I recently spent the weekend at my local anime and comic convention, and noticed the huge number of people dressed up as characters from My Hero Academia.
Even vendors took part in the madness, harboring a plethora of My Hero Academia merch in their booths.
It's safe to say that My Hero Academia is the most popular anime around right now. Most of the time, shows don't live up to expectations and seldom deserve the hype surrounding them—that's not the case here.
I truly believe My Hero Academia deserves all the hype it's getting. Here's what makes this show so much better than generic and clichéd anime series.
1. It's Not Your Typical Superhero Show
I'm that person who groans every time a new superhero movie or show is released. When I heard about My Hero Academia, I didn't even want to lay eyes on it.
If you're tired of the superhero trope, you should know that My Hero Academia doesn't fall into that redundant category of shows and movies.
In the My Hero Academia universe, some people are born with superpowers called "Quirks."
The main character, Izuku Midoriya, always wanted to have a Quirk, and wasn't fortunate enough to inherit one at birth. Throughout his childhood, Midoriya was constantly made fun of for his Quirklessness.
Eventually, the most-renowned hero in the universe, All Might, recognized Midoriya's potential and whole-heartedness. He gave his One For All Quirk to Midoriya, granting him superhuman powers.
Unlike typical superhero movies, Midoriya didn't get his powers from a spider bite or some radioactive dumpster—he gained it from another hero, which puts a spin on things.
2. Midoriya Has Vulnerabilities
How often do you see a superhero in a movie or anime get completely obliterated? Superheros almost always come out on top in the end, but that's not the case for Midoriya.
Unlike typical superheroes and anime powerhouses, Midoriya struggles to win fights without fatally injuring himself.
At the beginning of the show (and well into the middle), Midoriya isn't accustomed to his newfound Quirk. His body is too weak for it, forcing him to break his bones in order to defend himself or launch a powerful attack.
Despite the fact that he injures himself every time he throws a punch, Midoriya doesn't give up.
Some viewers might get tired of the fact that Midoriya is constantly getting injured throughout the show, but I think that it adds an inspirational element that some anime and superhero movies lack.
3. The Heroes Have to Work for Their Strength
The whole premise of the show surrounds the heroes and their intense training sessions. The young heroes have been enrolled in U.A. High School specifically to practice and hone their powers.
It's nice to see a show where the characters undergo significant development that you can watch.
Unlike some other anime (like Dragon Ball), massive improvements in power don't happen in the span of one or two episodes. Instead, the training process is drawn out, especially for Midoriya.
Not only does Midoriya have to train before he inherits All-Might's power, but he has to continue to train to work towards his goal of becoming one of the best heroes.
He also engages in intense training classes and competitions with his classmates. You can see Midoriya's progress from start to end.
4. The Supporting Characters Are Memorable
My Hero Academia is the type of anime where the main protagonist isn't the only focus. The show gives you the detailed backstory of multiple side characters, dedicating entire episodes to their past.
Shoto Todoroki, for example, had a rough childhood where he grew up despising his dad. He ended up inheriting the power of fire from his father, and the power of ice from his mother—because of his hatred for his dad, he only uses the power of ice during battles.
The supporting characters have some of the most memorable Quirks as well. Katsuki Bakugo has the power to create explosions at will, Tsuyu Asui possesses the abilities of a frog, and Ochaco Uraraka can control gravity.
It's almost impossible to forget the names and Quirks of the minor characters—they play just as large of a role as Midoriya.
5. The Villains Are Well Conceived
The villains in My Hero Academia don't go on murderous rampages just for fun. They have a strong motivation to use their Quirks for evil, mainly to kill All Might. After All Might eradicated the world of evil, the villains hope to regain control.
Thus, they formed the League of Villains, with the purpose to remind society of the power of villains.
The current leader of the League, Tomura Shigaraki was raised to hate All Might. His Quirk, Decay, matches his destructive personality.
It allows him to disintegrate everything he touches—the dismembered hands that cover his body are all that's left from his family after he accidentally killed them when he first developed his Quirk.
In addition to the cast of villains that are members of the League, several Nomu stand behind them. Humans become monstrous Nomu after undergoing some type of procedure to allow them to have more than one Quirk.
The variety of villains and the thought put into them just make the show more interesting.
My Hero Academia Meets Expectations
My Hero Academia isn't one of the most popular anime for no reason. The constant character development and its refreshing take on superpowers make me want to keep watching.
But it's not the only superhero anime series worth watching, of course. Check out some of our other favorite superhero animes!