Anime Review: My Hero Academia - Two Heroes

By Drew Hurley 24.06.2019

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My Hero Academia - Two Heroes (UK Rating: 15)

It's been a big year for anime in UK cinemas already, with Dragon Ball Super Broly raking in an unprecedented $18 million! Shonen past isn't the only hero bursting onto the big screen, as shonen's latest hottest hero is receiving its first anime tie-in movie. Like most shonen big screen escapades this one fits in nicely to the existing without particularly affecting the existing narrative with this tale landing somewhere between season two and season three. It sees the students of U.A. heading off to I-Island; a man-made island upon which the greatest minds in Quirk science gather, headed up by the one-time partner of the world's number one hero. The students each have their own reasons for being there, but they all soon gather at the huge annual gala. This film is available from April 8th courtesy of Manga Entertainment.
All Might may be the world's number one hero now, but he wasn't always. This film gives fans a chance at a glimpse of All Might's rookie days. Back when All Might was just Toshi, an exchange student from Japan tearing it up in the US of A. After saving a young scientist named David Shield, the two embark on a partnership where Dave becomes All Might's supporter. Designing his costumes and equipment, working alongside him, and playing a key part in crafting this young man into the smiling legend he becomes.
Back in the present day, All Might isn't the only one to have gone far. David has become a Nobel Prize winner in Quirk research, one of the world's leading experts on the topic. His daughter, Melissa Shield, an up-and-coming scientist in the field of Quirk research and building hero support equipment, has sent an invite to her dear old Uncle All Might to attend a grand gala event on the island, along with a guest. Obviously, All Might brings his disciple Midoriya. Their trip to the island serving as a backdrop for exposition, recapping some events from the series and establishing a history for some of the main characters.
When they arrive, All Might has his long-awaited reunion with his original partner David, while Midoriya heads off to spend time with Melissa. Melissa was born quirkless too, but has always wished to become a hero herself; a familiar situation for young Izuku. Melissa plans to become a hero by becoming a partner, like her father once did, supporting the greatest heroes in the world. It's a dream of many on I-Island. UA may be where all the heroes want to go, but I-Island academy is where all the scientists and supporters want to go. It's the home of the tech that supports the heroes, from Bakugo's wrist Bracers to Ida's speed boosting leg devices.
While checking out the island, some new famous heroes are shown off. There are some brand new designs here, all created by the original mangaka, Kohei Horikoshi. Including one quite reminiscent of one of Japan's greatest characters, 'Godzillo.' The character designs of heroes and villains are a great strength of the series, and it's great to see more from the mind of the creator, even if they may never appear again.
It's not just major heroes in attendance, with the Expo being such a big deal, Deku isn't the only character from U.A. to show up and soon enough many of the classmates are reunited. Iida, Todoroki, and Yaoyorozu receive invites thanks to their prestigious family names. With Yaoyo bringing along two friends… the characters draw straws and the winners end up being Uraraka and Jiro (Earphone Jack)! This is an absolute sacrilege as the #BestGirls are left languishing in their hotel room! No Froppy, no Hagakure, and no Ashido… disgusting! Even worse, the simply awful Mineta manages to worm his way into the event by working in a cafe on the island alongside Kaminari. Finally, Bakugo and Kirishima show up thanks to Bakugo's performance at the sports festival.
There are a few more characters turning up to this party too. Villains are crashing and they're going all Nakatomi on the tower. Fittingly, as it has so regularly been compared to the anime version of X-Men, the leader of these villains takes some inspiration from Magneto. Blessed with a Quirk that allows him to freely manipulate metal, he is able to form a gargantuan metal-manipulating monster that makes for a spectacular final battle. That final showdown is by far the highlight from a visual standpoint, but the quality across the board is top tier. The combat is filled with fluid, dynamic action which showcases this wonderful cast of characters like nothing the anime has had the budget to do thus far.
This release contains both the original Japanese dub in addition to the new English one. The original adds some big voices, with Melissa being played by Mirai Shidai, a VA with little to her resume, but in particular a starring role in Ghibli's Arriertty. While her father is played by Katsuhira Namasae, a seasoned Japanese actor and original VA for iconic gaming characters like Geese Howard and Joe Higashi. This is one of those series that the English is on par with the original, with Vegeta himself putting out a phenomenal performance as All Might, and Justin Breiner delivering a wonderful Deku. This film adds Erica Mendez as Melissa Shield - she's previously starred as Ryuko in Kill la Kill, then there's Ray Chase as David Shield (Noctis from Final Fantasy XV). There's a single extra feature, an 18-minute featurette entitled "Making of a Hero," where the English voices of each of the major stars chat a little about the film and the series. This includes Chris Sabat, and anything including that absolutely wonderful man is an instant must-see.
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
All thriller and no filler. This is the first My Hero Academia movie, and with the insane meteoric rise of the show, it's definitely not going to be the last. If it keeps up this sort of quality, fans are going to have plenty to look forward to - it's able to proudly stand beside the shonen supernova of Dragon Ball Super Broly, and that's saying a lot. Go pick this one up or, even better, get the awesome Limited Edition Steelbook. It deserves it. Stick with us here at Cubed3, where we'll be looking at more My Hero Academia soon, as Manga Entertainment has Season 3 Part 2 on the horizon.

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