“Summer, summer, summertime!” That’s right! It’s summertime for our heroes in training, the UA Class of 1-A. However, beach parties and flip flops aren’t on our young heroes’ agenda. My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is the second feature-length movie from the franchise. The film starts by giving a current assessment of our heroes’ world. Given the recent public retirement of All Might, there has been a dramatic rise in criminal activity. That leaves the heroes busy, leaving remote areas of Japan unprotected. Enter class 1-A, they’ve been assigned to assist a remote island that has no pro-heroes. In other words, our favorite class of heroes are getting summer jobs!
Their summer jobs start off innocently enough. Our heroes are performing more community service work than hero battles. But…. Back on the mainland, trouble is brewing. A new supervillain crew is stealing the quirks, in a way very reminiscent of the My Hero big bad, All for One. The last quirk this villain quartet needs just happens to be on the very island our young heroes are protecting. That, of course, leads to an epic showdown.
My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising Rating: C+
This movie is fun! We get to see our young heroes in new environments performing hero work. It’s very reminiscent of when the heroes got internships. This time, however, they don’t have adult supervision. That means the young heroes are forced to make all the hard choices. This is great to see, as it allows us to see some slight character development with our heroes. Furthermore, the fight scenes are electric. As you would expect of any shonen anime series, there are several battles throughout the movie, which allows the entire class moments to shine and show off their abilities.
However, this movie does leave some things to be desired form our main character, Izuku Midoriya aka Deku. While there are significant external threats from this new villain team, there is a lack of internal conflict for Midoriya, or any of our heroes for that matter. The new villain team is extremely powerful, to the point where Class 1-A is forced to team up in new creative ways to defeat the villains, yet our heroes are never challenged emotionally.
Throughout Heroes Rising, Midoriya’s primary motivation is just to help people, the same as in the anime and manga, but that ideology is never tested or added to in any way. Instead of adding more layers and depth to the My Hero Academia franchise, we’re left with a pretty light show that could have been an OVA instead of a feature-length film. Sadly, it feels like a wasted opportunity, as the entire class of 1-A was present, meaning any one of them could have had the emotional arc needed to fill this void.
Audience reaction was strong
With all that said, the audience’s reaction was strong at the screening, and people seemed to thoroughly enjoy the movie. If you’re an anime fan of the My Hero Academia franchise, go see this movie, but just know you’ll enjoy the meal, but you’ll be left wondering why the waiter didn’t bring your dessert.