My Hero Academia

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My Hero Academia
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Izuku Midoriya (front), All Might (back), and several other Pro Heroes (background)
僕のヒーローアカデミア
(Boku no Hīrō Akademia)
Genre
Manga
Written byKōhei Horikoshi
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runJuly 7, 2014 – present
Volumes40 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
Produced by
  • Hiroshi Kamei (S1)
  • Naoki Amano (S1)
  • Hirokazu Hara (S1)
  • Natsumi Mori (S1–2)
  • Wakana Okamura (S1–4)
  • Kazumasa Sanjōba (S1–S5)
  • Kōji Nagai (S3–4)
  • Yoshihiro Ōyabu (#39–101)
  • Hayato Saga (S3–)
  • Sōkichi Onoda (S5)
  • Mirei Tsumura (S5–)
  • Hiroya Nakata (S5–)
  • Sōichirō Saitō (S6–)
Written byYōsuke Kuroda
Music byYuki Hayashi
StudioBones
Licensed byCrunchyroll[c]
Original network
English network
Original run April 3, 2016 – present
Episodes138 + 9 OVAs (List of episodes)
Manga spin-offs
Anime films
Video games
icon Anime and manga portal

My Hero Academia (Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, with its chapters collected in 40 tankōbon volumes as of April 2024. Set in a world where superpowers (called "Quirks") have become commonplace, the story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy who was born without a Quirk but still dreams of becoming a superhero himself. He is scouted by the world's greatest hero, All Might, who bestows his Quirk to Midoriya after recognizing his potential, and helps to enroll him in a prestigious high school for superheroes in training.

The manga spawned a media franchise, having inspired numerous spin-off manga, such as My Hero Academia: Smash!!, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, and My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions. The series has expanded into light novels, stage plays, and various types of merchandise and media, including numerous video games. It has also been adapted into an anime television series by Bones. The first season aired in Japan from April to June 2016, followed by a second season from April to September 2017, then a third season from April to September 2018, a fourth season from October 2019 to April 2020, a fifth season from March to September 2021, a sixth season from October 2022 to March 2023, and an upcoming seventh season which is set to premiere in May 2024. It has also received three animated films, titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, and My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission, and nine original video animations (OVAs). A fourth animated film, titled My Hero Academia: You're Next, is set to be released in August 2024. A live-action film by Legendary Entertainment is in development.

My Hero Academia has become a commercial success, appearing on The New York Times bestseller list several times. By April 2024, the manga had over 100 million copies in circulation including sales of spin-offs, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. Critical reception has also been positive with reviewers praising the manga for its art, characters, storytelling, action scenes, and the use of pop culture references to Western superhero comics; the anime series has received additional praise for its animation, music, pacing, action sequences, and voice performances in both Japanese and English. The manga has won several awards, including the Sugoi Japan Award and Harvey Award for Best Manga. The anime has also received numerous awards and is considered one of the best of the 2010s.

Synopsis

Setting

My Hero Academia is set in a world where about 80% of the human population has gained superpowers called "Quirks" (個性, Kosei). Quirks vary widely and can be inherited. Among the Quirk-enhanced individuals, a few of them earn the title of Heroes, who cooperate with authorities in rescue operations and apprehending criminals who abuse their Quirks, commonly known as Villains. In addition, Heroes who excel on their duties gain celebrity status and are recognized as "Pro Heroes" (プロヒーロー, Puro Hīrō). Heroes are ranked in popularity, with higher ranking heroes receiving public appeal, although it is not uncommon for rookie heroes to gain popularity as well.

Initially the people who volunteered to do their heroic duties without permission were recognized as "Vigilantes" (ヴィジランテ, Vijirante). Students who have acted as vigilantes are not allowed to work as heroes due to Quirk restriction laws managed by the Hero Public Safety Commission (ヒーロー公安委員会, Hīrō Kōan Iinkai). While the act of vigilantism is inherently illegal, the vigilantes themselves represent a gray area. The Hero Public Safety Commission originally enlisted vigilantes to do their dirty work until they became too organized for the vigilantes to properly deal with, so they abandoned the idea and instead focused on recruiting Pro Heroes. Some vigilantes wear costumes, but since they do not have access to support companies like heroes do, they are made out of regular clothes and everyday items.

There are two types of internships that offer the opportunity to become a Pro Hero. The first type is the Hero Agency Internships in which the Pro Heroes can send a request to students whom wish to work under them, such as in the aftermath of the Sports Festival. It involves a student shadowing a Pro Hero, listening to their advice, and watching them in action for a week. Since the students are unlicensed, they cannot legally work as heroes. The second type is the Hero Work-Study, where, after a student acquires a Hero License after passing the Provisional Hero License Exam, they are treated as real sidekicks, which allows them to participate in relief efforts during emergency situations. This also allows them to gain experience and can help them get noticed by other Pro Heroes who might hire them as full-time sidekicks once they graduate.

Plot

Izuku Midoriya is a young man who dreams of becoming a Hero despite being bullied by his childhood friend Katsuki Bakugo for lacking a Quirk. After an encounter with his idol, All Might, who is the world's greatest hero, Izuku is chosen by All Might to inherit his Quirk "One For All" (which gives him the ability to stockpile his raw power and pass it on to others) and become his successor, as All Might was severely injured by his arch-nemesis All For One (whose Quirk allows him to steal other Quirks for his use and pass them over to others at his will). Izuku begins attending the U.A. High School for heroes alongside Bakugo. Over the course of the school year, Izuku and his classmates work hard to improve themselves and encounter the League of Villains led by All For One's apprentice Tomura Shigaraki, who desires to kill All Might and destroy society through the use of monsters with multiple powers known as "Nomu". Due to the information that the League of Villains possesses about the inner workings of U.A., the faculty begin to suspect there may be a traitor at the school.

After participating in a sports festival, Izuku and his classmates Shoto Todoroki and Tenya Ida confront the villain Stain and defeat him, but his final message inspires many villains to action, many of which join the League of Villains, including the serial killer Dabi and the psychotic Himiko Toga. After the League of Villains kidnaps Bakugo, All Might and other Heroes manage to track down the League of Villains hideout, after which All For One reveals himself. Izuku and his friends manage to rescue Bakugo, and All Might faces off against All For One, which ends with All For One defeated and imprisoned, and All Might, having exhausted the last of One For All's power in himself, forced to retire. The League of Villains escapes but loses significant backing and access to the Nomu.

After passing the exam to obtain a Provisional Hero License, Izuku begins working as an intern with All Might's former sidekick, Sir Nighteye, whose Quirk gives him the power to predict the future. Sir Nighteye believes that Izuku is not worthy of inheriting One For All, and who is attempting to convince him to transfer the power to his protege. Under his direction Izuku, several of his classmates, and Nighteye's protege manage to defeat the Shie Hassaikai, a yakuza group, and their leader Overhaul and rescue a girl named Eri whose Quirk was being used to create a weapon that erases people's Quirks. However, Sir Nighteye was mortally wounded in the conflict and dies, having been convinced of Izuku's worthiness to succeed All Might. Izuku later continues his internship under the hero Endeavor, who assumed All Might's position as Japan's top hero following his retirement. Izuku later awakens a Quirk that belonged to one of All Might's predecessors, discovering that he can eventually obtain all the Quirks of the previous users of One For All as well. Meanwhile, the Heroes manage to capture a member of the League of Villains, Kurogiri. Examination reveals him to be a Nomu created from the corpse of a childhood friend of Aizawa, one of the teachers at U.A.

Meanwhile, the League of Villains grows stronger after Shigaraki gathers more followers and defeats another villain group, the Meta Liberation Army led by Re-Destro, leading to both organizations merging into the Paranormal Liberation Front under his leadership. To counter this new threat, the Pro and Training Heroes join together in a massive operation to arrest them, but despite severe casualties and destruction, they fail to capture most of the League, including Shigaraki, who inherits All For One's Quirk and is possessed by him. Meanwhile Dabi reveals himself as Endeavor's son Toya as well as the abuse that led him to villainy, shattering the public's trust in the #1 hero. In the following days, the Paranormal Liberation Front gains momentum by releasing thousands of imprisoned Villains, including the original All For One, which alongside Dabi's revelation cause Japan to descend into chaos and anarchy. Izuku, knowing that he is Shigaraki and All For One's primary target, decides that it's too dangerous for his friends and family to have him around and flees from U.A., leaving behind some letters to the others revealing the truth of his power.

Over the next month, Izuku joins forces with the top 3 Heroes and begins relentlessly hunting for All For One's location, to the detriment of his own health. After almost being defeated by an assassin sent by All For One, he is confronted by his classmates, who convince him to return to U.A., which has been turned into a refugee camp for the students' families and other civilians who fled from the Villains. With Shigaraki's body augmentations and assimilation by All for One nearly complete, America's #1 Pro Hero, Star and Stripe, arrives to fight him by All Might's request. However, Shigaraki manages to kill her and attempts to steal her quirk, which backfires and severely damages his body before destroying itself, giving the Heroes some time to devise a plan. One of Izuku's classmates is revealed to be the traitor, having received a quirk from All For One to hide his quirkless nature at a young age, and being forced to serve All For One with threats to him and his family.

The Heroes decide to use his connection to All For One to lure him out and the heroes begin their final battle against the League of Villains, managing to separate Shigaraki from his subordinates to give Izuku (who fully awakened the power of One For All and his predecessors) the chance to fight him in a duel. However, Toga manages to separate Izuku from his intended location, causing him to arrive later than intended. Bakugo is fatally wounded fighting Shigaraki, though Edgeshot plans to sacrifice himself in order to save him. Spinner also manages to free and awaken Kurogiri and use his warp Quirk to help the villains gain the upper hand. Later, the original All For One defeats the heroes assigned to fight him and he begins heading towards Shigaraki and Izuku. Dabi starts to self destruct while facing Endeavor, but the Todoroki family later arrives and uses their Frost Quirks to cool him down and prevent his death. While Toga is defeated by Izuku's friend Ochaco Uraraka, All Might faces All For One, but is defeated. Nevertheless, All Might attempts to sacrifice himself to stop All For One, but is saved by a revived Bakugo. Bakugo then proceeds to defeat All For One, reducing him into a powerless infant, and causing him to fade out of existence.

However, Shigaraki overpowers Izuku and blows his arms off, but Izuku's classmates come to his aid.

Production

Development

Horikoshi stated that after his previous series Barrage was canceled after just two volumes, he was sad and out of ideas.[5] In order to get more ideas, he revisited a one-shot he previously published in Akamaru Jump, titled My Hero (僕のヒーロー, Boku no Hīrō). This would end up being the basis for the series.[6] Horikoshi was also a big fan of American films and comics, like Spider-Man directed by Sam Raimi, Star Wars, and X-Men, which he used for inspiration.[7][6] Horikoshi cites Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto as being the main influence for his art, specifically stating it gave him a love for drawing hands.[8] Horikoshi has also cited Dragon Ball, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider as sources of inspiration.[7][6] Additionally, Horikoshi noted that he likes Gamera and Godzilla franchises and made references to these kaiju media and mentioned about them in several comments.[9][10]

Hitoshi Koike, the editor of My Hero Academia, said that Horikoshi already has a general story in mind for the manga. However, he also noted there were many rejected story ideas, and that Horikoshi dismissed some ideas himself. Koike also stated that Horikoshi liked to use his inspirations.[6] Koike also noted My Hero Academia's first three chapters took longer to complete than many other new serialized works. Koike and Horikoshi worked on concepts about the characters' designs while finishing the storyboards; Koike felt excited about the characters' designs despite not knowing their role in the plot.[6]

Kengo Monji, the second editor of the manga, said Horikoshi had a difficult time writing chapters at first. Monji felt that mixing the flair of Japan's shōnen manga with "heroes", a concept that he felt was understandable to a wide audience. Monji also complimented Horikoshi's artwork, noting its cartoon-style.[6]

Conclusion

Horikoshi originally stated that My Hero Academia would not be as long as One Piece since he felt he did not have enough stamina; instead preferring to keep it concise in comparison to other shōnen manga series.[7] In April 2021, Horikoshi stated that the series had continued for longer than expected, but that it is still leading toward the ending that he had decided upon before the series began.[11] In December 2021, he stated during the interview at Jump Festa '22 that "if things go smoothly, the manga will meet its goal to end in one year. If it doesn't go smoothly, I think [Izuku's voice actor] Yamashita will be reading out the exact same letter from me at next year's Jump Festa." He also teased that Katsuki Bakugo would soon get a "big scene".[12]

Horikoshi wrote in the 34th volume of the manga that "I feel like I can finally see the goal in sight. It's a rather strange feeling getting to this point. In the past, I would just be drawing without a single care [for the future], but now I wonder just how many more times can I draw these characters? Change is scary as you grow older. Well, I really shouldn't dwell on that! Until next volume then!".[13] In October 2022, he rescinded the statement he made during Jump Festa '22, opting to take longer to complete the manga's final arc than initially expected.[14] In December 2022, although he stated that his estimations were wrong, he said that the ending of the manga is "very close".[15]

In December 2023, Horikoshi reiterated on what he said in the previous year's event. However, he added that there were still many things he wanted to draw beyond the battle that was currently ongoing in the manga. The author also jokingly said that "if the series continues until next year's Jump Festa, we will hold a Dogeza Festival on the stage."[16]

Anime adaptation

My Hero Academia producer Wakana Okamura, who previously worked with Bones on Blood Blockade Battlefront, stated in an interview that he chose to work with Bones on adapting the series because Okamura felt they would make it a "high-quality production" with a "wide reach [both] internationally and domestically". Okamura also stated the production staff, especially the character designer Yoshihiko Umakoshi, were fans of the manga.[17] Director Kenji Nagasaki said Bones wanted to "make [the series] with a strong core and backbones".[17] Yōsuke Kuroda said he was a fan of the series prior to its anime adaptation, so he quickly accepted when offered to do the screenwriting.[18]

For the casting, the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine was first announced that the anime starring Daiki Yamashita as Izuku Midoriya, Kenta Miyake as All Might, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Katsuki Bakugō, Ayane Sakura as Ochako Uraraka, Kaito Ishikawa as Tenya Iida, Aoi Yūki as Tsuyu Asui, Ryō Hirohashi as Minoru Mineta, Marina Inoue as Momo Yaoyorozu, and Yoshimasa Hosoya as Fumikage Tokoyami.[19] In February 2016, Tasuku Hatanaka, Toshiki Masuda and Yuki Kaji joined the cast as Denki Kaminari, Eijirō Kirishima and Shōto Todoroki respectively.[20] In an interview with Justin Briner and Christopher Sabat, they expressed interest about the broadcast dub in Funimation. Briner, the voice of Izuku, said the broadcast dubbing process was more consistent, but also said it felt strange to do it on a regular home video release. Sabat, who voices All Might, felt that even the actors and director were making the show without knowing the full story because they had not yet been told what the story was.[17]

During the production for the anime's second season, Umakoshi felt impressed that Horikoshi's designs were very suited for animation. He also stated that in terms of giving the characters more life and movement, all they basically did was simplify the dialogue. He believes that the manga already had a lot of movement before animating. Regarding the fight between Todoroki and Izuku, Umakoshi believes that he was able to develop a story that could not fail, by considering which part of the story would be handled by which key animation, and by choosing someone with a high level of skill. He identified certain things and collated who would work best in other parts of the scene. After the airing of an episode, Umakoshi felt that the anime had a great response not only from the manga fans but also from the Japanese viewers.[21]

Umakoshi was also looking forward not only the development of the relationship between Deku and All Might, but also between Deku and Bakugo as the future material from the manga which has not been animated yet. Unlike the other Shonen Jump adaptation titles such as Naruto and One Piece where the staff worked throughout the year, Umakoshi said the production cycle of My Hero Academia is best suited to continuous work throughout the year. He also said: "In reality, sometimes it doesn't work out that way, due to different aspects of business and things. But in reality, the schedule did line up so that we worked on the second season right after the first season ended, so I have been working on it somewhat continuously, even if the delivery of the product comes in batches."[21]

Themes and analysis

Horikoshi has stated that the main theme he focuses on is "what makes a hero".[22] He also stated that he likes stories with bad endings, as well as horror stories. However, he finds these difficult to draw since his mood when he draws is the same in the story. In order to combat this, he puts in more silly-looking characters like Fat Gum, in order to keep the mood up.[22]

The series explores themes such as the nature of heroism, the importance of perseverance and determination, and the power of friendship and teamwork. Horikoshi said that he was inspired by the idea of creating a world where anyone, regardless of their background or abilities, could become a hero. He wanted to show that even those without powers could still make a difference and achieve their dreams through hard work and determination.[23] That vision results in heroes in the series not being egotistical, but passionate and dedicated individuals with clear goals to work towards.[24] The series also explores on Izuku, who idolized heroes from a young age, and his enthusiasm. In a world where superheroes are not just regulated, but commercialized brands, he still sees something inspiring in their actions.[24]

My Hero Academia has been noted for its positive view of heroes. Cramer wrote that "in the modern world, we often challenge heroic ideals, and the motivations of the people who pursue them", noting how in American media the optimism of the Silver Age of Comic Books lead to post-Watchmen ambiguity. He also noted that, even in Japan, unquestioned heroism is often challenged in modern revisions of older series, such as in Yatterman and Gatchaman.[24]

Media

Manga

My Hero Academia is written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. The series began its serialization in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump on July 7, 2014.[25] Shueisha has collected its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was released on November 4, 2014.[26] As of April 4, 2024, 40 volumes have been released.[27] The manga entered its final act in chapter 306, which was released on March 21, 2021.[28]

The series is licensed for English-language release in North America by Viz Media, who published the first volume on August 4, 2015. As the series is published in Japan, it is also released simultaneously in English digitally by Viz Media's Weekly Shonen Jump and later its website.[29][30] Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in English on the website and app Manga Plus in January 2019.[31]

Spin-offs

A spin-off series entitled My Hero Academia: Smash!! by Hirofumi Neda started in the Shōnen Jump+ digital app on November 9, 2015, and finished on November 6, 2017.[32][33][34] Its chapters were collected in five tankōbon volumes.[35] In November 2018, during their panel at Anime NYC, Viz Media announced that they have licensed the manga.[36] The first volume was released in North America on August 6, 2019.[37] A second spin-off series, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, began being published biweekly on the Shōnen Jump+ website and app in 2017. The series began its serialization on August 20, 2016, and ended on May 28, 2022.[38][39][40] The series is licensed for the English-language release in North America by Viz Media. The first volume was released in North America on July 3, 2018.[41] A third spin-off series, My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions by Yōkō Akiyama, began serialization in Saikyō Jump on August 2, 2019, with a prologue chapter debuting in Jump GIGA on July 25, 2019.[42] The series is also licensed for the English-language release in North America by Viz Media.[43] The first volume was released in North America on March 2, 2021.[44]

The three series' films have been adapted into one-volume manga series by Homesha.[45] A 15-page one-shot spin-off manga, illustrated by Yōkō Akiyama, centered on Melissa, titled Everyone Is Surely Someone's Hero (きっと誰もが誰かのヒーロー, Kitto Daremo ga Dareka no Hero), was published in the 35th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump on July 30, 2018.[46] A one-shot spin-off manga that serves as a prequel to the first film, written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi, centered on All Might's past and the featured character Nana Shimura, titled No. 0 All Might: Rising (No.0 オールマイト:ライジング, Nanbā 0 Ōru Maito: Raijingu), was given to the first one million attendees on August 3, 2018. A ten-page manga was included in the My Hero Academia Two Heroes Vol. 0 Origin (僕のヒーローアカデミア2人の英雄 Vol.0 Origin, Boku no Hīrō Akademia 2-ri no Eiyū Vol. 0 Origin) book.[47] It was later published in English by Viz Media in September 2018.[48]

Deku & Bakugo: Rising (出久&爆豪:ライジング, Deku Ando Bakugo: Raijingu), a two-chapter spin-off manga illustrated by Akiyama, was published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump on December 16 and 23, 2019. It centered on Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo during their second year in middle school.[49] A one-shot spin-off manga that serves as a prequel to the second film, written and illustrated by Horikoshi, centered on Nine, titled League of Villains: Undercover (ヴィランれんごう:アンダーカバー, Viran Rengō: Andākabā), was also given to the first million attendees on December 20, 2019. A nine-page manga was included in the My Hero Academia Heroes: Rising Vol. R (僕のヒーローアカデミア ヒーローズ:ライジング Vol.R, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Hīrōzu: Raijingu Vol. R) book.[50] The manga chapter was later published in English by Viz Media in March 2020.[51]

A 17-page special one-shot chapter written and illustrated by Akiyama, titled My Hero Academia Tokubetsu Spinoff: Endeavor's Mission (僕のヒーローアカデミア 特別スピンオフ エンデヴァーズ ミッション, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Tokubetsu Supin'ofu Endevāzu Misshon), was published in Weekly Shōnen Jump on August 2, 2021. It centered on Endeavor and his trainees Izuku, Katsuki, and Shoto during their Hero Work-Studies at the Endeavor Agency.[52] An 80-page manga booklet, titled My Hero Academia World Heroes' Mission Vol. W (僕のヒーローアカデミア ワールドヒーローズミッション Vol. W, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Wārudo Hīrōzu Misshon Vol. W), includes a nine-page one-shot manga that serves as a prequel to the third film, centered on Endeavor Agency trainees and the featured character Hawks, titled No. XXX Hawks: Soothe (No.XXX ホークス:スーズ, Nanbā XXX Hōkusu: Sūzu)[53] was given to the My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission attendees who viewed the film in Japan on August 6, 2021. The manga volume had a limited print run of one million copies.[53] In October 2021, a 76-page booklet featuring a specialty manga was also given to the attendees who saw it on the opening weekend in the United States.[54]

Anime

On October 29, 2015, the series' official website announced that the manga would receive an anime television series adaptation produced by Bones.[33] The anime is directed by Kenji Nagasaki, written by Yōsuke Kuroda, and features character designs by Yoshihiko Umakoshi.[55][56] The series aired from April 3 to June 26, 2016, on all JNN affiliate stations, including TBS and MBS.[57] A second season was announced in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine's 30th issue of 2016.[30] The second season aired from April 1 to September 30, 2017, on all NNS affiliate stations, including ytv and NTV,[58] with the staff and cast from the first season returning to reprise their roles.[59] A third season was announced in the 44th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine of 2017,[60][61] which aired from April 7 to September 29, 2018.[62]

A fourth season was announced in the final episode of season three, released on September 29, 2018.[63] On December 19 of the same year, the series' official website confirmed a new key visual, along with its release date of October 12, 2019, which aired till April 4, 2020.[64][65] Funimation premiered the first episode of the fourth season at Anime Expo on July 6, 2019, with the English dub.[66][67] Kenji Nagasaki served as chief director of the fourth season, with Masahiro Mukai as director.[68] A fifth season was announced at the end of the final episode of season four,[69] which aired from March 27 to September 25, 2021.[70]

A sixth season was announced at the end of the fifth season's final episode.[71] On July 24, 2022, the Hero Fes event confirmed a new visual, as well as its release date of October 1, 2022,[72] which ran for two consecutive cours that aired till March 25, 2023, and adapt the manga's "Paranormal Liberation War" and "Dark Hero" story arcs.[73][74] A seventh season was announced at the end of the sixth season's final episode,[75] which is set to premiere on May 4, 2024, with 4 "Memories" recap specials scheduled to air in the preceding month of April.[76] Naomi Nakayama is set to serve as the director of the seventh season.[77]

OVAs and ONAs

An original video animation (OVA) based on the anime series was shown at the Jump Festa '16 event on November 27, 2016.[78] Titled "Save! Rescue Training!", it was bundled with the limited edition of the 13th volume of the manga, which released on April 4, 2017. It was later released on DVD releases alongside Black Clover and Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma bundled with the future volumes of their respective manga, as it was announced on Jump Special Anime Festa event.[79] A second OVA, titled "Training of the Dead," bundled with a limited edition of the 14th volume of the manga, released on June 2, 2017. It focuses on a joint practice session between Izuku's class and the other hero department students at U.A. Academy.[80][81] A third OVA, "All Might: Rising," was released on February 13, 2019. It was bundled with the first film's Blu-ray set, and adapted its prequel manga.[82] It was two minutes long.[83]

A two-part original net animation (ONA) titled "Make It! Do-or-Die Survival Training," were released on August 16, 2020, with the returning staff and cast from season 4.[84] Funimation streamed them simultaneously with the Japanese release.[85] Another OVA was included with the "Plus Ultra" edition of My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission in Japan.[86] Two new OVA episodes, titled "HLB <Hero League Baseball>" and "Laugh! As If You Are in Hell," were announced on May 8 and June 3, 2022, respectively.[87] The episodes were given screenings in Japan from June 16–19, 2022. Internationally, Crunchyroll premiered the episodes at Anime Expo on July 1, 2022. A worldwide streaming release premiered on August 1, 2022.[88]

A special OVA episode, titled "UA Heroes Battle," premiered with an English dub at the New York Comic Con on October 13, 2023. The episode has given screenings in Japan from October 20–26, 2023.[89] Crunchyroll streamed it with English subtitles and dub on November 30 of the same year.[90]

International release

In March 2016, Funimation announced they had licensed the international rights for streaming services, the home and broadcast release, and the merchandise rights.[91][92] Universal Pictures UK distributed the first season in the United Kingdom and Ireland on behalf of Funimation,[93] with Sony Pictures UK distributing the second season for Funimation,[94] and Manga Entertainment distributing subsequent seasons for Funimation.[95] In Australia and New Zealand, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment distributed the first two seasons, on behalf of Funimation,[96] with Madman Anime distributing season 3 onwards, in partnership with Funimation.[97] On April 19, 2018, Funimation announced that the series would air on Adult Swim's Toonami block starting on May 5, 2018.[98] Medialink licensed the series in Southeast Asia.[99] They aired it simultaneously on Animax Asia.[100] In August 2023, Cartoon Network announced that the series would air in India starting on September 10, 2023.[101]

Music

The music of the series is composed by Yuki Hayashi.[56] The series uses twenty-two different songs: eleven opening themes and eleven ending themes. The opening theme is "The Day", performed by Porno Graffitti, while the ending theme is "Heroes", performed by Brian the Sun, were used for the 13 episodes in the first season.[102] For the second season, the first opening theme is "Peace Sign" (ピースサイン) performed by Kenshi Yonezu and the first ending theme is "Dakara, Hitori ja nai" (だから、ひとりじゃない, Therefore, I am not Alone) performed by Little Glee Monster for the first 13 episodes;[103] from episode 14 onwards, the opening theme is "Sora ni Utaeba" (空に歌えば, Singin' to the Sky) performed by amazarashi[104] and the ending theme is "Datte Atashi no Hīrō" (だってアタシのヒーロー, Still My Hero) performed by LiSA.[105] For the first 13 episodes of the third season, the opening theme is "Odd Future" by Uverworld, while the ending theme is "Update" (アップデート) by miwa.[106] For the rest of the season, the opening theme is "Make my story" by Lenny code fiction and the ending theme is "Long Hope Philia" (ロングホープ・フィリア) by Masaki Suda.[107]

For the first 14 episodes of the fourth season, the opening theme is "Polaris" (ポラリス) by Blue Encount, while the ending theme is "Kōkai no Uta" (航海の唄, The Song of the Voyage) by Sayuri.[108] For the rest of the season, the opening theme is "Starmarker" (スターマーカー) by Kana-Boon and the ending theme is "Shout Baby" by Ryokuōshoku Shakai.[109] Kyoka Jiro starring Chrissy Costanza performs the insert songs "Each Goal" in episode 19 and "Hero too" in episode 23, with the former insert song was uncredited, while the latter insert song was credited as the U.A. School Festival track.[110] For the first 13 episodes of the fifth season, the opening theme is "No.1" by Dish, while the ending theme is "Ashiato" (足跡, lit.'Footprints') by the Peggies.[111] From episode 14 onwards, the opening theme is "Merry-Go-Round" by Man with a Mission, while the ending theme is "Uso ja Nai" (嘘じゃない, lit.'Not a Lie') by Soshi Sakiyama.[112]

For the first 13 episodes of the sixth season, the opening theme is "Hitamuki" (ひたむき, lit.'Single-Minded') by Super Beaver, while the ending theme is "Sketch" by Kiro Akiyama.[113] From episode 14 onwards, the opening theme is "Bokurano" (ぼくらの, lit.'Our') by Eve, while the ending theme is "Kitakaze" (キタカゼ, lit.'North Wind') by Six Lounge.[114][115] For the seventh season, the opening theme is "Tagatame" (誰我為, lit.'For Someone's Sake') by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure and the ending theme is "Tsubomi" (, lit.'Flower Bud') by Omoinotake.[116][117]

In November 2021, a concert event titled My Hero Academia Official Live Concert was held in Manhattan.[118] Another concert event, titled My Hero Academia Special Film Concert, was held at Arena Tachikawa Tachihi on November 23, 2023.[119] A two-day Plus Ultra concert event featuring the artists and bands from the series, titled ANI-ROCK FES. 2024 My Hero Academia PLUS ULTRA LIVE, was held on February 24 and 25, 2024 at Yokohama Arena.[120]

Light novels

A light novel series, titled My Hero Academia: School Briefs (僕のヒーローアカデミア 雄英白書, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Yūei Hakusho), written by Anri Yoshi, was released by Shueisha under its Jump J-Books imprint. It centers on Izuku Midoriya and his classmates of U.A. High in everyday school lives. The first volume was released on April 4, 2016.[121] As of October 4, 2021, six volumes have been published.[122] In North America, it has been licensed in English by Viz Media.[123]

Light novels based on the three anime films were also released on August 3, 2018, December 20, 2019, and August 6, 2021.[124]

Theatrical films

Anime

An anime film was announced in December 2017 and features an original story set after the manga's "Final Exam" arc.[125] Titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, the film had its world premiere at Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 5, 2018,[126] before a Japanese theatrical release on August 3, 2018, with the staff and cast from the anime series reprising their roles.[127] The film has grossed over $33 million worldwide, and ended its theatrical run with $5.8 million to become the tenth-highest-grossing animated film in the United States and Canada at that time.[128]

On March 23, 2019, it was announced that a second animated film for the series was in production.[129] On July 7, 2019, the official Twitter account for My Hero Academia revealed the title as My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising; the film was released in Japan on December 20, 2019.[130] The film takes place after the manga's "Meta Liberation Army" arc. It has elements to its story that were once going to be used by Kōhei Horikoshi as a finale to the series.[131] It was released in North America on February 26, 2020.[132] The film has grossed over $29 million worldwide, and surpassed My Hero Academia: Two Heroes during its ninth weekend in the domestic gross.[133]

On November 29, 2020, it was announced that a third animated film for the series was in production.[134] The staff and cast from the previous two films reprised their roles.[135] In the first episode of the series' fifth season, the film was revealed to be titled My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission. The film was released in Japan on August 6, 2021,[136] and it began screening in the United States and Canada on October 29, 2021.[137] The film has grossed over $47 million worldwide, and became the tenth highest-grossing domestic film of 2021 in Japan.[138]

A fourth animated film was announced on August 6, 2023. The film will take place in the concurrent story arc from the sixth season of the anime series.[139] On January 29, 2024, it was revealed that the film will be titled My Hero Academia: You're Next. It is set to premiere in Japan on August 2, 2024.[140][141]

Live-action

In October 2018, Legendary Entertainment acquired the rights to produce a live-action adaptation of the series.[142] In August 2021, it was revealed to be directed by Shinsuke Sato, with Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter overseeing the adaptation, and Ryosuke Yoritomi representing the manga publisher Shueisha. Toho is set to distribute the film in Japan.[143][144] On December 12, 2022, Netflix announced that they had acquired the rights to the film with Joby Harold writing the screenplay.[145]

Video games

Console games

A video game based on the anime, My Hero Academia: Battle for All (僕のヒーローアカデミア バトル・フォー・オール, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Batoru fō Ōru), was announced in November 2015.[146] The game was developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the Nintendo 3DS, where it released in Japan on May 19, 2016.[147]

My Hero Academia has also received three video games developed by Byking and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The first, titled My Hero One's Justice (僕のヒーローアカデミア One's Justice, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Wanzu Jasutisu), was released for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, and Xbox One on October 26, 2018.[148] The game has sold over 500,000 units worldwide by January 2019.[149] A sequel, My Hero One's Justice 2 (僕のヒーローアカデミア One's Justice 2, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Wanzu Jasutisu 2), was released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on March 12, 2020 in Japan and worldwide in the following day.[150] The third, a free-to-play battle royale action game, titled My Hero Ultra Rumble (僕のヒーローアカデミア Ultra Rumble, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Urutora Ranburu), was released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows and Xbox One on September 28, 2023.[151]

Mobile games

Three mobile games have been released for iOS and Android.[152][153] My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero was released in North America and several other mostly English-speaking countries in late May 2021.[154][152] My Hero Ultra Impact (僕のヒーローアカデミア Ultra Impact, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Urutora Inpakuto) was released in February 2022.[153] My Hero Academia: Beyond Limits was released on December 16, 2023.[155][better source needed]

Crossovers

Izuku Midoriya, All Might, Katsuki Bakugo, and Shoto Todoroki appeared as playable characters in the 2018 crossover fighting game Jump Force.[156] Izuku Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugo, Ochaco Uraraka, All Might, Shoto Todoroki, Eijiro Kirishima and Mina Ashido appeared as cosmetic outfits for players to purchase in Fortnite. Additionally, the in-game abilities including "Deku's Smash" and "Todoroki's Ice Wall" were introduced.[157]

Stage plays

My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage, a stage play adaptation, was first announced in 2018 and ran from April 12–21 and April 26–29, 2019.[158][159] The play was directed by Tsuneyasu Motoyoshi,[158] written by Hideyuki Nishimori, and choreographed by Umebō. Shunsuke Wada composed the music. The cast includes Shin Tamura as Izuku Midoriya, Ryōta Kobayashi as Katsuki Bakugo, Yume Takuchi as Ochako Uraraka, Hiroki Ino as Tenya Iida, and Ryō Kitamura as Shoto Todoroki.[159]

A second stage play adaptation, titled My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero, was scheduled to run from March 6–22 and March 27–April 5, 2020, with the cast and staff returning.[160] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero's original run was canceled and postponed to July 2020, where a complete version, titled My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero Plus Stage Ver., ran instead.[161] After one staff member contracted COVID-19, the production committee announced that My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: A True Hero would instead be live-streamed; however, the play was delayed again after another staff member contracted COVID-19.[162] The stage play ran in 2021 from December 3–12 and December 24–26.[163]

A third stage play adaptation titled My Hero Academia The "Ultra" Stage: The Symbol of Peace was announced on December 26, 2021, and was scheduled to run from April 9–10, April 22–24, and April 29–May 8, 2022.[164] However, due to one of the actor's injury during a performance of the play, future performances were postponed.[165]

A fourth stage play adaptation, titled My Hero Academia: The "Ultra" Stage: The Best Hero, was announced at the Jump Festa '23 event in December 2022. It ran from April 29–May 7, May 12–14, and May 19–21, 2023.[166]

Art and guidebooks

A My Hero Academia art book and three guidebooks have been released by Sheuisha. The art book, titled My Hero Academia: Official Character Guide Ultra Archive Art Book (僕のヒーローアカデミア 公式キャラクターガイド ウルトラアーカイブ画集, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Kōshiki Kyarakutā Gaido Urutora Ākaibu Gashū), was released on May 7, 2016.[167] The first guidebook, titled My Hero Academia: Ultra Archive - The Official Character Guide,[d] was published on May 2, 2016.[168] Accompanying the anime, the second guidebook, titled My Hero Academia: Ultimate Animation - The Official Book Guide,[e] was released on September 4, 2017.[169] The third guidebook, titled My Hero Academia: Ultra Analysis - The Official Character Guide,[f] was released on October 4, 2019.[170]

Other media

A drama CD titled My Hero Academia: Sweep! Local Area Cleaning! (僕のヒーローアカデミアハケ!ちいきせいそう!, Boku no Hīrō Akademia Hake! Chiiki Seisou!) bundled with a limited edition of the seventh volume of the manga, released before the anime. Kōhei Horikoshi provides the original story and supervised the project, and the script is written by Yōsuke Kuroda who also wrote for the anime series.[19][171] An interactive puzzle-solving event called "Heroes Dead End Program" was held on July 29 and 30, 2017.[172] An exhibit of the series ran in Tokyo's Ikebukuro Sunshine City from September 30 to October 8, 2018.[173]

An art exhibition, titled "My Hero Academia Drawing Smash", ran in Tokyo from April 23 to June 27, 2021, and in Osaka from July 16 to September 5, 2021.[174] An animation exhibition with a theme of Heroes vs. Villains, titled My Hero Academia Anime: All-Out War Arc Exhibition, ran in various cities in Japan from April to November 2023.[175] Another animation exhibition, titled My Hero Academia Ultra Animation Exhibition, ran in Tokyo and Osaka from December 2023 to March 2024.[176]

From March 1 to August 14, 2024, Universal Studios Japan is set to host an attraction based on the series, as part of the "Cool Japan" program. "My Hero Academia the Real 4D" attraction will feature 3D visuals and special effects such as seat rumbles and splashes of water. It will also include an original story featuring Deku, Bakugo, Uraraka, and Todoroki facing off against a villain who appears at the concert of a world-famous rock performer.[177]

Reception

Fans cosplaying as characters from My Hero Academia at FanimeCon in 2018

Popularity

My Hero Academia ranked second on the "Nationwide Bookstore Employees' Recommended Comics of 2015" poll by Honya Club online bookstore.[178] The series has ranked on the "Book of the Year" list from Media Factory's Da Vinci magazine, where professional book reviewers, bookstore employees, and Da Vinci readers participate; it ranked 26th in 2015;[179] 22nd in 2016;[180] sixteenth in 2018;[181] 37th in 2019;[182] 41st in 2020;[183] 34th in 2021;[184] and 22nd in 2022.[185] On Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! ranking of top 20 manga for male readers, it ranked fifth on the 2016 list.[186] On TV Asahi's Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150,000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, My Hero Academia ranked sixteenth.[187] On a 2021 survey conducted by LINE Research asking Japanese high school students what manga series they are currently into, the series ranked second among boys.[188]

The story has been noted to take inspiration from elements in superhero comics, such as the aesthetics of its characters,[189] and due to the popularity of the series, characters of My Hero Academia were used to promote the Marvel Studios film Avengers: Infinity War.[190] Before the anime adaptation's premiere, Naruto's creator Masashi Kishimoto praised Kōhei Horikoshi's work, and said: "My Hero Academia is finally getting animated! Congratulations! To put into words this sensation, which I know firsthand... it's probably a great feeling. [Considering] the original work and the studio, Bones... you don't need the 'probably,' it's a great feeling. People who know it will get it! Internationally, even... in any case, it's a great feeling. It's the same feeling I had when my work was first animated -- no, [the series] is more than that! And they aren't making me say this, it's the truth." Kishimoto also believes that it would be a success overseas. One Piece creator, Eiichiro Oda, also praised the series.[191]

My Hero Academia was popular with Japanese readers of Charapedia, who voted it the fourth best anime show of Q2 2017.[192] The anime had received high TV rating percentage and has consistently ranked among the top ten animated shows in Japan, since the release of its second season.[193] The official music video of the second season's opening theme song, "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu, reached 48.6 million views on YouTube, being one of the top trending videos of 2017.[194] In the United States, My Hero Academia was the second most "in-demand" TV title in the last 60 days in 2020 according to Observer, which tracks popularity through social media, fan ratings, and piracy.[195] In January 2021, it was revealed that the anime series was the fourth most-watched anime series on Crunchyroll in 2020, being watched in 23 countries and territories, including North America, Central America, South America, and Europe.[196] In April of the same year, the fifth season of the series set the record for the most-watched premiere of any series on MyAnimeList, surpassing the other anime titles such as Attack on Titan: The Final Season, The Promised Neverland season 2, and Dr. Stone: Stone Wars.[197]

According to Video Research, the premiere of My Hero Academia season 6 has earned a television rating of 3.9% (an improvement from the previous season's 3.2%) and ranked as the fourth-most watched anime, outperforming the other popular series such as One Piece, Spy × Family, and Doraemon in the average household viewership in Japan.[198][199] The sixth season's fifth episode became one of the most-watched episodes of the series, garnering over 3.01 million viewers across 2.26 million households in the television. Additionally, more than 2.64 million people who watched the anime, has an increase of over 325,000 viewers from its season premiere which had an individual viewership rating of 2.1%.[200] By December 22, 2022, the series ranked as the fifth "Most-Watched Anime in Japan" for December 2022.[201] The sixth season's finale averaged 2.01 million viewers in the television after its broadcast.[202]

The cosplayers as characters have also been popular especially in Japan where a poll surveyed by Cosplayers Archive, ranked My Hero Academia ninth in Q3 2017.[203] According to the retailer Zavvi, where they surveyed Instagram hashtags containing franchise names followed by the term "cosplay", My Hero Academia was the most popular franchise among cosplayers worldwide with 2,377,476 posts, ranking above franchises such as DC Comics, Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, Naruto, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Pokémon, and Sailor Moon. The retailer stated that the result demonstrates the "recent growth of anime". They also surveyed hashtags containing character names, where three My Hero Academia characters placed in the top ten rankings: Izuku ranked fifth with 224,429 posts, Shoto came in at seventh with 177,161 posts, and Katsuki at ninth with 147,600 posts.[204]

On Tumblr's Year in Review, which highlights the largest communities, fandoms, and trends on the platform throughout the year, My Hero Academia ranked first on the Top Anime & Manga Shows category from 2018 to 2021.[205][206][207][208] The characters also placed high in the rankings of Top Anime & Manga Characters category. In 2019, Izuku Midoriya ranked first which placed the 17 spots occupied by other My Hero Academia characters in the top 50 list;[206] seven were ranked on the top 10 list in 2020;[207] and five in 2021.[208] The series also ranked fifth on Tumblr's Top 10 overall in the 2018 list;[209] it ranked ninth on Top 20 overall in 2020;[207] and tenth on Top 21 overall in 2021.[208] It placed seventeenth on Twitter Japan's Trend Awards in 2021, based on the social network's top trending topics of the year.[210]

In April 2024, My Hero Academia was the most talked about animated superhero show or franchise according to the analyst Miles Thomas, where the data was compiled through social media engagement for the popular new series and its growing popularity for anime. With 4.7 million social media engagements, it was the second most-discussed series ahead of X-Men '97, Invincible, and KonoSuba in the last 30 days despite the seventh season hasn't began its airing.[211]

Manga

Sales

My Hero Academia has been a largely commercial success since the manga's release; in 2014, the first volume reached seventh place on the weekly Oricon's manga chart with 71,575 copies sold.[212] It sold out almost immediately on its first printing.[213] Volume two reached sixth place, with 167,531 copies[214] and, by January 18, 2015, had sold 205,179 copies.[215] In April 2015, volume three reached eighth place with 254,111 copies.[216] Volume four reached sixth with 259,137 in June,[217] and volume five peaked at ninth place with 279,414 copies in August.[218]

By March 2017, the manga had over 10 million copies in circulation;[219] it had over 13 million copies in circulation by February 2018;[220] over 15 million copies in circulation by May 2018;[221] over 16 million copies in circulation by August 2018;[222] over 17 million copies in circulation by September 2018;[223] over 20 million copies in circulation by December 2018;[224] over 21 million copies in circulation by February 2019;[225] over 26 million copies in circulation by December 2019;[226] over 30 million copies in circulation by January 2021;[227] over 50 million copies in circulation by April 2021, with 37 million being sold in Japan and the remaining 13 million in the rest of the world;[228] over 65 million copies in circulation by January 2022,[229] with 45 million being sold in Japan and the remaining 20 million elsewhere;[230][231] over 85 million copies in circulation by February 2023;[232] and over 100 million copies in circulation by April 2024.[233][g]

The My Hero Academia franchise sales generated an estimated revenue of ¥16 billion in Japan between 2016 and 2020.[234] The series was the sixth best-selling manga series in the first half of 2017, with over 2 million copies sold,[235] while volumes 12 and 13 were some of the top 50 best-selling manga volumes.[236] By the end of the year, it was the fourth best-selling manga series with over 5.8 million copies sold,[237] while volumes 12–15 were among the 50 best-selling manga volumes.[238] In 2018, the seventeenth volume of the manga had received an initial print run of 600,000 copies.[239] It was the fifth best-selling manga in the first half of 2018 with over 2.5 million copies sold,[240] while volumes 17 and 18 were the thirteenth and seventeenth best-selling manga volumes, respectively.[241] The series ranked sixth on Rakuten's Top 20 Best Selling Digital Manga of 2018.[242] It was the second best-selling manga in 2018, behind One Piece, with over 6.7 million copies sold;[243] volumes 17–20 were among the 50 best-selling manga volumes, having sold over 3 million copies combined.[244] The 22nd volume topped the Oricon's ranking sales chart list in February 2019, with 576,148 copies sold.[245] The series was the fourth best-selling manga in the first half of 2019, with over 3.1 million copies sold;[246] volumes 21–23 were among the 50 best-selling manga volumes of the year.[247] It was the sixth best-selling manga in 2019, with over 5 million copies sold.[248]

Along with One-Punch Man, My Hero Academia had an initial print run of 660,000 copies, with its 26th volume in 2020.[249] The series was the fifth best-selling manga in the first half of 2020, with 3,339,656 million copies sold.[250] The series ranked twelfth on Rakuten's Top 20 Best Selling Digital Manga of 2020.[251] It was the eighth best-selling manga series in 2020, with over 6 million copies sold.[252] The 29th volume had an initial print run of 680,000 copies in 2021.[253] The series was the fifth best-selling manga in 2021 and 2022, with over 7 million and 5.3 million copies sold, respectively;[254] volumes 33–35 were among the 30 best-selling manga volumes of 2022.[255] The series ranked eighth on Rakuten's Top 20 Best Selling Digital Manga of 2021, and ninth in 2022.[256] Volumes 37–39 were among the best-selling manga volumes of 2023.[257] The series ranked twelfth on Rakuten's Top 20 Best Selling Digital Manga of 2023.[258] Volume 38 was Shueisha's fifth highest first print run manga volume of 2023–2024 (period from April 2023–March 2024), with 815,000 copies printed.[259]

In North America, the volumes of My Hero Academia appeared on The New York Times Manga Best Seller list for several weeks, with volume one which released in August 2015, debuted at fourth place.[260] The volumes were also ranked on NPD BookScan's monthly top 20 adult graphic novels list since August 2016,[261] while it was among the top 20 manga graphic novels list in September, October and December 2018.[262] In Q4 2018, My Hero Academia was the best-selling manga franchise according to ICv2.[263] Several volumes of the manga have also been ranked on The New York Times' Graphic Books and Manga bestseller monthly list since November 2019.[264] Volumes 1 and 26 ranked third and sixth, respectively, on Publishers Weekly's bestseller list in March 2021.[265] Volume 28 also charted on the Publishers Weekly's bestseller list in September 2021, ranking fifth.[266]

According to ICv2, My Hero Academia was the fifth best-selling manga franchise for Q4 2021 (September–December) in the United States.[267] According to NPD BookScan, it was the best-selling manga series in 2020, with nine volumes featured on the top 20 adult graphics novels list;[268] seven volumes were ranked among the top 20 highest-selling manga volumes in 2021;[269] two volumes were among the top 20 highest-selling manga volumes in 2022 and 2023.[270] The first volume had over 1.2 million copies in circulation by 2022 and the franchise as a whole has 10 million copies in circulation in the United States.[231]

Critical reception

Nick Creamer of Anime News Network gave the first volume a B. Creamer praised the art, describing it as "absolutely professional". He labeled Horikoshi's art as "consistent and highly polished", but also stated that it was fast-paced and very sharply drawn. He praised the plot and characters, saying that despite it feeling like a typical shōnen plot, it did well enough to still feel fresh and entertaining. He also stated that the characters has a great energy and personality.[271] Isaac Akers from The Fandom Post ranked the second volume as a B+. He praised the art, saying that Horikoshi's character designs and art bolster the volume's ability to feel as if it does everything it does just because the volume likes doing it. He concluded that My Hero Academia was a difficult series to dislike, making it as the "real joy to read" by executing on the author's ideas and enough nerve and twist.[272] Sean Gaffney from A Case Suitable for Treatment referred to the art as "smooth" and complemented how it flows with the action. Gaffney also praised the story, characters, and fight scenes, stating that the story flows nicely with each of their individual personalities, while the fight scenes look smooth and non-confusing.[273]

In a review of the second volume, Leroy Douresseaux from Comic Book Bin also praised the story, specifically the way it tells comedy and drama. He also compared the series to the other superhero works like Tiger & Bunny and One-Punch Man, stating that My Hero Academia proves that "manga can do superhero comic books that are every bit as imaginative as American superhero comics".[274] Manga Bookshelf praised the first volume for its art, saying that it demonstrated Horikoshi's skill very well, though criticizing it for having too much narration at some points.[275] Reviewing volumes 1 to 19, Michelle Smith from Soliloquy in Blue called the plot "very good", but also stated that the main reason she liked the series was the characters, specifically praising most of the main cast. However, she criticized the series for not giving some of the female characters enough spotlight despite praising their varied character designs and personalities.[276]

The series was chosen as one of the Best Manga at the Comic-Con International Best & Worst Manga in 2018 and 2019.[277] Barnes & Noble named it on their list of "Our Favorite Manga of 2018", saying that "it combines the earnestness of superhero comics with the core elements of shonen manga", but also stated that the reason Horikoshi makes its story a delight is the "endlessly inventive imagination", praising most of the characters' abilities that are more "quirks" than superpowers.[278] Cold Cobra of Anime UK News picked the series for his list of "best manga of 2010s", praising its great mix between the Japanese shonen action genre and American superhero comics. He stated that its cast of characters is what makes it stand out more than anything. He described the artwork as "wonderfully expressive and occasionally impressively shaded for those big full-page moments", which makes it a joy to read.[279]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2015 1st Next Manga Award Print Manga Won [280]
8th Manga Taishō Manga Taishō 8th place [281][282]
Mandō Kobayashi Manga Award Manga Grand Prix Won [283]
2016 40th Kodansha Manga Award Best Shōnen Manga Nominated [284]
Da Vinci 16th Annual Book of the Year Book of the Year 22nd place [180]
2017 Japan Expo Awards [fr] Daruma d'Or Manga Won [285][286]
Best Shōnen Nominated
3rd Sugoi Japan Award Best Manga Won [287]
44th Angoulême International Comics Festival Best Youth Comic Nominated [288]
23rd Salón del Manga de Barcelona Best Shōnen Manga Won [289]
2018 Japan Expo Awards Best Shōnen [290][291]
30th Harvey Awards Best Manga Nominated [292]
24th Salón del Manga de Barcelona Best Shōnen Manga Won [293]
Da Vinci 18th Annual Book of the Year Book of the Year 16th place [181]
2019 31st Harvey Awards Best Manga Won [294][295]
2020 47th Angoulême International Comics Festival Best Youth Comic Nominated [296]

Anime

Sales

My Hero Academia sales have been high and the series has been successful in Japan since the release of the anime. The five volumes of the first season on Blu-ray and DVD were released in Japan, with each release appearing in Oricon's Animation Blu-ray and Animation DVD ranking. The first Blu-ray edition of My Hero Academia was ranked fifth in the first week of Oricon's Blu-ray ranking, while the first DVD edition ranked fourth with 2,184 copies sold.[297] The second Blu-ray and DVD sets also ranked, with the Blu-ray edition coming in sixth and DVD fifth for a week.[298] The third Blu-ray edition ranked fourth with 1,700 copies sold, while the DVD release was eighth with 1,184 copies sold.[299] The fourth Blu-ray and DVD collections ranked fifth and fourth, respectively.[300] The fifth Blu-ray and DVD release sales ranked higher than the previous volumes; the Blu-ray came in at third with 1,473 copies sold and the DVD ranked second with 1,068 copies sold in a week.[301] Four volumes of the second season on Blu-ray and DVD also appeared in Oricon's Animation Blu-ray and DVD ranking. The first Blu-ray edition ranked seventh, while the DVD ranked fifth.[302] The third Blu-ray edition was among the top 20 in Oricon's Animation Blu-ray ranking, while the DVD was tenth among the 30 Animation DVD ranking.[303] The seventh Blu-ray and DVD ranked eighth,[304] while the eighth Blu-ray and DVD sets ranked fourth.[305]

The second season's opening theme, "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu, topped the Billboard charts on the Billboard Japan Hot 100;[306] it peaked at number two on the Oricon charts.[307] By the end of 2017, the Bootleg soundtrack album including "Peace Sign" became the top-selling anime CD album on Oricon's chart with 241,754 copies sold.[308] It was the top-selling anime CD album in the first half of 2018 with 134,777 copies sold; the other compilation album, LiSA BEST: Day, which includes the second ending theme song of the second season, "Datte Atashi no Hero" by LiSA, ranked fifth on Oricon's chart simultaneously.[309] Seven volumes of the third season on Blu-ray and DVD appeared in Oricon's Animation Blu-ray and DVD ranking, respectively. The first Blu-ray edition ranked ninth, while the DVD ranked third.[310] The second Blu-ray edition ranked sixth, while the DVD ranked fifth.[311] The third Blu-ray edition ranked fourth, while the DVD ranked second.[312] The fourth Blu-ray and DVD sets ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.[313] The fifth Blu-ray set ranked third with 1,194 copies sold, while the DVD ranked second.[314] The seventh Blu-ray and DVD sets ranked ninth and sixth, respectively.[315] The eighth Blu-ray and DVD sets ranked fourth and third, respectively.[316] By the end of 2018, Bootleg became the top-selling anime CD album for the second consecutive year while LiSA BEST: Day ranked ninth on Oricon's chart.[317]

Critical reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of My Hero Academia holds an approval rating of 100% based on 9 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10.[318] Alex Osborn of IGN gave the first season a nine out of ten rating, praising its action, story, and characters, while criticizing its villains as underdeveloped. Osborn also stated that "its excellent character design only elevates the memorable cast even further". He concluded that "the first season of My Hero Academia delivers thirteen episodes of fantastic action, elevated by a heartfelt story that's wrapped around a core cast of memorable and relatable characters".[319] In his review for the second season, Osborn praised it as "truly something special", complimenting the animation, character developments, and emotions. He called it as "one of the best TV shows" he had ever watched.[320] Tom Speelman of Polygon praised the anime for its animation, action and characters. Speelman also stated that compared to other superhero teams like X-Men or Legion of Super-Heroes, My Hero Academia's biggest asset is its huge cast, with even minor characters having a "fun look" or "interesting personality" for readers to latch onto. He noted that it has similarities to the other shows and comics like Teen Titans, Runaways, or Young Justice, though he felt its closest thematic analog is the 2005 Disney film Sky High.[321] Chris Beveridge from The Fandom Post also praised the anime. He said that despite it being a long running series, it manages to not feel directionless and has several great moments.[322]

Nick Creamer of Anime News Network also praised the adaptation. He gave praise to the music and animation in the action scenes, while criticizing the pacing and stating that the animation can be average at times.[323] In his review of the second season, he gave it praise for the improvements to both pacing and animation.[324] Sam Leach of Anime News Network highlighted the 49th episode, which is the second battle between All Might and All For One. Leach wrote: "It was unavoidable that this was going to be a beautiful episode. That bloodied-up All Might is striking in either form, and you can tell they pulled out all the stops in making the big hits as intense and crazy as possible. From a pacing perspective, I'm really pleased with how this Bakugo Rescue arc played out." He concluded: "This is My Hero Academia's proudest moment in the spotlight. Not only does it continue to be the darling of modern Shonen Jump with one of the mostly perfectly tuned anime adaptations a long-running series has ever received, this is an accomplishment of storytelling across the board."[325] Marina Garrow from Anime Feminist praised the way the plot handles damsel-in-distress elements, especially when compared to other shōnen series, stating that the female characters are not the only characters that need saving, and when they do need saving, the situations are realistic and not overexaggerated.[326]

Both the original Japanese cast and the English dub received praise from critics. Osborn applauded the casting choices and overall voice work, adding that [Izuku's voice actor] Daiki Yamashita is a "perfect fit" in the Japanese dub, while praising Justin Briner's performance in English as excellent and standout.[319] Creamer rated both equally, stating that the dub cast of the major characters generally fits their roles very well, though criticizing some of the background characters' performances.[323] Andy Hanley from UK Anime Network concured, stating both casts had strong performances, however, he gave special praise to the dub cast, saying that each actor fits their role very well.[327] Speelman stated that both Japanese and English casts know exactly how to make these roles work. He noted that both Yamashita and Briner's voice as Izuku "nail the optimistic nerdiness and heroic attitude" with Briner "channeling a bit of Morty Smith for good measure". He also praised the voice performances of All Might, noting that Japanese voice actor Kenta Miyake "nails the goofy earnestness of the part", while English voice actor Christopher Sabat "was essentially Superman", Speelman felt was a "great fit".[321]

The anime series has been named as one of the best of the 2010s in several publications. Writing for Comic Book Resources, Sage Ashford ranked it fourth on his list, praising its character development. Although he criticized the series' originality, he felt it executes the classic shōnen tropes perfectly, describing it as the "most finely tuned battle shonen ever created".[328] Paste ranked My Hero Academia among the top 50 anime of all time.[329] In November 2019, Polygon named it as one of the best anime of the 2010s,[330] and Crunchyroll listed it in their "Top 25 best anime of the 2010s".[331] In January 2020, IGN and Thrillist named it among the best anime series of the 2010s.[332][333] Japan Web Magazine ranked the series 24th on its list of "30 Best Anime of All Time".[334]

Accolades

At Crunchyroll's inaugural Anime Awards in 2017, Izuku was awarded Hero of the Year while the anime series was nominated in six other categories including Anime of the Year.[335] At the 2nd Crunchyroll Anime Awards in 2018, the second season of the anime won seven out of ten nominations: Best Action, Best Animation, Best Opening ("Peace Sign"), Best Girl (Ochaco Uraraka), Best Boy (Shoto Todoroki), Best Villain (Stain), and Best Hero (Izuku Midoriya) categories; Christopher Sabat also received the Industry Icon Award for his role as All Might.[336] In December 2017, the second season of My Hero Academia was among the Top 100 Favorites nominated for Anime of the Year at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2018.[337] The series ranked first in a "mega poll" of the readers for Best Anime of 2017 and 2018 by Anime News Network.[338]

My Hero Academia won "Shonen Series of the Decade" at the Funimation's Decade of Anime poll, where the fans voted for their favorite anime across multiple categories.[339] In the other fan poll, Izuku Midoriya and Shoto Todoroki were chosen as one of the "Best Boys of the Decade", while Ochaco Uraraka became one of the five recipients for the "Best Girls of the Decade" category.[340] In 2021, the series won the "Most In-Demand Anime Series of 2020" at the third Global TV Demand Awards.[341] In 2023, the series along with Attack on Titan, became the first anime adaptation to receive an Astra TV Award nomination for "Best Streaming Animated Series or TV Movie" at the inaugural Astra Creative Arts TV Awards.[342]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2016 IGN Awards Best Anime Series My Hero Academia Nominated [343]
Best Anime Opening "The Day" by Porno Graffitti Nominated
Billboard Japan Music Awards Hot Animation 15th place [344]
2017 1st Crunchyroll Anime Awards Anime of the Year My Hero Academia Nominated [335]
Hero of the Year Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Won
Villain of the Year Tomura Shigaraki Nominated
Best Boy Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Nominated
Best Girl Ochaco Uraraka Nominated
Best Action My Hero Academia Nominated
Best Fight Scene Deku vs. Kacchan Nominated
Japan Expo Awards Best Simulcast My Hero Academia Nominated [285]
12th AnimaniA Awards Best Online Anime 3rd place [345]
Billboard Japan Music Awards Hot 100 "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu 14th place [346]
Most Downloaded Songs 10th place
Hot Animation 3rd place
IGN Awards Anime of the Year My Hero Academia Won [347]
Anime of the Year - People's Choice Won
5th BTVA Anime Dub Awards Best Male Lead Christopher Sabat as All Might Nominated [348]
Best Male Lead - People's Choice Won
Best Supporting Male Alex Organ as Shota Aizawa Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble My Hero Academia Won
Best Vocal Ensemble - People's Choice Won
2018 2nd Crunchyroll Anime Awards Anime of the Year My Hero Academia Season 2 Nominated [349][336]
Best Action Won
Best Hero Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Won
Best Villain Stain Won
Best Boy Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Nominated
Shoto Todoroki Won
Best Girl Ochaco Uraraka Won
Tsuyu Asui Nominated
Best Animation My Hero Academia Season 2 Won
Best Opening "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu Won
Industry Icon Award Christopher Sabat as All Might[h] Won
Japan Expo Awards Daruma d'Or Anime My Hero Academia Season 2 Nominated [290][291]
Best Scenario Kōhei Horikoshi Nominated
Best Adapted Series Kenji Nagasaki Won
Best Simulcast My Hero Academia Season 2 Won
Best Soundtrack Yuki Hayashi Nominated
10th CD Shop Awards Grand Prize Bootleg[i] Won [350]
32nd Japan Gold Disc Award Best 5 Songs by Download "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu Won [351]
6th BTVA Anime Dub Awards Best Male Lead Justin Briner as Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Nominated [352]
Best Male Lead - People's Choice Won
Best Supporting Male Jarrod Greene as Hitoshi Shinso Nominated
8th Newtype Anime Awards Best Work (TV) My Hero Academia Season 3 10th place [353]
Best Voice Actor Yuki Kaji 7th place
Best Studio Bones 2nd place
Billboard Japan Music Awards Most Downloaded Songs "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu 14th place [354]
Hot Animation 3rd place
"Long Hope Philia" by Masaki Suda 6th place
"Odd Future" by Uverworld 10th place
IGN Awards Best Anime Series My Hero Academia Season 3 Nominated [355]
Best Anime Series - People's Choice Won
Best Anime Episode Episode 49 - "One For All" Won
Best Animation My Hero Academia Season 3 Nominated
60th Japan Record Awards Album of the Year Bootleg[i] Won [356]
2019 3rd Crunchyroll Anime Awards Best Antagonist All For One Won [357]
Best Boy Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Won
Best Animation My Hero Academia Season 3 Nominated
Best VA Performance (English) Christopher Sabat as All Might Won
Best Fight Scene All for One vs. All Might Won
13th Seiyu Awards Best Actor in Supporting Role Kenta Miyake as All Might Won [358]
Billboard Japan Music Awards Hot Animation "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu 12th place [359]
Magnolia Award Best Animation My Hero Academia Season 3 Nominated [360]
Funimation Shonen Series of the Decade My Hero Academia Won [339]
Best Boys of the Decade Izuku "Deku" Midoriya Won [340]
Shoto Todoroki Won
Best Girls of the Decade Ochaco Uraraka Won
42nd Anime Grand Prix Grand Prize My Hero Academia 8th place [361]
Best Character (Male) Izuku Midoriya 6th place
Best Voice Actor Yūki Kaji 4th place
Aoi Yūki 6th place
2020 2nd Global TV Demand Awards Most In-Demand Export from Asia My Hero Academia Nominated [362]
4th Crunchyroll Anime Awards Best Antagonist Overhaul Nominated [363]
Billboard Japan Music Awards Hot Animation "Peace Sign" by Kenshi Yonezu 17th place [364]
2021 3rd Global TV Demand Awards Most In-Demand Anime Series of 2020 My Hero Academia Won [341]
5th Crunchyroll Anime Awards Best Antagonist Overhaul Nominated [365]
Best VA Performance (English) Zeno Robinson as Hawks Won
Best Fight Scene Deku vs. Overhaul Won
27th Salón del Manga de Barcelona Best Anime Series in Blu-ray/DVD My Hero Academia Season 4 Won [366]
2022 4th Global TV Demand Awards Most In-Demand Anime Series of 2021 My Hero Academia Nominated [367]
6th Crunchyroll Anime Awards Best Antagonist Tomura Shigaraki Nominated [368]
12th Newtype Anime Awards Best Work (TV) My Hero Academia Season 5 3rd place [369]
Best Director Kenji Nagasaki and Masahiro Mukai 4th place
Best Screenplay Yōsuke Kuroda 5th place
Best Character Design Yoshihiko Umakoshi and Hitomi Odajima 4th place
Best Soundtrack Yuki Hayashi 5th place
Best Studio Bones 5th place
2023 5th Global Demand Awards Most In-Demand Anime Series of 2022 My Hero Academia Nominated [370]
7th Crunchyroll Anime Awards Best VA Performance (Arabic) Mohja AlSheak as Izuku Midoriya Nominated [371]
1st Astra Creative Arts TV Awards Best Streaming Animated Series or TV Movie My Hero Academia Nominated [342]
2024 6th Global Demand Awards Most In-Demand Anime Series of 2023 Nominated [372]

Unit 731 controversy

In early 2020, the series caused a controversy in South Korea and China for a character's name allegedly referencing Unit 731,[373] an infamous Imperial Japanese army unit known for vivisecting captured Chinese, Korean, and Russian individuals. In response, it has been removed from digital platforms in China, and the character's name was changed to no longer reference Unit 731.[374] A day prior, both Weekly Shōnen Jump manga magazine publisher Shueisha and the manga's author Kōhei Horikoshi issued an individual apology statements on Twitter.[375]

In the aftermath of the manga's removal from its services in China, the English-language news service Abacus reached out to bilibili and Tencent for its request. The former stated that the removal was "in accordance with China's policies" but declined to comment further, while the latter did not respond to Abacus' request for comment.[375] The character's name was changed again by the digital version of Weekly Shōnen Jump following the backlash. Shueisha promised that "going forward, we intend to devote our energies toward deepening our understanding of a variety of historical and cultural matters." Both the publisher and manga's creator reiterated that the reference to war crimes within the character's name was wholly unintentional.[376]

Notes

  1. ^ Credited as director for seasons 1–3 and as chief director (総監督) for seasons 4–current.
  2. ^ Credited as chief unit director (チーフ演出) for episodes 39–51 (the first half of season 3).[4]
  3. ^ Formerly known as Funimation.
  4. ^ Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア公式キャラクターブック Ultra Archive, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia Kōshiki Kyarakutā Bukku Urutora Ākaibu
  5. ^ Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア 公式ガイドブック Ultimate Animation Guide, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia Kōshiki Gaido Bukku Arutimetto Animēshon
  6. ^ Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア 公式キャラクターブック2 Ultra Analysis, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia Kōshiki Kyarakutā Bukku 2 Urutora Anarishisu
  7. ^ Including the number of spin-off manga
  8. ^ For his other voice works such as Vegeta and Piccolo of the Dragon Ball franchise
  9. ^ a b The album includes "Peace Sign"

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