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My Hero Academia: Season One UK Anime DVD Review

10 min read
How it all began…

How it all began…

What They Say:
From studio BONES, the creators of Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater, comes My Hero Academia, a superhero origin story that soars to the top of the class. Izuku has dreamt of being a hero all his life a lofty goal for anyone, but especially challenging for a kid with no superpowers. That s right, in a world where 80% of the population has some kind of superpowered quirk, Izuku was unlucky enough to be born completely normal. But that s not going to stop him from enrolling in one of the world s most prestigious hero academies. Now, the only thing standing between him and his first class is the academy s formidable entrance exam nothing a little private tutoring from the world s mightiest hero can’t solve.

The Review:
Audio:
The sound quality has options of 5.1 English Dolby Surround and the Japanese a 2.0 Stereo option. There were no complications of the audio throughout the release and the 5.1 option definitely comes through well with no need to adjust default settings on the audio system I was using. There were no problems with the video synching in with subtitles as definitely acceptable as a DVD release.

Video:
Similar with the audio, the video is set in 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio via NTSC transfer to PAL format – with DVD releases nowadays the effect definitely seems grainier compared to HD and with me doing a ton of Blu-ray reviews recently this is a good way to remind you how the times have changed. That said, the animation was good overall, minimal use of CGI compared to other shows (at least that I could notice) and with the high impact attack sequences, the show does deliver quite well in the animation and visual department. The unique designs of many of the characters (who doesn’t love Asui a.k.a. Frog Girl?) help it out as well as the show flows very well.

Packaging:
There was no packing for this test release.

Menu:
The menu on both discs pretty basic – both have the same menu set up and images (an image of a number of the students in front of a giant All Might) – the menu set up is below them of Play All, Episode and Set Up on a yellow background, the menus and images are unremarkable and standard, menu is quick and does its job with no glitches and can quickly return back to the main menu when watching the series, just a bit dull considering how popular the show is.

Extras:
There are no extras for this release.

Content:
This is the second time MHA has been released however this is the first time I’ve acquired the DVDs – I had previously seen this on Crunchyroll and have reviewed the Season 3 discs so am going back in time with these reviews but with the re-release, makes it easier to return back in time and get back with this lovable cast of quirky peeps…literally in this case.

I’m sure most people know of this series in some form and also it seems to be the next big thing in terms of Shounen series. Combined with the fact that Season 4 trailers just came up when I was writing this the hype continues to well…er continue, so how did it all began?

With Shounen Jump 101. But with a twist.

Our lead, Izuku Midoriya is a young boy who is a bit of an abnormality in this world….a world where most people have what is known as ‘quirks’ a.k.a. special abilities which seem to put you either in the mundane tasks land…or more into superhero territory. Midoriya definitely has a huge respect for heroes and always wanted to be one. So not having a quirk doesn’t really help in that regard. And this doesn’t help his stand as wanting to study at a big hero school…with his bully/rival/maybe friend Bakugo not helping matters. So when he is attacked by a villain and rescued by the most famous hero of all time named All Might, things begin to change.

Midoriya clinging onto hope (and All Might literally) he discovers All Mights secret, he is running out of power and his regular form is a shriveled up sarcastic old man due to an injury making him unable to hold his All Might form. Worse, he doesn’t give Midoriya any real help as believes he can’t be a hero. However when Bakugo gets attacked by a villain, Midoriya despite the tension dives in to save him – All Might has a change of heart seeing how brave the quirkless Midoriya is, and tells him of his ability ‘One For All’ – a rare quirk that is transferrable that increases strength to a godly level…but can destroy your body if not prepared for it. For this, All Might trains Midoriya to train him before he tries to see if he can apply to the heroes school, U.A High. However, he is thrown in the deep end when he has to try and defeat several robotic enemies, and with so many skilled students there as well, it’s not looking good. However, the shy Midoriya meets a cutie pie named Uraraka, and when she gets in trouble, he rushes in to save her – demonstrating his power for the first time…and immediately breaking his arm….

Yeah, he needs to still get used to it. Good job there is a teacher that can heal on the payroll…

However, part of the test was heroism and whilst others did far better in smashing robots, Midoriya (and Uraraka) both pass due to their acts of saving the other (he saved her from the robot, she saved him using her gravity quirk to stop him crashing into the ground after his attack). It still won’t be easy with Bakugo there and the teacher Aizawa threatening expulsion for those not able to use their quirks well…though there is more to him. However, there are plenty of other students there that could make a difference…and friendship. Notable ones are the high on rules but good hearted Iida, the mysterious fire user Todoroki and the somehow ADORABLE friendly frog girl Tsuyu (call me Tsu-chan!)- but there are a LOT of students so we hope they get their introductions and usage throughout…

We get a mock battle between Bakugo and Midoriya (with Iida and Uraraka as their partners respectively) with Bakugo really annoyed at Midoriya (calling him his not nice nickname Deku…which backfires when Uraraka mentions it can mean something positive that it becomes his super hero name….also because it is clear Midoriya has a cute little crush on her) as Bakugo thinks Midoriya has been tricking him over the years after seeing his quirk in action, and the mock battle doesn’t help that as he uses his quirk to secure victory in a unique way. To Bakugo’s further shock, after being seen as the best at his old school and fueling his ego, it is clear many of the students (Todoroki, Tsuyu, the lovely Yaoyorozu amongst others) are just as good if not better regarding their quirks, and that he isn’t the best automatically. Though Midoriya does give him a hint about his quirk…

The big thing happens as when Iida becomes class president (after Midoriya was seemingly chosen but he realised Iida was the best person when some paparazzi try to invade the school as it is learn All Might is now a teacher there) the group are being trained outside the school as they are worried villains might attack. Unfortunately, that was what they expected – this villain group is led by a man named Shigaraki whose only goal seems to be to get All Might – their goals are not clear at this point but All Might is definitely the focus and they spread the students over to attack them in small groups. However, their flaw is separating them not knowing their quirk – the best example being Midoriya being separated underwater near a ship….with Tsuyu a.k.a. best girl ^^ O.K yeah, Tsuyu is somehow adorable, funny, nice and sassy as she smashes worst boy Mineta (easily my least favourite of the kids due to how he’s very perverted but not funny and a quirk which isn’t even that useful) after a pervy comment, her frog skills helping her and Midoriya out as they talk like heroes whilst Mineta is a coward in the background (yeah, I REALLY DON’T LIKE HIM…) – the two form a quick friendship/team (with Midoriya keep forgetting to call her Tsu or Tsuyu-chan kero :P) to defeat the villains after them.

It leads to All Might eventually turning up before the more powerful can kill Midoriya and the others whilst trying to hold back his power as he can only use it at small amounts of time. With the kids help, and Midoriya keeping his secret, will this end best in the end for the new superhero Deku…or is Shigaraki simply planning something more? The plot thickens and sets up for the second season…

The secret of this show, especially with a lot of similar shows in past and present, is simply the strength of the characters. Obviously comparisons can be made to other shounen jump shows (Naruto, DBZ and One Piece being the obvious ones) but fortunately, it still manages to be its own thing mainly thanks to how likable Deku is and the fact he has a great cast around him.

Midoriya/Deku is the classic shounen hero – like Naruto, he has always wanted to be the super person of choice (hero for Deku, ninja for Naruto) and also like Naruto feels like an outcast due to having no quirk (compared to Naruto who was an outcast because he has TOO much power because of his fox seal). Unlike Naruto though, Deku isn’t a troublemaker and is, in fact, quite the sweetheart – the poor guy is a classic victim, even bullied due to the fact he has no quirk, exemplified by his on/off relationship with Bakugou – his primary bully but once he shows his quirk, Bakugou goes insane with anger – not because he has a quirk but because he might be more powerful or was hiding his power all this time. This almost sets up the key rivalry in the group (again, comparison with Naruto/Sasuke from Naruto are obvious) but here, with a colourful cast of characters in the class – again, Naruto comparisons are there, though the lead girl isn’t in love with the bad boy Bakugou, there is definitely something cute between Deku and Uraraka, made helpful by Deku’s dorky and bashful nature like talking to a girl for the first time. It doesn’t help Deku’s personality actually makes him friends easily, the key one being how he and everyone’s favourite frog girl (kero) Tsuyu and him work together in their escape from the ship. And whilst there are so many characters not many get a huge amount of spotlight, most of them get their powers at least showcased briefly setting up to be important players in the future.

The mentor character is also key – All Might is a legendary super hero, who transfers his power to Deku – a definite chosen one mentality. What differs here is the fact All Might has limited remaining power and his other form of a cynical old man starts off as being unsure about Deku but once he shows his resolve, the two definitely have a master/tutor relationship which seems to be a rarity as All Might definitely has more than one good talk with Deku. In fact all the teachers have a harsh but firm love for the students, which again, comparisons to Naruto will be made. However, despite said comparisons, Academia is definitely its own beast with the set range of characters, fun interactions, excellent battles and the legit development Deku has to go through, not just physically so that he can use his quirk without injuring himself, but mentally as he grows from shy boy into magnetic and lovable hero. There will definitely be some bumps on the road I am sure, but I am waiting to see this boy grow.

Summary:
You can see why this is the next big thing in Shounen Jump shows following from the likes of Naruto and One Piece. Whilst it has a dueling show (Black Clover) for that title, this feels superior in most ways – mostly because despite the large cast of characters it definitely feels everyone will be important in some way – albeit some more so than others. Deku is a sweet little cinnamon bun and his development both physically and mentally will be fun to watch. Whilst it does have a lot of the classic clichés (mentor, rival, love interest, villains with a longer goal, etc) they work mainly due to how fun and intriguing the cast is, and with the amount of power and quirks involved, there is a lot of potential for team ups. Deku has already had two team ups with probably the two most likable females in the show so far so seeing more of this is ready and waiting for the future. Of course, if not into classic shounen won’t be your cup of tea, but otherwise, sit back and let your mind wander into a future classic.

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

Released By: Manga Entertanmen tUK
Release Date: June 10th, 2019
MSRP: £16.99
Running Time: 96 minutes
Video Encoding: PAL
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1

Review Equipment:
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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