My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is the third film in the MHA trilogy and serves as a reminder of what makes the series special. If you’re not familiar, My Hero Academia is a manga series featuring a world of heroes and villains. Our main protagonist is Izuku Miydoriya (Deku), and we follow his life at U.A. High School, his hero academy. The manga was given an anime adaptation in 2016 and took the world by storm. In an era where Marvel and DC rule the big and small screens, MHA was able to carve out its own path in the anime space, later becoming one of the biggest anime franchises in history.
That brings us to 2021, the anime just wrapped up season 5, and the third film is in theaters now. What does World Heroes’ Mission bring to an already thriving franchise? It gives fans everything they love about the series as a whole. My Hero Academia is a series about unbridled hope and optimism. The world is full of heroes, but things can get absurdly bleak, nevertheless, Deku will never stop smiling. He wants to save everyone and ensure that those around him will remain at peace.
That is a straightforward message, and on the surface, it’s downright cheesy, but Deku’s drive and strength are what we all need right now, which is the focus of World Heroes’ Mission. The film pretends to be this vast world-ending event, and all of the heroes across the globe must unite to stop the new villain, Flect Turn (Kazuya Nakai/Robbie Daymond).
That plot disappears as we pivot to the character of Izuku Midoryia (Daiki Yamashita/Justin Briner). Deku ends up on the run with Rody Soul (Ryo Yoshizawa/Ryan Colt Levy), another new character introduced in the film. Rody is someone who was damaged by this superhuman society, and it makes him protective of his family. To the point where he’s willing to sacrifice everyone else if means his siblings are safe. That, in contrast with Deku, just highlights our hero’s spirit. Rody isn’t a villain, but a hurt civilian who requires saving, and Deku will not fail Rody.
The movie ends up being a buddy road trip film, and while that can be seen as disappointing (considering the marketing made it look like a war), it just sheds light on the real reason MHA is so popular. We don’t come to My Hero Academia for its fight scenes and heroics, but instead, we come because of the characters and their relationships. Rody and Deku have a bond that will make your heart full, and the road trip cements it because the movie gives it time to develop.
In a sense, MHA is reminiscent of the classic Superman stories. Like Clark Kent, Deku has the power of a god, but that’s never the focus. The focus is on how he uses that power for good and inspires those around him to do the same. Which speaks to the heart of the viewer and in turn, inspires us to do the same.
That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have epic fights. We have a great sequence with Deku using his new moves from season 5; plus Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto/Clifford Chapin) and Shoto (Yûki Kaji/David Matranga) getting major battles. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a My Hero Academia film if we didn’t see Deku go all out, and have one of the best fight scenes in the entire series.
MHA has one of the biggest casts you’ll ever see, and at times, Deku gets lost in the mix. His class has 20 students alone, not including the Pro-Heroes, villains, and other supporting characters. This film is solely about Deku and Rody, and which is nice. It gives fans a chance to remember why we fell in love with My Hero Academia in the first place; and what makes superheroes unique.
My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is a film that shows MHA at its best. However, it’s not friendly to newcomers. If you have watched the series or read the books, then I’d suggest skipping this film. But for fans of the series, it’s a nice throwback to the days of season 1 in the best possible way.
My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is in theaters now. Catch up on the series on FUNimation, Crunchyroll, VRV, and Hulu.