Blu-Ray Review: My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1

Izuku Midoriya continues his dream of mastering ‘one for all’ within My Hero Academia but what can one expect to receive from this Blu-Ray release of My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1? Well let’s find out what Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s latest anime offering has to give in our latest review!

Synopsis:

Class 1-A made a name for themselves after facing The League of Villains, but an even greater challenge is about to begin. These young heroes will now fight students from other classes in the world’s biggest Quirk competition-the U.A. sports festival! With dreams at stake and friends turning to adversaries, Deku will give everything he’s got in his grand debut as the world’s next symbol of peace.

Our View:

The first thirteen episodes of the second season of My Hero Academia does very little in the way of giving fans a break, as from start to finish it’s pure ‘quirky’ action and it manages to bring the best out of every character; including those we have yet to meet.

Taking place directly after the events of the first season, which saw the UA Training Grounds attacked by the league of villains, class 1-A finds themselves in the mist of a popular UA Academy Tradition; the UA Sports Festival. It’s no rest for our budding heroes as Class 1-A must now compete against every other classmate, including Hero Class 1-B and the Support Class, to demonstrate their quirks to the world; with the top spot being saved for the best hero currently studying within the academy.

It’s a fast paced adrenaline fuelled ride that’s best ‘binged watched’ for that added momentum, as no sooner than this competition starts its full-speed-ahead with competitive trash talking, strategy and the fight to be the best at UA Accademy. In all serious there is ‘very little’ in the way of plot development as each episode acts as nothing more than a competitive sport taking place; although some character development is made in the form of Todoroki, with the origins of his fire and ice quirks being explained, and Ochako’s notable ambitions of helping her family.

So what exactly happens? Well not a lot really; but it is a great build up to the events that will transpire in the later half-season release of My Hero Academia – Season 2. In this case after the events of the Season 1 are favourite group of heros are thrown into the UA Sports Festival in an attempt to show off their qurik. In doing so Class 1-A take part in various competitions, the first of which is a race around the stadium while the second stage is a team based battle for headbands. The third and final battle meanwhile is standard 1-on-1 fights between heroes in training; with some interesting match-ups I might add.

Unlike the first season, which helped developed Deku and his new classmates as characters, we instead get to see these characters in action. But more importantly we get to explore other portions of UA Academy; namely characters from the alternate Hero Course (1-B) and characters from the support class as well as the unique quirks they have.

So why are the thirteen episodes within My Hero Academia – Season 2 so fun and engaging to watch? It’s pure ‘shonen’ action with the occasional backstory; and while a deeper storyline is lurking in the shadows – which will see some involvement from the league of villains – the events within this half season is just pure good fun that highlights the best the characters of UA Academy have to offer.

Extras:

Just like the first season of My Hero Academia, which was released as a Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack, this Blu-Ray release of Season 2 Part 1 features a wide array of supplementary content; all of which has been spread across the two discs.

The first Blu-ray disc contains ‘Episode 13.5 – Hero Notebook’ which is a recap of the events from the previous season and acts as a nice ‘entry’ into Episode 14 which is of course the first episode of Season 2. Naturally if you have ‘only just’ finished watching Season 1 of My Hero Academia then this ‘Hero Notebook’ episode will not add anything new; but it does act as a nice summary for those who haven’t seen the original series in some time.

The second Blu-Ray disc meanwhile features a wide array of content ranging from Japanese Promotional Videos and Textless Songs to the Anime Expo 2017 panel with Yoshihiko Umakoshi. Additional bonus features include ‘Inside The Episode’ features which takes a closer look at certain events that occured during this first half of this second season, with each ‘Inside the Episode’ tailored to a specific episode with English Cast members providing their own thoughts and impressions.

Unfortunately unlike normal FUNimation authored releases this set does not feature the original US Trailer, which is actually informative for this particular show, and Trailers for other FUNimation shows; both of which tend to be the norm on FUNimation authored releases. Naturally all of these bonus features are ‘out of the norm’ for anime releases and the obvious highlight is the Anime Expo Panel as it is not something anime fans in the UK would usually to get to see.

Specs:

Media: BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:11:07 (Disc 1), 1:35:38 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DolbyTrue HD 5.1 (English) & DolbyTrue HD 2.0  (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1 brings everything we enjoyed about the first season, namely the quirky cast of characters and their energetic dreams, and combines them with a competitive sports event that makes each character stand out on their own merit. It’s fast, it’s fun and at times it can be emotional; but this is just part of what My Hero Academia has to offer, as deep down the message is that everyone can be a hero.

In short these episodes showcase Hero Class 1-A, and in turn Hero Class 1-B and the Support Class, thrown into the popular UA Sports Festival as they each compete against each other using their quirks. Naturally with many different quirks it’s an interesting selection of episodes that sees the best brought out from each one of the characters; and we are not just talking about Deku’s strategic thoughts and his lucky streak. Competitiveness aside events heat up with the occasional dispute amongst characters, namely Deku, Ochako, Todoroki and Bakugo, that further explore their personalities. As mentioned previously its fun, fast and full of energy; and this is only half of the season.

Disregarding the engertic episodic events of the series this Blu-Ray release of My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1, of which is being released into the UK via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, uses similar disc masters to those used by FUNimation in America. The obvious difference is that they have been authored locally (most likely in Australia) as all trace of FUNimation trailers have been removed. This is not a bad thing; it just means we do not get to look at trailers for other FUNimation products.

That aside this Blu-Ray release does retain all bonus features that are included with the American release, such as the recap Episode 13.5, Inside the Episode features and an Interview at Anime Expo. All of these further cement how good of a release this is, as it further explores the world of My Hero Academia in one ways than one.

Naturally this availability of bonus features is ‘expanded’ upon with an exceptional English Dub – of which is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound for added impact – with Japanese Stereo (with English Subtitles) also available for those wishing to experience the original soundtrack.

Overall My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1 is an example of a flawless release, with the only miss able feature being the English Trailer for the series. A slight oversight but it does not disrupt the experience of the episodic content and the presentation of this release.

Score: review-stars-5

My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1 will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray from the 2nd April 2018 within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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