REVIEW: ‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’ is a Great Standalone

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My Hero Academia is arguably one of the largest franchises in anime right now, and with its third feature length film, the kids of Class 1-A go global. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is released by Toho and animated by studio BONES and directed by Kenji Nagasaki and features a screenplay by Yôsuke Kuroda. The latest feature film, it pits the young heroes against a genocidal cult leader who may be extremely charismatic, but he’s also one of the most nefarious villains yet.

In My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, Flect Turn (Robbie Daymond) is a cult leader whose charisma is leading the way in his push to erase quirks from society – by, well, killing everyone with timed bombs. Spread across the world, different hero teams are pushing to find and disarm bombs planted by Humarise cult members. From Singapore and France to the United States and the fictional Otheon, the clock is ticking as we see Class 1-A supporting the effort in their Pro-Hero agency internships. In Otheon, Izuku Midoriya (Justin Briner), Shoto Todoroki (David Matranga), and Katsuki Bakugo (Clifford Chapin) are playing their role with Endeavor’s agency when things go horribly wrong.

With only two hours to save the world, the film’s tension is ramped up and putting the story on a clock sets a quick pacing. That said, the film’s plot isn’t just about saving the world. When things go wrong, Deku finds himself framed and wanted for crimes he isn’t responsible for, on the run, Deku has to put his trust in Rody Soul (Ryan Colt Levy).

Rody is a new addition to the My Hero Academia franchise, original, and created for My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, the character does heavy lifting pushing Deku’s understanding of survival and a more grey take on morality. An older brother who’s entire life is survival through whatever means he can, his grey take on morality pushes Deku to confront the truth that sometimes “good” isn’t always, well “good.” An emotional character, Rody is the heart of the filmHe’s a mirror held up to hero society to explore its failings and to Deku to better understand himself.

In fact, the strength of Rody’s character work both from a narrative and voice acting perspective makes the fact that My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is a standalone kind of frustrating. This is due to a common issue in anime features connected to franchises: introducing a new character only for them to be seamlessly written out because they can’t affect the overarching story too much. Which is shame given that Rody is the heart of this film.

Additionally, this film comes after My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, a film entirely focused on Deku and Bakugo’s relationship. This lead a lot of fans to assume that the third film would follow our main trio: Bakugo, Deku, and Todoroki. And while this was bolstered by how much the three in their stealth suits were marketed and even the film’s official synopsis, this isn’t a trio story. In fact, this film is all about Deku and Rody, with the latter stealing the show in some of the most emotional moments. I found myself desperately wanting to see our trio fighting together more, talking more, and just growing together. Not to mention, for a global film with an opening credit sequence that places individual teams across the world, the story is pretty much all about and in Otheon.

But don’t worry, the film also features some of the largest and most breathtaking action sequences of the franchise so far. Bakugo, Todoroki, and Deku all have grand battle sequences that not only push them to the limit but showcase new techniques that stretches studio BONES’ stellar animation. Sure, I wanted more of them together, but their solo moments were breathtaking. The best example is Bakugo’s final fight scene. With such an explosive character that has racked up stunning fights, to top what we’ve so far is a giant accomplishment.

Finally, the voice cast of the film’s English dub are each phenomenal. The same talent that brings the characters to life during the regular season are back for My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission and each performance is perfection. They bring life to every scene whether it’s emotion or action, screaming, or giving a rousing monologue, everything just works. Additionally, Flect Turn is a charismatic villain that hits the “hot villain” trope perfectly.

Overall, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission isn’t the best of the franchise’s feature films, due in large part to the expectations built by the marketing. That said, if you go in without expectations – like seeing the boys in their stealth-suits for an extended period of time – this film is a great standalone. Sure, we don’t get larger implications that carry into the canon story’s timeline despite its standalone status like we did in the second film, but My Hero Academia World Heroes’ Mission works perfectly as a self-contained film. While it may not be the top film for existing fans, this film can serve as a perfect jumping in point for those experiencing the characters for the first time.

With stellar action sequences that push studio BONES, voice acting that goes Plus Ultra on emotion, and a new character that’s a true gem, My Hero Academia World Heroes’ Mission is a great standalone film. And really, that’s all it has to be.

My Hero Academia World Heroes’ Mission is playing now in Japanese and English in theaters nationwide.


My Hero Academia World Heroes’ Mission
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

With stellar action sequences that push studio BONES, voice acting that goes Plus Ultra on emotion, and a new character that’s a true gem, My Hero Academia World Heroes’ Mission is a great standalone film. And really, that’s all it has to be.