‘My Hero Academia: Two Heroes’ Film Review

Samuel Pappas, Staff Writer

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The Japanese anime creation “My Hero Academia” is taking both Japan and the U.S. by storm.
Photo Credit: Funimation Films

When I went to see this film, it was hands down my best movie experience yet. The movie theater was packed, with the tickets completely sold out. You could tell everyone there was a fan of the series in some way or another — wearing merchandise or cosplaying as their favorite characters. The whole place was buzzing with friends and strangers. Everyone gathered there was socializing and hyping themselves up for the opening credits.

“My Hero Academia: Two Heroes” had a short theatrical debut in the United States from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 with both the original Japanese and English dub versions available. 

The film is an anime stand-alone experience based on the original manga and anime, with character designs and supervision by the writer, Kohei Horikoshi.

For those of you not familiar with “My Hero Academia,” it is the Japanese take on American superheroes like the “Avengers;” the writer and artist for the series being a massive fan of western superheroes himself.

Since its animated television debut in Jinan on 2016, the series picked up a larger following around the world and in America, going full circle to the country it took inspiration from.

The story takes place in a world where 80 percent of the population has some kind of special ability called a “quirk.” It can be anything from super speed, controlling fire, becoming giant or something more obscure like doing everything a frog can, having an earphone jack physically connected to your ears, or shooting lasers out of your belly button, because… why not?

The film itself follows the young Hero-in-Training, Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, his mentor and number one hero, All Might, along with Deku’s friends and classmates. Deku and All Might are at the futuristic moving ocean city “I-island,” which houses scientists and heroes working to develop technology, along with restaurants, amusement rides and other public attractions. During the course of the film, the cast becomes tangled in a terrorist attack and hostage situation, where villains attempt to take over the island and steal a powerful piece of technology.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, I would recommend checking out the anime first. While the film is a fun action romp with plenty of awesome battle animation and excellent music; It’s ultimately a hollow experience with little to add to the established franchise. The original story is a fun and thought-provoking tale with plenty to say about the nature of heroics and what people perceive as heroism, with some of the most masterfully crafted characters, both aesthetically and ideologically. 

Watching the battles build up to an epic crescendo, leading into the most explosive and climactic final attack was all very fun. Being surrounded by fans in the theater all on the edge of their seats as All Might reeled back, preparing himself to deliver his signature “Detroit Smash,” each viewer practically cheering him on, was an incredibly immersive sight.

If you’re a fan of the series and you missed your chance to see the film, don’t worry about it. The only thing you missed out on was a fun way to spend 97 minutes, but you can redeem yourself.

If a Japanese imagining of classic American superheroes sounds interesting to you, I urge you to check out the anime, which is available on streaming services like Crunchyroll in Japanese and Funimation in English. I can attest that both versions feature phenomenal voice acting. Even if you aren’t familiar with Anime in general, “My Hero Academia” is pretty easy to watch and feels familiar given how much it takes inspiration from the U.S.