“My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising” entered limited release on Feb. 26, landing a spot at number four on the box office charts. The wildly popular anime has been successful in the American market — and with good reason.
Set in the future where 80% of humans have supernatural abilities, called “Quirks,” heroes battle villains to keep the peace in Japan. Aspiring hero Izuku Midoriya attends UA High School to follow in the footsteps of his hero, All Might. After endless trials, depicted in the four seasons of anime the franchise has so far, Izuku and his classmates in room 1-A are ready to do hero work on the practically crime-free Nabu Island.
Their small acts of helpfulness become much larger scale when the island is attacked by Nine, a villain who possesses the ability to steal Quirks. With no way to contact the mainland, the class of teenage heroes must defend against Nine and his three partners in crime.
As someone who has a preference for a pretty style of animation, I was reluctant to start the anime series “My Hero Academia.” I did end up growing fond of the sharp lines over time, and I enjoy the uniqueness.
Within the first few seconds of the movie, though, the difference in quality was immediately apparent. The beginning fight scene was so smooth, and I yelped in excitement when my favorite character appeared. Seeing the anime on a big screen was very different from using a phone or computer.
One thing I really loved about “My Hero Academia” is that all the characters have a reasonable motive, such that some villains could be the protagonist of their own story. Nine had an illness that he could cure by stealing the Quirk of one of the island’s residents. The distinction between heroes and villains, although apparent at first, becomes blurred the more you think about the problems created by everyone having superpowers.
The soundtrack for the movie did a great job of getting me excited. It used songs from the original series as well as songs I didn’t recognize with perfect timing. I was not the only person in the theater who shed a tear.
So, do you need to watch the four seasons (over 80 episodes) of the anime series in order to understand the movie? In short, no.
Heroes Rising does a good job of recapping the main points within the first half-hour. However, the movie is much more enjoyable to those who are already fans of the franchise.