The world of anime continues to make waves on the big screen. From classic series like Dragon Ball to newcomers such as Demon Slayer, anime films have found an ample amount of success due to their increase in quality. Among these series has been none other than the hit story by Kohei Horikoshi: My Hero Academia. The story of Izuku Midoriya has hit the silver screen on two separate occasions and both films became hits in the box office. Now moviegoers return to this world of superheroes with the next installment in the franchise-My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission.
The new movie deals with Deku along with fellow classmates Bakugo and Todoroki who join other heroes across the world to stop the terrorist organization Humarise who are determined to create a new world order for quirkless people. The movie is directed by Kenji Nagasaki who is no stranger to the series as he directed both Two Heroes and Heroes Rising. The film premiered in Japan on August 6th and, just like the past two films, has made its way to the States just a few months later. Along with living up to the standards set by its predecessor, the idea behind World Heroes Mission was captivating as both a part of the series and a movie in general-which as a fan and a moviegoer that was enough for me to be interested. After seeing the new installment, there is no denying that My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission is different from its predecessors-which is both a strength and a weakness for the superhero film.
The concept of seeing the bigger world of My Hero Academia in this new film was an aspect with much potential. However, this idea only goes so far which was evident in the movie’s plot. The story was straightforward and moved at a fast pace as it throws you right into the main conflict-though it was not difficult to comprehend what was going on. While the plot was exciting, some of its ideas like Deku being framed and the threat of Humarise had minimal relevance in the overall story. While the story had some issues in its execution, that is not to say this tale was unwarranted. The heart of this story was Deku’s adventure with his new comrade Rody Soul and the bond they form during their journey. This point gave the plot a sense of nuance that was endearing to see. Furthermore, as previously stated, this plot was exciting which was evident in the plot’s finale as it was intense and lived up to the heroic traits that made the series so watchable.
With the movie’s setting being a globe-trotting adventure, it was interesting just how the cast would be utilized; and the result was a decent ensemble. In case of Midoriya, the young hero was a likeable as ever though the movie does little for Deku’s overall development. Along with Deku were fellow heroes Shoto and Bakugo. Despite indications from the film’s marketing, both Todoroki and Bakugo have a limited involvement in the film’s story; but they did have their time to shine. This goes for the rest of the cast as the likes of Uraraka, Endeavour and All Might had their moments as well. In the case of new characters, Rody stood out from the rest. Between his inner conflict and his chemistry with Midoriya, Rody could easily be considered one of the best original characters in the My Hero films. When it came to the villains, the group Humarise were formidable group, but they lack in leaving an impression. This was prevalent in the group’s leader, Flect Turn, who (along with a cool design and power) had some interesting motivations but ultimately had a minimal presence in both the cast and the film.
If there is one area that My Hero Academia strives in it would be action, and World Heroes Mission did not disappoint. The film’s action was exciting, and even a little brutal, as each sequence was more exhilarating than the last. One chase sequence was particularly impressive due to its cutting execution as well as feeling like an homage to a certain Web Slinger. The intense action was complimented by the movie’s animation which gave the film a keen look that, in some ways, even exceeded its predecessors-and neither were pushover in this element. Rounding things out was the music by Yuki Hayashi. The music may not have the same impact as the score to Hereos Rising, but it managed to work by utilizing the familiar tunes of the series; plus, the songs from Asian Kung-Fu Generation were not bad either.
In many ways, My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission lives up to the quality behind the anime series. While the film lacked the scope seen in its predecessors, there was stand-alone nature to this installment which was noticeable in both the story and cast, and this direction made the movie refreshing in some ways. Along with this direction, the movie excelled in elements such as animation and action as both were just as efficient as they were in the previous films. My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission may not be the strongest outing in the series, but it is a solid entry and if nothing else was another enjoyable anime film to experience in theaters.