Sorry My Hero Academia, but I’m breaking up with you. But take solace in the fact it’s not you, it’s me. Okay, maybe it’s a little bit you.
There is definitely an audience for this kind of shounen hero anime, and I’m not here to look down on anyone who has had an absolute gas watching MHA and can’t wait for the second season.
I myself enjoyed it quite a bit, and there were some truly inspired moments I don’t regret not missing.
But my enthusiasm for MHA, and for following the show for a second season, has steadily plummeted throughout the season-closing USJ arc.
Once the pace slowed to a crawl and every last movement started to be pored over monologue, the jumbled, clunky aesthetic that had charmed me earlier in the show’s run started to become a liability.
I totally get the notion that the villains were dumb to give the students so much battle experience, thus making them realize how much more they have to learn, and getting that much more motivated to become great heroes.
While it was a real battle and not training, it still feltlike training, because no matter how many threats Generic Villain #5 or Poorly-drawn Baddie #6 dished out, in the end they never felt like more than half-baked stepping stones in Deku & Co.’s academia.
The show also failed to show any guts by killing off or even exposing an All Might who, let’s face it, shouldn’t have even stayed in his chunky form as long as he did at the end of the battle.
It would have been tragic for Deku to have lost his idol and mentor so soon, but it would also have meant a definite passing of the torch to Deku, who with the help of his friends (and frenemy) would have to learn to move forward with the gifts Might gave him.
It could have been the most devastating yet motivating lessons for Deku to learn in this season. Instead, All Might’s still around, and thanks to more magic healing by Recovery Girl Deku is quickly on the mend again.
Both visually and thematically, the show’s still got kids gloves on, and is too in love with keeping bigger things looming mysteriously on the horizon, at the cost of stakes in the present. So yeah, MHA. It’s been real. There were some good times. Take care of yourself!