Recently a new Shonen anime seems to have taken the world by storm. It is called My Hero Academeia (or Boku No Hero Academeia, for those that prefer Japanese) and it tells the story of young Izuku Midoriya (or Deku, according to his friends) who lives in a world full of superheroes yet doesn’t possess a power of his own. That is until, one day, the world’s greatest superhero called All Might (think Superman, but more blonde) passes his own power down to young Deku. Deku then enrolls into the world’s greatest school for superheroes, timely dubbed Hero Academeia, and from then on the plot unfolds.
Personally, as much as I’ve tried, I can’t seem to get into this particular anime for a number of reasons. The first of them being that it has too many common elements with other anime, more specifically the Naruto franchise. A good-for-nothing protagonist? Check! An over-reactive rival? Check! A type of school environment in which the protagonist and the rest of his friends grow up in? Check! An exam during which a whole bunch of OP villains attack, forcing the grown-up, stronger heroes to demonstrate the powers that the protagonist will eventually have? Check! A character with family issues? Check! Having so many similarities with Naruto, it’s hard not to think “I’ve seen it all before” while watching My Hero Academeia.
Yet another reason that I can’t develop a deep level of immersion into MHA, as opposed to other anime such as Dragon Ball Super or even Fairy Tail, is due to the level of urgency that seems to be missing from its world. The superheroes all seem to be extremely overpowered, to the point of being able to obliterate any obvious threat. The strongest hero, All Might, is capable of crushing any enemy with minimum effort and even the strongest of enemies, Shigaraki Tomura and All For One, don’t really seem that much of a threat. Their motives are extremely minor (they want to show the world that All Might is not the hero they think he is, thereby throwing it into a state of chaos) and don’t really seem to lead anywhere for them personally. F.e., Madara Uchiha wished to end all conflict in the world by removing all chakra and placing all shinobi under a dream against their will. Vegeta wanted to obtain the Dragon Balls, become immortal and blow the Earth to smithereens. You can see the difference in the motivation and threat level in one sentence alone.
The final factor is I think the overabundance of Shonen anime. For us, the older generation that grew up watching Dragon Ball Z, I believe at some point it’s just the same story being told by different people. Usual underdog trains hard, has a lot of enemies, battles them, some become his friends, he trains even harder, some hidden scheme becomes revealed along the way, main character ends up having to fight to save the world, main character defeats final villain even though he dies 2–3 times trying to do so, and they all live happily ever after. My Hero Academeia does absolutely nothing to differentiate itself from this same trope. As a matter of fact, it sticks so hard to this routine-ish script that as already pointed out earlier, it’s hard to tell the difference between it and Naruto anymore. Deku is just a mixture between Naruto himself and Rock Lee at this point.
So those are the reasons why I cannot and more than likely will not ever get behind the whole My Hero Academeia hype. Now, don’t get me wrong, I watch it, I enjoy it, but I don’t get the same rise out of it as I do with even Boruto. Cause at this point I have an attachment to the characters that are in Boruto, I’m interested to see what goes on in their lives. My Hero Academeia is just a carbon copy and it’ll have to do a lot to gain my attention properly!
Originally published at sopeoplewhatsup.blogspot.com on May 30, 2018.