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My Hero Academia Season 3 Part 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Anime Review

9 min read
Training continues but things turn serious quickly.

Training continues but things turn serious quickly.

What They Say:
Summer is here, and the heroes of Class 1-A and 1-B are in for the toughest training camp of their lives! A group of seasoned pros pushes everyone’s Quirks to new heights as the students face one overwhelming challenge after another. Braving the elements in this secret location becomes the least of their worries when routine training turns into a critical struggle for survival.

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this series is a pretty strong one overall as we get the original Japanese language in stereo 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. The stereo mix works 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. The 5.1 mix takes all of that and raises the volume a bit and has a bigger sound and bass to it, causing the fights to feel a bit deeper and richer. 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.

Video:
Originally airing in 2018, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are spread across two discs with eight on the first and four on the second, which also has several extras there. Animated by Bones, My Hero Academia is a show that has a solid budget behind it with plenty of payoff in the animation. While it has its quieter scenes with some standing around to keep things done right there are a lot of very big and active scenes and a lot of creativity with powers throughout. 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.

Packaging:
The packaging for this limited edition release brings us a heavy chipboard box that replicates what the second season set was like and will have space for the next set so that the whole season can be together. This set comes with a Blu-ray case that holds both formats and a hardcover book along with the space box that holds the goodies. The box is a slick looking piece with some embossing that helps that key visual that we know to stand out all the more with the character artwork and logo getting the extra pop. It uses familiar old school comic elements to it so that it hints at the superhero side nicely as well.The back of the box goes for a really packed full cast look with too many characters but gives it the embossed treatment as well which is welcome since the first set didn’t do that. The oversized Blu-ray case gives us a good shot if Bakugo dominating with the same kind of elements as the box for the design while the background gives us another fun character image.

The hardcover book is nicely done with it filled mostly with character pieces on those that are used in this part of the season while including several pages of character roughs, all in high-quality full color. Within the spacer box we get the several standees to put together, more of the holographic cards, and another keychain to build your collection with.

Menu:
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 episode. There’s no logo anywhere on this after the first five seconds which is kind of surprising since we usually do get that in some form for most releases, which makes this one feel kind of barren. The navigation strip works smoothly and without problems in navigating but the sheer amount of extras, mostly on the second disc, makes the layout a little more complex and I wish it had more real estate to work with so that it wasn’t so squished with so much text. Submenus load quickly and everything is problem free during both playback and as the top level menu.

Extras:
The extras for this release are pretty packed and a lot of it is naturally geared toward the dub fan. We get the familiar and welcome with the clean opening and closing sequences and an array of Japanese promotional videos. We also get four English promotional spots that were done as part of the Inside the Episodes that were streamed prior to the broadcast with the cast and their characters getting some of the spotlight. The bigger extras here come in the form of two interviews made during Anime Expo 2018 with Yuki Hayashi, composer for the series, and Daiki Yamashita, who plays Izuku Midoriya. They clock in at eight and twelve minutes respectively and gives us a good bit for the Japanese side of the series to enjoy. We also get an outtakes reel of the dub, which always delights and even 2 ½ minutes of material is definitely fun.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a very popular first season that spawned an even more popular second season, one that spread overseas like an infection, the third season landed in 2018 as a two-cour run, the first half of which makes up this set. The show is one that I continue to find a lot of fun because it works that really neat blending of traditional American superhero types with Japanese sensibilities. Focusing on the greater good as a team effort kind of approach and working through proper education to achieve it through the UA are things that I very much expected coming out of Japan but wouldn’t expect in mainstream US comics outside of some indie style properties. So it makes it fun to see the blending and how well it largely works.

This half of the series is one that takes us to some key moments by the end, moments that took its time to get there and I appreciate it for it. The focus on All-Might finally ending his run after abusing his body as much as he has and essentially having to retire is usually the starting point in a lot of other series. And that’s always frustrating because there’s a lot to explore with a proper mentor type as we get from All-Might here with young Deku. So while we do get a really great larger sequence when it comes to All-Might finishing out in a blaze of glory, one that reveals his true body, the material that works far better for me is seeing the way he’s so proud of Deku now that he’s thrown himself into a fight without abusing his own body further. It’s growth on Deku’s part and while I wouldn’t really call him reckless in the grand scope of things, it’s exactly what All-Might needed to see in order to feel like he can truly let go of the position that he’s held for so long. It’s strong and masterful all while being spread out over several episodes and the culmination of pretty much four-cour worth of material.

But where does that leave the rest of the season? It’s one that builds toward that event but takes some fun turns to get there, and a lot of little moments that will either delight or frustrate. Hell, I was pleased just for a brief Mineta sequence that had me grinning from ear to ear. The season works some of the familiar as we get a recap within the first episode but told while everyone is having a class at the pool, which means a little fanservice, a little silliness, and a good way to easily reconnect. But from there it moves forward into the next round of training for the 1-A and 1-B classes with them on the trip to a training camp in the forest. The training side of the series is essentially a given because that’s the whole concept, the academia, and it works nicely enough since we get the large class and a lot of variety in powers and personalities combined with teenage mentalities as it runs the gamut. I’m hard-pressed to pull too much out of this even with a villainous attack that’s in motion to go after some of them here, because the show does a good job of really letting a wide range of characters get their time in the spotlight. It reminds me of the character polls in a way in how they do get a lot of attention from unexpected areas as little character strike a chord, and those small moments translate well into both manga and anime.

There’s a lot of good action across the show and it’s one that will please because it does come across more as having ramifications, with some of them ending up hospitalized along the way and that these fights are changing them. Some of the kids won’t seem as reckless or excited about the fights that they’ll get into but rather will now end up being more serious about it and likely try to de-escalate it more. What I do love is that we see with some others how all of this is impacting the support side of the cast. And I don’t mean just the school support side. My favorite character in the show is still Mama Midoriya and seeing the way she has to really cope with how it’s all playing out and just how many things Deku is getting involved with, and being impacted by, has her ready to pull the plug on things. And understandably so. Watching the family dynamic play out and the way she expresses herself throughout it is a really great layer within the show.

In Summary:
I had missed out on the second half of the second season by My Hero Academia makes things pretty accessible here in its third season. The recap at the start covers most of the basics and it works to push us forward to a lot more training, some interesting opponents, and continued growth of our core cast as they learn and fight together and sometimes with each other. The bigger moments come toward the end of this set at the halfway mark of the season as we get the culmination of one of the better storylines of the series over the four-cour that it’s run at this point, making me really excited to see where it goes from here. Funimation’s release is pretty much exactly on par with the previous second season LE with a great package, lots of fun pack-in items, and a great looking and sounding set with really fun extras for fans of both voice casts. Very recommended.

Features:
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Interview with Daiki Yamashita (voice of Deku) and Yuki Hayashi (composer), Inside the Episodes, Outtakes Reel, Promo Videos, Commercial Collection

My Hero Academia Season 3 Part 1 contains episodes 39-50 directed by Kenji Nagasaki and is housed in a rigid Chipboard Box and contains space to house Part Two, along with a 60-page art book, chibi Bakugo keychain, acrylic standees, and 10 collectible holographic trading cards

Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: A-

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: May 7th, 2018
MSRP: $84.98
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
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.


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