My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia) is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers (called Quirks) in a world where they have become commonplace, but who still dreams of becoming a superhero himself. He is scouted by All Might, Japan's greatest hero, who chooses Midoriya as his successor and shares his Quirk with him after recognizing his potential, and later helps to enroll him in a prestigious high school for heroes in training.

My Hero Academia
Boku no Hero Academia Volume 1.png
Cover of the first tankōbon volume, featuring Izuku Midoriya (front), All Might (back), and several other pro-heroes (background).
僕のヒーローアカデミア
(Boku no Hīrō Akademia)
Genre
Manga
Written byKōhei Horikoshi
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runJuly 7, 2014 – present
Volumes31 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
Produced by
  • Kazumasa Sanjōba
  • Hiroshi Kamei (#1–13)
  • Naoki Amano (#1–13)
  • Hirokazu Hara (#1–13)
  • Natsumi Mori (#1–38)
  • Wakana Okamura (#1–88)
  • Kōji Nagai (#39–88)
  • Yoshihiro Ōyabu (#39–101)
  • Hayato Saga (#39–)
  • Sōkichi Onoda (#89–)
  • Mirei Tsumura (#89–)
  • Hiroya Nakata (#89–)
Written byYōsuke Kuroda
Music byYuki Hayashi
StudioBones
Licensed byFunimation
Original network
English network
Original run April 3, 2016 – present
Episodes112 + 5 OVAs (List of episodes)
Manga
Anime films
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

The series has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, with its chapters additionally collected into 31 tankōbon volumes as of August 2021. The series has also inspired numerous spin-off manga, such as My Hero Academia: Smash!!, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes and My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions, as well as an anime television series by Bones. Its first season aired in Japan from April to June 2016, followed by a second season from April to September 2017, then a third season from April to September 2018, a fourth season from October 2019 to April 2020, and a fifth season premiered in March 2021. It has also received three animated films, titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, and My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission respectively. There are plans for a live-action film by Legendary Entertainment.

Both the manga and anime adaptation have received an overwhelming positive response from both critics and audiences, and are considered one of the best of the 2010s, with winning several awards including the 2019 Harvey Award for Best Manga. As of April 2021, the manga has over 50 million copies in circulation worldwide.

Synopsis

Setting

The story of My Hero Academia is set in a world where currently most of the human population has gained the ability to develop superpowers called "Quirks" (個性, Kosei), which occur in children within the age of four: it is estimated that around 80% of the world population has a Quirk. There are an endless number of Quirks, and it is extremely unlikely to find two people who have the exact same power, unless they are closely related. Among the Quirk-enhanced individuals, a few of them earn the title of Heroes, who cooperate with the authorities in rescue operations and aprehending criminals who abuse their powers, commonly known as Villains. In addition, Heroes who excel on their duties gain celebrity status and are recognized as "Pro Heroes".

Premise

The series focuses on Izuku Midoriya, a young man who dreams of becoming a Hero despite being bullied by his violent childhood friend Katsuki Bakugo for lacking a Quirk. Both youths idolize one of the world's greatest heroes All Might, who they both met with Izuku being one of few to know of a critical injury All Might has been concealing from the public eye to maintain morale. All Might also reveals the nature of his Quirk "One For All" and passes it down to Izuku to succeed him after seeing the youth's determination in the face of danger. As Izuku begins his path to becoming a hero in attending U.A. High School (雄英高校, Yūei Kōkō) alongside Bakugo and the friends they make in Class 1-A, a nemesis to the "One For All" users named All For One conditions his apprentice Tomura Shigaraki to destroy the current society and its heroes.

Production

Development

Horikoshi stated that after his previous series Barrage was cancelled after just two volumes, he was sad and out of ideas.[5] In order to get more ideas, he revisited a one-shot he previously published in Akamaru Jump, titled My Hero (僕のヒーロー, Boku no Hīrō). This would end up being the basis for the series.[6] Horikoshi was also a big fan of American films and comics, like Spider-Man directed by Sam Raimi, Star Wars, and X-Men, which he used for inspiration.[7][6] Horikoshi cites Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto as being the main influence for his art, specifically stating it gave him a love for drawing hands.[8] Horikoshi has also cited Dragon Ball, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider as sources of inspiration.[7][6]

Themes and analysis

Horikoshi has stated that the main theme he focuses on is "what makes a hero."[9] Horikoshi has also stated that he likes stories with bad endings, as well as horror stories. However, he finds these difficult to draw since his mood when he draws is the same in the story. In order to combat this, he puts in more silly-looking characters like Fat Gum, in order to keep the mood up.[9]

Publication

Main series

The series is written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It began its serialization in Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump on July 7, 2014.[10] Shueisha has collected its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was released on November 4, 2014.[11] As of April 2, 2021, thirty volumes have been released.[12] The manga entered its final act in chapter 306, which was released on March 21, 2021.[13]

The series is licensed for English-language release in North America by Viz Media, who published the first volume on August 4, 2015. As the series is published in Japan, it is also released simultaneously in English digitally by Viz Media's Weekly Shonen Jump.[14][15] Shueisha began to publish chapters of the series at the same time as Japan in English on the website and app Manga Plus in January 2019.[16]

Spin-offs

A spin-off series entitled My Hero Academia: Smash!! by Hirofumi Neda started in the Shōnen Jump+ digital app on November 9, 2015, and finished on November 6, 2017.[17][18][19] Five tankōbon volumes were released as of November 2017.[20] The series has been licensed by Viz Media.[21] Another spin-off series, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, began being published on Shōnen Jump+ on August 20, 2016.[22][23] The series is licensed for the English-language release in North America by Viz Media. The first volume was released in English on July 3, 2018.[24] A third spin-off series, My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions by Yōkō Akiyama, began serialization in Saikyō Jump on August 2, 2019, with a prologue chapter debuting in Jump GIGA on July 25, 2019.[25] The series is also licensed for the English-language release in North America by Viz Media.[26]

The first two of the series' films have been adapted into one-volume manga series. Both were published by Homesha.[27][28] A prequel manga to the first film by Kōhei Horikoshi was given to the first million people to see it.[29] Viz Media published it in English.[30]

Related media

Anime

On October 29, 2015, the series' official Twitter announced that the series would receive an anime adaptation produced by Studio Bones.[31] The anime is directed by Kenji Nagasaki, written by Yōsuke Kuroda, and featured character designs by Yoshihiko Umakoshi and music composed by Yuki Hayashi.[32][33] The anime stars Marina Inoue as Momo Yaoyorozu, Yoshimasa Hosoya as Fumikage Tokoyami, Daiki Yamashita as Izuku Midoriya, Kenta Miyake as All Might, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Katsuki Bakugō, Ayane Sakura as Ochako Uraraka, Kaito Ishikawa as Tenya Iida, Aoi Yuki as Tsuyu Asui, Ryou Hirohashi as Minoru Mineta.[34] The anime premiered on MBS and other Japan News Network stations in the Nichigo time slot at 5 P.M. on Sundays in Japan.[35] The opening theme is "The Day", performed by Porno Graffitti, while the ending theme is "Heroes", performed by Brian the Sun.[36]

A second season was announced in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine's 30th issue of 2016.[15] It premiered on April 1, 2017, on Nippon TV and Yomiuri TV.[37] The staff and cast from the first season returned to reprise their roles.[38] The first opening theme is "Peace Sign" (ピースサイン) performed by Kenshi Yonezu and the first ending theme is "Dakara, Hitori ja nai" (だから、ひとりじゃない, lit. "Therefore, I Am Not Alone"), performed by Little Glee Monster.[39] The second opening theme is "Sora ni Utaeba" (空に歌えば, lit. "If I Sing to the Sky") performed by amazarashi[40] and the ending theme is "Datte Atashi no Hīrō" (だってアタシのヒーロー, lit. "Still My Hero") by LiSA.[41]

A third season was announced in the 44th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine of 2017.[42][43] The series premiered on April 7, 2018.[44] The first opening theme is "Odd Future" by Uverworld, while the first ending theme is "Update" (アップデート) by Miwa. The second opening theme is "Make My Story" by Lenny Code Fiction and the second ending theme is "Long Hope Philia" (ロングホープ・フィリア) by Masaki Suda.[45]

A fourth season was announced in the final episode of season three, which released on September 29, 2018.[46] On December 19, 2018, the series' official website confirmed a release date of October 12, 2019, along with a key visual.[47][48] Funimation premiered the first episode of the fourth season at Anime Expo on July 6, 2019, with the English dub.[49][50] Kenji Nagasaki served as chief director of the fourth season, with Masahiro Mukai as director.[51] The first opening theme is "Polaris" by Blue Encount, while the first ending theme is "Kōkai no Uta" by Sayuri.[52] The second opening theme is "Star Marker" by Kana-Boon, and the second ending theme is "Shout Baby" by Ryokuōshoku Shakai.[53]

A fifth season was announced at the end of the final episode of season four.[54] The fifth season premiered on March 27, 2021.[55] The first opening theme is "No.1" by DISH, while the first ending theme is "Ashiato" by the peggies.[56] The second opening theme is "Merry-Go-Round" by Man with a Mission, while the second ending theme is "Uso ja nai" by Soushi Sakiyama.[57]

OVAs and ONAs

At Jump Festa 2016, it was announced that the series would get an original video animation (OVA) bundled with the limited edition of the thirteenth volume of the manga.[58] Another OVA was bundled with a limited edition of the fourteenth volume of the manga.[59] Another OVA was bundled with the first film's blu-ray set, and adapted its prequel manga.[60] It was two minutes long.[61]

An original net animation (ONA) was announced to be released on August 16, 2020, with the returning staff and cast from the previous season.[62]

International release

In March 2016, Funimation announced they had licensed the international rights for streaming services, the home and broadcast release, and the merchandise rights.[63][64] Universal Pictures UK distributed the first season in the United Kingdom and Ireland on behalf of Funimation,[65] with Sony Pictures UK distributing the second season for Funimation,[66] and Manga Entertainment distributing subsequent seasons for Funimation.[67] In Australia and New Zealand, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment distributed the first two seasons, on behalf of Funimation,[68] with Madman Entertainment distributing season 3 onwards, in partnership with Funimation.[69] On April 19, 2018, Funimation announced that the series would air on Adult Swim's Toonami block starting on May 5, 2018.[70] Medialink licensed the series in Southeast Asia.[71] They aired it on Animax Asia.[72]

Light novel

A light novel series titled My Hero Academia: School Briefs (僕のヒーローアカデミア 雄英白書, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Yūei Hakusho), written by Anri Yoshi, has been released by Shueisha under its JUMP j-BOOKS imprint. The first volume was released on April 4, 2016.[73] As of September 4, 2020, five volumes have been published.[74] In North America, it has been licensed in English by Viz Media.[75] The first volume was published on April 2, 2019.[76] As of March 3, 2020, four volumes have been published.[77]

A light novel adaptation of the series' second film, written by Anri Yoshi, was published by Shueisha under their JUMP j-BOOKS imprint in December 2019.[78]

Theatrical films

Anime

An anime film was announced in December 2017 and features an original story set after the manga's "Final Exam" arc.[79] Titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, the film had its world premiere at Anime Expo on July 5, 2018,[80] and the Japanese theatrical release began screening on August 3, 2018, with the staff and cast from the anime series returning to reprise their roles.[81] On March 23, 2019, it was announced that a second animated film for the series was in production.[82] On July 7, 2019, the official Twitter account for My Hero Academia revealed the title as My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, and scheduled the film for release on December 20, 2019.[83][84] On November 29, 2020, it was announced that a third animated film for the series was in production, and is scheduled for release in third quarter of 2021.[85] The staff and cast from the previous two films are returning to reprise their roles.[86] In the first episode of the fifth season of the series, the film was revealed to be titled My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission.[87] The film was released in Japan on August 6, 2021.[87]

Live-action

In October 2018, Legendary Entertainment acquired the rights to produce a live-action adaptation of the series.[88] In August 2021, it was revealed to be directed by Shinsuke Sato, with Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter overseeing the adaptation, and Ryosuke Yoritomi representing the manga publisher Shueisha. Toho will distribute the film in Japan.[89][90]

Video games

A video game based on the anime, My Hero Academia: Battle for All (僕のヒーローアカデミア バトル・フォー・オール, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Batoru fō Ōru), was announced in November 2015.[91] The game was developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console, where it released in Japan on May 19, 2016.[92] A second video game, titled My Hero: One's Justice (僕のヒーローアカデミア One's Justice, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Wanzu Jasutisu), was released for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows on October 26, 2018.[93][94][95] The game has sold over 500,000 units worldwide, as of January 2019.[96] A third installment of the video game series, My Hero: One's Justice 2 (僕のヒーローアカデミア One's Justice 2, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Wanzu Jasutisu 2), was announced for release on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It was released in Japan on March 12, 2020, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.[97][98] Izuku Midoriya, All Might, and Katsuki Bakugo also appear as playable characters in the crossover game Jump Force.[99][100][101] In late May 2021, a mobile game My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero was released globally in North America and several other mostly English-speaking countries for Android and iPhone platforms.[102][103]

Musicals

My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage, a stage musical adaptation, was first announced in 2018 and ran in Tokyo and Osaka from April 12 to April 29, 2019.[104][105] The play was directed by Tsuneyasu Motoyoshi,[104] written by Hideyuki Nishimori, and choreographed by Umebō. Shunsuke Wada composed the music.[105]

A second stage play titled My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero, was scheduled to run from March 6 to April 25, 2020, with the cast and staff returning.[106][107] A concert event titled My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Live will be held in July 2020.[108] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero's original run was cancelled and postponed to July 2020, where a complete version titled My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero Plus Stage Ver. will run instead while My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Live is postponed to a later date.[109] After one staff member contracted COVID-19, the production committee announced that My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero would instead be live-streamed; however, the play was delayed again after another staff member contracted COVID-19.[110]

Reception

 
Fans cosplaying as characters from My Hero Academia at FanimeCon in 2018.

Popularity

The story has been noted to take inspiration from elements in superhero comics, such as the aesthetics of its characters,[111] and due to the popularity of the series, characters of My Hero Academia were used to promote the Marvel Studios film Avengers: Infinity War.[112] Before the anime adaptation's premiere, manga author Masashi Kishimoto praised Kōhei Horikoshi's work, believing it would be a success overseas. Eiichiro Oda also praised the series.[113] In 2019, My Hero Academia ranked 37th on the 19th "Book of the Year" list by Da Vinci magazine.[114] My Hero Academia ranked 6th on Alu's manga community "My Manga Best5" 2020 ranking, in which 46,641 users (via Twitter) participated.[115][116] On TV Asahi's Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150.000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, My Hero Academia ranked #16.[117]

Sales

Volume 1 reached 7th place on the weekly Oricon manga chart with 71,575 copies sold.[118] It sold out almost immediately on its first printing.[119] Volume 2 reached 6th place, with 167,531 copies[120] and, by January 18, 2015, had sold 205,179 copies.[121] In April 2015, volume 3 reached 8th place with 254,111 copies,[122] while volume 4 reached 6th with 259,137 in June,[123] and volume 5 peaked at 9th place with 279,414 copies in August.[124] As of March 2017, there were over 10 million copies of My Hero Academia in circulation.[125] As of August 2018, the manga had over 16 million copies in print.[126] As of December 2018, the manga had over 20 million copies in print.[127] As of December 2019, the manga had over 26 million copies in print.[128] As of January 2021, the manga has over 30 million copies in circulation.[129] My Hero Academia was the 6th best selling manga in 2019, with over 5.04 million copies sold.[130] It was the 8th best selling manga in 2020, with over 6 million copies sold.[131] In April 2021, it was reported the manga had 50 million copies in circulation, with 37 million being sold in Japan and the remaining 13 million in the rest of the world.[132]

Critical response

Manga

The art was generally praised. Nick Creamer from Anime News Network praised the art, describing it as "absolutely professional."[133] Isaac Akers from The Fandom Post also praised the art, rating it an A-.[134] Sean Gaffney from A Case Suitable for Treatment referred to the art as "smooth" and complemented how it flows with the action.[135] Manga Bookshelf praised the art as well, saying that it demonstrated Horikoshi's skill very well, though criticizing it for having too much narration at some points.[136]

The plot and characters of the series have also been praised. Michelle Smith from Soliloquy in Blue called the plot "very good", but also stated that the main reason he liked the series was the characters, specifically praising most of the main cast. However, they did criticize the series for not giving some of the female characters enough spotlight.[137] Creamer praised the plot, saying that despite the fact it felt like a typical Shōnen plot, it did it well enough to still feel fresh and entertaining.[133] Leroy Douresseaux from Comic Book Bin also praised the story, specifically the way it tells comedy and drama.[138] Gaffney also praised the story and characters, stating that the story flows nicely with each of their individual personalities.[135] Marina Garrow from Anime Feminist praised the way the plot handles damsel-in-distress elements, especially when compared to other shōnen series, stating that the female characters are not the only characters that need saving, and when they do need saving, the situations are realistic and not over-exaggerated.[139]

Anime

Alex Osborn of IGN gave the anime series positive marks, praising it for its action, story, and characters. Though Osborn went on to state that the villains were underdeveloped.[140] In a review for the second season, Osborn praised it as "truly something special", complimenting the animation, character developments, and the emotional weight of the season.[141] Chris Beveridge from The Fandom Post praised the anime. He said that despite the fact its long running series, it manages to not feel directionless and has several great moments.[142] Nick Creamer from Anime News Network also praised the adaptation. He gave praise to the music, animation in the action scenes, while criticizing the sometimes-sluggish pacing and stating the animation can be average at times.[143] In his review of the second season, he gave it praise for the improvements made to both the pacing and animation.[144]

Both the original Japanese cast and the English dub received praise from critics. Creamer rated both equally, stating that the dub cast all the major characters very well, though criticizing some of the background characters.[143] Andy Hanley from UK Anime Network concured, stating both casts had strong performances, however, they gave special praise to the dub cast, saying that each actor fits their roles very well.[145]

Accolades

The manga won the first Next Manga Award in 2015.[146] The manga was also nominated for the 8th Manga Taishō in 2015.[147] It was nominated for the 40th Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen category in 2016.[148] The manga won the Sugoi Japan Award and the "Japan Expo Awards" in 2017.[149][150] It was also nominated for the 44th Angoulême International Comics Festival for Best Youth Comic in the same year,[151] and the 30th Harvey Awards for Best Manga.[152] In 2019, the manga won the Harvey Award for Best Manga.[153][154] Barnes & Noble listed My Hero Academia on their list of "Our Favorite Manga of 2018".[155] Paste ranked My Hero Academia among the top 40 anime of all time.[156] In November 2019, Polygon named it as one of the best anime of the 2010s,[157] and Crunchyroll listed it in their "Top 25 best anime of the 2010s".[158] IGN also listed My Hero Academia among the best anime series of the 2010s.[159] The series was also nominated for anime of the year at the first Crunchyroll Anime Awards.[160]

Controversy

In early 2020, the series caused a controversy in South Korea and China for a character's name allegedly referencing Unit 731,[161] an infamous Imperial Japanese army unit known for vivisecting captured Chinese, Korean, and Russian individuals. In response, it has been removed from digital platforms in China, and the characters' name was changed to no longer reference Unit 731.[162]

Notes

  1. ^ Credited as Director for episodes 1–63 and as Chief Director (総監督) for episodes 64–.
  2. ^ Credited as Chief Unit Director (チーフ演出) for episodes 39–51.[4]

References

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External links