Fear not citizens, Deku, Todoroki and Bakugou (or insert your favourites) are back in the second instalment of the immensely popular My Hero Academia. This release comes courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and covers the first half of the wild ride that is the second season.
Following on from their run-in with The League of Villains the students of U.A. must now face their toughest challenge yet… The U.A. Sports Festival!
Let’s be honest for a second here, tournament arcs are generally used as a way of padding out the story of a series without actually moving along said story. My Hero Academia instead uses this opportunity to explore characters backstory and motivations that we haven’t had a chance to see as of yet. Shouto Todoroki, deservedly so, receives most of the screen time here but we also get acquainted with members of other classes from U.A. many of whom bear a grudge against Class 1-A.
The tournament covers the entirety of this release but as said is also used to explore characters other than Deku. The tournament itself is split into three different events each allowing the focus to cover different characters and how their quirks work. Just as the students of U.A. are showcasing their skills in front of the world a new villain lurks in the shadows whose mission in life is to show just how vain the heroes of this era are. Ironic as the tournament itself is an over the top exhibition of fantastical theatrics. Bringing the halfway point and the end of this release to an exhilarating cliffhanger as The League of Villains begin to move again.
While the English dub is undoubtedly a great and enjoyable effort it’s clear from viewing the subtitle track you are getting a somewhat different experience. As someone who tends to only watch the dub if I have already previously watched a series it’s not much of an issue. It’s not really an issue either way but just note that there are some deviations in character dialogue. Ultimately the story as a whole is not affected but some characters might appear untrue or different to their original selves.
The animation throughout the tournament is nothing short of epic especially when it comes to the one on one battles in the later episodes. Deku vs Todoroki is a highlight and features some great action between two of the strongest students in U.A. This is also where some of the newer and secondary characters get a chance to shine such as Hatume Mei from the Support Course who manages to take the spotlight from all the interesting quirks and onto her inventions or “babies” as she calls them.
Much like the release of the first season we’re treated to a number of extras available on disc with most being exclusive to the Blu-ray version. Included in these extras is episode 13.5 “Hero Notebook” a recap of the first season. This is the only extras included with the DVD version. The Blu-ray includes this plus 11 “Inside the Episodes”, Promo Videos, Textless Opening and Closing Songs and lastly Anime Expo 2017: Interview with Yoshihiko Umakoshi.
The continuation of My Hero Academia is nothing short of a thrill ride. Sure, The League of Villains are nowhere to be seen but the focus in this release is in the promising young heroes of the future. The animation is top-notch even exceeding expectations on a number of occasions. The English dub remains one of the best to grace an anime and works nicely alongside a strong Japanese audio track. Fans of My Hero Academia should not be without this release!