Boku wa Hero Academia is a good story. It takes place in a world where Quirks are developing in children, granting them superpowers.

 

Scientists have discovered the likelihood of a child developing a Quirk is related to the number of joints in their pinky toe. Deku, our protagonist, has 2 joints instead of 1, meaning he will not develop a Quirk. Of course it has to be Deku, the child obsessed with superheroes and Quirks. His favorite hero is All Might, who resembles Captain America. He is strong, moral, kind, and is the superhero of superheroes. Of course Deku worships him.

 

Into adolescence Deku remains fascinated with superheroes. He creates notes on the attacks and habits of the superheroes, and is called a Fanboy. He has filled 12 notebooks so far.

 

Now graduating middle school, the students must decide which path in life to take, so naturally everyone chooses the superhero route. There is a small snippet about how superheroes came to be. With the government more focused on creating laws to restrict Quirks, superheroes emerged to take care of the people using their Quirks for evil.

 

Now there are schools that students can attend to learn to be a superhero.  Deku aims to go to UA High, the best Superhero school in the nation. There is no rule saying a Quirk-less person cant apply to superhero schools.

 

Kazu, the class bully takes issue with Dekus choice, because he too is applying to UA High. He is very prideful in his abilities, which is the ability to produce and control fire. He uses his abilities to intimidate other students and believes he is the most powerful student in the class. He is more of a villain character. He appears to be liked by a majority of students in the class, just not those he picks on. Deku himself is pretty low on everyone’s totem pole, being the only Quirkless student in the class.

 

On the way home from school, Deku is attacked by a slime monster, and is rescued by All Might. In full fanboy mode Deku fawns over him, asks for an autograph and when All Might tries to leave by jumping high into the air, Deku clings to him like a sea sponge.

 

When they land Deku becomes emotional, asking All Might, his hero, if someone without a Quirk can become a hero.  We don’t hear his answer, but Deku gives a small monologue on how that encounter changed his entire future.

 

Dekus character progression from the beginning of the episode is an emotional one. We get to see him excited about All Might, we get to see him cheer as he rewatched old footage of All Might and talk about when he gets a Quirk. We get to see the shocked look on 6 year old Dekus frozen face when he’s told he wont ever be like All Might, and we see him retwatching old footage, sobbing. Yet he still loves superheroes. He documents them, he fawns over them. They are far outside of his reach but its like if he can write down everything, then he can still be of some use. It must have taken guts to apply for the superhero schools, knowing the responses he would receive. He comes across as a weenie, quick to cry, but applying took guts.

 

When he is with All Might on the roof it is very emotional. You see Deku begging for there to be some light at the end of the tunnel. He is standing in front of the person he wants to be like the most, and that goal is so far away from him.

 

Now I have read the manga, so I know what happens next, but its still very emotional.

 

The animation of the anime was visually similar to the manga. The art style was true to its source material, complete with Shounen anime tropes, such as the exaggerated motion lines, the battle cries, and the dramatic posing. The coloring was very singular or comic book-like as well, with most items and characters being one or two colors. Muscles, and other skin markings were detailed to look simple but large.

 

The overshadowing or selective thick outlines were also very comic book-like. New characters introduced were freeze-framed, paint bucket filled one color, and halftone-dots were added.

 

The backgrounds were not realistic, as in the way a lot of animes do it now. The backgrounds were outlined, the clouds were not fluffy, but there was wear patterns on paint of the pavements.

 

The effort to make the animation very comic book-like is very appreciated. It matches with the tone of the story and the effects of the superpowers. With superpowers not everything will follow physics, with superpowers there will be stretchable limbs and absurd scenarios that would not play out well on a picturesque painting background of the side of a river.

 

As much praise as I am giving this series, the plot itself is pretty standard. Non-ability user working hard to gain abilities and wins the girl, so over done. But I cant help but sympathize with Deku. I wish him all the luck, and even as he follows the cliché, beaten down plot path line, I think he will plant some emotional flowers along the way.

 

Rating: A-

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