Anime

I nearly dropped My Hero Academia

I drop very few shows. Most shows I start I want to see through to the end, even when they go a bit off the rails as the last few episodes of KADO did, a show that started brilliantly but flailed as it neared its conclusion with what it wanted to say. But I continued with it because I was invested enough in the story to want to see where it goes.

The shows I have dropped in the past are mostly shows where I have no interest in seeing where the story goes because the story setting feels either too generic (Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?) or too uncomfortable (hi Eromanga-sensei, you’ll be the poster child for this from now on). Away from the world of anime this is how I’ve felt with The 100, Fear The Walking Dead among western shows that have mostly turned me away from Western storytelling, mostly in the ‘too generic’ part though. I don’t like dropping shows, I want to see most of what I want to watch through but if there is nothing I think I’ll get out of it then I won’t continue.

What’s more is that I don’t normally watch everything from a season, I go carefully with deciding what to pick up. In the case of Eromanga-sensei, I had a good idea it’d be bad with the conversation around it being mostly irony and how it was already so awful, so I gave it a try. That’s not usually the case, I usually need to hear a recommendation from someone within the anime community or it being from a franchise I recognise (hence why I have Fate/Apocrypha lined up for my review slot, apparently conducive to whether I can find a stream considering Netflix have their hands on it and won’t release anything until the end of the season, but that’s a discussion for another time). So I don’t pick up that many anime series and so the number of shows I have the potential to drop are rather few.

My Hero Academia, which I picked up a week ago, was one of the shows I thought might have more potential for dropping than many others, as a clearly big shonen, already into its second season and being touted as a successor to the Big 3, a part of anime I’ve only ever dipped my feet in considering I didn’t watch very much of that growing up and so lack the nostalgia for that kind of, well, just basic shonen. But it is a show about superheroes and though I have big problems with the spandex-wearing do gooder heroes that make up a large part of that genre, as they tend to come with repetitive stories, that tends to be alleviated in worlds where there are a lot of hero characters with different powers that can be good foils for each other, especially if they aren’t wearing spandex, which HeroAca denies but I haven’t written it off yet. On top of that I’ve never been one to be put off by the high school setting for various reasons (mostly involving the potential for a small group of young characters to bond) and it looked after the first episode to be pretty much a fighting shonen version of One Punch Man, which I enjoyed. But mostly as a comedy. So I went in thinking it could go either way.

Basically, the character of All Might, in his full form put me off as an overly Americanised Superman, although I understand there’s quite a bit of irony there, Izuku feels like a blank slate whose only emotions at the start are ‘I want to be a hero’, Kacchan feels telegraphed as an obvious rival, everything seems so obvious. I’ve had great fun watching Shokugeki, I know how this sort of thing works from watching a parody of it and the show, though it showed a surprising amount of self-awareness, didn’t seem to be doing anything new. Bear in mind I still haven’t gotten to the second season.

I nearly dropped it yesterday at halfway through episode 7, what seemed to be a boring and predictable fight between Deku and his childhood rival, Kacchan. Not knowing the story of the rest of the season and knowing nothing about the second season beyond the words TOURNAMENT ARC, I can predict that it will show some decent growth for Izuku as a character, though he won’t win everything, a threat will appear and we might if we’re lucky get a bit more about the side characters, who, though they aren’t incredibly interesting yet, seem most interesting as ever as they don’t have to be as telegraphed as the main characters. I almost dropped it right then and there, halfway through the episode. I dislike Marvel and DC, I’m not about to fully jump on a superhero train from Japan just because I like anime.

But I did watch to the end of the episode. Though it was acknowledged, Deku expressed a sentiment beyond wanting to be a hero, the climactic fight between him and Kacchan had a much better conclusion, complete with that lovely victory music I’ve already come to love. And that was my signal to continue with the series, for now. I’m not certain I’ll continue to the end, I’m not quite getting the full love that it seems to be getting in several sections, but it’s an avoidance of a drop.

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