It’s time to take a look at the newest My Hero Academia movie. This one was certainly getting a lot of hype with the whole fugitive Deku angle and that we would be having a more global threat. Now would be the time to see heroes from the rest of the world get involved and see what they’re made of. It’s definitely a great film and I would put it above the first one, but it loses to the second. I do think all of the promotion for the film was really misleading though so if you were hoping for a global adventure about the main 3, this isn’t exactly how it plays out.
The movie starts out very suddenly with the villains unleashing a bomb which decimates all people with quirks inside of the city. It’s a focused trigger bomb that forcibly unleashes a person’s quirk past their own personal limits. The organization name is Humarise and they are led by Flect, a man who follows the doomsday prophecy that quirks will be the end of the world. The pro heroes from around the world converge on all of the bases but are unable to find the bombs. Until they can be located, nobody is safe and so the heroes stay at their positions across the globe.
Deku meets up with a kid named Rody who is a petty thief for hire. For some reason the government is after Rody though and when Deku assists, a mass murder charge is put on him. Deku and Rody will need to figure out the conspiracy behind this and also why the suitcase Rody is holding is so valuable to the villains. There must be a reason why this stuff is so valuable after all. Will the heroes be able to save the day or is that game over?
There’s a lot to love here so lets just go over the promotion both in and out of universe first. So a lot of the promotion here has been about Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo as the three musketeers and the artwork always showed the three of them jumping out of a ship in stealth gear. The new costumes are cool but are only around for about 5 minutes. Todoroki and Bakugo also miss most of the movie as they only show up for the occasional fight. This is really a film about Deku and Rody at its core as Deku shows him what it means to be a true hero.
The whole “Deku on the run” angle is also one that doesn’t matter for most of the film. It’s a plot element that’s technically present but only barely. Finally the movie seemed to be putting a lot of emphasis on how Class 1A was spread out across the planet so we’d see them in action as well as the foreign pro heroes. Well, none of them really get to do anything. We get very brief scenes with them on the side but it never amounts to more than a 30 second fight scene tops.
In general the plot was too ambitious for a quick film. If the movie was 2 and a half hours then I think it really could have pulled off the global aspect, but as it is, they were just extra. The film even shows off all of the hero teams twice, once in the intro scene and then during the credits but as each team would never become important, it just seems misleading. Thing is, this is inside the film itself so rather than misleading it feels like maybe more was planned but it just didn’t make it to the end product. Either they ran out of time or in early testing phases of the script it seemed like the movie would be too long. I don’t know, it probably is impossible to know but the whole global part got such a big push at the beginning of the movie that it pulls off.
So in short, this may not be the movie you were expecting but it’s a great movie in its own right. Going back to the opening scene, I like how quickly it starts off. It’s easily the best intro scene in an MHA film as we get to see the heroes absolutely decimating the villains and tearing through the bases. It’s like having an intro scene that’s a climax to an off screen arc. I thought this was a really good way to start things off and to set the tone early.
The scene also looks great and I can confidently say this is the best MHA’s animation has looked to date. All 3 films have looked great (I rewatched fights from the first two films to compare) and it’s not surprising since Bones is top notch. Even so, this film takes it up a whole new level. In particular my favorite fight was Bakugo against the laughing maniac in the climax. There were a lot of really good speed movements there and I like when a hero has to try and weave in a bunch of dodges until they eventually land the counter blow that is needed to win the match. It was a really intense back and forth fight as well.
Other standouts are basically every other action scene, the effects used for Flect’s reflection abilities and seeing Deku glide around the city in 3D. The film made the most of the 3D environment here and it was definitely nice to see. Deku’s ability lends itself well to aerial combat so you can have fights of him dodging Beros’ laser fast arrows while making the animation look really good. Dodging scenes can be almost as intense as fighting ones when you handle it well like this. The animation alone already puts this film in a good light.
Then you have the soundtrack which has some fun remixes from the TV show. The only track that really falls flat is the lyrical song during the montage with Rody. It was just a bit too boring if you ask me. Even for a montage that’s peaceful like this, you really need to have some kind of added effect like a guitar solo in the middle to rev up the tempo. I wasn’t a fan of the emotional song from the last MHA film either so the lyrical songs may be the franchise’s only weakness at the moment. Everything else is fitting for the fight.
As for the original character Rody, he’s very unlikable at the start and gradually gets better. I still wouldn’t say I like him much by the end but he isn’t painful by that point at least. I definitely don’t buy him being able to outmaneuver Deku during the opening scenes though. My main issue with Deku is that he definitely still lacks confidence and the whole confrontation with Rody puts that into full view. (Really should have just opened the case and looked into everything a lot sooner) I was really expecting the film to explain that he has some kind of agility quirk similar to Koichi. That would at least explain how he could outrun Deku. Don’t get me wrong, I would have a hard time believing it either way but it’s better than a human outrunning Deku.
His actual quirk has got to be one of the most situational ones out there with no real use most of the time. It makes for a logical way to end part of the climax though. So I won’t give Rody a thumbs up but as far as film OCs go, he wasn’t that bad. Beyond that it’s the villains who make up most of the OCs which is really a given for any big action title since you can’t/usually wouldn’t use manga villains. The leader Flect has one of those backstories that boils down to him being a quitter early on.
As a character he’s rather one note but I do find his design to be really unique. He’s also got a very good power with the whole reflection thing. Basically he can reflect any attack that is sent his way. He also has a charismatic personality evidently as he got so many people to join his cult and turn on the quirk users. Even a lot of people with actual quirks which shows how far he has brainwashed everyone. He’s definitely not as cool as Nine but he probably beats the guy from the first film. I’ll give Flect props for being willing to fight on the front lines and also to have the reaction times needed to prep for Deku instead of purely relying on his quirk like when the guy activates the lasers.
He has a few minions at the ready as well. The main standout is Beros who is shockingly similar to Nagant. She can fire off arrows and other weapons at incredible speeds and it makes her a tough fighter to take out. Even Deku and Bakugo had a very difficult time dodging her attacks which speaks to her abilities. It is nice to see these villains who have a specialized quirk but have mastered it to the point where they are true threats. Take Bakugo’s opponent with the chains. I don’t believe they ever mention his name in the film but he is constantly laughing which is a fun character quirk.
He would have to be the best villain in the film. Also, he is incredibly powerful to the point where he was beating Bakugo before taking his shot at Trigger. That means that naturally his quirk is enough where he can take on pseudo pros. This guy clearly leveled it up quite a bit and then with trigger he’s almost unstoppable. His fighting style is really what puts him on the map here and his abilities are just so versatile. Then you have Todoroki’s opponent who may not be as impressive when it comes to power but I like how he can manipulate elements that he comes into contact with. It seems like a fairly complex power that would take a lot of time to master but this guy really did well with it.
The film really follows the theme that dangerous villains can come out of anywhere with incredibly powerful quirks. These guys aren’t some end boss fighters but just random guys who joined the cult. Now, if any of them gave Deku a run for his money I’d call foul but for non One For All users, it makes sense that there would be some powerful villains on their level as well. At this point in time Bakugo and Todoroki can hold their own with some pros and the same would be true for these villains. It helps to expand the world quite a bit.
The only part I do call foul on is Flect being able to fully reflect blows from One for All. At this late stage in the game I find it hard to believe that random quirks can stop one that was literally built to be the strongest quirk of all time. One for All is a stockpile quirk that gets stronger with each generation, completing the prophecy of the quirk singularity. Outside of a quirk like All for One, it should not be stopped like this. I didn’t believe it when Nine’s barriers could block the attacks and I don’t believe it now with Flect. Sure, Deku’s eventually able to just keep on punching which is the natural solution to this kind of ability with limits but it shouldn’t have taken nearly so long.
I’d have liked to have seen Flect taking numerous trigger injections to briefly hold Deku off and even then not to win. Or just rewrite the scene so Deku gets stabbed with the lasers multiple times before the fight so we understand that he’s weakened. As a side note, I’m glad Deku finally blasted those lasers with his air bullets because you really should do that right away. Outside of the scenes with Rody which I guess I can attribute to comic relief and Deku having a lot of difficulty with Flect, I thought his portrayal was satisfying on a power scale otherwise. He easily dispatched the two assassins sent after him, one of which had a power quirk. Then he was dodging high speed projectiles and had a lot of endurance to run out of there.
I’d expect on less because at this point in time I would consider Deku to be the strongest hero in the verse. He can’t be having any difficulties with minions and fortunately in the movie he does not. It’s why in the main series everyone has to have instant regeneration when going up against him or they’re toast. I get why you want the main villain to be so powerful of course but I’d have just thrown in a line where One for All says he gave Flect some kind of unlimited regeneration of the quirk itself or something. That said, I don’t think the two villains would see eye to eye on this since a quirkless world would really not benefit the villains.
The writing’s on point here. The trigger bombs are suitably built up as a really big threat. If anything it really does seem terrifying to be hit by one of them since dying by your own quirk is a rough way to go. The opening scene with everyone being destroyed in the town might be one of the most intense scenes in the entire series. Even the main title hasn’t really had a scene that’s quite so filled with hopelessness. You know that even if the heroes were there, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything which is really the scary part here. Also, now that trigger bombs are a thing, it’s something all characters would need to keep in mind as a potential threat.
Some of the action scenes can also get a bit violent as you see the villains really land some slicing blows on the heroes. Bakugo in particular really takes a pounding here but Deku takes some big shots as well. It’s all violence within battle and nothing intentionally gruesome so you won’t have anything to worry about during the fights but it will feel out of nowhere since even the main series never really has moments that are kept that way for the show. I suppose it’s to add further to that cinematic feel and does work well at keeping the stakes high.
While the rest of the cast may not get to do much or appear more than a minute or two, I suppose it can be fun to see the gang having their own adventures. Also, the world is pretty large so it’s not like any of them could arrive to help Deku and friends even if they wanted to. Some of the villains had rather interesting quirks as well so if we ever get a director’s cut where those fights are finished that would be pretty cool. Bakugo and Todoroki get enough screen time where you’ll be satisfied though. Bakugo gets a ton of lines as always and talks tough from start to finish while Todoroki continues to improve his quirk use.
All Might is even here to give a quick pep talk although it would have been nice to have seen him step in to lend a hand in the climax. When he clenches his fist and talks about how everyone is giving it their all, that would have been a perfect moment to transform even if for an instant to land one blow. Maybe next time since I feel like he has to get going at some point. Everyone else uses their signature attacks and sends the villains flying when applicable.
Overall, My Hero Academia delivers once again with a really intense plot that gives you a lot of action scenes and high animation fights. You’ll be engaged from start to finish and there likely aren’t many films right now that can keep up with this animation. There aren’t really a lot of slow moments since the film carefully spreads in an action scene whenever things are starting to die down. I do think all of the promotion was really misleading and they almost shouldn’t have had a global element since it barely feels relevant but the concept of a villain group that international is intense. I think the manga version will likely handle it better though. As one last feather in this film’s cap, I would say it has the highest replay value out of the 3 films due to the fast pacing. You’ll definitely want to check this one out as soon as possible.