Summer arrives for class 1-A and 1-B, although instead of lounging by the pool they’ll spend their time rigorously training at a camp designed by their teachers. Things quickly turn dangerous when the League of Villains spring a surprise attack, managing to capture one of the students. The race is then on to recover the kidnapped student and bring the villains to justice.
Most of the episodes cover the summer training camp, replete with training montages with some time off at a hot spring. It’s an opportunity to show how far the kids have come with their quirks, along with mixing in some heartfelt and funny moments. My Hero Academia has handled this balance well in previous seasons, and this set of episodes is no exception.
Kota, a child who hates the idea of quirks and heroes, is at the center of a lot of these warm moments. Deku, in usual Deku fashion, takes it on himself to reach out to Kota. To show him why heroes exist and why they put themselves in danger for others. Some much needed levity is injected when Kota has two showdowns, one against Deku and one against Mineta.
Things get ratcheted to eleven when the League of Villains makes its move, and it’s one hell of a move. Shigaraki brings new villains into the fold, and they’re all formidable. With their unique and powerful quirks, they’re able to reign chaos on the students and their teachers. Moreover, none of them feel like throwaway characters and complement the strong roster on the hero side of the equation.
One of the best fights is against one of these new villains, Muscular. During the surprise attack Deku rushes out to find Kota and gets to him just as Muscular is about to attack the child. This leads to an absolute brawl that swings back and forth. It’s full of hype, while also having tearjerker moments. Putting on display everything that makes My Hero Academia so great.
The students aren’t the only ones up against some serious odds. The faculty of UA and hero society itself are being questioned by the populace because of the damage inflicted by the League of Villains. It also happens to coincide with the decline of the symbol of peace, All Might. Leading to uncertain times for everyone involved.
This first half is capped off in good fashion, with an episode that will transition smoothly to the second half of the season. With the world in flux, while the heroes and the students continue to try their best from having everything fall apart.
The video quality on this blu-ray set is strong. It has a variable bit rate that can fluctuate from 20Mbps up to 30+ Mbps, giving the video plenty of room to breathe. The vibrant color palette and strong line detail pops at 1080p. There isn’t anything to complain about on this set, with the only visual oddity being present for 2-3 seconds during a shot of a character’s back. Funimation did a stellar job on this front.
There are two audio options in this set. The English dub is a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track; with the other option being a Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track. Both sets of voice actors deliver wonderful performances, so you’ll get a great experience regardless of which you choose. The soundtrack also comes through crystal clear, and really adds to the proceedings.
Funimation is going back to the design that was used in the season 1 limited edition, and this set benefits from that decision. The season 2 limited edition sets have sizeable boxes and can be a bit overwhelming. So I’m very happy to see they went back to the previous design.
The chipboard art box is full of color and taps into the visual style of My Hero Academia. Characters are on both the front and the back, and they are nicely embossed. The box fits the blu-ray discs, the art book, and a cardboard holder that contains some art cards, a Bakugo keychain and acryclic standees of Deku and Bakugo. Once you pull out the cardboard holder you’ll be left with space for season 3 part 2. Big thumbs up.
This set is packed with extras, which is a nice change of pace from other releases. There are a set of behind the scenes vignettes that show what dubbing this anime looks like; which is a nice touch for fans of the dub. There are also some dub outtakes, although this is a very short segment. The most interesting of the extras are the interviews with series composer Yuki Hayashi; and Deku’s Japanese voice actor, Daiki Yamashita.
Additionally, the standard fare extras are also present. With Japanese commercials and promotional videos making an appearance, along with Funimation trailers for their other properties.
The first half of My Hero Academia’s third season doesn’t stop, unless it’s to take time to gut punch you right in the feels. It’s a fun ride that manages to introduce even more meaningful characters without missing a beat. All while taking time for small, purposeful moments that lets viewers take in and appreciate the cast it has built up.