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All the Announcements from Anime Expo 2024
My Hero Academia's Mamoru Miyano, Daiki Yamashita Discuss Manga's Imminent Conclusion

by Lucas DeRuyter & Kalai Chik,

ANN's coverage of Anime Expo 2024 sponsored by Yen Press and Ize Press!

Photography by Lucas DeRuyter

While discourse around My Hero Academia has focused on the manga's imminent ending as of late, you wouldn't have thought the franchise was running out of gas based on the MY HERO ACADEMIA SPECIAL EVENT at this year's Anime Expo. Filling the Main Events stage to absolute capacity, this panel focused on the most recent season of the anime and the upcoming My Hero Academia: You're Next film. Not only did the panel announce that the film will premiere in US theaters on October 11, 2024, but it also played the first 15 minutes of the upcoming feature.

Before the panel, Daiki Yamashita (Deku) and Kenta Miyake (All Might) spoke to ANN about their thoughts on Kōhei Horikoshi's announcement that the My Hero Academia manga will soon end.

"Before the announcement, I wondered if it was really going to happen because at a Jump Festa event a couple years ago, there was something similar," said Yamashita. "There was going to be a number of episodes before the end, but it didn't happen, and it happened again the next year." He felt that even with a future announcement, the series wouldn't actually end. "Now, since there's a concrete number, it feels real. I hope Horikoshi-sensei can draw everything he wants and everything he's got so he won't have any regrets."

Miyake chimed in to agree with Yamashita's feelings. "I'll accept the reality as soon as it ends. I'm sure Horikoshi-sensei is burning his soul, like One For All, and he's going to deplete his soul like All Might after he finishes drawing the final episode. We'll pick up where he left off and continue to voice the characters until the end." Yamashita shared how he received a message from Horikoshi a while back, in which the author told him that he hears the cast's voices in his head as he draws their characters. "It gave the cast so much pressure because we're trusted so much. We feel obligated to take that power and soul of the characters and return it in the next episode of the anime."

Regarding the latest season, All Might comments on how much Class 1-A has grown from being zygotes. Miyake revealed he didn't feel worthy of saying that touching line. Looking back at the eight years he's spent with the voice actors of Class 1-A, they were already established actors with careers since season one.

"Mainly for Deku and Daiki Yamashita, I think he's gotten so much stronger throughout the course of the series." He further elaborated that just like Horikoshi-sensei, who hears their voices in his head, Deku's voice and growth are reflected back into Daiki himself. "You see Daiki getting a bigger presence as a voice actor, which strengthens Deku's voice. In that aspect, I have a completely different impression of him now. I love him more than I did eight years ago because he's much more powerful and such a great guy."


At the MY HERO ACADEMIA SPECIAL EVENT panel, the fifteen-minute preview of My Hero Academia: You're Next film opened with a scene from the trailer where the villain Dark Might (voice by Kenta Miyake) is watching footage of All Might and One For All's final battle in a room filled with All Might pictures. He cheers "Bravo Bravo" when All Might wins, and Dark Might interprets All Might's "You're Next" line as being directed towards him. As the camera reveals his face, he's wearing a mask evocative of a facial reconstruction patient in recovery.

The next scene features the new original character, Giulio (Mamoru Miyano), making tea amidst a ruined city backdrop. He gets on a motorcycle in response to an evacuation siren, and the movie cuts to the inspiration for the siren, villains stealing food supplies from what looks like an indoor mall.

Members of Class 1-A arrive on the scene to stop them. Deku uses his new powers — Float, Blackwhip, and Danger Sense — in the battle to stop them. Other members of Class 1-A help out at the end of the fight to apprehend them. This cold open ends with Giulio looking down on them from an overpass before transitioning to a movie-original OP.

After the opening, we learn that students in Class 1-A are divided into teams and working to capture Jailbreakers. All class members are soon dispatched to capture a new villain with a stomach-focused quirk called "Madd Gluttony" named Ginji.

Ginji has captured Anna (Meru Nukumi), a movie original character who seems to be able to empower or disrupt quirks. Creating visions of flowers is a part of that process, and the roots of their blonde hair darken when she uses this power. As Ginji rampages and fights Deku, a flower grows on his belt, and he becomes stronger.

Giulio appears and seemingly tries to save Anna, only to shoot at her after creating an opening by firing his gun at Ginji enough times. A new character appears and uses time-slowing powers to stop Giuilo's bullet. Giuilo doesn't trigger Deku's danger sense, but the time-slowing character leaves with Anna.

As the rest of Class 1-A arrives on the scene, so does Dark Might on a floating, neon yacht. He removes his mask and reveals All Might's face without his eyes darkening. As the fifteen-minute preview ends, Deku's Danger Sense goes ballistic in response to this new All Might.

Speaking on his experience working on the film, Miyake noted his enthusiasm and the difficulties involved in voicing Dark Might.

"I've been playing All Might this entire time, right? And then they told me they wanted me to play a villain called Dark Might!? My goodness! But, as all you guys know, what is the theme of MHA? Go Beyond, Plus Ultra. So I thought to myself, maybe playing a villain is how I go beyond." He also revealed that he recorded all of his lines for Dark Might before recording lines for All Might and that he had to redo several takes for the latter character as a more villainous tone lingered in his line reads.

Daiki Yamashita shared in this panel that, for recording the anime, he doesn't usually read the chapters the episode is covering until right before the recording to get into Deku's headspace, and stressed that author Kōhei Horikoshi approves of this creative process. Speaking on the upcoming You're Next movie, Yamashita said, "There's something that only a theatrical experience can do. The sound, the visual power, the action; you can really feel that power. Very gorgeous. It was visually very colorful and very vibrant."

Playing the original character Anna, Meru Nukumi shocked attendees by revealing that Mineta is her favorite MHA character. She also shared, "The director [Tensai Okamura] gave me a lot of background on my character, Anna. That's how I got into character."

Crowd-favorite panelist Mamoru Miyano highlighted his character Giulio and Anna's relationship and previewed an adorable scene together later in the movie. He noted that his favorite character is Endeavor and shared that he feels that "My Hero Academia is about bonds. Friendship, master-student, parent-child; there have been many kinds of relationships depicted. There is a more romantic relationship in this movie."

The panel ended with all of the voice actors thanking the attendees and American audiences for their continued support of and enthusiasm for My Hero Academia. Miyake summed up these sentiments with the phrase, "We are so blessed to have so many passionate fans out there. I think My Hero is going to keep on giving. Thank you so much!"

The film will open in Japan on August 2 and in U.S. Theaters on October 11.

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