My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is a beautiful, inconsequential spectacle

My Hero Academia has spent the last five seasons giving us stories that involve the hero community in Japan, the different rankings of those heroes and the politics that go into making those rankings.

While there have been hints at the hero community across the world, it wasn’t until My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission that we got to see more of it in action.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission takes the franchise global

Deku in World Heroes' Mission

This is the third My Hero Academia film to come out. The first, Two Heroes, focused on the relationship between Deku and All Might. The second, Heroes Rising, gave us more of the relationship between Deku and his rival/bully Bakugou. World Heroes’ Mission gives us more of Deku standing on his own two feet and showing a bit more about the kind of hero he intends to be when he finally reaches full maturity.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission takes place right in the middle of season 5’s second half, though as long as you reach around episode 16 there shouldn’t be any major spoilers. As part of their work-placement with Endeavor’s agency, Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugou are send to the small nation of Otheon to stop a bomb from going off and killing everyone there who has a Quirk. Things escalate, as they often do in shounen anime films, and soon it is up to the three young heroes to save the world from a villainous organisation bent on killing absolutely everyone with a Quirk.

When Studio Bones decides to put their money into a sequence, there is a very good chance that it will come out beautifully animated. While not all the action scenes in My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission get as much love as each other, there are two notable standouts. A chase sequence between Deku and small-time thief Rody is gorgeous and chaotic in all the best ways. It is fun to watch and wouldn’t have been out of place in Lupin the Third. It isn’t as flashy in the use of Quirks or special effects, but the animation is as good as the series has ever had.

The film slows down significantly in the second act, allowing for Deku and Rody’s relationship to be established and believable. The two go on the run from both the police, who accuse Deku of being a mass murderer, and a terrorist organisation called Humarise. After a brief and somewhat out of place musical number, they are eventually joined by Todoroki and Bakugou to make the final assault against the Humarise compound and their mysterious leader, Flect Turn.

Bakugou in World Heroes' Mission

The third act consists almost entirely of this assault and features more beautifully animated fight scenes. Bakugou’s battle against two Humarise goons is especially fun to watch. It features one of my favourite anime tropes, which is watching a fight get so intense that character designs go out the window. We get a look at the raw power Bakugou has and the ingenuity he fights with, something that features heavily in the first half of season 5.

The villain is suitably forgettable, as is tradition with shounen anime films. Like the two movies that came before it, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission tries to straddle the line between its events being canon and non-canon. No character introduced in its short runtime is likely to ever show up again and the events aren’t going to be more than briefly referenced during the rest of the series. Unlike the Demon Slayer movie, this is a film that doesn’t entirely know where it stands with regards to the rest of canon. It is content to just be a fun side-story.

If you love My Hero Academia, World Heroes’ Mission will give you more of what you likely love about the show. There are empowering, dramatic speeches to be given, promises to never give up, and references to All Might’s legacy sprinkled throughout. Ultimately, nothing that happens here matters, but it is by far the best animation the series has ever had. The last act is one long, beautiful action sequence and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is worth seeing on the big screen if you get the chance this week.

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