Disclaimer: The following article contains spoilers about Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) for both the anime and manga.
Boku no Hero Academia or My Hero Academia is one of the top shounen anime of its time and is said to be carrying the torch from its predecessors like Naruto and Bleach. Like most shounen anime, My Hero Academia showcases a young boy, Midoriya Izuku who was bullied and looked down upon just because he was quirkless. But upon an coincidental meeting with All Might, the No.1 Hero and Izuku’s role model, he slowly starts to pick himself up and be the hero that he truly wanted to be.
We all know that Izuku did manage to become the greatest hero and that the whole anime is a re-telling of his journey to be one of the best heroes. His relationship with All Might is the key point of this anime and did you know it is highlighted in the first 15 seconds of all 4 openings that we have today? Let’s break it down, shall we?
In the first opening by Porno Graffiti – The Day,
The setting is dream-like, with all the sparkles and bright lights making it seem grand. There we see our beloved Izuku, looking all unsure of himself, insecure and his eyes as if enticed by the bright light in front of him.
That bright light is then showed to be All Might itself, with a dazzling brightness lighting up his silhouette. As Izuku reaches out slowly and hesitantly to him, All Might himself turns his head back slightly.
This symbolizes the fact that Izuku wants to be just like All Might and it is like a unimaginable dream as he is quirkless. But as he was reaching out, All Might looked back which is exactly how All Might started to notice the presence of Izuku in that season due to their coincidental meeting.
In the second opening by Kenshi Yonezu– Peace Sign,
The setting is in a high rise city area, with buildings everywhere we look.
In this, we get to see Izuku is no longer in that dream like world but in reality, no longer looking as lost as he did in the first opening and you can see in his face there is an inch of self-esteem in him now. As he looks into the distance, lo and behold All Might is soaring through the air and no longer very far ahead like the previous opening
The setting actually shows that Izuku realizes that his dream is not unreachable or something unbelievable anymore. He has also been thrown into reality ever since the Attack on USJ incident. He doesn’t see things in the naive way he used to, showing that he had matured throughout that season.
The distance between him and All Might although still far, isn’t that unreachable anymore compared to the first opening.
In the third opening by Amazarashii – Sora ni Utaeba (If I sing to the skies),
The setting is like in a battlefield where Izuku has a look of motivation and his hands are strong with determination and not unsure anymore, clearing off the mist of doubt. A total contrast to how hesitant his hands were in the first opening
Compared to the other openings where All Might doesn’t face Izuku’s gaze, we finally get to see All Might directly land in front of Izuku. This shows that he truly acknowledges Izuku. Even through the handshake they share, this truly shows their closer bond with each other as we see progress throughout the anime.
Now for the fourth opening by UVERworld – ODD FUTURE,
The setting started in a dark place where Izuku stands under a spotlight as he reminisces back when he was quirkless till now. He then runs off on his own. We always had a clip where Izuku and All Might would be together in one frame but all we get this time is a Young All Might with a silhouette of a woman passing on a light to him. Only then, we can also see All Might and Izuku sitting side by side without a dash of awkwardness under a sakura tree with the sakura at full blossom falling in the wind.
This opening truly sets the mood of the anime as the story takes a more serious turn. The reason why Izuku sets off on his own symbolizes how All Might is no longer in front of him anymore and that Izuku MUST set off to surpass All Might and carry the One For All quirk by himself.
This is due to the fact that after this arc, All Might will be out of action, unable to use One For All after his big battle with All for One. In Japan, sakura trees are always present during graduation as it usually happens during Spring when the sakura flowers would bloom. On top of that, their farewell songs also include the word ‘sakura’ in its lyrics. This shows that, All Might has ‘graduated’ from being the Symbol Of Peace and will no longer be a hero.
Openings are a crucial element of every anime, because doing it the wrong way can really spoil the anime OR if done great, it’ll make the audience really think hard and really speculate what will happen next. When that speculation comes true, audiences will definitely have an “I KNEW IT!” moment.
Besides its awesome voice actors and beautiful soundtracks, their openings are also one of the best because it really sets the mood without spoiling the anime badly. The producer of each opening really thought it through.
Next time you see a new opening, try looking for hidden clues and you’ll never be able to see them the same way anymore. Detroit Smash some comments if you think I left out any juicy information too! Till next time, PLUS ULTRA!!