Review: My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia)

My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia) is an ongoing manga by Kohei Horikoshi that has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine since July 2014. The anime adaptation by Studio Bones started airing in April 2016 and season two just started in March. Though I have heard that the anime adaption follows the manga quite closely, my review is only on the anime (I haven't read enough of the manga to make a proper comparison).

My Hero Academia takes tropes that have been seen before in the shonen genre and turns them on their head. Readers are greeted with an underdog protagonist, teenager Izuku Midoriya, whose nickname Deku literally means "one who can't do anything." Midoriya was given this nickname as a child, because, in a world where 80% of people are born with a superpower (a "quirk"), he was one of the 20% born without one ("quirkless"). He grown up idolizing heroes who use their powers to save others, and wants more than anything to be just like his favorite hero, All Might. Without a Quirk, though, all Midoriya can do to try to be like All Might is study and try his best to get into UA High School, a high school who trains the next generation of heroes.

★ SPOILERS ★

If you really don't want to know anything about the series before watching it, stop reading now!


When Midoriya unexpectedly meets All Might face-to-face, a fateful series of events begins that ends with All Might choosing Midoriya as the next person to inherit his unique quirk called One For All. After a summer full of training with his newly acquired quirk, Midoriya is accepted into UA High School and becomes part of Hero Class 1-A. From there, he meets friends and rivals as he trains to control his powers and become the greatest hero the world has ever known.

While My Hero Academia is not specifically an LGBTQ narrative, it is a story about being different, being an underdog, and fighting for dreams even when they seem impossible. It's an example of the fact that it really is what's inside that counts, and that being determined to meet your goals can change your life. Even as a shonen series, My Hero Academia takes time to express the well-rounded personalities of the other students in the class, both male and female, and doesn't leave any doubt that everyone is in the top hero class 1-A for a reason. The ending of the second season even focuses on all of Midoriya' female classmates in a simple and non-sexualizing way, something not done nearly enough in the shonen genre.

My Hero Academia is a fresh new take on superheroes and teenagers with powers. It makes the challenges that the characters face seem so real that watching Midoriya and his classmates struggle and grow is intriguing. With season two introducing even more challenges for the heroes, now is a great time to get started learning about the students of UA High School!

Danielle Solomon's picture
on June 1, 2017

I am from Framingham, MA and I love all kinds of video games, anime, and manga.

Follow me on Twitter @DaniBSolomon.