As I write this I will be listening to You Say Run. I’ll move onto Jet Set Run. I’ll play Hero A so loud it makes my ears ring. When I listen to Here my eyes will want to cry and my jaw will reflexively set. I’ll listen to My Hero and then turn over to Sora Ni Utaeba which transitions into Make My Story before moving up to Odd Future and then I always remember I forgot to add United States of Smash to the playlist.
It’s like this every day now.
When I first saw All Might fight the Nomu in the USJ, I felt nothing. I didn’t know who anyone was and didn’t know why they were fighting. I observed that the fight choreography was creative and reminded me of the off the walls action I remembered from watching Dragon Ball Z in my younger years. I thanked my friend for the suggestion with no intention of ever watching. I feel this is fine to say because of how it turned out.
He still gets credit. He’s still the one who introduced me to My Hero Academia and I appreciate it very, very much. I know why he showed me that fight too.
I just wasn’t ready for it.
I was the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and Marty McFly had just played us Johnny B Goode about 30 years too early.
It didn’t take me 30 years.
A few months later at a convention in Atlantic City I realized that there was an incredible volume of My Hero Academia cosplayers. I photographed many of them and asked them about their characters just to be able to tag them more elegantly. But being told about so many strange and interesting individuals reminded me I’d had this recommended to me and had declined the opportunity. Contrary to my contrarian nature, I started to become very curious about this thing.
Just what was this apparent phenomenon?
When I watched the first episode I cried. I cried like I’d unlocked repressed trauma. I had zero preparation for the emotional distress it would cause me.
I sobbed through episode two.
I tearfully clawed my way through episode three.
I reluctantly endured episode four and stopped.
It hurt too much. I was connecting in some way I still don’t understand.
But as days and weeks passed, My Hero Academia seemed to keep floating up in conversation or I mentioned myself that I’d tried it and tapped out. To a friend, it seemed, each insisted I must continue and that it was so good it was worth it. They assured me it lightened up.
I went back.
It did lighten up. Some. It got easier. Every few episodes it descends back into a Delaware Smash direct to the feels but just like Deku, as my journey continued I cried less.
I still do. I still catch all of the feels.But yes. Less.
And I still love it.
I’m hooked at the barest.
I’m in deep.
I find the story of Izuku Midorya becoming the world’s greatest hero incredibly compelling. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of the most dramatic rises and falls. Whatever in me that has connected with this story really bonded hard. I wait for each new episode like child Izuku ready to watch the All Might rescue video for the umpteeth time and each saturday it’s like my saintly green haired mother clicks Play for me. I consume all available episodes ravenously. Desperately. I watch the subs as soon as they come out and then I watch the dubs when they come out.
I can tell you I love this show.
I can’t tell you why. Or for how long.
But I can tell you for now that I do.
Whoever is putting this together with Kohei Horikoshi is doing a hell of a job.
As of this writing I will be going tonight, the first night, to see the theatrical release of the movie “Two Heroes” at the most local theater offering it.
I’ll be bringing plenty of tissues.
(Go Beyond. Puffs Ultra.)
Two asides which do not fit into the body of this article:
One is that I feel like the opening songs of My Hero Academia are like Doctors on Doctor Who. Every time it changes to a new one I resist. I hate it. I pound my fists and say No! I want the old one back! Why would you do this? …and about two or three episodes in I’m just like “hell yeah, let’s go!” Every. Damn. Time.
The other is that I do wonder about the music. I’m curious because it feels like a chicken and egg type situation. Did they know beyond a reasonable doubt that they had a hit on their hands so they went out and found incredible composers and artists to create an epic, mind blowing soundtrack? Or did they get the best people they could, and the union of sound, song, and content make the soundtrack as touching and memorable as it is?
I look forward to however Odd a Future My Hero Academia may bring.