Blu-Ray Review: My Hero Academia – Season 1

The first season of My Hero Academia has previously been released in the UK via Universal Pictures UK, and as a Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack (of which we unboxed), so how does this standard release fair by Manga Entertainment UK? Well it is the same episodic and disc based content; but presented in standard format. Either way; it is a great shonen series and worth exploring.

Synopsis:

It’s an exciting age of heroes, where most people develop supernatural abilities known as Quirks. Bright-eyed kids like Izuku Midoriya—Deku for short—dream of the day they become champions of the people. There’s just one little problem standing in Deku’s way.

In a world full of heroes, he’s Quirkless. Crushed, but not down for the count, this superhero-fanboy dedicates his time to studying the pros in hopes that he, too, can join a prestigious high school for heroes. In the face of despair, Deku’s courage catches the eye of his ultimate idol, the symbol of justice known as All Might!

With special training from the big guy himself, Deku and the talented first-years of the academy may finally have a shot at achieving their dreams. But these amateurs are put to the test of a lifetime when routine training becomes a battle against real villains!

Our View:

Although previously released as a Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack by Universal Pictures in the UK, of which has long since gone of out print, distributor Manga Entertainment UK now brings us the standard Blu-Ray (and DVD) editions of My Hero Academia – Season 1. Whether you have owned this previously or not there is no denying that My Hero Academia – Season 1 brings up some quality shonen jump action wrapped around an entertaining and inspiring story line that will make you shout PLUS ULTRA or I AM HERE at any chance you get.

For those unfamiliar with the My Hero Academia universe the world is inundated with evolved humans that have obtained power known as quirks; each of which award varying styles of power to the ones that wield them. These quirks sparked the rise of a power balance amongst humans, with some using the powers for good (heroes) or others using them for bad (villains). To regulate this ever-growing problem professional heroes were introduced and those who attend specialised academies and obtain a hero license will be able to take part in said hero quests and save the general public from trouble. The strongest of heroes, and the most inspiring of them all, being All-Might.

It’s at this point we are introduced to Izuku Midoriya, otherwise nicknamed as Deku by his classmates, who dreams of developing his own quirk and becoming a hero like his idol All-Might; however after a doctors inspection he learns that he will never develop a quirk and that he will remain a normal human being. Devastating news indeed; but Deku never gives up on this dream and after several decades he has become an expert in the different heroes and quirks that are available. In hindsight you could call Deku a fan-boy, and is often referred to as such, but he doesn’t mind as he enjoy anything to do with quirks.

Despite not having any power Deku is a hero at heart, so when he sees his closest friend, Bakugo, being attacked by a villian and unable to defend himself he rushes out to save him; in turn inspiring All-Might and beginning this adventure of becoming a Hero. All-Might, who is the number one hero within the world, divulges his secret of his power to Deku and it’s explained that All-Might’s power of one for all is actually passed down and inherited; with Deku being chosen as his successor. The caveat to this is that Deku doesn’t have the body strength to support the immense power required to wield this strength; so Deku and All-Might begin secret training sessions so that Deku’s body can withstand the strain it puts on the body.

Moving forward the story picks up pace and begins to start introducing more about this ‘quriky’ world to it viewers; such as the introduction of UA Academy, a prestigious school that focuses on training the next top heroes. However in order to be accepted into this school a selection of difficult team and solo based tasks must be completed; all of which Deku partakes in in order to enter the academy that he has dreamed of attending. Here viewers are introduced to a wide variety of characters and the unique abilities they process, with deku left being mesmerised (and taking notes) in order learn more about the powers that are available.

The final selection of episodes meanwhile focus on practical training exercises and exams at various different locations; but while doing one of these exams the League of Villains gate-crash with the intention of taking hostages and luring out All-Might. Unbeknownst to them however the UA Academy students are skilled and as such a battle of wits takes place until professional heroes arrive on the scene to stop the enemy threat. Even with this added help All-Might is pushed to the limit when a seemingly unstoppable enemy appears with the sole purpose of killing the symbol of peace and justice.

My Hero Academia is known for being comical, entertaining and fast-paced; and even with this first season it remains true. It’s obvious that inspiration was taken from comic books, both in form of superheroes abilities and its artsyle/presentation; but this doesn’t matter when the series is entertaining throughout. Whether you are a newcomer trying out My Hero Academia for the first time, or a long-time fan finally owning the series in physical form, you’ll find some form of entertainment and fans of Marvel/DC Comics (or even superhoes in general) will enjoy what is on offer.

Special highlights also have to go out to the English Dub which features a strong cast of voice actors that really bring the show alive and make it more immersive alongside the extensive amount of special features included on the disc. Naturally those who prefer the original Japanese audio track will be well catered for as well; as both English and Japanese audio options are provided for the episodic content.

Extras:

The selection of bonus features included with this Blu-Ray releae of My Hero Acadmeia – Season 1 are exactly the same as the previous UK Blu-ray release, of which was released by Universal Pictures UK, and is based on the FUNimation releases in North America. In actuality all three releases should be exactly the same, with the only differences being the distributor logo before the main menu.

It terms of supplementary content then My Hero Academia fans are treated to an ‘exceptional’ selection of content. So much so that an entire extra Blu-Ray disc is included with bonus features. The first disc features episodic content while the second disc features interviews with various English Dub voice actors as well as features that go “inside the episode” for a closer look at specific content within that episode; all of which is commentated by the English cast and production crew.

The third disc meanwhile focuses entirely on content created from Anime Expo 2016; with even the entire Anime Expo 2016 panel being included alongside interviews with both English and Japanese cast.

In short the supplementary content included with My Hero Academia – Season 1 is expansive and varied; but more importantly than that it extends the overall viewing time of the franchise and gives you first hand insights into what it was like working on the show from the perspective of the English cast.

Specs:

Media: BD 50 x2, BD 25 x1
Region: B
Running Time: 3:40:04 (Disc 1), 1:37:08 (Disc 2), 1:04:00 (Disc 3)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

My Hero Academia – Season 1 begins the journey of Izuku Midoriya, nicknamed Deku by classmate Bakugo, as he strives to achieve his dream of becoming a world class hero within this society that relives heavily on professional heroes as a result of humans developing quirks through natural evolution. For those unfamiliar with the story then it is going to provide plenty of comical fun mixed with shonen action; and it is great starting point for newcomers who wish to start watching anime.

Within this first season of My Hero Academia we see Deku, who longs to become a hero like his idol All-Might, learn that he will never become a hero as a result of not having a quirk. However after dashing into the middle of a fight to save his classmate, and in turn inspiring All-Might, he learns that he too could become a hero. Through rigorous training Deku manages to inherit All-Might’s quirk (power) of one for all and in turn enrol at the hero academy, UA High School, in order develop his power and become a real hero. It is a journey of determination and passion that sees Deku become a top-class student; but it’s not just grades he has to worry about. Just as Hero’s exist, villains do as well and when they attack UA High School in order to defeat All-Might the whole academy teams up to save the day. It’s fast and fun with each episode continuing to delivery a solid story that keeps on getting better.

Those who previously purchased Universal Pictures Blu-Ray release of My Hero Academia – Season 1 won’t need to pick-up this Blu-Ray release via Manga Entertainment, as other than the company logo at the beginning of the disc, and the packaging of the set, the contents are exactly the same. Universal Pictures Blu-Ray release, of which was only released as a Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack, and this Manga Entertainment UK release are pretty much one and the same; which is a good thing as it means that no-one will loose out in terms of on disc content.

This first season of My Hero Academia begins the epic shonen adventure of one boy’s dream of becoming a true hero, and it’s no small feat when you’ve got no power of your own. Although only thirteen episodes long My Hero Academia – Season 1 delivers fast-fun-filled episodes that develop and explore each characters individuals and skills before diving into both academic elements and threats from dangerous villains. This Blu-Ray release brings out the best that My Hero Academia – Season 1 has to offer, both in episodic quality and supplementary quality, but more importantly than that it means than fans of the franchise will now be able to own it themselves without having to spend a small fortune on Universal Pictures out-of-print limited edition release.

Score: review-stars-5

My Hero Academia – Season 1 will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the 10th June 2019 within the UK via Manga Entertainment 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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