“My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” stars Daiki Yamashita, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Yuki Kaji, Tetsu Inada, Kazuya Nakai, and Ryo Yoshizawa. Released in Japan on August 6, 2021, the film has Izuku Midoriya and the U.A. Academy students joining forces with the Pro-Heroes to take down a terrorist organization.
The film was directed by Kenji Nagasaki, who helmed anime shows like “No. 6”, “Gundam Build Fighters”, “Classroom Crisis”, and the anime adaptation of “My Hero Academia”. It is the third film in the My Hero Academia franchise, which is based on the manga series of the same name by Kōhei Horikoshi. Superheroes have been a beacon of hope and inspiration since the beginning of time, both in comic books and movies. These types of heroes are no exception. While we’re all excited to see our favorite heroes from Marvel and DC on the big screen, most of us are secretly ecstatic to witness another group of super-powered beings, and they’re from Japan. Our favorite characters from My Hero Academia are back once again with another exciting feature film that’ll fill our heroic appetites until the show’s upcoming sixth season. I hadn’t gotten into the anime series until I decided to binge-watch it throughout the summer, so you can say that I was pretty late to the party. All you need to know about my feelings towards it is that I can easily understand its continuous popularity. The best way I can describe the show is that it’s Japan’s excellent answer to “X-Men” that’s filled with compelling story arcs, lovable characters, and incredible animation. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t watched it already. As for its films, the only one I’ve seen so far was “Heroes Rising”, which was released in 2019. That one was great as well, with its final fight sequence being one of my favorite scenes in anime history. My experience with the franchise is enough for me to check out its latest film, which made its way to the United States this weekend following its box office run in Japan back in August. So does it serve as another worthy chapter in the thriving superhero saga? Let’s find out.
The story is set during the events of the show’s fifth season, mainly after episode 104, “Long Time No See, Selkie”. Izuku Midoriya (Yamashita), Katsuki Bakugo (Okamoto), and Shoto Todoroki (Kaji) are still serving as interns for Japan’s new Number One Pro-Hero Endeavor (Inada). One day, they discover that a new threat is on the loose in the form of a mysterious organization known as Humarise, led by the new villain Flect Turn (Nakai). This terrorist group has deadly plans to permanently eliminate quirks that they believe can bring forth the end of humanity. What’s even worse is that Midoriya is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, resulting in him going on the run with a young man named Rody Soul (Yoshizawa). With the world in danger yet again, the Pro-Heroes and the U.A. Academy students set out on a globe-trotting mission to stop Humarise before it’s too late. Like the previous My Hero Academia films, “World Heroes’ Mission” attempts to satisfy long-time followers of the franchise while also making it accessible for newcomers. How? Why, by explaining the lore and characters briefly from time to time, of course. However, if you want to understand its concept fully, I highly recommend watching the show before viewing the film. I had been waiting patiently to see this one ever since I got done with its fifth season last month, and I got to say that the wait was worth it. As a fan of My Hero Academia, I believe this is another highly engaging installment in the franchise’s slate of feature films. As a general movie critic, I thought the film was a visually striking and action-packed piece of superhero mayhem that’ll cater to both fans and newcomers. In terms of storytelling, “World Heroes’ Mission” serves as a follow-up to the show’s 16th episode in season five but doesn’t impact the rest of the season after that. At least, that’s what I can gather based on what I saw. Despite that minor concern, the film still provided some worthy stakes in the characters and themes thanks to Yōsuke Kuroda’s screenplay and Nagasaki’s keen direction. Although, I would also say that it didn’t reach the same heights as its predecessor, “Heroes Rising”, emotion-wise. The story in “World Heroes’ Mission” tends to be a bit formulaic at times, and its central villain, Flect Turn, only made it to the “good” tier of the antagonist scale rather than “great”. Nonetheless, it relied on the show’s core strengths to deliver plenty of crowd-pleasing action and a captivating plot that flawlessly combines superhero violence with comedy and heart. One of those strengths was the voice cast. To me, My Hero Academia is one of the few anime shows where the English dub works as effectively as the original Japanese dub, and “World Heroes’ Mission” continues to prove me right. I saw the English dub version of the film, and I’m still impressed with how much effort was put into the vocal performances. From Justin Briner as the honorable Midoriya to veteran voice actor Robbie Daymond as Flect Turn, the English dub cast worked wonders in injecting energy and believability into their respective characters. Rody Soul also proved to be a marvelous addition to the film’s large group of superheroes regarding his personality, understandable motives, and Ryan Colt Levy’s performance. Another element that carried the film was unsurprisingly the animation by Japanese animation studio Bones. It’s heavily vibrant in its locations and the characters’ quirks, and it’s visually awe-inspiring in its swift action scenes, energetic style, and combination of 2D and 3D animation. In other words, it looked incredible for an anime film adaptation. It shows how much of an influence Japanese animation has on Western audiences and filmmaking, in general.
Overall, “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” is another heroic and riveting chapter that continues the show’s successful reputation. Unfortunately, it fell short of what “Heroes Rising” offered less than two years ago when it comes to the story. Despite that, it is a highly entertaining and chaotic superhero treat that provides a suitable voice cast, great animation, and a plot that’s worthy of its global stakes. This is the film that’ll surely make you want to go Plus Ultra yourself. If you’re a fan of the franchise or just enjoy watching superhero films, this is definitely the hero worth seeking out.