My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission


Will Teare

Directed by Kenji Nagasaki

Starring: Daiki Yamashita, Nobuhiko Okamoto, and Yuki Kaji

Release Date: October 29, 2021

Rating: 3/5


The massive anime hit series, My Hero Academia, is back with a whole movie-size adventure for Deku and the rest of Class 1-A. The My Hero Academia series takes place in a world where 80% of the population has a superpower, called a quirk. But not all of them use their abilities for good. That’s where the heroes come in. We follow Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, a bright-eyed Japanese teen whose dream is to become one of these heroes and “save people with a smile,” as he puts it. Just one problem: he’s born without a quirk. Undeterred, he enrolls in the prestigious U.A. High Hero Academy, and we watch him grow, make new friends, fight villains, and maybe discover that his idol, the number one hero, isn’t what he seems.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is the third and final spin-off film from director Kenji Nagasaki, creator Kohei Horikoshi, and their team. The film very effectively drops you straight into the mix, without the infamous Deku monologue about the world he lives in and who he is. Fans have complained about it over the years but would be lying if they said it didn’t bring a smile to their face every single time. It’s a small choice that worked wonders; it felt refreshing to be immediately put into an action scene.

The action is exceptional, as expected from the series. It’s very fast-paced and animated very well, even if the climax is dragged out a little too long. Unfortunately, the film often showed the protagonists facing dire injuries mid-battle with little to no effect on their fighting ability which felt very emotionally manipulative and gratuitous. It takes you out of immersion and makes you question how they’re even standing, a thought you shouldn’t have during any movie, much less the climax of our story. In this film, we see massive consequences for what will happen if the day isn’t saved but not once does the audience feel any tension of whether or not the heroes will win. The story is classic My Hero fodder; a villain bent on global chaos and a new character(s) that we meet only for the use of that singular film whose life hangs in the balance. 

On the topic of characters, they truly are the franchise’s strong point. Every fan will tell you a different favorite character, and each one will be just as valid (unless it’s Mineta). But if your favorite isn’t Deku, Todoroki or Bakugou, World Heroes’ Mission won’t satisfy fans in that sense. Most of the cast does return, but only our big three protagonists get their moment to shine. This is disappointing because the execution of a full ensemble cast was accomplished very well by the trilogy’s middle child, Heroes Rising, and to a lesser but still fun extent with Two Heroes. To fill the void of character is the addition of Rody Soul, who, as the name implies, adds much of the heart and soul the movie needed with a well-set-up backstory and a satisfying conclusion of his arc throughout the film. He’s accompanied by a new villain who is given very little character and is only there as a god-level punching bag for Deku to put on a colorful, budget-busting climax.

By anime standards, fights in My Hero Academia aren’t anything too crazy or mind-blowing. But it’s the emotion behind every punch that makes this franchise so special. It’s the fact that victories and losses taken by our protagonists aren’t triumphs of power, it’s a lesson learned and a milestone of how far they’ve grown. Unfortunately, World Heroes’ Mission provides little in that department besides the bare minimum. 

Overall, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission provides a very by-the-book My Hero Academia story with some great animation, fun moments, a nice story, and an experience fans will enjoy. But if you’re a fan looking for some new and exciting My Hero Academia stories, you’re better off reading the new chapters in the manga or giving the just finished season five another shot. If you’re looking for a fun movie to watch in theaters this weekend, you have many other, much better options. Excluding World Heroes’ Mission, we have the best quality and quantity of new releases we’ve had since pre-pandemic. And if you want to be introduced or want to introduce others to the incredible world of My Hero Academia…then you are certainly better off with season one, episode one.  Rating: 3/5