My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising review

It’s a film among some of the most highly acclaimed anime out there, My Hero Academia! Talk about a series that started out small in the beginning but overtime just exploded as a mainstay in our pop culture. Everywhere you go you see clips of the anime, fanarts, and people cosplaying as the characters. It’s just so engaging. As you can imagine, the appreciation for this series is through the roof and fans can’t wait to see the latest installment to the series.

Courtesy of Funimation.

MHA takes place in Japan in a world where 80% of the people on earth are born with superhuman powers or “quirks,” as they call them. These abilities result in people training to become heroes who rescue people, and fight super powered villains who threaten to cause chaos and tear down their superhero society. 

The movie centers on hero Class 1A from U.A. High School which includes all your favorite characters, Deku, Bakugo, Uraraka, Todoroki, and so forth. The next generation of heroes, is sent to do hero work on an island south of Japan. The heroes as you expect help people in their daily lives while still finding time to relax like most teenagers. However, their sense of peace is disturbed when a new villain by the name of “Nine,” who has the unnatural ability to steal quirks, shows up and threatens the island’s inhabitants. This causes all of Class 1A to combine their strength in an effort to take down what seems to be their greatest challenge yet. 

Having seen the film on the big screen, I can safely say that this is easily one of the best anime films I’ve ever seen. I think fans of the manga and the anime are going to be very impressed at how well this movie turned out. Personally, I think a lot of the enjoyment of this film comes from its characters. They’re all likable, very funny, and have come a long way over the course of the series. Because there are so many of them, I was a little worried that they all wouldn’t be given a chance to shine. Turns out I was worried over nothing, every character here plays a part and stands out in their own unique way. It truly feels like a great ensemble. Even though this movie doesn’t necessarily build on their storylines, it’s still enjoyable to see them interact and work off each other. 

A lot of the characters are great, but the biggest standouts for me are hands down Deku and Bakugo. As far as character’s in this series go, their dynamic is the most interesting to me. Both are as polar opposite as you can get, one being kind and hopeful while the other is persistent and aggressive. Watching them go from childhood friends to heated rivals makes for a lot of great buildup and storytelling. Their interactions easily make this film one to check out if you’re a fan of these characters.

The story is a breath of fresh air as we finally get to see these characters do actual hero work on their own, only to be thrusted into deadly situations. By the time we reach the second half, it’s almost constant action as we see our heroes go up against threats that they’re not normally used to. Even though the film is written as a side story, there were surprisingly a lot more connections to the series than I expected. Though a few of them can be confusing to some viewers. I’ve heard a lot of people ask the question, where does this film takes place in the timeline of the series. Even though as of now we are near the end of season four, my guess is that this movie takes place either during or after the events of season five. Having read a good portion of the manga, I can tell that there are some plot elements here that we haven’t reached yet in the anime. Even though this can take away some of the suspense of the film, it still holds up because they raise the stakes to make it interesting. The villains are more threatening, the fact that they’re on their own makes the situation even more dire and  forces our heroes to go beyond their limits. 

I could go on and on about the animation in this movie. It’s just amazing! The animation in the anime was already on a high bar, but here it’s a high speed rush. Even though it moves at such a fast pace with so many things going on, you can still see everything and feel the impact. It doesn’t just stop there. Just when you think it’s over, it keeps on going and builds itself higher and higher until it reaches a spectacular climax. Without giving anything away, the climax to this film is easily some of the series best work. I’m not saying anything because I want everyone to experience it for themselves, but let me just say that I found it really gigantic and super impactful. 

If you’re a fan of the anime or a reader of the manga then chances are you’re going to love this film. If you’re unfamiliar with the series and want to know more about it, I’d say you’ll come out liking it, but still have a ton of questions. This movie is great, but it’s not gonna have the same impact on you if you haven’t been following the series. It’s a lot like the Marvel movies in that you have to keep up with the previous films if you want to understand the entirety of the next film. If you want my advice, I’d say go watch the series for yourself. It will be a slow burn at first but believe me when I say once you start watching it, you won’t be able to stop.

To sum up my thoughts, if you’re a fan of My Hero Academia then this is definitely a film to check out. It has great characters, grand animation, and more action than you could ask for. This series only gets better and better the more I watch it and I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for us. Until next time go beyond, PLUS ULTRA!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Sails

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