My Hero Academia: Two Heroes — Packing a PLUS ULTRA Punch

(Originally written on October 11, 2018)

It’s one thing to watch a film in a full theater, but it’s another to watch a movie with everyone in the theater being genuine fans. I got to experience the latter recently and I absolutely loved it. There has been a recent trend lately with more anime films being released in theaters for the general public (albeit in limited release) available both in English and in Japanese with English subtitles.

It’s no surprise then how the film My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was also released in theaters. Currently one of the most popular anime, My Hero Academia is set in a world where almost everyone has some kind of ability called “Quirks” (like a superpower), and deals with what it means to be a true “hero” through the most trying of circumstances. Set between seasons 2 and 3 of the show, the movie provides everything fans have come to love about the series with its precise execution in all areas, making it a movie purely for the fans.

If I had to sum up what makes the show amazing, it has to be the combination of the characters (their growth and relationships), the music and its themes. Two Heroes takes these three aspects and goes beyond, Plus Ultra (if you’re confused by this phrase, it’s something used in the show). As I said, this is a world fans are familiar with, and the production team takes full advantage of this by diving right in and having fun with it.

The character interactions are on point. The themes portrayed in the show echo through the movie. Dramatic moments have you invested. The humour lands perfectly (and it’s nice when everyone in the theater is on the same page and laughs together). AND, the actions scenes are beautifully animated, with some sequences even better than what we’ve seen in the show up to now. Especially the last fight in the movie. Whew, it’s excellent!

Though we get to see our favourite characters like Deku and the gang, we are given two new characters: David Shield, a scientist and All Might’s old friend, and his daughter Melissa. The few flashbacks we see with David and All Might are quite nice, showing the beginnings of their friendship. Melissa’s interaction with Deku and the others is also great, providing us with a clear idea of what she aspires to be and the effort she puts in to get there. As for Class 1-A, we only get to spend time with about half of them throughout the movie, with the other half not involved at all. It’s understandable and doesn’t detract from the overall experience, mainly because the ones we do see are all given equal time to shine, quirks and all. My favourites are always Deku and Todoroki, but it’s awesome seeing characters like Mineta get some spotlight too. AND he actually does something useful!

So did I enjoy My Hero Academia: Two Heroes? You bet I did! Maybe my being a fan of the show, and the excitement in the theater, also added to my enjoyment. If you’re a fan of the manga/anime and you have a chance to watch this movie, I highly recommend it!

- A. Shin

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