“It’s very Japanese Shonen”: My Hero Academia Director Kenji Nagasaki Revealed Why MHA Superheroes are Better Than Marvel, DC

"It's very Japanese Shonen": My Hero Academia Director Kenji Nagasaki Revealed Why MHA Superheroes are Better Than Marvel, DC
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My Hero Academia has achieved commercial success by making multiple appearances on The New York Times bestseller list. One of the most popular manga series of all time, the manga had over 85 million copies in circulation by February 2023, including purchases of business spin-offs. The anime series received additional applause for its animation, songs, timing, combat scenes, and voice performances in both Japanese and English. The critical response has been largely positive, with reviewers acknowledging the manga for its art, characters, narrative, action sequences, and incorporation of pop culture that links to Western superhero comics.


In fact, My Hero Academia Season 5 continues to be in the spotlight and is more in demand than other superhero shows from its Western counterparts, Marvel and DC, which have been continually creating popular superhero shows like WandaVision, The Falcon The Winter Soldier, or The Flash. This is despite the plethora of superhero series and films on television and the big screen.

My Hero Academia
A still from My Hero Academia

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Are MHA superheroes on par with the ones from DC and Marvel?

My Hero Academia is set in a fascinating universe with a superhero and villain cast that actually wouldn’t feel out of place in either the DC or Marvel Cinematic Universes. My Hero Academia is filled to the brim with powerful crusaders and evil adversaries who are capable of preserving or destroying entire towns.

Therefore, many similarities between MHA and American superhero comics are obvious. Kenji Nagasaki, the anime’s director, could make a substantial distinction among the series with the superhero comics that served as its inspiration.

 My Hero Academia, Marvel and DC characters
My Hero Academia, Marvel, and DC characters

The ambitions of the characters in MHA are where it varies, Kenji Nagasaki previously said in an interview. Not merely trying to save the day is what defines the major cast. They are more focused on improving and saving themselves. Its American characteristics combine with all of this to produce a distinctive product. In that respect, it’s very Japanese Shonen, according to Nagasaki:


“With including all these different characters, it’s more of a journey for each character to become their own hero. The mashing together of the two creates something special for this anime and manga. In a sense, it does have American comic book heroes, but with a Japanese flavor.”

Nearly 80 percent of the characters in the My Hero Academia universe have innate superpowers known as quirks. The three categories of these meta-skills are emitter, transformation, and heteromorphic. Emitter types essentially perform all other tasks, from blasting lasers to loosening the earth, whereas transformation types morph like the Hulk. Heteromorphic types constantly remain somewhat active, typically in a particular physical sense, like The Thing from the Fantastic Four. These superpowers range from the typical Superman-like set of abilities to the utterly odd.

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The strongest characters of My Hero Academia

All For One is without a doubt the series’ most potent foe and, all things considered, the show’s strongest character. He has the capacity to take on other people’s quirks and use them for himself or others. He has been around for a millennium and continues to be one of the world’s most deadly men. He operates in the shadows and is probably the only bad guy who could defeat All Might one-on-one.

All Might, All for One and Endeavor
All Might, All for One, and Endeavor

When All For One first gained control, he had almost no opposition. However, he caused a catastrophic defect when he decided to impose a quirk on his submissive brother. The talent was then passed on by his brother, starting a line of One For All users who obediently opposed All For One. Izuku Midoriya is the current owner of the power, although he hasn’t quite lived up to his master’s standards. The Symbol of Peace, able to bring order to a chaotic world, All Might twice battled All For One to the brink of death, which no other hero could accomplish.

After All Might retired, Endeavor became the undisputed top hero. He uses Hellflame, a potent superpower that enables him to hurl massive fireballs from his body. Endeavor was forced to live in All Might’s shadow for a long time, and because of his bitterness, he deliberately reproduced and fostered his offspring in the hopes that they would one day surpass the Symbol of Peace.

Endeavor’s pride was his biggest flaw, but in the fifth season of the show, he starts to mend things with his family. Although Endeavor has made a lot of blunders in the past, it is clear that he possesses great strength and heroic potential.


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Source: Looper


Written by Kukilkalyani Borgohain

Articles Published: 33

Kukilkalyani Borgohain is a content writer at FandomWire. Previously a Journalist and a Better India featured NGO worker, she has always been a passionate literature student with a penchant for creative writing.