What They Say:
Deku and his friends take on a daring rescue operation when villains hack into I-Expo—the world’s leading hero item exhibition. All Might is trapped by their sinister plan, and his best hope for saving everyone lies in the new generation of heroes.
The audio presentation for this series is a pretty strong one overall as we get the original Japanese language in 5.1 while the English language dub is in 5.1, both of which are encoded using the lossless Dolby TrueHD codec. The series is one that has a strong amount of action and activity overall combined with a variety of powers that are put into effect and make for a busy mix. Both mixes work well in keeping things moving across the forward soundstage so that everything feels like it’s where it should be and the bigger scenes have some impact while also giving some good attention to the rear channels and the subwoofer for some enjoyable base during a few key sequences. Both mixes hit a good sweet spot in delivering an engaging show on the audio front and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2018, the transfer for this film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. Clocking in at just over 90 minutes there’s plenty of space to work with here and it shows. Animated by Bones, My Hero Academia is a show that has a solid budget behind it with plenty of payoff in the animation and the film here builds on that. It definitely has the same look as the show but with more details in backgrounds and a great fluidity in the action sequences. Having that consistency with the show is a plus, and highlights how good the show is, but the noticeable areas help bumps it up overall. The color work for this really gives it a great feeling as it’s bold and strong without becoming garish and problematic. The backgrounds have a great amount of detail which character animation is solid and the high action sequences step things up wonderfully. It’s a quality production through and through and the encoding brings it all to life in a very strong way that will please fans of the series.
The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case with an o-card that replicates the case artwork. It’s a great piece with the key visual/poster used in Japan that has the main cast all around and the use of the whites and blues of the case and labeling ends up really enhancing it. The cardstock also goes and adds a level of warmth and richness to the o-card and really makes it an eye-catching piece even as it uses a lot of blue hues that don’t always draw the eye in. The back cover goes for the speed lines in shades of blue for the background and we get the comic book-ish layout with the taglines, the summary of the premise, and shots from the film. The technical grid breaks both pieces down cleanly and accurately so you know how it’s put together. While there are no show related inserts included with it we do get a great poster on the reverse side of the main cast set against the blue speed lines.
The menu design for this release is one that plays simple with what it does as we get a sky blue navigation strip along the bottom while the rest is given over to action clips from the film. The logo is kept to a decent size along the upper left in order to let most of the action scenes play out from the film with some pretty enjoyable ones in the mix. The navigation strip works smoothly and without problems in navigating and the submenus load quickly and everything is problem free during both playback and as the top level menu.
There’s only one extra with this release which is a little disappointing as I like having the various trailers and promos that we often get. For this, we get The Making of a Hero, an eighteen-minute piece that focuses on the English production of the project. With it being produced by Funimation, it has some fun Q&A pieces with the staff and cast about their characters and the film itself. It’s pretty standard stuff but it’s fun to watch them gush about the project a bit and how much they enjoy their characters.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the manga doing very well in Japan and the TV series getting additional seasons, it was no surprise to see that a feature film would be produced for My Hero Academia. Kohei Horikoshi certainly found the right formula after a few other tries in the manga world before landing on this and it’s managed to hit not just Japan and US fandom right but to spread beyond that. This film landed in the summer of 2018 and got a pretty decent round of releases in the US, enough so that I know my kids and extended family went to see it based on their enjoyment of the show. They were actually ahead of me in watching the TV series, which meant that they enjoyed being able to spoil things for me in that arena.
The film thankfully isn’t a compilation film but it does fall into the kind of standard shonen film category. It stands alone in the bigger picture with some nice ties to ongoing events in the series so that it can be “placed” right but without it disturbing anything that’s going on. It keeps its cast relatively small at first as well before bringing in more of the familiar characters so people could see their favorites on the big screen (Mineta, represent!). But what it does is deliver that self-contained story that lets it just be damn enjoyable and fun without really digging into anything heavy and dark. And that’s one of the pluses of this property is that even while it does deal with some difficult things and what Deku works through is huge for a lot of people to see put to screen, it’s that there’s such a positive vibe to it and that you really get behind rooting for so many characters.
The premise for this is fun as we get Deku and All-Might heading to I-Island, a floating man-made island where all sorts of research is done on Quirks. It’s able to be moved in order to keep it from being found easily by the bad guys which may not make sense until you really think about just how huge the oceans can be. The place is interesting in how it deals with things in its research and we get a little discourse on the differences between countries in how crime is there and related to Quirks, which makes the brief time in California that we get at the start fun. It doesn’t paint the US as a crime-laden wasteland but it reinforces the general beliefs (and numbers) about the differences in a few places with just how much crime there is. All-Might has come to the island to meet a longtime friend of his David Shield, who knows the secret of his Quirk and what’s going on with him about his diminishing power that forms the basis of the ongoing series.
Naturally, Deku is along for the ride and his pure enjoyment of the trip and seeing the island and all of its wonders is a lot of fun. He also connects with Shield’s daughter Melissa pretty well as she shows him around and gives him some time to show off his abilities. It’s all good upbeat stuff and just seeing how excited Deku is to be there and what he does in working through some of the tests is a lot of fun. I really liked the time we get between the two since there’s a lot of neat little bits to Melissa that come up and her ability to connect with Deku works nicely. Of course, it doesn’t take long for other characters to show up here thanks to a mixture of invites and some of them coming to work as waiters and the like, and that was kind of the only forced aspect of the film for me. I know they had to find a way to bring everyone there as they want to be seen on the big screen but I also really liked how small it was kept initially with just All Might and Deku, giving time for their relationship to play out a bit more and introduce someone new to it through Melissa.
Where things go off in the expected direction is when we discover that a villain named Wolfram has been on the island for a bit. I’ll admit, Wolfram’s plans here aren’t exactly the most definitive beyond taking control of the island in that way of a villain wanting to rule the world but not really thinking through how to hold onto said power and the like as a single being. Wolfram has all the right visuals that reminded me of a kind of Doctor Doom type and his plan sets into motion things where everyone has to come and help, especially since All Might is struggling and they’re trying to hide the diminishing power issue that he’s facing. There’s a lot of back and forth action that ensues since there’s something like 200 floors to the building where everything takes place and it runs through some familiar motions, such as Melissa being taken, but the reality is that it’s just a thrill to watch the story unfold. Admittedly, I’m not seeing it on a truly big screen and that was an experience, but it translates well to the smaller screen here because the pacing and dynamics of how it unfolds is very different from what would be a four-episode arc worth of material in the same running time.
When it comes to anime films based on existing and ongoing properties you basically know what you’re going to get. My Hero Academia: Two Heroes delivers just that with a lot of style and fun. These are great characters in general and giving them almost two hours to run around and showcase more of their world with a few new things brought in is absolutely delightful. It’s a great looking project that I imagine must have been a real treat on the big screen and the authoring for it here will delight fans for the home release side. It’s a solid cast and dub that we get and the release is great overall, though the extras are the weakest link for me as it feels like it really needs more from the Japanese side or a full commentary track as it feels thin otherwise. Regardless, the film is what you go all in for and it’s a delight, one that’s easy to recommend.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, The Making of a Hero
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: A-
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: March 26th. 2019
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.