My Hero Academia has been making its rounds throughout the anime and manga community. I first heard of the series after it was announced for the Spring 2016 anime season. I watched the first episode—not too impressed. Here we have a typical middle school student with no special abilities in a world full of heroes and villains. Seems like your typical shonen to me.

However, after careful consideration and coming to the realization that I actually like the main protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, I gave the series another shot. I have no idea what my brain was watching previously, but I very quickly realized that I was head over heels in love with this show.

Academia, written and drawn by Kōhei Horikoshi, did something to me that I have only experienced once before in a shonen title, and that was having the main character immediately grab my attention. I become obsessed with anime characters by nature, but there was something about Izuku and the secondary main character, All Might, that screamed, “Pay attention to these characters!”50e4e4_f00428e6fbf248c89293363fa1ef7fb6-mv2
50e4e4_17c3dffbd70349ab96097f7f2a4a6d85-mv2Izuku and All Might have these incredibly-relatable, intense and will-driven personalities. Izuku wants nothing more than to be a hero so he can help and save his fellow man. He admires heroes immensely and wants to be just like them, not caring about becoming famous despite the competition for popularity. When he finds out he has no powers, otherwise known as ‘Quirks’ in this universe, he doesn’t just say, “I’m going to be a hero no matter what.” He cries and cries about it constantly, and becomes depressed as he is bullied by someone with powers he considers a friend.

All Might is the world’s greatest superhero and the embodiment of the classic American hero; think Superman or Captain America. Despite this, he can actually only use his powers for three hours a day after his body became permanently damaged from a fight in the past. Yet, he still fights on and always saves the day.50e4e4_5217231caf504935bffc5d88a39a5b2b-mv2Izuku manages to catch the attention of All Might after the former risked his life to try and save the very person who bullied him from a dangerous and goopy villain while actual heroes stayed on the sidelines. It was Izuku who in fact inspired All Might to rev up and save the day despite All Might reaching his limit.

All Might, recognizing Izuku’s potential, passes on his own Quirk, One For All. Izuku becomes a close pupil of his, and after some rigorous and humorous training, Izuku is accepted into the most prestigious hero high school, Yuuei, or U.A.

Academia is full of diverse and fun characters, each with their own backstories and traits. As I read, I wanted to know more and more about them. The many differences and upbringings we have is what make us human, and Kohei does exactly that with his characters. From our main hero who started with no powers, no father and a loving mother to a fellow classmate with powerful abilities who went through physical, emotional and psychological abuse from both parents throughout his young life, he makes sure we as the readers understands where these characters came from without dragging them on and on unlike some shonen titles. I’m looking at you, Naruto.50e4e4_2d41e0f16f504e3889506749be5a3df2-mv2Kohei’s unique art style is transferred wonderfully into animation thanks to the studio Bones. The series constantly show off the hero, villain and student’s abilities all while immersing the reader and viewers in the lives of these characters. The beginning of the story is incredibly emotional, and at times I found myself tearing up along with Izuku.50e4e4_04c8a8f112f447a08342fa16823a2908-mv2What I have said is just scratching the surface of what this series has to offer. Do yourself a favor, read AND watch My Hero Academia.50e4e4_dd5a53e046bd4919ba0d2dca8201ae23-mv2