Anime Expo 2018 News Roundup: Day Zero, One, Two Headlines
Anime Expo 2018: My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Film World Premiere
by Lynzee Loveridge,
WARNING: This article contains some spoilers for recent episode of My Hero Academia Season 3.
Startling changes transformed My Hero Academia's "Symbol of Peace" in the series' third season. All Might's stalwart role as a beloved hero for U.A.'s students, Deku in particular, seemed eternal until One for All dismantled that image and left citizens and future heroes alike reeling. It appears we're at the end of All Might's heroic journey, but how did a frail man with no powers and unruly blonde hair become the inspiring beacon everyone knows and loves and what does being a "hero" really mean? The My Hero Academia: Two Heroes film sheds light on these questions by taking time to focus on an important man from All Might's past.
The film takes place before the Forest Training Camp arc and the group's confrontation with All for One. All Might's physical state is fading but he has yet to pass the torch on completely to Deku. The mentor and student pair head to high-tech, man-made island where an expo of the latest and greatest quirk technologies are on display. It's there that All Might is reunited with his best friend from college and former sidekick, Dave Shield. Shield has gone on to make a name for himself in how own right as successful scientist. His daughter, Melissa, is eager to follow in her father's footsteps as fellow quirkless human in a world full of superheroes.
Deku encounters most of his U.A. class at the expo, but the fun-filled event is quickly overshadowed when a group of villains override the security system and take the entire island hostage, including All Might. It's up to Deku, Melissa, Bakugo, Todoroki, and the rest of the class to find a way to undermine the villains' plans and save everyone. What initially looks like a rescue mission is a high octane race to the top of a 200-floor security tower and Deku won't be able to simply Detroit Smash his way through all the obstacles.
My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is more interested in blending its amazing action animation with key moments that redefine how the story approaches heroism. Your heroes will change, they will fail you, and physical prowess isn't necessarily an indication of bravery. This is exemplified in the new character Melissa Shield. I'll admit, there are times during the anime's first three seasons where I have felt frustrated with how little the female heroes are utilized in favor of the front-line heavy boys. Bakugo is full of explosive energy, Todoroki can freeze and inflame his foes. Even Kirishima's defensive hardening ability doesn't stop him from eagerly jumping into battle. Melissa, however, is quirkless but in her own way she serves as an admirable self-insert for the audience. Most of us make our way through life as "average" people, but does that mean we can't be heroes?
Melissa sees herself as hero. She's created great technology to assist the heroes around her, but even then she's quick to correct Deku that she's not exceptionally intelligent. Her grades used to be poor, she just studied a lot to achieve her own goals. She's unafraid to put herself him harms way to protect her friends, sometimes taking the brunt of the villain's physical attacks even though she has no special power to protect her from harm. In one moment, she does just that to protect Deku. He apologizes to her for being unable to save her to which she retorts, "Don't you mean 'thank you'?"
Melissa also has to grapple with disappointment when her own hero fails her. She has to decide whether to forgive her father when he doesn't live up to expectations or disown him for his mistakes. No matter how great our heroes are, they are still emotional human beings with faults and misguided motivations.
The film itself plays as a gripping action flick. The action pieces are intense, to say the least. Bones is on top of its game whether Todoroki is flinging glacial spears at attacking villains or All Might is busting through a helicopter fist first. My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is a film that absolutely should not be missed if you're a fan of the show. If you couldn't make it out to Anime Expo, fear not: Funimation is bringing the film out to theaters this fall with an added bonus: extra animation footage after the credits. It's enticing enough to convince me to see the movie a second time.
After the film, voice actors Daiki Yamashita (Deku), Mirai Shida (Melissa Shield), and Katsuhisa Namase (David Shield) came on stage to answer a few quick questions. These questions contain BIG 'OL SPOILERS for the film, so STOP HERE if you don't want some of the film's biggest moments spoiled!
Q: What is your favorite part of the movie?
Yamashita: Wow, that is a difficult question but I'm going to go with the Double Detroit Smash. I think that scene may only appear in the movie. We might not be able to see Deku and All Might fight together at that caliber again, so it was a really touching moment for me.
Shida: For me it was when Todoroki and Kacchan jumped in at the last second and saved the day. It really left an impression on me. How do you top that, it's so cool right? And the scene on the 80th floor, too.
Namase: I think I [David] was on the verge of going on to the dark side in the movie but that one line at the very, very end saved me.
Q: I'm very curious, what quirk do you find the most interesting and which would you like to have?
Yamashita: I mean, there's so many quirks out there it's really hard to narrow it down to one, But one stood out to me, Mineta, screaming "Harem!" it's hard to top that. I think in his own way it was cute and endearing. I think it's kinda cool that he has his vision of what a hero is.
Shida: I'm 25 years old right now and my height has not really grown much recently, so it would be great to have Mt. Lady's powers so I could grow any time I want.
Namase: David in the movie didn't have any quirks and it really makes me think what a good quirk would be. I don't speak English very well, so it made me think, I would like to be able to tell you telepathically what I want, what I am thinking and feeling. Every time I'm confronted with someone who isn't able to understand... it's like being interrogated at immigration.
Q: Do you have a message for MHA fans? No pressure!
Yamashita: I think we all really felt it as we were watching this movie, that motivation, that drive, that energy. I hope even in your daily life if something bad happens and you trip up, you'll remember this film. Even I get that feeling from watching this movie myself. I hope that's something everyone in this room can take away from the movie. Think back on it and give yourself that little extra push and motivate yourself.
Shida: I'm still on the early track of voice acting and I'm very happy to be a part of this and see fans love this movie so much, not just in Japan but overseas, too. Thank you all so much, I really, really appreciate it.
Namase: Being able to watch this movie with you guys that are so passionate! The energy was exuding in the room. It was an amazing experience and I need to take this back to Japan and say,"Hey! Look how much people can express themselves! It's time to crack the shell, don't be so shy!" I really think My Hero Academia is an anime made for America, so it's time to take that back to Japan and show them how to have a little courage.
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