Five Attractions of “My Hero Academia”. A perfectly designed character’s growth story.

01/31/2023 by

I’m SYO, a Japanese film writer. Today, I would like to write about the attractions of “My Hero Academia”, which is my favorite Japanese manga, by connecting to the anime version.

“My Hero Academia” by Kohei Horikoshi, so-called “Hiroaka” in Japan, is a very popular manga that has been serialized in the manga magazine “Weekly Shounen Jump” since July 2014. It was adopted into a TV anime in 2016, and three movie versions have been produced. The latest movie version, “My Hero Academia World Heroes’ Mission” was released nationwide on august 6th, 2022.

To be honest, there is no limit to giving interesting elements of this work. I’m passionate about Kohei Horikoshi’s outstanding drawing and design skills, the emotional story that is precisely planned, the lines capturing audiences’ hearts and the lovely characters. Through this column, I will focus on the attractive points of “My Hero Academia” from the viewpoint of an enthusiastic fan who still keep the first issue of the manga magazine.

Quote: U-NEXT

The great settings; the world where heroes become a profession.

“My Hero Academia” originated from “My Hero”, a short story published by Kohei Horikoshi in 2008. It has interesting characteristics that heroes are a qualification-based occupation. They are professional heroes who protect people from enemies and disasters.

The main character, Izuku Midoriyama enrolls in a hero training high school to be the best professional hero. The story is based on the competition with his friends and growing up, and the setting of special abilities called individuality is related to this basic story. However, this work is unique as it is based on reality. For example, Izuku and his friends go through various events similar to our life such as work experience, internships, and provisional license examinations.

Although it is a story of a Supernatural power battle, “My Hero Academia” has detailed settings, such as financial problems and social systems. Actually, I cannot get into dramas or films if they lack consistency, but there is not the case at all with this work. Rather, I get so hooked on it that I end up crying every time I read the latest episode.

Reality × Hero; what captures the hearts of those who are addicted to American comic book movies

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What do the realistic “settings” mentioned above lead to? That is, movies based on American comic books such as Marvel and DC. For example, in the “Avengers” series, the United Nations tries to control the heroes because they are too powerful, and in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, Superman is blamed for misconduct after he destroys a city with a bang to defeat his enemies. It may seem absurd, but there is a link to the world in which we live.

In this sense, “Hiroaka” is a series of “I get it!” for fans of recent American comic book movies. For example, in “Spider-Man,” the main character is so involved in heroic activities that he can’t keep a part-time job and is poor, but in the world of “Heroaca,” heroic actions become an occupation, so characters can devote themselves to heroic activities only if they are approved. So we can see a slight update from the world of Spider-Man. In addition, we can see some elements of American comics and Hollywood movies in “Heroaca” that will make us grin.

In “Hiroaka,” the reason for characters wearing the costume is also depicted. Wearing a costume promotes the hero’s presence and helps to curb crime, and goods are released so the economy can revolve, there are jobs to make costumes, and so on. On the other hand, if you are a villain, you can escape from obsession by wearing it because it hides your face, etc. Such attention to detail seems to contribute to the persuasiveness of the work as a whole.

Constant effort that outshines through severe and realistic points of view


Such a perspective is also connected to the characterization of Izuku. He has always felt lonely as he did not develop the “individuality” that most people around him have. Then, he was given his individuality by All Might, a top hero, and his destiny was changed. Related to this story, “Heroaka” has been depicting effort from the beginning to the latest episodes.

This work depicts what the characters can do and what they cannot do in detail, and they can do more and more things through continuous effort and training. In a world where individuality is developed by the age of four, Izuku’s individuality is transferred to him at the age of 15, which means he is more than 10 years behind. In order to lessen this gap, he has to make up for it through hard work and his own intellect.

It is interesting to see a work in which the main character simply tries his best with his guts, but this work gives a sense of inevitability to the story. At the same time, it depicts failure
because of too strong feelings. Izuku gets injured seriously a lot in the process of growing up, but he accumulates the scars without erasing them. It can be said to be a realistic and severe direction unique to “Heroaka”. The heat of the battles and the drama are exceptional because of this sincere direction.

Perfect “continuity”, in which the growth curve of each character is never blurred.


This “heat” is contributed to the growth stories. Katsuki Bakugo, who is Ideku’s childhood friend as well as a rival, and Shoto Todoroki who is Izuku’s classmate also grow up stronger step by step.

In contrast to Izuku, Bakugo has outstanding fighting skills but his mind is immature. However, he experiences a lot of setbacks and climbs up each of them. Moreover, his relationship with Izuku changes from a bully and a bullied child to being equal. Todoroki also strives to overcome his conflict with his father little by little and grows up both physically and mentally.

Their growing up is closely connected to the story, and their words and actions are carefully spun and what they say or do is based on their past experiences. Also, the story of each character has continuity. It means that each character’s personality is never out of place and the readers or viewers are attracted to the characters more.

The quality of the animation is out of this world! Both acting and drawing are plus ultra


“Plus ultra” is the motto of this work. It’s the school motto of U.A. High School which
Izuku goes to. It means “always go beyond your limits”, which connects to the word “Excelsior” which is the motto of Stan Lee, the creator of many Marvel heroes.

Each of the characters demonstrates the spirit of “plus ultra”, and the anime version itself is just like that. The original direction and the episodes are overflowing with love for My Hero Academia, and are irresistible even from the fans of the original work. The sound truck of Yuki Hayashi is also great.

Also, the first movie version shows a joint struggle between Izuku and All Might, and the second movie version shows the fight between Izuku and Bakugou, which is an amazing idea. It places more expectations on the work.


The original version of “My Hero Academia” has entered its final chapter, and every episode has surprising development. As one of the fans of this work, I would be happy if you were interested in this work!

※ This information is for 01/31/2023. Please check the latest delivery status on each site.

#My Hero Academia
SYO (a film writer)

Born in 1987. After graduation from Tokyo Gakugei University, he worked at a movie magazine editing production and a company which ran an information site about film. Then he works as a movie writer now. He contributes his articles to Japanese media such as “CINEMORE”, “FRIDAY DIGITAL”, “Fan’s Voice”, ” (映画.com)” “Shin-R25 (新R25)” “DVD & Video Distribution Data (DVD & 動画配信でーた)” and so on. His Twitter: @syocinema

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