My Hero Academia is unfortunately one of those anime’s that just isn’t quite as good as the manga. Which is a shame. There have been a few anime that have really managed to bring the manga to life in a great way like Food Wars or One-Punch Man, but so far My Hero Academia feels a bit stiff. It’s not entirely it’s fault and it is still a good episode, but in trying to follow the pacing of the manga it really shoots itself in the foot. Without knowing what comes next in the story I don’t really see why you’d come back for more of this series after the ending of the first episode. In fact, knowing what comes next really makes me want to skip the second episode altogether and come back for the third.
The story, as I explained in my review of the first volume, is that the new norm is superpowers or quirks as they’re called. This opens up the job market for people to be superheroes. Our main character is quirkless, he has no powers, but he wants to be a hero. That’s the thing that sets him apart from everyone else. He wants to be a hero. Not have power. He knows that he basically needs the power to be a hero in this world and that’s the only reason he wants a quirk… to be a hero. To save people. To do it with a smile like his hero All Might.
We see how miserable and picked on Izuku is as one of his classmates not only makes fun of him, but physically challenges him as well. Here’s where that clear difference comes into play. Katsuki, the bully, only cares about power and being better than others with power. He wants to be a hero for purely selfish reasons. The simple fact of the matter is that he’s got “villain” written all over him, but for now he’s the other side of the coin to Izuku.
The comedy is spot on. It’s one of the few things that rings true for this, but the emotion is a bit stiff. Granted, I feel that in the comic the creator hits you over the head with how pathetic and sad Izuku is and how no one steps in to help him when Katsuki physically threatens him numerous times, but here it’s just stiff. I didn’t feel for Izuku the way I did in the manga because as much as the pacing struggles it’s also trying to cram as much as possible into this first episode.
The animation was solid and clearly this has a budget. It's getting the big push which makes sense since it's one of the few ongoing manga that's been adapted into an anime. It kind of needs to succeed and I don't see it failing.
Ultimately it’s an okay first episode. The reason for that is that the source material is really strong and I have a feeling that once we get to the school we’ll be fine. That was kind of the same for the manga as well. It’s a rough opening in either format, but if you stick with it, you’ll be pleased that you did. That and there’s a character called Mt. Lady which is just funny on multiple levels.
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My Hero Academia – E.01 Official Website