The Heroic Spirit of My Hero Academia

Time for a new essay! This one focuses specifically on My Hero Academia, but is more generally about a spirit of optimism in fiction that I find really compelling and valuable. It was frankly kinda tough cutting down all the various topics I wanted to cover into one editorial-sized piece (I could easily write another entire article about the ambiguous ways idols interact with this concept), but I’m pretty happy with the result. I hope you enjoy the piece, and wish you luck finding some spirit of heroism in your own life!

The Heroic Spirit of My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

3 thoughts on “The Heroic Spirit of My Hero Academia

  1. Great Essay Nick! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

    On a similar note, I think one of the reasons that My Hero Academia can afford to have this perspective on heroes is due to its unique setting. I’m speaking of the “80% of the population has developed a quirk.” One of the reasons I believe Marvel and DC super heroes have to be dark or self-examining is because they are isolated. In a world were most anyone (save the unfortunate 20% that doesn’t have a quirk) can at least try and apply for the (government) job “super hero” the populace would certainly be more interested in accepting their existence and roll in society. This lends them legitimacy, and the right and responsibility to act as role-models. It’s much like how we treat experts, professionals, and sports heroes today.

    I’m actually working on an essay on this exact subject as it relates to this anime, and your essay has really helped me better define what I’m trying to talk about. You don’t mind if I reference it, do you?

    • Except at least in Marvel (don’t know about DC) that’s a bit of a joke at this point. Between mutants and inhumans (after Black Bolt spread the terrigen mists during the incident with Thanos) there’s a significant percentage of humans with superpowers in that universe, and it’s rising. In fact MHA might as well be the Marvel world a few decades down the line. Though admittedly for now one other thing that appears relevant in MHA is that powers aren’t game-breakers usually (except maybe for One for All). They seem to be relatively weak and have very well defined limits. In Marvel the most powerful mutants border on godhood – even Magneto and Xavier aren’t exactly people you can trifle with – which creates a more solid reason for fear/distrust from normal people towards them.

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