My initial impression on Boku No Hero Academia
Okay, given where this'll be posted, I don't think I have to explain what Boku No Hero Acdemia is. I mean it's a series growing in popularity, but I am aware that there still people who don't know much about it. Because you either don't browse social media on the internet, or you might be a jaded anime veteran who's been burned by overhyped anime not living up to their hype. And if you are the jaded anime fan, don't worry, I am too. But that's why hopefully this impression will give you a good idea of what Boku No Hero Academia is, so you can temper your expectations accordingly.
All right, down to business. Boku No Hero Academia is set in a world where people with super powers are treated as normal, and with many being super heroes, they're even respected. So much so that there's even an academy for aspiring super heroes, but only those with super powers may attend it. Which leads us to our "hero" Midoriya Izuku, who, despite being born to parents with super powers, has none himself. Which leads to a minor issue, as to be fair with the X-men, or mutants in the Marvel Universe period, it's not thoroughly explained how a mutant is born to normal humans. The explanation we get is that there's a genetic mutation called the "X gene" that causes the mutant powers. And given the evolutionary process, that would make sense in theory. But in Izuku's case, we have the opposite case of a regular child being born to two mutants.(Yes, I'm calling them "mutants," forgive me, I happen to be an X-men fan.) And the only explanation we get is that he was born with all three bones in the pinky toe, as opposed to two. Yes, a human in the world of Hero Academia being born with two pinky joints, as opposed to three indicates that they have super powers, or "quirks," as they're referred to in the narrative.Now this doesn't bug me, as it's a minor issue, but for some without a detailed explanation of what determines a superpowered person in this story from the average joe, is "strike 1."
With that said, let's move on to the sum up of Izuku's journey into the Hero Academy which takes place in the first four episodes.
Admittedly, I liked how the first episode started showing off the dynamic of the heroes in this series by displaying the wood manipulator Kamui Woods, the water manipulating firefighting hero, Backdraft, and Mount lady who can become a giant woman, before she knocks out a no named villain in one punch. It was awesome to say the least, but then the episode took a dive... A dark, kind of depressing dive... The plot felt really heavy-handed with the strife and opposition Midoriya faced as a kid and aspiring to be a hero. From being picked on by kids who had quirks, to the doctor telling him to quit, to the sentimental moment where he asked his mother "can a person like me without powers become a hero," and she didn't have the heart to tell him "no." I was watching thinking:"I get it, the kid's miserable, and he's having a rough time, can we please move on?"
Which leads me to some ill conceived notions I had going in, as prior to the anime's premiere, from Funimation's ads to reading the plot summary of Hero Academia and learning that Midoriya acquires his powers by having them passed to him by the greatest hero, "All Might" I was expecting this to be a simple "wish fulfillment" series. And by that I mean we were gonna see this wimpy underdog go through a lot of strife, before he does something courageous, which catches the eye of his hero. This hero then passes his power to this strapping young lad, who, upon acquiring the powers automatically knows how to use them with no struggle or effort. Causing him to become a "Gary-Stu." And you have no idea how happy I am to be wrong on all accounts.
But before I go into that, lemme continue the summary, as what happens in episode 2, Midoriya gets kidnapped by this mutant whose body is made of slime. After All Might saves Midoriya, he then sees All Might's actual appearance of being a frail...rather middle aged dude. All Might reveals that he had suffered a severe injury that required removal of some of his organs after his battle with a villain called "Toxic Chainsaw." A fight mind you, that I wish we got to see, as well as the effects on All Might's confidence afterwards. Because this is vital to All Might's character. I'm sure from an aesthetic standpoint All Might gives many of you the impression he gave me:"That's he's the corny Superman-esque character who is one-dimensional and virtually perfect." But that's not the case, as he admits to Midoriya that his catchphrase:"It's all right now. Why, cause I'm here" is meant for All Might to boost his own confidence and trick himself into thinking he's still that untouchable hero he was, before his battle with Toxic Chainsaw. All Might's got some depth to his character, and I love it. Heck, after Midoriya and All Might figure out that the slime mutant escaped All Might's custody, since Midoriya caused All Might to drop the bottles that contained him, they set out to find the mutant. Well Midoriya does anyway, as All Might is exhausted. And upon seeing that the mutant has his bully, Kecchan hostage, Midoriya rushes in to save his aggressor. Meanwhile, All Might watches from the sideline in civilian form, beating himself up for being a coward, despite his weakened state. He then transforms, and saves both Midoriya and Kecchan. Afterwards, he reveals to Midoriya that he's sought a successor for his abilities, as his quirk was passed to him by a predecessor.
And what happens next, was something I got giddy over. As you'll recall, I expected Midoriya to acquire All Might's powers with no effort and have immediate full mastery over them. Well, that doesn't happen, as Midoriya goes through strength training for ten months. This is needed, as were All Might to give Midoriya his powers outright, the energy would kill Midoriya by destroying his body. After the montage of Midoriya training to acquire All Might's powers, he has to eat a strand of All Might's hair. Oh you read that right, he has to eat a strand of All Might's hair to acquire his power. So after Midoriya acquires All Might's powers, he applies for the hero academy, and is nervous about his prospects. Again I assumed he was gonna be this beacon of confidence and perfection after acquiring All Might's powers, which doesn't happen. He still is intimidated by Kecchan despite having the strength to knock him into space. And he gets bashful over talking to a girl for the first time.
And to top is all off, Midoriya fails the entrance exam in destroying only one mock villain, but in doing so he also saved the girl who spoke to him prior to the exam, as she was trapped under some debris. To top that off, the force Midoriya uses to leap as the mock villain breaks both of his legs, and the force he uses to destroy in one punch, breaks his right arm. It was so satisfying to see this lack of control over his newly acquired powers, but only gaining one point by destroying one mock villain, Midoriya failed the entrance exam. However, this ends up paying off, as Midoriya's actions end up getting him into the academy. The girl he rescued, and several students who saw his deed end up vouching for him, and giving him the points he needs to get into the academy.
In conclusion, I'mma stick with Boku No Hero Academia. Despite its rough start, it took my rather low expectations and exceeded them. Honestly I expected Hero Academia to do what FairyTail, SAO, and The Asterisk Wars did, which is to give a predictable plot, and hit every note an audience member would expect them to hit. Much like Natsu, Kirito, and Ayato, I expected Midoriya to have an immediate mastery over his abilities and gain overwhelming confidence as a result. But that didn't happen, and I expected All Might to be like this Silver Age Superman like character, which again didn't happen. If anything I'm impressed with the overall execution of Midoriya's character arc thus far, in how he achieves getting superpowers through hard work, and makes it into the hero academy by doing the right thing. Heck, he even caught All Might's attention and became a worthy successor, by doing the right thing by selflessly risking his life to save Kecchan. And speaking of "Kecchan," he surprisingly also has some depth to his character, as opposed to being the typical shallow antagonistic bully. He seems to resent the fact that despite having powers, he's not that powerful, life hadn't come easy for him, and he ends up getting saved, even by Midoriya. Heck, after AllMight saved him from the slime mutant, he demanded that Midoriya not look down on him. This gave me the expectation for Kecchan's character to get fleshed out in the future, rather than me wanting t see him get punched in the face.
But despite my expectations, I half expect this series to do what Naruto at one point, Bleach, and One-Piece did at one point, and that's dissolve into a DBZ-clone. Heck FairyTail's already there.. But hopefully this won't happen, beause after 20 years, I'd like to continue having some diversity in Battle Shonen anime, dang it.
But that's my first impressions of Boku No Hero Academia. I hoped I help give some folks clarity. And I hope many liked what I had to say.