My Hero Academia as the people are calling it – is a replacement for One Punch Man. It does have a similar setting, over the top characters, and animation choices. The plot however is the complete opposite of One Punch Man. The most powerful hero in the world vs. the hero who isn’t even a hero. Still, the audience remains the same.
On it’s own, this anime is full of weird screaming, weird sounds, and weird bodily fluids coming out of people. It has the ability to stand apart from OPM on it’s own.
What drew me into this anime during the first couple minutes was not the bodily fluids, but that this story was going with the classic underdog hero formula. But, it decided to do it in a completely over the top way – in turn making fun of the formula itself. A show made out of irony and large eyeballs.
What appealed to me right away was the fact that some people were normal because they were extraordinary, and normal people were dirt. Specifically, using the word “quirk” made me sympathize with the dirt people. I can relate in the inverse way. I’m sure all those who love anime and consider themselves and otaku have been called “quirky”. This is an interesting word to me. It doesn’t really have a positive or negative connotation. Someone who is quirky, is apart from the casual norm. This could mean that you’re cool because your set apart (hipster mentality) or on the other end of the measuring stick, like a totally socially awkward shut in. I have a very loud and opinionated personality and I do weird things. I have been called quirky, and I’ve been put down for it – like Izuku. Except, Izuku is put down because he doesn’t have a “quirk”. Ironic. But that’s the whole point- this show is just a ball full of irony.
The Origin of these superpower, “quirks” is unknown. This tells the humans that it’s basically just fate as to if you are quirk or quirk-less. One joint on a pinky toe can determine the rest of your life. Apparently, fate is just a cruel beast. The social standard has changed. What is means to be human is to be superhuman. Fate has robbed 20% of humanity of it’s humanity. But that’s alright! This story has a hero with an incredible amount of dedication and a fan-boy obsession. This is the boy who will lead the rest of the oppressed humans in a fight to prove their humanity!
“You decided back then, didn’t you? That’s right. Don’t worry about what other people think! Hold your head up high and plunge forward!” – Izuku
The truth is that everyone inside is hurting. Everyone is insecure about something, hero or not. I call this, “the rules of the game”. The game is life and one rule is that nobody is perfect. To be human is to be imperfect. When there are grand strong folk in our lives who seam like they have everything they could even want, we forget that they too fall short.
It’s difficult for me to go shopping, especially in nice clothing stores because I feel so intimidated by the girls that look pretty or popular. When I need to go clothes shopping, I always feel like I don’t belong because I’m not pretty like them, and because I’m a huge nerd on the inside. My mom needs to convince me that the store is for everyone and I can’t let a few girls stop me from getting my shopping done. But everyone feels insecure, even those pretty girls. Izuku sure feels insecure. He gets bullied for being what we would define as “normal”. Does Izuku sit around and moan about feeling insecure? Would Izuku leave the clothes store because he didn’t feel like he belonged? No! He would fight his way to the top!
“For all fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 8:28
And yet, the hero who fights in center of the will of goodness, often gets overlooked or underappreciated. When Izuku ran into the battle even thought it was dangerous and stupid but incredibly brave, he was heavily scolded afterwards. His heart was in the right place more than any other person part of that battle, and yet the sour bully being attacked by the monster was praised the most. This reminds me of how Christians are often not given credit for our hard work and attitude. But we know that our heavenly father see’s out hearts and smiles when we do crazy brave things like Izuku.
“If it seams we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.” 2nd Corinthians 5:13
At the end of the episode, when Al Might told the young hero that he could he a hero, Izuku proved his little heart out that he was not worthless because he didn’t have a quirk. His life, his actions, and his attitude had value, an ordinary boy soon to become a hero through hard work and guts. (This seams to be a common theme in anime…)
Similarly, God uses ordinary people with no special quirks to do extraordinary things. My favorite example is David. He started out as a lowly last child in the family forgotten Shepard boy. Then he was chosen by God and he became king. The road to king was long and full of heart break however. He lost his home, his wife, and his best friend in the world before he got to his destined position as king. The rode of the hero is dangerous and treacherous, and you can expect this during Izuku’s journey. While Izuku relies on his sweat, grunty eyes, and liquid ambition to get him to the top, David has God to be his superpowers, his “quirk” to win the day.
As a Christian, don’t you feel a little set apart from everyone else, different, quirky? Fear not!
“Do not consider his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1st Samuel 16:7
Just as Al might choose Izuku because of his attitude, God can do great things through you because he knows your heart.