much. Therefore let me tell you that the animation here is great, from the characters to the background. While it is no Miyazaki or Shinkai film, it certainly stands at the top of shounen anime movies in terms of quality. The colors, and aesthetic fit the setting and yet it still feels like something that could be found in the world of My Hero Academia. I do have to wonder if the people involved with the movie were fans of Final Fantasy 7, given that almost all of the movie involved climbing a giant skyscraper, like you do in the first half of the game.
My standing with music is about the same as it is with art, so all I can say is that the music fit the movie perfectly, but I can’t really think of one song that truly stood out beyond You Say Run from the anime for the ending fight. That being said, You Say Run is an awesome song that pretty much goes with everything.
I’m more of a dub fan myself because I don’t like reading subtitles, but I had no trouble enjoying My Hero Academia: Two Heroes and reading the subtitles at the same time. If I had one complaint, it would be the way one line was translated. Now I know there have been numerous debates over changes that have been made when subtitling and dubbing in certain anime as of late and I have no intention of stepping into that mine field. My grasp of the Japanese language is extremely limited, but I really don’t think they intended for Almight to say, “go young zygotes,” at one point in the movie.
If you are a My Hero Academia fan and you haven’t seen My Hero Academia: Two Heroes already, what are you waiting for? Although at this point you’ll have to wait for pirate streams to hit the internet or for the DVD to go on sale. If you’re an anime fan, the movie is still worth a look even if you haven’t seen or read any of My Hero Academia. I would also potentially use it as a gateway movie into anime for the teenage crowd. As for the rating, that’s easily a 9 out of 10 for fans of My Hero Academia (Double Detroit Smash anyone?), or a 7-8 for everyone else.