Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia has taken the world by storm. There’s no other way to put it—the series has risen to the top of the charts, serving as a gateway anime and favorite series of those who have recently delved into the medium as it booms in the West.
Simply put, My Hero Academia is huge, especially the anime. Sure, the manga is popular and many fans caught up and read ahead in the story, but the anime has definitely made a big splash as well.
As such, let’s celebrate its 100 episode milestone by taking a look at the journey so far, what lies ahead, and the impact Deku and his heroics have had!
NOTE: Spoilers ahead for the My Hero Academia anime.
A Quirkless Hero
When we first met Izuku Midoriya, he was born powerless in a world full of superpowers (known as Quirks), a crushing reality that impacted his dreams of becoming a Pro Hero.
Despite this, Izuku, a.k.a. Deku, still had a heroic spirit, jumping in to help those in need, even when Pro Heroes couldn’t. Because of this desire and his drive to help others, Deku was chosen by his favorite (and No. 1 Hero), All Might, to inherit the One For All Quirk and give him a chance to achieve his dream!
After training to accept the Quirk’s power, Deku got into U.A., the top hero school in Japan, and went through a grueling, dangerous and overall tumultuous journey as he learned to master a powerful Quirk not built for his body.
RELATED: Suit Up, Heroes! My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero Has Officially Launched
Along the way, he learned to be a more efficient hero, how to prevent his body from being permanently damaged, and became aware of the overarching, looming threat he would eventually have to face—the dreaded All For One, a Quirk-stealing villain who has been plotting to steal One For All and become the strongest person on Earth.
However, as frightening as All For One seems, Deku has been slowly proving that he might just have what it takes to be the next No. 1 Hero.
Always going beyond!
Deku’s journey to be a better hero and learn to be the newest successor of One For All is perhaps the most interesting part of My Hero Academia. Originally, Deku jumped in to save people no matter how it might’ve hurt him.
This was especially dangerous considering his body was not made for One For All. Thus, much of Deku’s early fights and sparring as a hero-in-training resulted in broken bones and little control over his strength and attacks, so he had to learn to be better—least, of course, for the sake of not worrying his mom so much.
RELATED: Get to Know the Rest of Class 1-A in My Hero Academia
And so he got better. While some students like Todoroki and Bakugo honed their naturally strong Quirks and prodigy skill, Deku did what he needed to. He learned to limit the use of his power and evenly spread it; he learned when and how to rush in without causing more harm than good; and he learned to attack without permanently paralyzing his arms or breaking his legs.
To top it all off, he also learned to use his super strength—mostly a close-range ability—as a long-range attack using special support items. Simply put, Deku didn’t see One For All as an automatic “I’m a Hero now” switch. He put in the work to make it work, and did it all with a smile, just like All Might.
A new challenge awaits
Though he was far from perfect, and though his journey was far from complete, by the time My Hero Academia Season 5 kicked off, Deku had clearly gotten a good grip on One For All and his Hero style.
Deku was coming into his own…and then a new challenge arose—the previous users of One For All and their powers have begun manifesting within Deku.
This is where we are by the time of the series’ 100th episode, and it marks a major shift from Deku simply succeeding All Might to succeeding all of One For All—feeling both the weight of all the previous successors and the weight of knowing some day he will have to fight All For One and Shigaraki.
RELATED: The Physicality of Quirks in My Hero Academia Redefines Shounen Training
Everything—from his first clash with the Sludge Villain, to the showdown with Muscular, to the all-out brawl with Overhaul—has led to this moment for Deku. Before, One For All was Deku’s dream come true, and now the pressure is setting in as the Quirk’s history unravels. But Deku? He never backs down.
If the past 100 episodes of My Hero Academia have proven anything, it’s that Deku, his classmates, and even his teachers put in the work to fight for others. And for those who’ve read the manga and know what lies ahead, we can all strap in for the next chapter on Deku’s way to becoming a great hero.
The impact of My Hero Academia
In just 100 episodes, My Hero Academia has managed to make a huge impact in the anime world, and an even bigger one outside of anime communities and circles.
Part of this is timing: anime was starting to re-enter the mainstream around the time of the series’ release, which was also around the time that the West went full tilt into superhero mania with things like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My Hero Academia was the perfect powder keg of popularity waiting to go off.
RELATED: Life Lessons That Schooled Us in My Hero Academia
However, what’s kept fans around beyond the superhero novelty is the heart—Deku is just so darn good that you have to root for him, his friends, and his never-ending determination to do good. It’s something I think all of us have needed over the past few years. But this is just one reason why the series has perservered.
This series is beloved for a lot of reasons, even going beyond its incredible 100-episode milestone. It’s not hard to see—My Hero Academia is full of lovable characters with deep, rich backstories; motivations; and a whole lot of heart.
With so much more story to tell, here’s to even more of this fantastic, superhero phenomenon! And always remember, GO BEYOND! PLUS ULTRA!