It’s official: popular manga and anime series My Hero Academia is getting a movie. Creator Kōhei Horikoshi confirmed in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine that the film would be titled My Hero Academia The Movie and is slated for release in summer 2018.
But fans have had mixed reactions to the news. On the one hand, My Hero Academia is an amazing shōnen anime series that is more than deserving of its own feature-length film. On the other hand, this will be the series’ first big departure from the manga and tie-in films for anime have a reputation for being middling to subpar at best. However, if the film follows these five simple guidelines, it’s sure to win over even the most skeptical MHA fans.
Introduce a New Villainous Organization
Some of the most interesting stories in My Hero Academia break away from the main antagonist, Tomura Shigaraki, and his League of Villians. Stain was a highlight of the anime’s second season, and the most recent arc in the manga had the young heroes facing off against gangsters with their own unique goals and motivations. To explore a new element of the series’ superhuman society, the movie should feature a new villainous entity.
This threat also needs to come in the form of a villainous team or organization, as this is the only way Midoriya’s lovable classmates will get the screen time they deserve. MHA has a really fun and quirky cast of characters that never seem to get many big, climactic moments. By introducing a brigade of baddies, this movie will give characters like Iida and Uraraka a chance to shine.
Create an Interesting Venue
My Hero Academia takes place in the somewhat near future where almost everyone has some kind of bizarre or superhuman ability. However, most of the story’s major events have occurred in mundane or less than memorable locations. An MHA movie could break that trend and take the cast to a venue befitting of the extraordinary world.
In keeping with the events of the series following a group of high schoolers, the film could take place in a superhuman prison that the class is visiting on a field trip or the main conflict could actually occur in their classroom or school building. If this story takes place in a one-off location, though, it would definitely have to keep the trend from the main series alive and name it after a location in Star Wars.
Make it a Brand New Story
The world of My Hero Academia has the potential to tell an almost endless number of interesting side stories and one-off adventures. However, these elements of the world rarely appear as the plot sticks closely to Midoriya. While Horikoshi confirmed that the movie will feature an original story, there are so many areas it could explore.
What’s it like living in a world with superheroes when a person has no desire to be one? Are there prejudices against individuals with exceptionally strong or weak quirks? What’s it like to have an incredibly useful or powerful ability, but live in a society that prevents someone from fully using it? Any of these questions and more would make perfect subject matter for the upcoming film.
High Stakes Heroics
A genuine shortcoming of MHA is that some of its story arcs feel a bit inconsequential when compared to others. For instance, the Sports Festival arc was underwhelming compared to the subsequent Hero Killer arc which pit some of the main characters against a serial killer.
While the series follows a young man learning how to be a hero, My Hero Academia is at its best when events happen outside of a school setting. It would be a missed opportunity if this movie centered on something like a hero high school prom or hero high school final exams. Instead, the academic aspect of the series should act as a narrative device that takes the cast to a new and interesting location, like a study abroad program or mandatory volunteer work that places them in more dire situations.
Keep Things Fast and Fun
MHA is, first and foremost, a fun and imaginative story about working hard to obtain your dreams. Most characters are likable or memorable, and their powers have only grown crazier as the series has gone on. Even the weaker elements of the story are forgivable as the pacing is so quick that more compelling content appears before long.
If the My Hero Academia movie can capture these elements of the series, it should make fans happy and keep the fun heart of the manga and anime series alive. While the movie is more than welcome to try something new or change up elements of the series, it’s much more important to capture the soul of what makes MHA so special.