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My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Review

September 25, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
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My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Review  

Directed By: Kenji Nagasaki
Written By: Yōsuke Kuroda; Based on the manga and characters created by Kōhei Horikoshi
Runtime: 90 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13

Justin Briner – Izuku Midoriya/Deku
Christopher Sabat – Toshinori Yagi/All Might
Ray Chase – David Shield
Erica Mendez – Melissa Shield
Keith Silverstein – Wolfram
Luci Christian – Ochako Uraraka/Uravity
J. Michael Tatum – Tenya Iida/Ingenium
David Matranga – Shōto Todoroki
Clifford Chapin – Katsuki Bakugo
Colleen Clinkenbeard – Momo Yaoyorozu/Creati
Brina Palencia – Minoru Mineta/Grape Juice
Trina Nishimura – Kyōka Jirō/Earphone Jack
Justin Cook – Eijiro Kirishima/Red Riot
Monica Rial – Tsuyu Asui/Froppy

Funimation Films brings the very first movie based on the smash-hit anime and manga series, My Hero Academia, to theaters stateside, and it does not disappoint. 411Mania was recently on hand for the film’s Los Angeles premiere at the Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center ahead of the dubbed version’s limited theatrical run in the US. My Hero Academia: Two Heroes picks things up during the middle of the series and offers a compelling sort of “sidequest” for young hero-in-training, Izuku Midoriya, his mentor All Might, and Izuku’s classmates.

Set between about Season 2 and Season 3 of the anime series, All Might has invited Izuku, aka the aspiring hero Deku, on a summer trip to I Island, which is about to kick off a special convention. Think of it like Comic-Con International but for this world’s superhero and scientific community. There, All Might introduces Deku to his old friends, David Shield and his daughter Melissa. David was basically All Might’s inventor and sidekick in his early hero days when All Might was an exchange student in the United States. Davis Shield is now one of I Island’s top scientists, inventors, and researchers, and his enthusiastic daughter is looking to follow in his daughter’s footsteps. She even supplies Deku with a handy piece of hero tech that can help protect his arm and fist when he uses his powers since Deku’s quirk that was transferred to him from All Might causes quite a bit of damage to his body.

Unfortunately for All Might, his powers are rapidly deteriorating due to transferring his quirk to Deku and his past injuries. The revelation has David shocked cold since All Might is the world’s symbol for peace and justice.

Coincidentally enough, it appears Deku’s whole class from UA High has made it to the expo as well, including the girl he likes Ochako Uraraka, the strict class rep Tenya Iida, Deku’s hot-headed childhood friend Katsuki Bakugō, the perverted Minoru Mineta, and pretty much the rest of the freshman class. It appears everyone in the class was able to get a ticket or tag along one way or the other. Some of the group even managed to earn tickets to attend the preview night gala, which is where all hell breaks loose.

A group of criminals, led by Wolfram, manage to break through I Island’s high-tech security and take over the control hub. After All Might is incapacitated, and Wolfram’s cronies take human hostages, the heroes present at the gala are powerless to act, unless they want to see Wolfram’s thugs turn the island’s security drones against all of its innocent denizens. However, Deku and his friends are not going to take this situation lying down. Now, the aspiring teen heroes have to band together to reach the central control room to free the heroes and save the island.

Much like Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, One Piece Film: Gold and numerous Naruto movies that have come before, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is more or less what one would call a “filler” story. It’s a story set in-between the major events depicted in the anime and manga, and it doesn’t do anything to alter or shift from the main status quo of the story. When dealing with a story like this, none of the characters or their circumstances are going to be greatly changed or altered by this cinematic adventure. Now, that’s not necessarily a means to denigrate from the film. Is this more or less a filler adventure? Yes. But is it still a good film? Also, yes.

Even despite Two Heroes being a filler storyline, it’s got a lot going for it. The film’s opening sequence is fantastic, depicting a young All Might during his college days in an amusing, exaggerated version of “California, USA” that happens to look a lot like Las Vegas for some reason. The sequence depicts a younger, healthier All Might, without blacked-out eyes in his prime years as a young hero, working alongside his friend David Shield.

Most of the film focuses on David’s connection and reverence for All Might. There’s a very interesting parable here, as David is struggling to deal with All Might’s declining health. My Hero Academia has never shied away from the value of All Might’s importance to the world, but he’s brought into the story in a very grave state. At the beginning of the manga, All Might’s body is already a physical wreck. At the point of Two Heroes, All Might’s powers are basically running on fumes. However, through all that, there’s a powerful message in respecting and letting go of the previous, older generation and allowing the new one to take flight and surpass that one.

That is the true power of My Hero Academia, and it’s represented in spades for Two Heroes. It’s a message and theme that My Hero Academia manages to accomplish better than Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which leaves the audience feeling hurt and cold. The messages of both movies are identical. It’s very similar ground to when Yoda says, “We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” It’s a great and incredibly powerful line, but it’s one where Two Heroes probably exemplifies that better from a story standpoint more so than The Last Jedi, which serves in making the movie’s climax a very satisfying experience.

A lesser aspect of Two Heroes is the underwhelming main villain, Wolfram. Wolfram has a cool look, design, and Quirk. He can control metal like Magneto. Keith Silverstein puts in a good performance as Wolfram, but the character is fairly underdeveloped. Silverstein also voiced Gild Tesoro in One Piece Film: Gold, who was still given more of a backstory than Wolfram. One of My Hero Academia‘s strengths is that the villains tend to be very interesting, layered characters. Wolfram, while having a cool look and design, is more or less a throwaway character that’s often used in the film spinoffs for anime.

Also, while Deku’s entire class is on the island, only a handful get involved in the main plot. Granted, My Hero Academia is a fairly fun and light anime series, but the story didn’t need to have the entire class attend unless they wanted to make the event a field trip. As a result, a good chunk of the cast is simply left aside bumming around or scratching their heads, not even realizing that a grave emergency is taking place. This leaves a lot of characters with little to do in the story that they maybe didn’t need to appear in. Unfortunately, My Hero Academia‘s best character and certified “best girl,” Tsuyu Asui (aka Froppy), basically has nothing to do, and that’s a tad disappointing. Thankfully, the film makes the most out of Mineta’s screentime as the comic relief, a role which he serves very well.

One of the film’s best visual gags is a kaiju hero named Godzillo; inspired in look and design by Toho’s Godzilla. Godzillo is basically like the anti-Chekhov’s Gun, which is a shame.

The anime’s dynamic, colorful style translates to the screen very well. The big fight at the climax showcases some impressive display of Quirk abilities, and all the main heroes, especially Deku, get to have their moments to shine. Hopefully, Two Heroes will open up opportunities for more adventures of this great cast of lovable, charming characters. Also, the movie has the added bonus of proving, yet again, that theatrical traditional animation is far from dead.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is an overall great companion piece to the anime series. It showcases some cool Quirks and superhero powers. Two Heroes excels in exploring its theme of empowering the next generation of heroes, while also offering another look at the past and backstory of All Might. All the main heroes of the show are in good form here, and the fights and animation look great on the big screen. Two Heroes is worth checking out for fans of the franchise. My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is playing in theaters in the US from September 25 to October 2. More details on how to see it are available RIGHT HERE.