My Hero Academia is back for its fourth season (as we mentioned in this previous article)! And, if you’re a fan of the series, I’m sure that, like me, you’re thrilled to see your favorite characters again after waiting for thirteen grueling months.
Now that our favorite heroes-in-training are back in the airwaves, what better way to celebrate their return than with fan art? No, seriously though, there are better ways than my uhmm… subpar sketches, but bear with me. ( ^_^ ; )
Anyway, the new season comes right in time for Halloween, so I thought, why not draw them watching a horror movie together? Well, most of them, anyway.
And there… I’m hopelessly hooked on this series. Honestly, though, I never would’ve picked it up had I known that it’s still ongoing. I am really impatient and hate to watch multi-season shows that are not completed yet. But people kept recommending it to me and I kind of misunderstood them (I thought it was done!), so I ended up watching it. And here we are. Trapped. (But in hindsight, I regret nothing, so thank you, friends.)
What first got me so into this anime was not really the story itself. At a glance, MHA is just like any other shounen work. There a lot of shounen tropes on this one (spoilers alert): the adorable optimistic MC, the overpowered hero who can beat anyone (think Goku), the better-than-senpai rookies (admit it, 1-A kids are just waay too special even for a school like UA!), the tragic backstories (not that I’m complaining), the ever-so-powerful villain, and the imminent decisive clash between good and evil (Funny enough, the story is literally told as a flashback, so we can be sure that Deku does win and become the greatest hero).
Anyway, in my opinion, what made MHA stand out despite having all these cliché elements is its characters. I believe that MHA has some of the best-written characters in the world of manga/anime. Kohei Horikoshi-sensei did a wonderful job fleshing out his characters and giving them life. Sure they have quirks and sometimes non-human features (Iida has mufflers, for crying out loud!), but stripped down of all that, we see the characters for who they are: flawed and insecure, but determined. Minus all the glamorous hero costumes and special abilities, we are left with characters we can relate to: people who dream and fight for those dreams.
I especially like Horikoshi-sensei’s portrayal of the students. We see them struggling with their insecurities—just like all of us did at that age! We also see them experiencing things that change how they look at themselves, and how they treat other people. They also go through life-changing encounters that free them from their inhibitions and not-so-pleasant pasts. And, for some, we even witness them grow out of a rebellious, somewhat awkward phase (e.g. that old Shoto costume nobody wants to talk about. Ever).
With the level of character development the students have gone through in just three seasons, I can’t wait to see how much more Horiskoshi-sensei is going to shape them until they’re the best heroes they can be. It’s going to be an exciting ride, and I’m really looking forward to see what this season has in store.