It’s been quite awhile since an anime title has become relatively mainstream. Sure everyone has at least heard of Naruto or One Piece, but it’s been years since these shows first premiered. With a new generation of anime lovers out there, these titles containing hundreds of episodes are a big commitment. Dubbed “The Big Three,” Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece are massive titles at the forefront of the anime community. However, times are a-changing my friends, and new anime are always on the horizon. Let’s take a look at a current fan-favorite, My Hero Academia, and see if it has what it takes to measure up.
So, what are the Big Three?
Can you really call yourself an anime fan if you haven’t at least attempted to watch (and keep up with) Bleach, Naruto, or One Piece? For many people, it was one of these three titles that initially piqued their interest and dragged them into the void that is the life of an anime fan. What do these shows have in common? They are all three huge shounen titles. All titles include (what appears to be) an underdog protagonist, who, with the help of his friends, discovers his true powers along the way, and subsequently saves the world – but not without a few laughs, failures, and filler episodes. Not to mention, all of these shows boast an episode list easily into the hundreds. Haven’t brushed up on your Big Three? You’re in luck, you’ve got hours of binge watching in your future.
The Success of My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia follows the story of Izuku Midoriya (Deku), a less-than-superhuman boy living in a world full of individuals possessing crazy superhuman abilities, known as “quirks.” One day, Deku has a run in with the world’s greatest hero, All Might. After All Might sees the super-average, powerless Deku save his long time best friend from a fearsome villain, he deems him worthy enough to carry on his incredible power, “One For All.” With his new power bestowed upon him, we follow Deku as he attends U. A. High School with his old best friend and fellow classmates, as they all train to become the next generation of heroes.
Will Deku and his classmates be able to get control of their powers? Will they truly be able to save the world? We’ll have to wait and see! Ever since its initial release last year, My Hero Academia has become a force to be reckoned with in the anime community. My Hero Academia leaves viewers clinging to the backstories of its diverse characters, while cheering them on as they try to navigate high school with a bunch of crazy superpowers.
What Do Anime Fans Have to Say?
To gain some clarity as to what much of the anime community is thinking and feeling in regards to the wild popularity of My Hero Academia, I figured I would reach out to a good friend of mine and see what he has to say. Good friend and fellow anime lover, Tim, is a big fan of shounen anime; and its no surprise he’s a big fan of My Hero Academia too. Let’s see what he has to say…
1. Out of the Big Three anime (Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece) which is your favorite and why?
For the Big Three, my favorite would be Naruto for a few reasons. It was the first anime I was introduced to, so it has a special place in my heart. I haven't had the opportunity to watch One Piece, and I have only just started Bleach recently. I was and still am a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, so when watching Naruto and seeing them using elemental chakra nature (water, fire, earth, air, etc), it reminded of ATLA. Many of the characters have deep, intricate backstories that are continuously revealed throughout both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. That, along with the connecting arcs has kept me interested in the show for 600+ episodes and waiting for the next set of dubbed episodes to be released.
2. Why do you think these titles have had such staying power and thus, pull so much weight in the anime community?
Many of them first began in the mid 2000s, when viewers of my generation were still young, around 6 to 10 years old. I feel like nostalgia plays a large roll in it continuing to have a large following. Waking up early to watch cartoons were an interval part of our days, we looked forward to it. The fact that these characters had supernatural powers that were so foreign to our concrete world was intriguing to our young minds – a world that is similar to ours but allowed us to be imaginative. The characters were all our age at the time, embarking upon these wild adventures and fighting villains. We remember these basic and simple qualities of the show, but begin to understand with age that the hardships and adventures contributed to character development. Things may have seemed cheesy to us when we were younger, but as we grew up, we began to realize why everything was playing out in such a complex fashion.
3. On to My Hero Academia, what do you think makes this show so popular?
My Hero Academia has all of the aspects of the Big Three anime: a cast of wild main characters with extraordinary abilities (their quirks), but they are still young, and you see the characters experience the trials and tribulations of coming to terms with their strengths and weaknesses. When everyone was a kid, they loved superheroes. They wanted superpowers for silly things; like super speed to be better at soccer. This aspect of enhanced invincibility was something that we were so interested in as kids because of the allure of the superhuman, the ability to be “the best.” In terms of My Hero Academia, the entrance exam arc forces the young heroes to use their abilities to succeed. However, we see the characters use their abilities to work to their strengths and discover new aspects of themselves – an origin story, of sorts. I think everyone can related to certain characters and their thoughts, feelings, and way of approaching tough situations; and I think that’s what draws people to this show.
4. At this rate, do you think My Hero Academia has the ability to become the first title in a new age of Big Three anime?
Definitely. We are currently dealing with a void left by the end of two of the three titles, Bleach and Naruto. My Hero Academia is different; it has a unique comic book feel rather than the traditional anime style.
5. Finally, who are your favorite characters from My Hero Academia and Naruto and why? What do they have in common?
Midoriya (Deku) is my favorite character in My Hero Academia. He’s different than everyone else; he was born without a quirk and was chosen by the biggest hero to inherit his quirk. He possesses the underdog attribute, and everyone loves an underdog. As for Naruto, it would have to be Itachi. Itachi’s philosophical way of speech sparks a lot of deep thought throughout characters and viewers alike. He went from being one of the most hated characters to one of the most loved, all from finding out his true motivations.
Both of these characters are inspirational. Itachi has his experience and wisdom, while Midoriya has his bright spirit and drive to protect everybody with a smile on his face. They both aim to protect what they care about; Itachi, the village and his brother, and Midorya, his friends and humankind.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it, folks. My Hero Academia definitely has what it takes to measure up to a show with the reach and fan base as large as one of the Big Three. Though it’s a little to early to see how nostalgia will play in, its clear to see that everyone loves a good underdog with a fierce instinct to protect, and a pack of crazy friends keeping everything interesting along the way. Only time will tell how My Hero Academia will continue to be received by the anime community, but from what it looks like, things can only go up from here.
Note: All opinions expressed in this article are our own.
Comments are closed.
CALL ME CARO
Flannel Enthusiast. Pokémon Master.