My Hero Academia has captivated audiences since its very first season and for good cause; it’s a masterclass in pacing with unique concepts, a wonderfully written cast, and thrilling battle sequences abound.
However, its popularity arguably lies in its unpredictable plot twists and in the valuable life lessons it imparts.
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We’re taking a look back at the most important reveals and moments from the series so far, as well as the most meaningful life lessons that they teach!
Warning this article contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Seasons 1-4!
You can change your destiny
Deku as a protagonist basically encapsulates this idea. In a world where those with Quirks are the majority, Deku’s Quirklessness subjected him to torment and ostracisation from a very young age.
However, he refuses to give up on his dream of being a hero even after his own idol, the legendary All Might delivers the heartbreaking message that he cannot be a hero without a Quirk.
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When his childhood friend/rival Katsuki Bakugo is attacked by a villain it is Deku who rushed in headfirst to try and rescue him, when nobody else would. All Might, moved by this display of unbridled courage selects Deku as the successor for his powerful Quirk, One for All.
This lesson, perhaps more than any other, truly highlights one of My Hero Academia’s most important messages – you can change your destiny. Deku’s path was seemingly set in stone, but through his determination and willingness to sacrifice himself for others, he was able to change course and begin to become the hero he so badly wanted to be.
Remember your idols are human too
Toshinori Yagi, more famously known as All Might, with his chiseled features, million-watt smile, and dramatic flair, is the quintessential comic book superhero. In an age where heroes were generally self-serving, All Might burst onto the scene to protect those in need and become a Symbol of Peace.
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With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that our protagonist Deku idolises him so much, however, we come to learn that All Might is not as strong as he once was and the injuries he sustained throughout his time as a hero has cost him the ability to muster up the same level of strength as he did in his heyday.
This is one of many glimpses My Hero Academia offers to viewers of the risk and reward that comes with being a hero.
A true hero is not made by their abilities, but by their capacity for sacrifice in order to lessen the suffering of others
In Deku’s dream at the end of Season 4, we see that shortly after the advent of Quirks, society is thrown into mass disorder. All for One established himself as a symbol of unity during this period, though he used his position for his own good and to manipulate others into becoming his followers.
Even in the present, many heroes seem to use fame and money as their main motivations for becoming Pro Heroes. In the midst of that, we have characters like All Might who demonstrated immense self-sacrifice and unwavering strength to inspire hope in the world, and his successor Izuku Midoriya following in his footsteps.
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One moment from Season 3 represents this best: in the climax of the fight against All for One, All Might concentrates the remaining embers of One for All into his fist, all while remembering the time his predecessor Nana Shimura, passed the torch to him and delivers his final technique—United States of Smash!
Heroes can cry when they need to
One of the most important lessons, in my opinion, is introduced at the beginning of Season 4. We already know that Deku is very prone to crying, but to his credit, by this point in the anime he has had to deal with the League of Villains, the Yakuza, Sir Nighteye’s prophecy about All Might, but probably worst of all for someone as selflessly compulsive as Deku, the fact that he couldn’t save Eri from Kai Chisaki.
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While Deku is being tormented by all this, he adamantly refuses to shed any tears claiming “heroes don’t cry” to which Shoto Todoroki responds that heroes can cry when they need to. Heartwarming displays of friendship aren’t hard to find in My Hero Academia, however, this scene where Shoto and Tenya offer Deku some of their lunch in their efforts to console him is especially beautiful in its simplicity.
My Hero Academia is equal parts entertaining and heartfelt, with one of the most likable protagonists in shonen anime and plenty of lessons to impart along the way. Deku acts as a lens into this world where we learn that with the right amount of determination, courage, and hard work even the most impossible goals are never out of reach.
You can catch every episode of My Hero Academia right here on Funimation and don’t forget My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is coming to the big screen this October, find out more here.