Izuku MIdoriya (Deku) lives in a world where 80 percent of the population has quirks, which are powerful abilities. These superpowers make it possible for the hero profession to rise, along with the requisite villains. Deku aspires to be a hero himself; with All Might, the number one ranked hero in the world, being his idol. Unfortunately for Deku, he happens to be a part of the twenty percent of people who is born without a quirk.
This is a harsh reality for Deku. Despite his lack of superpowers, he clings to his dreams of one day becoming a hero. This isn’t without consequences; he is ostracized by his peers, who look down on him for continuing to believe that he can become a hero when he is quirkless. He isn’t even able to receive the comforting words he wants to hear from his own mother, which weighs heavily on him.
However, a chain of events will change Deku’s life. A chance encounter with All Might sets him on the path toward becoming a hero. This is made possible because All Might reveals a little known secret to him; that the quirk that makes him so formidable is inherited and can be passed on to someone else. After Deku displays his spirit and bravery in a bid to save a classmate, All Might decides he is the perfect candidate to receive his quirk.
The journey to becoming a hero isn’t an easy one. He will have to go through an extreme training regimen to prepare his weak body for the power that he will be imbued with. Even with All Might being his personal trainer controlling such a vast amount of power will push Deku to his limits. Then there is the matter of being accepted into U.A. High School, where the heroes of tomorrow are molded.
He isn’t the only one who is striving to become the world’s top hero. His classmates at U.A. High School are some of the most talented kids in the country, with their own unique and powerful quirks. This cast of characters surround Deku as he gets into the nitty gritty of his studies, and their personalities are just as varied as their powers. They all complement Deku nicely, and add a sense of liveliness to the anime.
The fight scenes present throughout the first season are also impressive. They are setup in a way that allow all the characters to display how their quirks work, and what their individual strengths and weaknesses are. Moreover, these battles let the viewer get a sense of how powerful some of the characters really are. For example, All Might’s Detroit Smash feels as if it’s ready to burst from the screen.
The story is balanced throughout the entirety of the season. Sincerity and earnestness oozes from Deku, which makes it easy to root for him. The beginning of his march to becoming a hero is fun to watch, littered with entertaining brawls and the presence of a strong supporting cast.
Funimation has delivered an excellent collector’s edition that matches the quality of the anime. It comes with a colorful chipboard art box that encapsulates the comic book essence of the show’s artwork. The show’s main characters are wonderfully embossed, front and center. An empty student notebook is also included, which can be used to scribble down notes. The package also contains a keychain featuring Deku. Admittedly, keychain Deku does look a bit goofy, but it’s nice to have the item be included.
The packaging is rounded out with a hardcover limited edition art book. It contains sketches of the various characters that appear throughout the show, and is 87 pages long. It’s the same size as the Blu-ray cases so that it fits neatly inside the art box.
The only complaint is the choice of Blu-ray cases. One of them comes with a swinging gate design, which doesn’t seem very sturdy. Our copy came with the swinging gate having come loose. Fortunately, the discs were unaffected and the gate was put back into proper position.
My Hero Academia is brimming with color and style that befits its superhero story, and it shines with this Blu-ray release in 1080p. It has a variable bitrate that is mostly in the mid 20Mbps range, but can get as low as 11Mbps or spike up (rarely) into the 30s. It’s a solid looking release, with only some minor color banding present.
The Japanese language track comes in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 while the English language track is upgraded to Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Both the Japanese and the English-speaking cast deliver great performances, so regardless of where you fall in the sub or dub camp you’ll get an excellent experience.
This release is chock-full of extras compared to most other anime. There are interviews with the Japanese crew along with some of the cast from the English version. The best part is that the extras are spread across two Blu-rays maximizing the quality, when quite often extras are relegated to DVDs. The extras are the following:
- Anime Expo 2016: Interview with Kenji Nagasaki and Wakana Okamura
- My Hero Academia: Meet the characters
- AnimeFest 2016: Interview with Ayana Nishino
- AnimeFest 2016: Artist Sketches
- Anime Expo 2016: My Hero Academia Panel
- Anime Expo 2016: Interview with Christopher R. Sabat and Justin Briner
- Anime Expo 2016: Interview with Masahiko Minami
My Hero Academia is easily one of the best anime of 2016, if not the best anime of that year. Its story is universal, it has an endearing ensemble of characters and is just fun to watch. Funimation knocked it out of the park with this collector’s edition that will make a killer addition to anyone’s collection.