Movie Review: My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising

Animated by Studio BONES and overseen by the manga’s original author Kohei Horikoshi, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising brings the franchise to the big screen as a second feature-length-film and this time a stand-a-lone story delivers everything you would come to enjoy from the franchise in a single sitting. Destructive quirks, emotional trauma and going beyond one’s own limit. It’s all here in this action-packed thrill ride that brings the best of what My Hero Academia has to offer to the big screen.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Taking place somewhere after the events of the third season, but potentially during the fourth season, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising begins with the League of Villains driving a truck while being chased by a group of heroes. It’s an interesting way to kick-start a film, but it certainly draws you in with its fast-paced-narrative and explosive nature. The chase ends, rather spectacularly I might add, with the truck being destroyed by Endeavour and the cargo of the truck escaping into the wilderness. That cargo is non-other than the mysterious antagonist of the film; the villain Nine.

It’s all a bit mysterious but as the film proceeds forward we learn that Nine reached out to the League of Villains in order to be a test subject for the Doctors experiment; an experiment that would see the creation of a super-villain similar to All for One. This experiment, while successful, did not cure the problems that Nine was experiencing with his own body and as such he has formed his own villain group in order to track down those that have gene manipulation quirks. With the powers of All for One, Nine begins his journey of stealing other peoples quirks while searching for the power that he needs. This is the reasoning for Nine’s activity and its one that leads him towards our group of heroes in training.

Regardless after this introductory truck sequence we fast forward through the usual hero monologue, which has actually been held back for this film, and find that class 1-A of UA High School are on Nabu Island. It’s here where the students of 1-A have set up a base of operations and partake in various activities that help the residents with whatever they need. As pointed out a hero’s duty is not just to “beat up bad guys” – much to the annoyance of Bakugo – but it is also to act as support within the community; something which is highlighted during a brief montage and opens up new types of hero ideals within this fictional world we’ve become familiar with.

This hero agency also serves a more interesting purpose; and that is to highlight and bring-to-life all of the different characters and their unique quirks to the big screen. The previous film, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, did a similar thing towards the end of the film, but around half of the cast was left absent; however here everyone from class 1-A gets their chance to shine and this continues throughout the rest of the film. It’s an interesting way of making sure that the entire fandom is catered for; but naturally the popular selection of characters get the most screen time.

One such task sees Deku, Jiro and Uraraka search for a missing child (Katsuma) on the island only to find that it was a prank done by the childs older sister (Mahoro) to see how fast the heroes respond. Initially this task, along with a fake cry for help from a villain seems meaningless; but it actually plays an import part within the story. Firstly being a hero means you should also treat everyone with respect and smile upon rescuing them but more importantly these children are two key characters that need to be protected throughout the course of the film. This is due to Katsuma’s ability of manipulating cells within the human body; a power which Nine wishes to wield in order to restore his own health.

Naturally at this earlier stage of the film we do not know that but it all makes sense by the ending. Katsuma and Mahoro live alone on the island while their father works on the mainland and Nine actually tracks down their father in order to absorb his power. Unfortunately for Nine the blood type is different and so he looks for Mahoro on Nabu Island once realising that he has a child. It’s a simple enough story; but due to the presentation of it you don’t actually piece together the story until much later in the runtime.

It’s at this point in the films runtime that the story of My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising begins to show its true colours as Nine and his group of villains arrive on the island in order to locate and obtain Katsuma. In doing so they isolate the island from any outside attention by destroying power and disrupting communication channels. Naturally with the Class of 1-A being the only heroes on the island they are tasked by the community to take on the villains that have appeared; but it isn’t an easy fight.

Much like the mainline series the Villains that appear each have unique quirks that further expand the My Hero Academia franchise. Nine, as an example, is capable of using different types of quirks that he has obtained – a feat which Deku learns the hard way after confronting him to a one-on-one battle – while Nines accomplices Chimera, Slice and Mummy offer more bizarre quirks. Chimera is, as the name implies, a wolf-beast styled monster that is capable of breathing fire, while Slice can use her hair to cut anything she sees and Mummy can manipulate anything with his bandages. Simple names; but deadly powers as class 1-A find out for themselves.

For the next twenty minutes or so of the runtime we see different groups of Class 1-A help out with evacuation attempts before confronting these villains with each villain being treated to two or more students. Naturally these are all interesting mash-up but, as mentioned previously, it brings characters that do not often get the lime light to the big screen. Whether it be Sato, Ojiro and Shoji’s combat techniques, Tokyoyami’s dark shadow ability or Mineta’s trap balls each hero in training receives their chance at the limelight to deliver an interesting spectacle and this continues throughout the remainder of the film.

The remainder of the film however is one of epic proportions that goes beyond the hype and intensity seen in past My Hero Academia stories. The battle between the heroes and villains rages on to breaking point that sees the heroes lure the villains into a trap so that each villain could be isolated and defeated against students that would have good match-ups against them. For instance Todoroki, Ida, Asui and Kirashima fight against Chimera while Tokoyami and Ashido fight against Slice. The remaining students meanwhile fight against Nine and his godlike destructive quirks; with Bakugo and Deku leading the charge.

Naturally My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is considered a stand-a-lone film within the franchise and, at this point in time at least, is not considered part of the main story; but the events of this fight with Deku and Bakugo against Nine deliver some of the best fight sequences seen within the franchise. The admiration between these characters towards All Might and each other’s goals ascends to new heights that is sure to make the most fans gleam with excitement. Over-the-top destructive is ensured; but it is done to the standards you would expect from the franchise and even leaves room for some surprises and a bit of comedy at the end.

In short My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is exactly what it needs to be; fun, energetic and beyond PLUS ULTRA! A must see for any My Hero Academia fan but can still be enjoyed by those who are relatively new to the franchise.

Score: review-stars-5

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising will be available in select cinemas throughout the UK from the 26th February 2020 in both English Subbed and English Subbed formats. Tickets are available to pre-book online from the official My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising UK website.

English Dubbed Teaser Trailer:

English Subtitled Teaser Trailer:

 

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: