When I heard that “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” had received its American release date, I immediately planned to go see it in theatres. I had seen the first two movies of the My Hero Academia franchise years after they had come out—having been late to the series, I was late to the franchise. Therefore, I was ecstatic to learn that I would be able to see the next installment on time. The movie did not disappoint.
The film follows Izuku Midoriya (Daiki Yamashita)—the main character of the franchise—and Rody Soul (Ryô Yoshizawa)—a smooth-talking criminal—who end up tangled together after a chase through the city over a stolen case of jewels. However, the two suddenly find themselves being tracked down by Humarise, an evil organization led by Flect Turn (Kazuya Nakai) dedicated to eradicating the world of people with quirks (a term used to refer to special abilities) and making a world with just quirkless individuals. The two protagonists quickly learn that they fell victim to an accidental case swap, and are now holding onto the case belonging to Humarise. Because of this, the hero and criminal find themselves on the run not only from the organization but from the law, as they are tasked with cracking the mystery behind the case and stopping Humarise before they wipe out thousands of innocent people around the world.
Though I was excited about the movie, I didn’t have many expectations. This was not due to a lack of caring about the film, but rather because I didn’t see much in regards to the plot of the film in the trailers I saw. Therefore, I went in not sure what to expect. However, when I did finally sit down and see the film unfold, the central focus of the plot caught me by surprise. Rather than throw the viewers into fight scenes—though it does contain a few wonderful ones—the movie mainly focuses on developing the relationship between Rody and Midoriya, which is a different route than the other two films. However, by making this choice, we are able to see the impact of Midoriya’s actions on a deeper level and see the emotional connections, in turn making me root for their success even more.
This development from a more plot-based focus to a character-based focus—though it caught me by surprise—-was a rather smart decision. For example, the establishment of Rody as the companion—a cynical character who could care less about anyone outside of his family—created an interesting effect. He makes it pretty clear at the beginning of the film that he doesn’t have much hope in heroes, and while this isn’t the first time that this has happened in a “My Hero Academia” film, the previous example of this character archetype had someone else to balance out their negative feelings. In this film, not only does Midoriya have to deal with the external conflicts from Flect Turn and his organization, but he has to deal with Rody’s priorities and disbelief in heroes, super and not.
In terms of whether or not I would recommend the film, I give two thumbs up! If you’re more a fan of plot rather than character, I will say that there is a chance that you won’t really become invested in the story until the second half of the film. However, I will say that the fight scenes are rather intense, making up for the lack of action earlier on in the film. Meanwhile, for those who are more interested in character-driven stories, this movie will not disappoint. The only thing to take note of is the information described in the series that isn’t elaborated on in the film. For the most part, however, the film does a good job of standing on its own. There are a couple of spoilers (which are discussed in season five), but if someone with no prior knowledge of the franchise decided to watch the movie, I can see them having little to no trouble understanding and enjoying the film.