Kōhei Horikoshi’s Boku no Hero Academia, currently published in Weekly Shounen Jump magazine, is approaching its two-year anniversary, and with the highly anticipated anime now airing, now’s the time to learn a little about it.
In a world where the vast majority of humanity have ‘Quirks’ ranging from simply having a tail, to matter creation, to expanding and manipulating your own teeth, heroism and villainy are on the up. But in a world where nearly anybody could be a hero, not just anybody can be a hero. That’s where ‘Hero Academies’ come into play, specialised schools that teach the next wave of heroes how to actually be heroes, and one of the very best is ‘Yuuei’, in the heart of Japan. But does Midoriya Izuku, a quirk-less kid who has admired heroes and their feats his whole life, stand a chance of getting onto a course in the Yueei’s department of heroics?
But a chance encounter with the world’s #1 hero ‘All-Might’ could change that, setting him on the path to become the greatest hero ever.
After a typical school day for Midoriya, being bullied for his lack of power, he’s attacked by a villain, only to be saved by his idol, All-Might. But as All-Might tries to escape Midoriya’s admiration, his hulking physique disappears, leaving him a pathetic looking weed. He’s forced to reveal an injury he sustained in the past that leaves him only able to use his quirk for a limited amount of time, then laments how he feels useless compared to his former self. He leaves, only to realise he’s let the villain escape, and having used up his daily limit of power is incapable of saving another wannabe hero, Katsuki Bakugou, Midoriya’s childhood friend, yet biggest bully.
With no suitable heroes around to step in, Midoriya rushes to attempt a rescue, with little hope of success. Knowing both boys will die unless he tries, All-Might pushes past the limit of his power to save them both.
With new found respect for Midoriya and his selfless intentions, All-Might confesses that he was also once quirk-less, and that his power ‘One for All’ is handed down from one hero to the next. He then decides that Midoriya should be the next to inherit One for All, and helps him enter Yuuei. From there he must work with his classmates and teachers to overcome obstacles on the path to heroism.
Even with a school full of personalities, the main cast are easily identifiable, each with their own drive to become great heroes, if not the very best. The main members of class 1-A include:
Midoriya Izuku- Our formerly quirk-less protagonist. Meeting the world’s top hero and man he respected above anyone else, ‘All-Might’, almost causes Midoriya to give up on his dreams, until he discovers he can inherit the mysterious strength of ‘One for All’. With his newfound and incredibly difficult to control strength, Midoriya must prove he must prove that he has what it takes to be a true hero.
Katsuki Bakugou- Midoriya’s childhood ‘friend’, yet also his largest tormenter. An explosive quirk, which allows him to use his sweat to blast the area around his body, matches his attitude. Is such a short tempered, ill-mannered brute really cut out to be a hero? While his motivations for becoming a hero aren’t exactly clear, and he doesn’t seem to respect any of his contemporaries, from the get go it seems far too clichéd for him to turn to villainy.
Ochako Uraraka- an upbeat prospective heroine, who becomes fast friends with Midoriya, and pretty much anyone else she meets. Her selflessness, motivation, and powerful gravity manipulation, make her perfect hero material, even if she’s not looking to be the forefront of attention. Her true reasons for entering Yueei is so that she can earn plenty of money, hoping that she can use it to bring her parents happiness.
Tenya Iida- Class president for 1-A, Iida is a serious, studious individual who looks up to his brother’s heroics above all else. His engine like legs and ability to change gear make him incredibly fast, but aren’t suited for certain types of combat. While an effective leader in most situations, his stalwart attitude makes it difficult for him to form bonds, nurture relationships and effectively rely on the friends he does have.
Shouto Todoroki- Considerably colder than most, Todoroki is the son of the world’s #2 hero, Endeavour. Having inherited his father’s fire production/manipulation AND his mother’s ice production/manipulation makes him on of the most powerful students around, also getting him into Yuuei on a scholarship. He too is aiming for the top spot in the world of heroics, if only to surpass his father. This would be a reasonable goal for him, if he was willing to use his father’s power.
Shouta Aizawa (Eraserhead)- Aizawa-sensei is the pro hero who doubles up as class 1-A’s homeroom teacher. His combat proficiency and ability to suppress quirks while looking at people make him a better bodyguard than a teacher. While he might look like a middle aged layabout, he has the right experience to guide Class 1-A through any and all predicaments.
Also look out for; A pervy midget with sticky balls for hair, the guy who shoots lasers from his belly button, and the invisible girl (who is literally always invisible).
And that’s Boku no Hero Academia 101. The anime is currently part way through a twelve episode run and being simulcast by Funimation.
GS Blogger: Kyle Hutchinson