things i love about my hero academia
(not all of them because then this would turn into a 500 page journal that could be published and sold and no one would buy it because no one is as much of a nerd as i am)
- our main protagonist is not a traditionally masculine hero. he’s small, he’s weak, he’s a crybaby, he’s sensitive. especially in the shounen genre, this is a pretty rare thing to see, and even as Izuku grows as a person and becomes more confident in himself, he’s still shy and anxious.
- he’s also a fanboy!! and not in a bad way!! it’s his fanboy nature that allows him to express himself and show how smart, intuitive, and observant he is
- the character who does get all the traditionally masculine traits is the character everyone in the main cast acknowledges is a total asshole who mercilessly bullied and abused his classmate/childhood playmate
- it’s also very clearly seen that Izuku has been conditioned (unintentionally) to fear Bakugou because of all of that physical and emotional abuse. just because he’s a hero in training and he’s learning and growing and becoming more confident doesn’t erase all of those years of bullying
- it’s also acknowledged that they are children and still have room to grow. Bakugou is an asshole, but he’s not totally villainized for his behavior and is given the chance to change and become a better person because he’s only sixteen years old and still has time to change
- and he does!! he makes an effort to change and try to adjust his behavior to make a more positive impact (even if it is a slow and arduous process, we do see him make great strides throughout the manga)
- it would have been really easy to just throw Bakugou under the bus and make him a villain, but instead we get to see his growth as a person as he matures and enters the world of adulthood
- All Might is the no. 1 hero, the Symbol of Peace, the man everyone thinks is invincible, and he has a chronic condition. he’s missing his stomach, he’s had multiple surgeries, he spits up blood, he literally looks like a skeleton, guys. but even after the reveal, people still admire and look up to him as an idol because he’s still All Might and he still protected and saved a lot of lives and was still a hero
- All Might’s relationship with Izuku just in general. seriously, i could make an entirely different list just based on their relationship and 95% of the fandom has already talked about them, so i won’t gush about their relationship too much here
- the fact that most of the adults take responsibility when they fuck up. the police force realize they’ve relied too heavily on heroes, specifically All Might, and they make an effort to change that so they can help people. the teachers at UA recognize that they’ve neglected students who need psychological help. Izuku’s mom acknowledges that she should have encouraged his dream in spite of his quirklessness. most stories, even in the west, don’t have nearly as much adult responsibility as this series does
- the elusive living anime mom
- okay but seriously, Inko is quite possibly one of the best fictional moms i’ve seen in a long time. she’s loving and encouraging and she tries her hardest, but she’s not perfect. she’s a single mom caring for her son, who wants to go into this incredibly dangerous profession. and when he gets hurt enough times, when her limit is finally met, she puts her foot down and says “no. i love you, but i can’t let you keep getting hurt like this.” like any reasonable parent would. and the only way she relents is when she sees how much Toshinori wants to teach him and nurture him and encourage him and see his dream recognized and she sees how badly Izuku wants to continue down this path, even if it’s under her terms.
- this series seriously tackles a lot of topics that you wouldn’t expect it to. you know you’re gonna get the usual topics like what makes a hero, what makes a villain, etc. but, it also goes over other subjects like bullying, parental abuse, discrimination, grief, inferiority complexes, how easy it is to create a monster, redemption. this is a manga about teenagers learning to be super heroes, how did it turn out like this
- it would have been so easy to sexualize any of the girls. this manga, in the hands of a lesser author, would have featured a lot of fan service shots of the girls. Momo especially, considering she wears a very revealing outfit. and yet, none of them are sexualized?? in any way shape or form??? yeah, we see Momo shirtless a lot and some girls wear skin tight outfits. but, you know who else has skin tight outfits and revealing hero costumes? the boys. and when we do see a shirtless girl or boy, it’s not framed in a way where we’re meant to be objectifying their body. there’s a reason why it happened and we move on. it’s so refreshing.
- (there are only two fan service female characters. one uses her sexuality to get free shit and the other is meant to make you uncomfortable. take it what you will)
- we get a lot of unique designs for each of the characters. there are no same faces. each character has a unique quirk and a design that belongs to them. they aren’t interchangeable with one another. Izuku looks like Izuku. All Might looks like All Might. they all look unique with different shapes and sizes
- (admittedly the manga still kind of falls under the trap of the boys get to have weird, strange designs and the girls all kind of look cute, but it’s not nearly as bad as some other shows. and honestly, if that’s my only complaint, that says a lot)
- fighting doesn’t solve everything! there’s a really incredible few chapters in the manga dedicated to acknowledging that Izuku and Bakugou seriously need to talk to each other about what Bakugou did to him. they’re both incredible people in their own right and they can learn a lot from each other, but only if they stop fighting and actually communicate with each other. one of the chapters is literally titled “a meaningless fight”. because it is meaningless. it’s not going to solve their problems, fix past mistakes, or make them feel better. it’s a fight to get aggression out because Bakugou doesn’t know any other way to deal with his emotions and trauma.
- kindness is rewarded!!! cruelty is not!!! i’m really sick and tired of TV shows and movies trying to sell this pessimistic outlook that everything sucks and that gives us the right to be assholes to each other just because it’s edgy. My Hero Academia is such a positive manga and it brings me so much joy and happiness and it sends such a wonderful message of anyone can be a hero if you have a good heart and that kindness will be rewarded, even if it takes a really long time.
i love this manga so much and it’s given me so much light and happiness in my life and if that makes me weird because it’s anime, then fine. whatever. i don’t care. i’ll love it for as long as i can, dammit.