My Hero Academia is a TV show with a rich history. The original Japanese manga was published in a serial format in Weekly Shonen Jump from July 2014, but it then evolved into a popular anime TV series. For those not in the know, manga is a Japanese-style comic, while anime is a filmed animation of manga for TV or movies.
This show focuses on a boy who doesn’t have superpowers, in a world where it is the norm to have some kind of special skill. His lack of ability is noticed by All Might, one of the biggest heroes in the land. The boy is then sent to hero training school so that he can learn what his own powers are.
My Hero Academia has four seasons under its belt at the time of writing (between 2016 and 2020). That said, a fifth season was recently announced. The show also led to a spin off series called My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, and there are plans for a live action film with real actors.
Originally in Japanese, My Hero Academia has been serialized and dubbed in English for international release. The original Japanese network which showed this series was JNN, but it moved to NNS for the second season. It has been shown on Tonami and Animax Asia in English.
My Hero Academia has been responsible for a number of other popular spin offs including theatre shows, musicals, additional print media and video games. It has become one of the most popular Japanese animation shows in recent years.
My Hero Academia follows a young boy called Izuku Midoriya. Izuki lives in a world where superpowers, or “Quirks”, are common. However, he doesn’t appear to have any, so he spends his time dreaming of becoming a superhero. He is helped by one of the world’s most famous heroes, who shares one of his quirks and helps Izuki through hero school.
Cast and characters
Both the manga and anime versions of My Hero Academia feature a huge range of characters. Obviously, these are animated, so they are not played by traditional actors. That said, there are voice actors for both the Japanese and English versions of this series.
The main character is Izuku Midoriya, who is voiced by Daiki Yamashita and Justin Briner in the Japanese and English versions respectively. The show follows Izuku for most of the main storyline.
Meanwhile, Katsuki Bakugo is Izuku’s friend and also a rival. They go to school together. There are a number of other characters training to be heroes at the school, including Ochaco Uraraka, a girl with zero gravity powers.
As My Hero Academia is completely animated, it is not filmed in a traditional sense. However, it was created in Japan and that is where all the animation takes place. My Hero Academia is also set in Japan, although other locations also feature.
My Hero Academia has a range of different trailers online, and these are available in different languages. For the English version of the anime show on Funimation, there is a trailer on YouTube with over 250,000 views for the first season. The trailer for the spin-off “Heroes Rising” has over one million views.
My Hero Academia is based on the original manga comic. This was created, written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi. After being serialized in both English and Japanese publications, it became increasingly popular.
In order to capitalise on fan demand, the idea for an anime show came about. This was announced in October 2015, with Studio Bones as the production studio. The original was in Japanese, with Kenji Nagasaki as the director and Yosuke Kuroda in the position of lead writer. Furthermore, character designs came from Yoshihiko Kuroda and music was created by Yuki Hayashi.
In 2016, Funimation landed the rights to the international version so that it could be streamed from their platform. That said, since receiving English dubs, the series has been licensed and shown by a number of different TV channels across the globe. It has also been spun off into additional shows, films and other media such as the popular video game. That said, if you’re looking for a different kind of animation, we heartily recommend Big Mouth and Archer.
Episodes and reception
To date, there have been four full seasons of the My Hero Academia anime show, although a fifth season has been announced. Season one had 13 episodes, while the following seasons had 25 episodes each.
My Hero Academia has been hugely popular both in Japan and internationally. It has been so thoroughly enjoyed by its audience that a number of other versions of the manga have been produced.