As a Tokyo-based writer, I will introduce you to various aspects of pop culture such as manga, anime, movies and music. I want to spread the joy of Japanese pop culture around the world.
Hello, everyone. It’s Mokugyo from MANGA.TOKYO, your otaku writer who loves manga and anime.
My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia) is one of the most popular manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump, an acclaimed manga magazine which has produced a lot of mega-hit manga series, such as Naruto. The story is set in a high school which fosters Heroes, and because of the unique plot, it became popular enough to be adapted into a TV anime series.
The second season of the anime started on 25 March 2017 with a recap episode, ‘Hero Notebook’. In the episode, main character Deku looks back on his journey from the beginning of the first season, when he first met his idol, All Might.
In this article, I’m going to report on the special event of My Hero Academia which took place at the Red Stage at AnimeJapan 2017!
On stage at the event went eight of the cast members: Daiki Yamashita (Izuku ‘Deku’ Midoriya), along with Nobuhiko Okamoto (Katsuki Bakugo), Ayane Sakura (Ochaco Uraraka), Kaito Ishikawa (Tenya Iida), Yuki Kaji (Shouto Todoroki), Aoi Yuki (Tsuyu Asui), Junichi Suwabe (Shota Aizawa), and Kenta Miyake (All Might).
Daiki appeared on stage first, with the rest of the cast members following. Their anime characters’ images simultaneously appeared on the screen as they entered.
Nobuhiko Okamoto fueled the already exciting atmosphere by shouting, ‘Hey, hey, hey, here we go! Cheer up, everyone!’ No wonder he is Bakugo.
‘Hello, everyone. Zero Gravity! Let’s enjoy the show!’ Ayane Sakura greeted the audience with the warm atmosphere of Ochaco.
‘Recipro Burst!’ shouted Kaito Ishikawa, dashing across the stage from the right end to the left. He wanted to show off something similar to Iida’s Quirk, ‘Engine’.
Yuki Kaji appeared on stage and said Shouto Todoroki’s line, ‘It’s not your fault. We’re just playing on different levels.’
Aoi Yuki followed him greeting the audience, ‘Ribbit-ribbit. Call me Tsuyu. Let’s have fun!’
Junichi Suwabe introduced himself by saying, ‘Hello everyone. I’m Junichi Suwabe and I voice Aizawa.’
Last to appear on stage was Kenta Miyake who voices All Might. He said his signature phrase, ‘I am here!’
As soon as all the guests were on stage, Suwabe shouted the catchphrase every event of My Hero Academia has to have: ‘Shall we do that now? Plus Ultra!’ The other cast members jokingly restrained him and the show kicked off with a friendly atmosphere.
The school chime rang to signal the start of the show and the talk among the cast members had begun.
‘The class has started! Everyone take a seat!’ shouted Suwabe acting as the teacher, Aizawa, and made the whole cast sit down. Miyake grumbled ‘I’m a teacher as well, you know,’ and Suwabe ordered him, ‘you sit down too, All Might!,’ which made the whole audience laugh.
Yamashita talked about Deku’s journey in the first series. ‘It was depicted from his time in middle school to him entering U.A. High School,’ he recalled and told us that his memories of it are mostly ‘performing a lot of Smashes.’ He revealed his uncompromising enthusiasm, ‘I intentionally change the way I shout “Smash” each time.’ He said that he was more fired up than usual during the scene when he had to battle Noumu at the final phase of Season 1 because Deku pressured himself to finish him with just a single Smash.
Okamoto looked back on the scene which left the largest impression on him, the battle of All Might. ‘During the battle scene between All Might and Noumu, Miyake was shouting in a sweat. He overlapped with All Might in my eyes, which made me emotional, as well made me resolve to do my best as a student.’
Miyake, who voices All Might, revealed the context behind the story. ‘I actually lost my voice from the recording. Although I shouldn’t overdo myself like that as a professional voice actor, I satisfied myself because I felt as if I were All Might in that moment.’
Ishikawa declared that his most memorable scene was also the battle between All Might and Noumu. He confessed that he attended the recording of the scene even though he didn’t have any lines because he wanted to be absorbed in the scene with his fellow cast members. He also said, ‘I was impressed again when watching the scene on TV.’
Sakura declared her love for Aoyama out of blue, ‘Time flies when I talk about Aoyama!’ When she was asked about Ochaco’s most impressive scene, she chose the Home Run Comet scene, because she had read an interview with Horikoshi, the original manga creator, in which he said that he was interested in how Ochaco would shout the line in that scene of anime.
When asked to name the most impressive scene of hers, Yuki picked the serious scene of Tsuyu trying to save Deku from Shigaraki, shouting ‘Ribbit!’
She remembered that Mr. Aizawa came to help them just after the scene and confessed, ‘that made me like him.’ Sakura joined the talk and the two chatted away enthusiastically about their favorite characters, Todoroki and Tokoyami, and then about Tokoyami’s personality and his Quirk, Dark Shadow. They claimed that they both thought it was sweet when Dark Shadow cried.
Kaji said that he also was impressed by Mr. Aizawa, ‘I think he was so cool.’ Regarding his role, he told fans, ‘there were few scenes in which Todoroki appeared, though they were quite impressive. Please keep on watching him in the new season.’
The cast then talked about the second season. Each cast member had previously written her opinion on a sketchbook. All of them had drawn an illustration of All Might and different keywords.
Yamashita’s key word was ‘Proof.’ He explained that because the main setting of the second series is a sports festival, Deku and the other characters have to prove themselves as to why they want to become heroes. Suwabe seemed to be very impressed by his remark.
Okamoto showed his keyword, ‘Seriousness.’ He said, ‘I know my seriousness is on a different level from others, but I can’t stand someone who isn’t serious enough.’ His keyword was just like what his stoic character Bakugou would say.
Sakura displayed her keyword, ‘Family’ and explained, ‘Not only Ochako but also the other characters, such as Todoroki and Iida, have to face their families.’ She implied that there would be more stories regarding each character’s family in the new season.
Ishikawa revealed his keyword, ‘Assignment.’ ‘Since U.A. High School is different from regular schools, the students have to find their own assignments, and in the new season, I think each of them started seeing what they really are.’ Quite an appropriate thing to say as a class rep.
Kaji showed his word ‘Blood’ and suggested that the new plot surrounding Todoroki is about ‘his relationship between his father and mother.’ He also mentioned a new character, ‘it will be a character who has connotations to “blood,” so please keep an eye out for the new season.’
Yuki’s keyword was ‘Pride.’ She explained passionately that ‘every character has a dignity of their own which fuels their desire to become a professional Hero. Their aspiration is well demonstrated in the second series.’ and added, ‘I’d like people to watch their battles in which their feelings of pride are at stake.’
Miyake said his word in character as All Might, ‘New Fertilized Eggs!’ with a heart mark at the end. He mentioned the new characters, ‘There will be new and unique characters from other classes, therefore I think the new relationships between them will be one of the focal points of this season.’
By the time you read this article, we will probably have a couple of reviews for the second season of My Hero Academia. The event also showed the new ending video. Suwabe said that the watercolor paintings cost a lot. He went on to declare, ‘we present to you the creditless opening video here faster than anywhere else!’
After the screening, the audience gave a big round of applause. Everyone seemed to be impressed by the video. Suwabe made them laugh by saying ‘I was worried Aizawa wouldn’t appear in the video.’ According to him, a new ending video will be released next week, ‘It must be good and I can’t wait to watch it.’
To conclude the event, Yamashita addressed the fans. He spoke vigorously just like Deku, ‘Thank you very much! The new season is starting, finally! All I want is for you all to watch it! All our staff and cast members worked hard to create this anime. Please watch it and enjoy!’
At the end of the event, everyone at the venue shouted with their raised fists, ‘Go Beyond, Plus Ultra!’