Score: B+

It is no secret that this movie has been on my mind while watching the fifth season of Boku no Hero Academia unfold. So, when the chance came to see this thing in theaters, I had to give it a watch. I’ll be honest in saying it wasn’t a bad movie. I wouldn’t say it was as good as the previous BHA movie which I really enjoyed quite a bit. It was just a pretty good movie and little adventure for Deku. If this is the last movie they make for a while then this isn’t a bad way to go out. It was a good opportunity to just let Deku cut loose. And it should have fewer complaints than the previous movie did about ridiculous power-ups. Although I still say that the movie was fun enough for that ridiculous power-up to not be a big deal.

There’s no way I can avoid comparing this to the other movies that have been released in this franchise so that and the rest of the animated material is on the table here. And obviously I’m not really going to use images from the movie since at best I could only take them from trailers.

It really is all about him

One thing that surprised me is that the movie was really just about Deku. I had this impression going in that the focus would be on Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo. It is fair to say those two played a larger role than say the rest of Deku’s classmates. But for most of the movie they aren’t anywhere near Deku. They are with him at the very start and at the end when the story is moving into the final battles. At that point they kind of just get hit with random boss battles to fight. That’s not to say the battles weren’t entertaining. You can’t go that wrong with Bakugo vs some chain sword quirk enemies and Todoroki against…whatever the heck he was up against. The simplest summary I have for that is “weird powerful monster on drugs.”

And that is where I can’t help but compare it to “Heroes Rising.” While some of the villains had more focus than others…you could at least understand them. They were still very much characters. But the pair Bakugo fought were just siding with the Humarise cult out of fear of death. While the other guy…had no motivations to speak of. The previous movie at least got across how they looked up to Nine and believed in the change he could bring. They had more personality. Of course, Bakugo had a much more important fight in that movie compared to this one. But in that case, he was fighting the main villain of the movie so that’s hard to beat. My main issue is that Bakugo and Todoroki weren’t all that important to the story and just had fights thrown in there.

This really was Deku’s story without question. And in that it was fine. You have this kind of ‘on the road adventure’ with the strait-laced hero Deku pairing up with the delinquent “Rody Soul.” The guy who has worked like crazy to chase his dreams with the guy who has given up on dreams to focus on putting food on the table for his siblings. Deku learns to care about this guy and his utterly good-natured personality rubs off on Rody. Rody goes from being able to practically talk his way out of a Deku interrogation to risking his very life to do the right thing for the world. It’s definitely the kind of progression you can see coming from a mile off.

That’s not to say they didn’t do it well. I like how it required some pretty extreme moves by Deku to get the job done. Deku (and his phone) literally took an arrow (in the chest) for this guy. Even after Rody’s short-term outlook nearly gets them killed, Deku still does the right thing regardless. It can be nice seeing Deku inspiring people to do better. Not by hounding them or getting angry, but rather he does it with determination and goodness. Deku’s selflessness would rub off on a guy like Rody eventually and I could totally buy their friendship when all was said and done.

In some ways the movie really impressed me with how it showed the extremes that would result from getting wrapped up with a crazy cult like the Humarise. You have this archer villain who was a serious threat for the first act of the movie. She straight up killed a guy that was going to leak information. Then she kills herself rather than allowing capture at the hands of corrupted heroes. The movie didn’t linger on it for very long. But it still allowed us to take in the sight of this woman straight up killing herself for her cause. Obviously, the leader Flect Turn was also pretty crazy, but that woman took things to an entirely different level.

The movie obviously took priority over season 5 and you can tell by the quality of the animation. The fights were really good and we got some great visuals. Deku trying to dodge the archer villain at various moments of the movie was actually pretty cool. He was on top of a train, falling off a train, and trying to keep everyone safe from an enemy he couldn’t simply charge after himself. His fight against Flect was also pretty great. Facing someone with a quirk of reflection made for good spectacle. Deku at least tried a few indirect approaches…before defaulting on punching until he won. A lot of references to All Might facing that first Nomu. With Deku needing to overcome the upper limit of that reflection quirk and even using crazy amounts of speed to overwhelm Flect.

Honestly the weird thing for me is that I don’t get why they moved events around so much. Deku’s time spent with Endeavor was such a minor part of all this. There should have been many ways to force Deku to be around for this adventure. Even excuses that could be made for throwing Bakugo and Todoroki into events to create options for guys to fight while letting Deku go ahead to take on the main threat. Sure the black whip quirk was also shown off a few times, but I still think they didn’t need to rework a whole season just to make the movie fit even better.

Surprisingly minor roles in this

Obviously, this movie was never advertised as being about the cast as a whole. Outside of a few scenes of seeing them fighting their own battles, they really were utterly in the background. The only time I think those stories got a reaction would be when the hero who looked like hieroglyphics come to life was on screen. That guy was honestly hilarious. So, I won’t dock the movie for not using the supporting cast very much since it was always shown as being more about Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo. I will offer criticism though for those other two not really getting to do very much. They were just kind of around. Bakugo’s greatest accomplishment was showing Todoroki and Deku how to use a computer properly XD.

The movie was still a fun ride. Maybe it wasn’t quite as good as the last one, but it still had nice moments. The villain was pretty basic in basically giving up on life because he couldn’t control his own quirk. At the same time that villain did allow Deku to really cut loose and even have to rise up when things are looking more dire. This movie had some good fights, Deku’s part of the story was well handled, and I like the idea of going full blown international for this. This movie was pretty fun to sit back and watch while eating some popcorn. I was feeling a bit down on the franchise in general after season 5. But this movie did a nice job lifting my spirits. I really hope they can bring the show back up to the level of earlier seasons going forward.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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