Is My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission worth watching?


Funimation, Toho Animation

The My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission American release poster, with the My Hero Academia series logo altered from the original Japanese design on the Japanese release poster to the localized American design.

Seth Horan, Writer

The My Hero Academia (MHA) series by Kohei Horikoshi has finally had its third original film release; My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (WHM) opened in United States theaters on October 29. Many fans have been highly anticipating the film since it was announced on Twitter last year on November 11, 2020.

In the year leading up to the movie’s release, the marketing and advertising teams behind the film released an abundance of promotional material in order to garner excitement for WHM. New merchandise based on the movie was even preemptively announced before the film was released in Japan!

So, with all the noise the various promotion departments in charge of the movie made in MHA’s international community, one can only be left wondering, is My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission worth a watch?

Briefly, the premise of WHM is as follows: the MHA series’ three primary student heroes, Izuku Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugo, and Shoto Todoroki go to a location new to the MHA world, Otheon, with their assigned squadron under pro hero Endeavor in an attempt to stop the terrorist organization Humarise from unleashing Trigger bombs around the world. The movie also covers other student heroes, who have been sent with their respective squadrons to other parts of the world to recover Humarise’s Trigger bombs before they go off.

Those who have watched the anime or read the manga should be familiar with Trigger, a drug that temporarily enhances the quirks (which is what superpowers are called in the MHA universe) of the individuals that take it.

If that plot description sounds ambitious, that’s because it is; WHM has, by far, the most ambitious story of any MHA movie. And, while that does lend itself to wildly entertaining cinematic possibilities, the way that WHM carried out its plotline was rather underwhelming.

The movie really only focuses on Midoriya and his relationship with a certain character who was implemented into the series, Rody Soul. Pamela Horan, the mother of an OHS student, observed that My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission “focused on specific characters more, so it felt like there were primary characters, whereas in the other My Hero Academia films, it felt as though there wasn’t really one.”

Even characters, who were heavily utilized in the marketing of the film, such as Bakugo and Todoroki, barely made an appearance; however, when they did appear, it was evident that the following sequence would either be seriously impactful on the plot or utilized as a distraction from the lack of proper story development.

In other words, if you were hoping to see some screentime from your favorite character, and that character happens to be someone other than Midoriya, chances are you may be a little disappointed.

Horan remarked, “I would say that, in regards to this movie, I definitely understood it more, as far as the underlying meaning goes.”

She also commented that she thought “that [the movie] was just going to be a lot of fighting, and that there wouldn’t really be a purpose other than to find out who was stronger, but there was.”

And, that’s something I can resonate with too. While it may not have been handled in the best way, the movie’s plot isn’t bad; in fact, it was actually quite refreshing, coming from My Hero Academia, which tends to be almost strictly action-based (save for the recent developments in the anime and manga).

Besides the plot, there are at least two specific instances that cross my mind when the animation quality of the movie dropped dramatically. Visibly, the detail leaves the characters and scenes—the fluidity was, for the most part, still there, though. While watching the movie, I had thought that this was a sign that the final confrontation between the heroes and the villains would be animated with an excessive amount of detail and frames, and thankfully, I was right.

Horan talked about how, despite having limited exposure to the series’ content, she thought WHM “was an entertaining movie,” continuing with, “What I liked about it, in general, was the plotline—citizens helping citizens.”

She went on to assert, “I [think] it [is] the best of the three My Hero Academia movies,” and that, “It has a lot of good underlying messages.”

Despite its flaws, WHM is a solid movie I’m looking forward to watching again when it comes out as a physical release. It’s campy, yet manages to give the MHA world a bit of a new flavor. If you are a fan of the My Hero Academia series, or even if you only watch it passively, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is definitely worth a watch!