The Series (4/5)
In the near future, the whole planet is amazed by a new phenomenon. Almost the whole population discovers they have superpowers, which they soon label as “quirks”. One young boy, named Izuku Midoriya, is obsessed with heroes and dreams of joining the U.A. High School, a program to train the best of the best. The only problem is he is quirk less.
One day while leaving school, Midoriya is attacked by a monster. He is saved at the last moment by All Might, his childhood hero and the most famous one that ever lived. Midoriya soon befriends All Might. All Might agrees to train Midoriya for the U.N. program. But once in he will soon face some fantastic tests, the eccentric teaching staff, and his childhood bully, Katsuki.
It seems fitting, that in an age where the international box office is dominated, by what seems like a never-ending series of super hero movies, that an anime like MY HERO ACADEMIA would become a quick hit. Based on the hit manga by Kohei Horikashi, MY HERO uses Superhero fever as a jumping off point and mixes it with plenty of classic Japanese sci-fi and fantasy images. There’s visual gags about super Sentai series, giant monster’s aka kaiju, weird looking yokai style villains, and plenty of mech inspired outfits. But it is All Might who recalls the beefed up American superheroes and even Rambo type one man armies.
What also makes MY HERO stand out, is it’s mix of formula and its unique characters. The plot of the series is a cocktail of classic anime styles. School drama, Sentai inspired hero teams, and classic fighting shows are touched upon. The series also has an outlandish sense of humor that breaks up the dramatic tension. As for characters, the designs are all fantastic. Midoriya and his green hair is a natural and likable hero. All Might is an over the top superman, who changes into a Sid Vicious type loner. The rest of the cast is stylish and bizarre, but still elegant unlike some other series.
The series was produced by Studio Bones, that also created the hit series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and SOUL EATER. So, going in the quality was no issue. From scene one, the series is action packed. All 13 episodes in the first season are full of energetic drama and vibrant scenery. The world building alone makes this series a minor classic. As for the action scenes, they’re kinetic, but still easy to follow. The choreography is highly inventive and at times breath taking.
Overall MY HERO ACADEMIA season 1 is a welcomed start to an exciting new world of superheroes. With the highly suspenseful last episode, I can’t wait for season 2.
Audio/ Video (5/5)
There’s two main audio options. First up is the Dolby True HD Japanese 2.0 track. The track is full depth and need little details. Every sound effect sounds dynamic. There’s no noticeable issues with the track. Next up is the English Dolby True HD dub track. The English cast do a great job adding to the characters and overall presentation is outstanding. I just personally prefer going with original language. Easy to read English subtitles are included.
The 1080p HD transfer is top of line. Every aspect of the picture looks great. This colorful and vivid series, dances off the screen with eye popping candy colors and fluid animation. There’s no grain or motion blur. Black levels are smooth and the picture is crystal clear.
Funimation went the extra mile in terms in extras. We get the Meet the characters’ featurette, Anime Expo 2016 Panel footage, Anime Fest 2016 artist sketches, Interviews with cast and crew, Inside the episodes which covers all 13 episodes, Textless songs, and a trailer gallery. The interviews and inside the episode featurettes are cram packed with insight into the production and the development of the series.
MY HERO ACADEMIA Season 1 delivers the thrills and introduces us to a wacky cast of characters, that quickly become new favorites. Highly Recommended.