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My Hero Academia: Two Heroes at AX2018

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes premiered at Anime Expo 2018 and Anime Diet was on-site to review the film.

Fans of My Hero Academia were thrilled to hear of a movie coming out with more adventures of their favorite heroes. The events of the movie, billed in Japan as “revealing the secret past of a major character,” took place after the Final Exam arc of the TV series.  From the official synopsis:

Deku and All Might receive an invitation from a certain person to go overseas to a giant artificial moving city called I-Island. This island, a kind of ”science Hollywood” that gathers the knowledge of scientists from around the world, is holding an exhibition called I-Expo showcasing the results of Quirk and hero item research. In the midst of all this, Deku meets a Quirkless girl named Melissa and remembers his own Quirkless past. Out of the blue, the impregnable security system the island boasts is hacked by villains, and all the people on the island are taken as hostages! Now, a plan that could shake hero society has been put into motion! The man who holds the key to it all is the number one hero and Symbol of Peace, All Might.

 

Familiar U.A. students had a chance to shine again in this My Hero Academia animated film. With an energizing soundtrack, visually pleasing and exhilarating fight sequences along with well-acted character voices, the movie was a solid and fun ride for the returning MHA fan.  Live audience participation made the movie that much sweeter, as anyone who has been at a premiere with hundreds of screaming fans can attest. However, the pacing during the first half of the movie was slow and the overall storyline was not inventive.

It was apparent that writers for Studio BONES (known for Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Soul Eater) were not trying to introduce any drastic changes in the movie, opting instead to play off the things that worked well for and made people love the series in the first place.  All the classic elements of My Hero Academia stories were present: friendship, teamwork, sacrifices, moving beyond your limits, and even a somewhat unresolved redemption story.

Arguably, these conservative plot choices showcased the studio’s mastery of animation. Even in a fairly risk-free storytelling, there were surprises and delights. Production values remained high, with fight scenes remaining fluid and well paced, and decompression used to great effect. Many points of the movie moved the audience to cheer, laugh out loud and even experience the “feels”.

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is a must watch for the die-hard MHA fan. Those new to the MHA universe may wish to watch other parts of the series first, to build a connection to the characters and appreciate the significance of certain events when watching the movie.