One of Boku no Hero Academia‘s myriad strengths is what it’s held up by – it’s a love letter to the past, a proponent of thinking about the present and keenly (yet optimistically) aware of the future.
Boku no Hero Academia (henceforth abbreviated BnHA) is heavily based on the legacy surrounding comic books in the real world and from the superheroes within those scenes and stories, to the point where even Vigilantes has an obvious Superman spoof in the form of Captain Celebrity (aside from having All Might’s influence, of course).
With that said, its basis in older superhero lore is inevitably tied and yet also directly contrasted to the more forward-looking perspective that occurs within its pages. The story puts Todoroki in a negative light for holding a grudge against his father for 10 years, after all, and yet forgives him when he makes peace with his emotions plus his parents. Without the past there to anchor characters, there would be no depth to them!
Likewise, Deku is held back from achieving his dreams initially due to events in his past that signalled him never being able to achieve his dream of being a hero like All Might. In line with Shonen Jump’s ideas of “friendship, hard work and victory”, this definitely ticks off at least one of the latter two.
Deku is a proponent for doing what one can now, rather than what they could have done or could do later. This is very much grounded in the ideal that All Might and he share – that heroes can do what they can in the moment people need help. During the provisional licence arc of season 3, you can see Deku’s influence seeping to Yaomomo, Aoyama and, of course, Ochako, proving quick thinking is just as good as strategy and power. It gets further emphasised by the Help Us Company employees, who emphasise placing the safety and happiness of civilians (rather than yelling “Are you alright?!”) first.
Even before that, you can see that moral of “you can’t change the past, but you can change the present” shining through from the moment Deku receives his power and goes through his 10 month training regime.
BnHA’s legacy becomes clear from the moment All Might loses his muscle form for good – a hero’s path may be long and arduous, but if it’s around long enough, then it’ll impact the future just as much as it does the present and the past. Stain, prior to that, proved that not all effects of heroics are positive, but the negatives need to be there for the positives to exist as well.
To wrap things up, BnHA’s constant reminder to the common anime watcher (it’s not in the manga too much, as far as I know or remember) is that Deku will become the greatest hero. With this in mind as he continues his path at UA and beyond, let’s all cheer him on!
It’s been 3 seasons, so you know you’re either watching BnHA at this point, you’re going to watch, or you’re not. For those who are watching at the moment, what do you feel is the greatest strength of Boku no Hero Academia?