My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising English dub review: FUNimation’s Boku no Hero Academia movie dubbing nails it

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising poster artwork
The My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising movie is coming to U.S. theater in late February 2020. Pic credit: FUNimation

The My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising English dub release date in the USA and Canadian movie theaters is finally coming up this week! The release date for the second My Hero Academia movie is scheduled for February 26, 2020.

The FUNimation press release provides the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising story:

“Class 1-A visits Nabu Island where they finally get to do some real hero work. The place is so peaceful that it’s more like a vacation … until they’re attacked by a villain with an unfathomable Quirk! His power is eerily familiar, and it looks like Shigaraki had a hand in the plan.

But with All Might retired and citizens’ lives on the line, there’s no time for questions. Deku and his friends are the next generation of heroes, and they’re the island’s only hope.”

Anime fans should be aware that the MHA: Heroes Rising anime movie introduces characters that normally will wait until the My Hero Academia Season 5 anime.

In fact, Heroes Rising movie director Nagasaki Kenji has said, “If we take into consideration the timeline of Season 4, this movie takes place quite sometime after the current events in the anime.”

My Hero Academia Movie 3 possible?

Boku no Hero Academia manga creator Kohei Horikoshi is already claiming that “there won’t be a third film. Probably.” Horikoshi said he used one of his older ideas for the My Hero Academia manga’s ending when creating the script for the Heroes Rising movie.

“The movie is going to feature one element that I wanted to use in the final battle of the manga,” Horikoshi explained.

In the past, Horikoshi had planned on shooting for ending the manga by Volume 30, which would mean the manga’s final chapter would come out by late 2020. But it’s possible Horikoshi is now planning for the long term.

A few months after Horikoshi claimed that Heroes Rising would be the last MHA movie, anime news leakers claimed that a total of 10 My Hero Academia movies are planned and that a new MHA film will be released each year.

However, this claim is unverified by official sources. Let’s hope the leakers are correct, and that a My Hero Academia Movie 3 will make our 2020 holidays PLUS ULTRA!

Find a Canada/U.S. theater location for FUNimation’s My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising English dub

Advance ticket sales became available starting on January 31, 2020. Theater showings will include both the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising English dub and subtitles.

FUNimation is providing a Heroes Rising theater locator tool on their website.

New one sheet for the 2nd My Hero Academia movie
The new My Hero Academia THE MOVIE Heroes: Rising poster looks good. Pic credit: Funimation

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising review

Going into the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising movie I knew two things: manga creator Kohei Horikoshi had promised that the film was “going to blow the last one out of the water in a PLUS ULTRA way” and that someone on Twitter had already spoiled for me the major plot twist for the ending.

So, I was still excited to see what Horikoshi meant, but the ending did not impact me as much as someone going in blind.

Horikoshi was right since the Heroes Rising movie showed Class 1-A working together as heroes as they’ve never seen before.

The large-scale action sequences blew apart large chunks of (the apparently fictional?) Nuba Island and pushed Class 1-A’s quirks to the limit, showing just how PLUS ULTRA everyone, even Mineta, could be when facing OP villains. Even Toru Hagakure wasn’t invisible in the fights, working with the others in a cohesive fashion.

My Hero Academia Heroes Rising Class 1-A
The entire class of UA Academy has a chance to show off in the new movie. Pic credit: FUNimation/Studio Bones

The My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising dub cast did a great job of putting emotional emphasis into their scenes. I haven’t had a chance to watch the English subtitles version for comparison, but dub-watching anime fans should be PLUS ULTRA happy with the outcome.

I’m not going to even hint at the ending’s plot twist, but it was definitely the most emotional moment of the film. Dub voice actors Justin Briner and Clifford Chapin nailed their scenes. Which was good, since I felt that character development was otherwise lacking.

My Hero Academia Heroes Rising Katsuki Bakugo and Izuku Midoriya Deku
Katsuki Bakugo and Izuku Midoriya are the real highlights of the Heroes Rising movie, not the villains. Pic credit: FUNimation/Studio Bones

Yes, we were told villain Nine’s motivations for his actions, but audiences were not shown how he developed to be that way. Nine essentially believes that hero society needed to be destroyed and replaced by a “utopia” where might makes right.

Since this vision was never coherently described, it sounded like Nine wanted institutionalized governmental anarchy where a quirk’s power determined who was in charge.

Nine’s villain sidekicks Chimera and Slice were even more cookie-cutter villain tropes. The Chimera character literally embodied his name and he was simply a person who had allowed other people to define him as a monster due to his monstrous quirk, so now he’s pursuing Nine’s dream to get back at a society that rejected him.

The female villain character Slice seemed to exist for the sole purpose of slicing up the landscape with her blade hair quirk since she never explained her rationale for following Nine.

My Hero Academia Heroes Rising Nine Villain Character
With powers similar to All For One, Nine sought to create a combination of quirks that would give him god-like abilities capable of raining down destruction on entire cities in moments. Pic credit: FUNimation/Studio Bones

The two new kid characters Mahoro and Katsuma (Dani Chambers and Maxey Whitehead, respectively) evolved emotionally over the course of the film, but they were mostly there as a mirror to Deku’s journey.

Really, the emotional journey was defined by the slowly-morphing relationship between Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo and how the secret of the quirk One For All affected that relationship.

My Hero Academia Heroes Rising Mahoro and Katsuma
The children Mahoro and Katsuma find themselves at the center of the villains’ evil plot. Pic credit: FUNimation/Studio Bones

The only negative about the movie’s ending was how any lasting impact was waved away with an awkward explanation.

Yes, we get it that the movie’s plot exists outside the canon of the MHA manga’s timeline, and so any regularly reoccurring character can’t sustain any major change that impacts the overall plot, but the way the big plot twist was resolved felt ham-fisted.

Overall, the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising movie is a fun ride that’s enjoyable by both casual anime movie watchers and Boku no Hero Academia fans who will fangasm all over Class 1-A going into action as a full team, never mind that huge crowd-pleasing moment when… no spoilers!

The only major drawback is that the villains could have been given more depth, but the real journey was always about the heroes, anyway. Therefore, the film’s review still deserves All Might yelling, “PLUS ULTRA!!!!”

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