Anime,  Film

MY HERO ACADEMIA: HEROES RISING Review – Not Very Plus Ultra

The hit anime series, My Hero Academia just released its second feature film. Heroes Rising is not canon to the story of MHA, and this is very important when viewing, so just keep that in mind when watching. Does the film go Plus Ultra or does it crash and burn? Well, let’s discuss (no spoilers). 

The story takes place after the Overhaul arc (season 4) in the anime. Deku has his shoot style and all of class 1-A  has their provisional licenses. The setting is pretty interesting. A small town recently lost their hero, and U.A. High School sends their students to monitor the area. At least until a pro is available to relocate. This is a way to keep real heroes away so our kids can shine. Of course, The town gets attacked by a villain named Nine. That’s the basic premise.

This type story is nothing we haven’t seen before in My Hero. The kids need to fight villains until help arrives. We’ve seen this in season one, two, three, and four. Still, it was executed fairly well. I loved the relationship between Deku and Bakugo. The two are rivals but still seem to care about one another. They are our two main characters and when they fight together, it’s glorious. The rest of class 1-A is solid too. Each character gets a moment to show off their skills and contribute to the plot.

We’re introduced to two children in the film, Katsuma and Mahoro. Katsuma is a young boy who mirrors Deku’s origin. Longing to be a hero even though it’s a long shot (he has a weak superpower.) Now, Deku is playing mentor to this young man, and it’s nice to see how much he’s grown since All Might passed the power of One for All to him. I love how Deku continues to save and inspire young children. The same thing that All Might did for him and Bakugo when they were younger.

Nine and his crew were serviceable. You could have replaced them with the show’s main antagonist, the League of Villains, and you would have a much stronger story. Nine’s motives and methods are no different than Tomura Shigaraki’s so making the swap would’ve added to the battle with Deku. Especially with the link between the two of them and their masters.

Another issue is that the story is non-canon. I’m fine with adventures outside of the show, but this one could have taken things a step further. The ending especially did something so game changing, only to undo it before the credits role. It could have been a fantastic Elsworlds story and an alternate ending to the series. Instead, we revert back to the status quo. Meaning it very well could’ve stayed in the show’s canon after all. That’s the major issue with the film. It takes risks but doesn’t follow through. Making the weak villain and thin plot stick out even more.

Overall, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is a fun time, but not a great time. The two leads are strong, but the mediocre villain, and lackluster plot hold it back. I would recommend if you’re a fan of the series, but otherwise, watch the first film, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes instead.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is playing in select theaters across the US.

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