September 04, 2017

Midterm Report Card

Concept A
Characterization A-
Basic Comprehension of American Superhero Comics A
Plot A
Screen Time for Frog Frau and Gadget Girl D-
Pathos B
Comprehension of What a Hero is A
Physics/Biology F*
Pacing C-


This has been a surprisingly good show, being Kohei Horikoshi's take on superheroes, specifically AMERICAN comic book superheroes, albeit in a Japanese setting and in a Shounen style of storytelling.

That last bit was a cause for some trepidation, especially as season two began with a  tournament fighting arc, which, in Japanese boys comics, is usually where interesting stories go to die. Fortunately, this show has thus far used such framing devices, not as filler, but as a way of providing venues for characterization of what is a fairly large cast. 

The breakneck pace of the first twelve episodes does slow considerably as much of the show's action is now taking place simultaneously in different locales and some events are told in a Rashomon style from different viewpoints. However, the story is continually moving along and most of the villians are actually quite interesting, several having interesting ( though admittedly warped) philosophical reasons for their mayhem. 

The Japanese storytelling techniques notwithstanding, this is a show that GETS the American superhero genre in a way that American superhero comics often don't anymore. Most notably it appears to be a disquisition of the nature of heroism. At least three of the characters are pointedly reflective of some of the more obnoxiously nihilistic 'Iron Age' tropes, not in homage to those ideas, but in mockery of them.  The number one hero of the universe, a pivotal, but largely background character named All Might, is a VERY American superhero combining the best aspects of Captain America and Superman. Powerful and idealistic, All Might is an astounding beacon of strength and sincerity...
IN A WORLD 
...where superheroes are basically licensed mercenaries . 

You see, some years prior,  superpowers spread like a disease through the general population granting over 99% of humanity "quirks" which range from the useless to the dangerous. Superheroes are, perhaps surprisingly, not passe' since the criminal element is similarly blessed. Superheroing is somewhat akin to private security firms, licenses and bonding are required and they work closely with the police (many have product endorsement side gigs based on their social media presence). One way to get a license is to go to an accredited superhero college...This is the goal of one Izuku Midoriya, who has, since a young age dreamed of being a superhero. There's just one problem, as the show starts he is revealed to be one of the infinitesimally small number of people with no quirk at all. 

The main characters are for the most part quite likeable and (generally) idealistic, though perhaps not quite as much as they think they are, heroism being more than a career path or physical strength (as they are finding out). Interestingly, even some whose goals seem at first glance to be cynical are pursuing them for noble reasons. This is really, well done.



This series is a shonen show, and all that implies, but it is an outlier of its genre in a most positive way. I am enjoying this series immensely more than I have any right to be right now. 


* This is as it should be.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:15 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 557 words, total size 6 kb.

1 The tournament nearly killed it for me. It was every bit the embodiment of everything I hate about the whole Arena Combat style of filler (Can't really call it storytelling). I'm glad they got past it. Although I've been away from the show for a while. (I was up to where the latest bad guy escaped).

Posted by: Mauser at Thu Sep 7 21:16:25 2017 (TYvUn)

2 I haven't watched season 2 past the first episode.  The first season was so good, then splat, tournament.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Fri Sep 8 05:52:01 2017 (PiXy!)

3 I was exactly the same way, I dropped it for months because I was having traumatic flashbacks to Bleach. But some months later, I did watch another ep about a month ago and ended up binge watching it, only catching up recently. There is an extended tournament arc of about 8 episodes and it is hinted that there will be another one in a year or so, but those episodes also surprised me in doing a bit of world building and actually work to develop some of the characters.
Don't get me wrong, the pacing slows a bit after the first season, but the characters and main plot continue to develop (and a few secondary plots are revealed), and the show continues to have both its charm and insight.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Fri Sep 8 12:40:39 2017 (KicmI)

Hide Comments | Add Comment




What colour is a green orange?




34kb generated in CPU 0.02, elapsed 0.0327 seconds.
68 queries taking 0.0181 seconds, 261 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.