Combustible Celluloid
With: Daiki Yamashita, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Yuki Kaji, Tetsu Inada, Yuichi Nakamura, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Ryo Yoshizawa, Megumi Hayashibara, Yōko Honna, Kazuya Nakai, Mariya Ise (Japanese voices), Justin Briner, Clifford Chapin, David Matranga, Patrick Seitz, Zeno Robinson, Josh Grelle, Ryan Colt Levy, Cristina Vee, Sarah Roach, Robbie Daymond, Michelle Rojas (English voices)
Written by: Yōsuke Kuroda, based on a manga by Kōhei Horikoshi
Directed by: Kenji Nagasaki
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent material, bloody images and some language
Running Time: 104
Date: 10/29/2021

My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission (2021)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Quirk Study

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Likable characters, positive messages, small doses of humor, and swift, swirling animation will make this superhero anime a must-see for longtime fans, as well as a good entry point for newcomers.

Villain Flect Turn and his evil organization Humarise have vowed to destroy all humans who possess "quirks," or special abilities, deeming them diseased and dangerous to "pure" humans. He sets off a bomb that causes Quirks to mutate and die, then threatens to set off 25 more such bombs.

Meanwhile, small-time thief Rody Soul, who cares for his younger brother and sister, finds a suitcase he's supposed to deliver switched with another one; this one contains powerful secrets that Flect Turn wishes to get back. Hero Deku tries to help him, but they both wind up on the "wanted" list and must go on the run. With help from Deku's pals Shoto and Dynamight, the heroes discover the key to the briefcase, but there's only a little time left to save the world, and for Rody to save his family.

The secret weapon of My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission is new and instantly lovable character Rody (pronounced "Roadie") Soul. A sly, charming rapscallion, dressed in a patched up-shirt with a smart tie, coat and gloves, and his rooster tail hair, kept back with a headband and propped-up sunglasses, he's a thief with a heart. He keeps the material from getting too serious, but he also gives it its heart. His "quirk" is delightful; it's a little pink bird named Pino who always expresses Rody's true emotions, even when he's lying or trying to be cool. In essence, he's unable to lie.

Deku here comes across as a little too good and selfless, and his pet theme, not giving up, is hammered home a few too many times, but his friendship with Rody feels genuine. The rest of the battalion of characters show up just enough to be useful without being confusing to newcomers, while the story manages to make its twists and turns painless enough to follow.

The action scenes are fluid and rhythmic, although very fast-paced and sometimes strobe-like. The battles often ramp up into higher and higher doses of adrenaline, letting loose in "kablammo" moments that can rattle speakers. With its message of embracing all kinds of people, rather than hating and fearing, My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission really takes flight.

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