My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising releases on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download this Tuesday, October 27th.
The second full-length feature film from My Hero Academia released earlier this year in theatres and earned over $13 million at the box office making it the #8 highest-grossing anime films of all time in the U.S. I had the privilege of viewing the SUB in theatres, and most recently watching DUB ahead of its release. So, my review will cover the film as a whole, avoiding commentary on the respective Japanese and English voice acting. I will, however, say that both casts delivered stellar performances as is always expected from My Hero Academia.
Before I start, here is a brief synopsis of the film:
Class 1-A visits Nabu Island where they finally get to do some real hero work. The place is so peaceful that it’s more like a vacation … until they’re attacked by a villain with an unfathomable Quirk! His power is eerily familiar, and it looks like Shigaraki had a hand in the plan. But with All Might retired and citizens’ lives on the line, there’s no time for questions. Deku and his friends are the next generation of heroes, and they’re the island’s only hope.
Stepping It Up
My Hero Academia (MHA) has certainly come a long way since the anime debuted in April 2016. Its vibrant rise in popularity is no doubt to the anime’s well-developed characters, very consistent and stunning animation, killer soundtrack, and an excellent story. And Heroes Rising delivers all of this and more in the franchise’s second film. When compared to the first film, Two Heroes, MHA has really stepped it up in nearly every avenue. The threat is bigger, Class 1-A is stronger, and the fight sequences are pure octane, edge-of-your-seat fun.
This film definitely focuses more on Bakugo and Deku, while remaining faithful to the anime’s development of Class 1-A. This shift is a big one from Two Heroes when All Might and Deku were in the spotlight. With All Might now retired, his absence in Heroes Rising is a smart choice. Season 4 of MHA did a great job of diving further into Class 1-A, giving arcs to previously unexplored characters, like Earphone Jack. Heroes Rising successfully picks up where Season 4 left off. The students are no longer relying on the pro heroes to save the day. This film allows Class 1-A’s development to be on full display.
Many fans speculated on whether or not the Two Heroes is canon in the anime’s timeline. With arguments made on both sides, MHA creator Kohei Horikoshi may be the say all, be all when it comes to deciding on the answer. In an interview with Toho Cinematic Magazine, Kohei Horikoshi revealed that he indeed considered the film to be canon.
Horikoshi also said something similar upon the release of Heroes Rising, citing that the film takes place sometime in between Part One and Part Two of Season 4. With this in mind, there is some great character progression made, particularly with Deku and Bakugo’s relationship. Whether or not we will see these repercussions unfold is yet to be seen. However, the anime has been building Deku and Bakugo’s relationship, most significantly in their rematch at the end of S3.
Heroes Rising is seemingly unchained in the way it makes bold choices with its characters. There are a few very pivotal moments, especially with Bakugo and Deku, that will keep me hoping for at least a brief mention in Season 5.
MHA is of course experts at offering unique hero characters, but its villains are equally as original. Heroes Rising brings us a new team of villains, somehow tied to Shigaraki and the League of Villains (another great way of tying into the anime canon). And boy these villains do not disappoint, in both their Quirks and design. Nine is our main villain, invading Nabu Island with his associates: Chimera, Mummy, and Slice. Their names sum up their respective Quirks, with my favorite being Mummy who can instantly mummify anything his bandages touch, and then control it like a puppeteer.
The main villain, however, is Nine, who has a mysterious Quirk similar to All for One’s. He is a perfect villain for Class 1-A, and certainly ups the ante when compared to Wolfram in Two Heroes. While the focus may have been on Class 1-A, many of the mysteries surrounding Nine may give us a hint as to what the League of Villains are planning for our heroes in Season 5 and beyond. So, another great instance of MHA touching on all of its characters in expert fashion.
Whether you are a fan of the DUB or the SUB, you are going to want to watch this one. It is underselling it to say that Studio Bones and the rest of the MHA team really took it up a notch. Shounen anime films are often looked at as fun, non-canon events that offer us the same characters we know from the anime in which they originate. MHA: Heroes Rising, however, certainly raises the standard for shounen anime films, not only giving great character development, but pivotal choices that nearly alter the very timeline of the anime itself. Plus, we all know the excellent standard of animation, music, and storytelling My Hero Academia has to offer, so do not just take my word for it.
My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising releases on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download this Tuesday, October 27th. Additionally, if you head over to Funimation’s shop to get the movie, you can also get a 25th Anniversary Silver Chrome All Might Funko POP! with purchase.
Let us know in the comments down below what you thought of My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising!