As a kid, I had one goal: to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I wanted to fight crime and live a life of glamor in the sewers of New York City. I didn’t realize that sewers were full of poop at the time. Now, as a dad, I have exchanged my dream of a sewer lair for a suburban home on a corner lot. But the dream of being a hero is still there.
I think that’s why anime newcomer, My Hero Academia, has garnered such a huge following, quickly becoming one of the top anime in the U.S. The anime takes place in a future world where 4 out of 5 people has an amazing super power called a quirk, and people with the best quirks go on to become professional heroes. The story follows a young man, Izuku Midoriya, who despite having no quirk, risks everything to be a hero. The number one pro hero, All Might, takes notice and passes his super strength quirk, One for All, on to Izuku. This movie, like most anime movies, is not part of the main storyline, and serves as a kind of “what if” fantasy for the fans.
The movie follows All Might and Izuku as they travel to an industry expo and meet up with an inventor buddy of All Might’s who is famous for inventions that serve heroes. Chaos ensues when a group of villains infiltrates the expo and steals a device he designed to intensify a hero’s abilities. Izuku and his buddies team up with All Might to save the day.
If you’re new to the anime, you may be turned off by the unusually high amount of internal monologue. Izuku has this annoying habit of internally cataloging everybody’s quirks and fight styles and personalities. In addition to this minor irritation, the story is often sophomorically simple with predictable twists. But this movie is not really intended to provide complexity. It’s intended to give you what you’ve always wanted to see: All Might and Izuku smashing side by side while screaming their hero catchphrase, “Plus Ultra!”
And boy, does it deliver! I have watched the series through the current episodes, wanting to see the two main characters finally let loose and give us a performance worthy of the premise, and in this movie, we finally got it. It took a long time, but we got it. In the final moments, All Might and Izuku, the titular Two Heroes, go all out a coordinated attack that defeats the villain and sends chills through the audience.
So, if you want to see a blonde guy and his skinny sidekick super punch a skyscraper, this is the movie for you. The premise is simple, the characters are accessible, and the payoff is satisfying. If you long for complexity, this ain’t it. But it’s better than spending a day in the sewer.
3 out of 5 Couch Cushions!!!