Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Movie theaters were among the plethora of businesses that closed up shop due to the pandemic in mid March 2020. We are approaching summer full steam ahead, and yet seemingly at a snail's pace. With thoughts of the summer blockbusters floating through my brain, and as my friends reflect on social media their thoughts of the last film they saw in theaters; I think about the last night I was in a theater. I can remember it so clearly as if it were the birth of one of my children; because it was phenomenal and I left the theater thoroughly elated by what I had just witnessed. Boku no Hīrō Akademia: Hīrōzu Raijingu (僕のヒーローアカデミア ヒーローズ:ライジング) My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising was a fantastic film!
If you’re here, you probably already know about My Hero Academia; but if not the TL:DR is it’s a world of super humans uncannily similar to Marvel’s X-men. However, this time around 80% of the world’s population has extraordinary abilities labeled as quirks and they’re applauded by the general public instead of the racial overtones from their mutant counterparts. We follow a class of students from a superhero high school as they hone their abilities and learn to fight super villains.
In MHA: Heroes Rising, class 1A is on a sort of summer camp, work study, where they are sent to the relatively crime free island of Nabu. While there, they take care of the citizens and perform public service tasks using their abilities to assist the locals. This film has a similar set up to the predecessor My Hero movie, which takes the students to a remote island for a summer like event. However, the meat of each film is very different, each having its own new locations, villains and plots; but an interesting point can be made for the use of the first films subtitle, “Two Heroes”, and the similarities of each film's climax. Although with that said, it isn’t in any way a hindrance to it’s quality or a complaint on my part, I loved it!
Spinning right round baby, right round, we make our way back to the last night I went to the theaters. It was March 3rd 2020. MHA: Heroes Rising was only showing in a limited number of theaters; 1,231 according to Box Office Mojo. And only a handful of days. I was lucky enough to see it on it’s last night at my nearest Regal. The place was actually pretty packed for an anime on a tuesday night. The film loads with damn near no warning or trailers, and unfortunately they hadn’t reset the aspect ratio, so the first 5 minutes of the film the upper and lower edge was cut off, which cut out a chunk of subtitles. People cracked jokes outloud and someone said they’d translate and spouted some gibberish that earned a few laughs. The atmosphere never felt hostile though. I felt at home like I was surrounded by my people. Eventually the aspect issue was resolved and we hadn’t missed any important story setup.
It followed the three act structure to the letter. Introducing all the characters with minimum backstory but providing enough exposition for anyone new to the series to follow and understand. You're never left confused about what's going on, or where the story is going. It's very easy to digest. Class 1-A however, is left on the island by themselves. As I stated earlier it is basically crime free and therefore, shouldn't need any pro heroes on staff. This allows the group of villains who shows up to easily dominate our heroes early on. It also gave us a lead villain very reminiscent of the MHA's main canon antagonist, All For One. Nine has a slightly similar appearance and abilities which are on display multiple times throughout the film.
This film has multiple highlight reel moments that stand out in nice warm memories. But the absolute headliner, be all end all, main event moment, is the climax with the heroes coming together to save the day! The moment, that if you saw it, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, had everyone in the theater screaming in a joyous uproar. We’re talking a Captain America holding Thor’s hammer and saying “Avengers Assemble” type moment, and it was flipping incredible!! Twitter user @Softhimbos tweeted out a quote from MHA series creator Kohei Horikoshi which was taken from the forward to Volume 2. He also included a few images from the film which you can view below.
With all that said the DVD, Blu-ray and hopefully VOD of My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, is only a handful of weeks away. In fact according to the official twitter account @heroaca_movie, the release date is July 15th! This is the summer blockbuster I’m looking forward to watching, again and again. What are some movies or anime you’re looking out for in the coming months?