Anime Review: My Hero Academia Season 3 Part 1

By Drew Hurley 22.06.2019

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My Hero Academia Season 3 Part 1 (UK 15)

My Hero Academia has been putting on a masterclass in how to shonen since its launch, and it continues to impress with every new installment of the anime. From the introductory arc, which delivered a cast of charming characters, to a pitch-perfect tournament arc, to the appearance of the antagonists in their many forms, topped off by the amazing Stain, it's going from strength to strength and has a lot to live up to. Now the kids of Class 1-A are off to the woods with their counterparts in Class 1-B, to take on a training arc from hell. This collection, containing episodes 39-50, is available courtesy of Manga Entertainment, and is available from May 13th.
While the first episode is a glorified clip show, used to remind the audience all that has occurred to get our budding heroes to this point, the second episode immediately dives head first into getting that story going again. The term has come to a close at UA, and the students are heading off to a special training camp. The first step of which involves actually getting to the campsite, and here the episode gives every member of the class a chance to showcase their quirks. Some professional heroes are on hand to provide some obstacles to overcome, starting out by crafting some towering mud monsters to take on.
There are more dangers than just the training fodder at the camp, though. As has been the case with every major U.A. event, a group of villains is soon bursting onto the scene, and the kids are no longer training their quirks, they're just trying to stay alive. These villains are mostly new characters and showcase just what makes the show so great, with some crazy designs, and wonderfully inventive powers. There's Spinner, a Lizardman follower of Stain with a sword that would put Samehada from Naruto to shame; Moonfish, a genuinely terrifying looking character who looks like a Cenobite with the power to freely transform his teeth, extending them into razor sharp lances; and, finally, Twice, with the ability to create clones of the other villains. And these are just the cannon fodder. Nothing compared to the "Muscle" that shows up.

While the mud monsters gave the students of Class 1-A a chance to show off their powers via short scenes where they can be unleashed in big shonen special move sequences, these villains give them a chance to engage in real battles. Rather than a glorified montage of moves, these are some fully-fledged battles, with the kids having to outthink their more powerful opponents, and make smart use of their powers. It's yet another element that's done well. The battles aren't just down to who has the higher power level, it's the characters coming up with inventive and imaginative ways to actually make the most of their unique power sets. It's a key part that has kept One Piece so fresh for so long - the Devil Fruits giving a huge range of abilities to the cast, while also delivering some cool character designs. My Hero Academia captures the same magic and shows just why it has exploded in popularity and is quickly standing alongside the old Big Three.
This release is only the first half of season three, so only 13 of 25 episodes are here, but that's not all that's here. It's stuffed with extra features. First off, there are four "Inside the Episode" features, which take a glimpse into the studio where the voice actors are performing in their booths, and the ADR director is giving some guidance. They're enjoyable, and show just how much fun the English voice actors have. There are also two interviews from Anime Expo 2018, where the cast took part in some - best of all, this is the original Japanese cast; with the original composer Yuki Hayashi, and the original Japanese voice of Deku, Daiki Yamashita, on hand to answer some questions. Finally, there are some English voice outtakes, promo videos, and commercials, along with the obligatory clean openings and closings. The series keeps up the quality with these here too. With the opening "Odd Future" coming from long-time anime theme rockers Uverworld, who have previously produced tracks for numerous shonen series including Bleach, D.Gray Man, and Blue Exorcist amongst numerous others.
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
The end of the beginning. An absolutely perfect conclusion to this first part of the story. Bringing together story elements overt and subtle to a beautiful, chaotic conclusion. This will long be remembered as the arc that cemented the series. Even better this was just the first course of this season, there are 12 more episodes to come, and hopefully they'll speed in like Tenya's Recipro burst, as fans won't be able to get enough of this spectacular series.

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