My Hero Academia: Shonen Anime breakthrough of the century

Syed Saaid Ali

30th Sep, 2021. 05:06 pm

Written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi, My Hero Academia is a Japanese superhero manga series that follows the adventures of ‘Izuku Midoriya’, or more commonly known by his hero name ‘Deku’- a young boy born without any superpowers and deprived of hope in a world where they are considered as the norm, yet still, he stays determined and strives hard in chasing his dreams, as the plot progresses, certain circumstances lead him to be scouted by the world’s No.1 hero ‘All Might’ to become his successor. There the young protagonist enrolls in a school to embark on his journey to become the next greatest Hero of the world.

The series has been added as a part of Weekly Shonen Jump’ since July 2014, with its chapters additionally collected into volumes. Due to gaining massive popularity and obtaining a large audience, the series has since been reproduced into countless spinoffs and has even turned into an anime series consisting of 5 seasons as of May 2021.

The first season of the anime series was aired in Japan from April to June 2016 and has continued since then at a spring release schedule per year. After Covid-19 struck the whole world, many entertainment franchises and platforms suffered massive losses, one of which was the team of ‘MHA’ which lagged on their release schedule and couldn’t call in the cast due to major lockdowns in most countries at the time. However as the situation mellowed, production was resumed and the schedule was readjusted to remove a bit of burden from the team.

The popular series has now also been portrayed by two globally recognized movies with another being released this year. Moreover, the two previous movies have both been announced to be canon to the series but will feature relatively standalone adventures that can be enjoyed by everyone including newcomers and aren’t mandatory to be watched to understand the plot. There’s no reason for there to be any doubt that this will be any different for the third movie, which seems like it’ll have a more global scope, but not be a necessary component to the fifth season’s larger story. The movies themselves have earned a total of 56.2 million USD worldwide at Box-Office so it’s nothing of a shock that another one is being produced, and due to their massive success, they have raised the international standard for anime movies while setting the bar higher for other production houses.

With anime and manga becoming some of the most popular cultural exports from Japan, and now even having their very own global billion-dollar industry, it’s no wonder why anime has gained a colossal (AOT reference) audience, especially the shonen genre such as ‘MHA’, and this has led to the creation of large communities which are heavily influenced by these series. Although, unlike the stereotypical perception of shonen anime being a bad influence on their behaviour, Anime, in reality, is not the actual source of the teen’s aggressive attitude as proven in the research conducted by Faradillah Iqmar Omar and Iza Sharina Sallehuddin, which was titled as ‘The Perceived Impact Of Anime On School Children’s Aggressive Behavior.’ The research suggested that although there was no sign of aggressive behaviour among the children, there were a few signs of aggression in some of them which hinted towards the possibility of affecting certain individual’s perception of the world that is around them, just like many other sources and forms of media entertainment. Just as there have been many groups of devoted fans to other forms of entertainment from time to time, anime has a huge community of people as well, who join together to share their views on the relatability they have with certain characters of the shows and generally share their passion and fondness to the shows to which they have common preferences.

The story and plot is well thought of and has been brilliantly executed; you just don’t get emotionally attached to the narrative but the action scenes always leave you at the edge of your seats. My hero Academia has become a Colossal Franchise (AOT reference) and all of the team’s hard work has paid off from the animation studio to the music team to the HUGE voice cast, all of them have worked hard even under stress and have helped bring MHA to where it is. Especially Kohei Horikoshi, who brought life to these amazing characters from which fans can take inspiration. Speaking of which the voice cast of MHA is also, greater than what most fans consider the standard limit, and every character has gotten a chance to be in the spotlight aside from just being the background filler. This was also portrayed through the portrayal of many character’s developments throughout the progression of the series e.g Shoto Todoroki, Ochako Uraraka, Eijiro Kirishima, etc. and the villains as well. Thus, My Hero Academia is a must-watch/read show and manga for all ages to enjoy within the Superhero Category.

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