Genre: Action, Comedy, School, Shounen
Production Studio: Bones
I have read thousands of comics and mangas combined, watched over thousands of episodes of anime and cartoons combined, and watched that many movies and more, and yet I must say that Boku No Hero Academia is probably one of the best animes I have seen in my life. Now I know this is a tall order for me to say since there are many classics and fan favourites, but I strongly stand my ground that this series is beyond good.
In recent years, the anime world has come up with some good stuff but that was the problem in itself. There wasn’t anything that was truly great, until BNHA came into the picture. (Now I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect that, but just remember that all of your opinions are wrong.) At first, me being my usual asshole self, I didn’t really buy into the hype, (I actually started off reading the manga when chapter 7 came out) but after reading the first 4 chapters, I knew this series had potential unlike any other.
I was totally excited when they announced the anime and now, the moment of truth has arrived. Can the anime match up to the manga? Read on to find out.
In the world of BNHA, everyone has a quirk that defines them and there’s a small percentage of people who don’t. And sadly that’s the segment where our main protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, falls into. Having admired the world’s No. 1 hero named All Might (my fav character) since young, it was beyond belief for Izuku when he gets saved by All Might in a time of dire crisis. With a burning passion to help others and to prove himself, it is now up to Izuku to determine his future and what he will do as All Might entrusts him with his very own power. Without giving too much away, Izuku does some awesome things and cries a bucket load of tears while doing it.
The narrative is a tale as old as time, but we all love it. The classic Rocky storyline of a nobody trying to become somebody while sacrificing almost everything. It is a basic narrative but what makes it so good is the execution itself and the amount of thought that has been into future revelations. This series doesn’t try to do anything differently; it just does it better than the rest. The rival for Izuku is Katsuki Bakugou, who is Izuku’s childhood friend and someone Izuku looks upto though he gets bullied by him. Izuku’s love interest is Uraraka Ochako, your typical nice, girl next door type that is chatty and likes to help out when she can.
Frankly speaking, the storyline is a very modern take on the X-Men (which I am a big fan of) and the whole X-factor gene thing is quite neatly presented, but with more possibilities. If I was to mirror the premise to a real world setting, you can relate to it by equating people with born disabilities to Izuku, while the rest of us are considered to have quirks (in the sense that we are not born with a disability).
Verdict: Great storyline with many possibilities
Art and Animation
I love the art of BHNA. There are clear contrasting differences in the style used to draw Izuku and used to draw All Might. Izuku is drawn using the standard anime art style, meanwhile All Might is drawn in a very Americanized manner, similar to the silver age heroes of DC and Marvel. It is nice to see things like this in an anime, as it gives perspective to what each character stands for.
Animation wise, I can’t really talk bad about Bones Studio of Fullmetal Alchemist fame, simply because of the quality they bring to the table. The colour, fluidity and expression in the entire season of the animation is superb. Attention to detail is highly prioritized and the American comic book effect is done to near perfection.
Verdict: Bones…enough said.
Sound and music
The quality of the voice actors and sound effects in BHNA is top notch. Izuku’s voice couldn’t be anymore plain, while All Might’s voice is a manly, deep, low pitched voice akin to that of the silver age American heroes. Sounds effects like the activation of Izuku’s power, Bakugou’s explosion, and even the background music fits the overall superhero theme of this series.
The icing on the cake however, is Pornograffitti performing the opening soundtrack called The Day. While the ending theme is pretty good, the opening does a very good job in building the hype for the series before you watch each episode every week.
Verdict: Excellent stuff here, no complains at all.
Characterization and powers
Power level control and believability, this is what separates BNHA from other power based series. While some of the powers are quite over the top, there is always a drawback to having such a power. This is evident in All Might finding his successor as his body weakens, Izuku having a steep learning curve to control his powers, Ochako having a weight limit to her powers and so forth.
Also, the characters and their powers are an indirect homage to the silver age characters from American pop culture. Izuku and All Might’s powers are both similar to Superman, Iida’s powers are similar to The Flash, Ochako’s power is similar to Jean Grey and Tokoyami is just a black chocobo. While the homage is great, the power typing is even better here due to the restrictions each character has. For example, while Izuku has a universal power that enhances his physique to do almost anything, he doesn’t have the invulnerability to withstand such force that his power can exert. This is vastly different from Superman who can do anything and not have any drawbacks at all.
Characterization wise, everyone has unique personality traits, on top of unique powers and drawbacks (that directly affects how they behave), customized costumes that complement their abilities and different power synergies with each other. Izuku’s main characterization of being the typical weak loser is a given cliché, but how he overcomes all the odds is far from any given norm.
He might be a cry baby that mutters too much, but his courage, determination and quick wits is truly admirable. I’m glad he doesn’t just yell Bankai and things get resolved, if you know what I mean.
Verdict: Some of the best elements of humanity and fantasy that poses a great balance that I haven’t seen in years. Best aspect of the series yet.
This is a great anime that I would recommend anyone to watch, even if you just started watching anime or if you have been a long time anime consumer. If you have faced any kind of difficulty in life, and you value the feeling of overcoming the odds, this anime is definitely for you. If you know the pain of not being able to achieve your dreams thanks to reality’s cruel chains binding you in place, watch this anime. If you are a dungeon dweller that only sees the sun once in a week, this anime is not for you, and you might need some professional help.
With that, I am excited for season 2. Are you? Plus Ultra!