Contrary to what some fans of ‘My Hero Academia’ feel, I actually very much enjoyed Season 5, especially the ‘Endeavour’s Agency’ arc! I loved seeing Deku, Bakugo and Todoroki grow as heroes and develop as characters, especially Shouto. I was ecstatic when I heard that a surprise third movie was coming out and set during this arc! The arc admittedly left a bit more to be desired namely Deku’s training with Black Whip and the entire trio going all out. Thanks to an incredible summer at my local theatre, we helped bring a number of anime movies to the big screen here in Malta for the first time. I watched ‘Two Heroes’ and ‘Heroes Rising’ and it was very fun, especially with the fans. However, with ‘World Heroes’ Mission’ it was my first time ever watching it and doing so on the big-screen was very cool.
spoilers for both ‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’ and the ‘Departure‘ OVA are featured in this review.
A quick little mention of the very cute ‘Departure‘ OVA which I did not understand a single goddamn word of because this subtitled version isn’t out yet. Needless to say, I loved it, so fucking chaotic and funny and cute, it’s peak ‘My Hero‘ content as far as I’m concerned even if I did not understand anything they were saying. Hawks SUPREMACY! Also Keigo with that jacket…
This being said, the day I had to watch this movie in theatres, a personal matter came up suddenly and I had to leave the showing 15 minutes in. Luckily everything was fine so I was able to make the very last showing at night. Needless to say, it was quite a hectic day and as much as I wish it didn’t, it did end up influencing how I looked at the movie. I was tired, my mind was all over the place and to be frank I wasn’t in the mood to really watch anything. It’s quite sad actually because I was incredibly excited during those first few minutes. Nevertheless, I sat through the rest and I thought the movie was decent at the end. It was better than ‘Two Heroes’ yet it never reached the highs of the first two movies. I can definitely say that the movie peaked in its first act and that’s speaking outside of my situation. The cinematic presentation of these characters in that first act was never as prolific in the other movies, outside of the obvious third act extravaganza which this movie lacks funnily enough. Outside of some disappointing elements, I have to say ‘World Heroes’ Mission’ is easily the most fun these movies have had exploring new parts of the franchise both genres and literal locations.
Maybe this is just me but I would rather watch an entire road trip movie with Deku and Rody than a movie about the trio against some off-shoot villains that we’ll never see again. I loved, loved, LOVED Rody Soul, such a fun new addition! I love his design and playful, cartoonish manic energy. I thought his backstory with his father was done quite well, daddy issues seem to be quite common in the MHA franchise hehe! I also love his quirk being related to Pino, such a cute and inventive idea. He and Deku were great together, I really hope he can appear in the show, even if just in an OVA. Speaking of new additions, I did not care for Flect Turn at all. Unfortunately when it comes to these movies, the villains are almost always the weakest part of the story because it’s non-canon, the heroes are obviously gonna win so there’s not much to excite us about. Here, it’s the same old same old, a political villain with a view on how society should be… been there done that…. multiple times.
I feel like three movies and five season in, this franchise has a grasp on it’s identity and personality and that shines particularly during this movie. The animation is stellar but it has this cartoonish flair that really proves to be effective and pleasant during the more comical scenes. It’s more over the top but in a different way, you’ll know what I mean when you see it. The musical score was also quite effective and cinematic this time around, the established themes were played around with in a very cinematic way, it reminded me a bit of the score for ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’. The action sequences early on were also quite inventive in the sense that with a bigger budget and scope, they were able to do stuff they never did on the show. There is this very cool one-shot sequence near the end of the second act that is just mesmerizing on the big-screen. Quite a tangent but I just have to say that I love how Hawks was utilized here and I did in fact almost scream when I saw Mirio in the opening. Speaking of other heroes, I loved the different groups they were split in and how they had different tasks. They were utilized quite impressively in the third act considering just how many characters and quirks there are. It made it feel all the more urgent and huge in terms of scope.
However, maybe it’s because I rewatched the previous two movies very close to this one but the third act of ‘World Heroes’ Mission’ did not do much for me. It’s the same formula but tweaked to fit this narrative. The action was quite nice, I loved the individual sequences with Bakugo and Todoroki, especially Bakugo who arguably had the best fight of the movie. Deku vs Flect Turn was a shallow fight in my opinion. I did not care for the villain at all, I didn’t root for Deku as much as I did in the previous two because the stakes were so ridiculous that it couldn’t be any more obvious that he was going to lose. Granted, the set-up with his quirk was smart but to me, there was no emotional weight to the fight. In ‘Two Heroes’ it was this epic team-up with his all-time idol, in ‘Heroes Rising’ it was the go big or go home moment of the franchise and here, it’s a repeat of the Deku vs Overhaul fight only that had an actual impact.
Overall, ‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’ while not the best of the three, it still brings something unique to the table. Rody Soul was a very cool addition, his road trip with Deku was when the movie at its strongest. His story and friendship with Midoriya was very endearing and I honestly would’ve liked to have seen more of that than anything else. The action, music and animation were great as expected, this is easily the most colourful and cartoony ‘My Hero Academia’ has ever looked. While the lacking villain and the all-too-familiar formula are present here, it’s not enough to dim down what is otherwise a perfectly enjoyable and light-hearted adventure.
‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’ is now available for purchase.