Holy smokes that’s a lot of smoke! My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is certainly not bashful with 4DX effects, opting to go PLUS ULTRA in its erratic seat movement, lighting/lightning, air-cooling winds (take that, Sonic!), with fountain-like water sprays, and lots and lots and lots of smoke. But don’t fret; pretty sure if you call SAG tomorrow they’ll give you a “smoke bump” for watching…
When it comes to 4DX, animated films tend to go the extra mile in effects, perhaps overcompensation for not being a standard theatrical film full of CGI. Having lots of 4DX stuff didn’t work for me so much in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, since the flick was already “superior” sensory overload.
But despite more smoke than a hip-hop album release party, that level of hype doesn’t happen here with Heroes Rising. The smoke effects, of course, are not real, so nobody watching the film tonight over at the 4DX Labs was coughing and choking. And just as the movie slowly seeped through the colorful clouds, I noticed the smoke dissipating right as the on-screen action was doing the same.
Beyond all of those PLUS ULTRA EXTRAS, Boku no Hīrō Akademia The Movie Hīrōzu: Raijingu is a real thrill. It’s well timed, too, with Season 4 just over a month away from finishing up and the My Hero One’s Justice 2 video game launching in 2 weeks. I’m only a few episodes behind the anime, so Heroes Rising suitably tells a story a mere few arcs in front of the current continuity (I think! But even if this flick falls afterwards, it certainly doesn’t spoil a thing).
No matter where it lands, Kenji Nagasaki‘s film shouldn’t feel dated for hardcore weebs who know it all, but absolutely not so new that MHA n00bz will feel lost in the battle. There are pinches of exposition told throughout via light bits of backstory, allowing the film to push at a nice pace and still keep everyone up to speed on all the heroes from U.A. High.
I also watch Boku no Hīrō Akademia in Japanese, and watching this dubbed was still highly enjoyable. Justin Briner (Izuku “Doku” Midoriya) and Clifford Chapin (Katsuki Bakugo) do an admirable job as the series’ peanut butter and jelly, erm, Goku and Vegeta — at least in this movie — so remember that reference when the film reaches its climax. But anime tropes be anime tropes, so I’m not so mad that a similar outcome happens in such a familiar fashion as 99% of all shonen.
Could series scribe Yôsuke Kuroda have gotten a little more original in the final battle? Sure, but thankfully the 4DX crew did and gave Heroes Rising‘s standard “epic” conclusion some much needed seat-moving subtlety. The ballet like serenity during this moments adds a real nice touch to a film that had a fuck-ton of powerful effects in the previous 80-minutes.
In a film featuring such a wide range of heroes and villains — who all get an equal opportunity in this film to shine, mind you — and all of the powers that help separate what’s cool about MHA from their lovely X-Men American counterparts, you figured we’d receive as many special goodies in the fourth dimension. That’s exactly the story, both in the 4DX effects and My Hero‘s surplus of heroic signature displays against some nifty, aesthetically-pleasing villains.
You’ll love the simultaneous battles between Class 1-A and Slice, Chimera and Mummy. Despite not being the chief focus like their leader, Nine, a manga troped-up, waving-white haired baddie (who can seize quirks up to his namesake’s amount), these jerks ain’t no joke. The frantic fights that follow lead to lots of seat-rocking action, as the many powers caused by air control feature seat-twirling effects and tornado-esque vent circulation.
While the story is a simple one compared to the much deeper machinations of Tomura Shigaraki‘s current dealings with the Yakuza, the road to getting to the SSGSS-like finale is a splendid one. Sure, there’s a bit of “ultra convenience” when explaining how one thing didn’t exactly change the current state of My Hero Academia as we wish our side stories would; yet the minor annoyance is by no means a game-changer– especially if you know how animated series film tie-ins work in the first place: to gain a much larger audience to the product, plain and simple.
With the impressive slice of life focus on the class’s surplus of students, many hilarious exchanges, fantastic visuals, enjoyable score and a ultra convenient but fun story fit for a one-shot at the movie theater, MHA: Heroes Rising might just be your favorite film of the decade so far if you peep it in moving seats.
Movie = 3.75/5
4DX = 4.25-4.5/5
Overall = 4+/5 All Mights.
Funimation’s My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising attends theaters nationwide this Wednesday.