The manga of My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia) is currently being serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. As of July 2017, the TV anime is receiving positive reviews, with the second cour about to begin.
Recently in the anime, the curtain closed on one of the biggest milestones, the U.A High School Sports Festival. There are competitions with the other classes of the academy and fierce fights in the shonen manga style. There is foreshadowing of future developments and lots of exciting content.
The climax of the Sports Festival arc is Midoriya vs Todoroki. Strong quirks and passionate emotions collide in this confrontation of one of the fans’ most popular arcs.
This Jump-loving writer will talk about the interesting points from Episode 23, ‘Shouto Todoroki: Origin’. This episode is based on the Chapters 37 – 40 in Volume 5 of the manga. The article will mainly be spoilers from now on so please proceed with caution.
This article will contain spoilers up to Episode 23 and Chapter 40 of My Hero Academia
A Change of Perspective
When you read that part of the manga, you will notice that there is something very different in the composition of Midoriya and Todoroki in battle, compared to the anime. When the two characters are depicted from a third person perspective, for example the positioning of the two characters at the beginning of the match, the anime and the manga place the characters in opposite positions. In the anime, Midoriya stands on the left facing the screen while Todoroki is on the right. However, in the manga, Todoroki is standing on the left facing the screen with Midoriya on the right.
The details, like the characters’ positions and expressions, differ between the anime and the manga. The skill, production, and movements are the same and it is not like the plot has changed in any way, but comparing the two, you get a slightly different impression. I read the manga and then watched the anime and I feel that it is easier to pick up on the pair’s emotions in the anime.
The middle, from Part A to Part B, is centered on the protagonist, Midoriya. Ice hurtles towards Midoriya, who is in the foreground. Todoroki, in the background, flies backwards having been hit by Midoriya’s attack while Midoriya’s monologue is skillfully added to the scene. The angle was from Midoriya’s perspective. Up until this point, the pair’s positions were fixed with Midoriya on the left and Todoroki on the right.
However, as the story progresses, from about the time in Part B when Todoroki’s reminiscence begins, these positions are reversed. Todoroki, whose mother’s heart is broken and who is full of hatred for his father, is preoccupied and then awakened by Midoriya’s straightforward words. Todoroki becomes the main focus from this scene and is drawn on the left with Midoriya on the right. Todoroki is drawn in the foreground and Midoriya in the background. In other words, the perspective changes from Midoriya to Todoroki.
Midoriya calls out to Todoroki. Todoroki’s heart trembles at Midoriya’s words. The passionate and delicate portrayal was possible due to a technique unique to anime. In the manga, due to the nature of still images, it is possible that changing details such as the position and direction of the characters adds impact. Which one is better depends on your personal taste.
The Nuance of the Dialog
In regard to the characters’ lines and monologues, there are aspects that differ between the anime and the manga. The order changes, supplementary words are added or being taken out completely. In manga, dialogue and monologues can be lined up in one panel but in anime, if the characters don’t say the lines then nothing is conveyed to the viewers.
A scene I personally like is the one where Midoriya sees Todoroki’s movements slow down after being struck with frost followed by dialog from Midoriya and Bakugo.
In the anime, Midoriya says, ‘His movements…’, followed by Bakugo, ‘…are slow!’. However, in the manga the line, ‘His movements are slow!’ was said by Bakugo. We know that Bakugo understood the characteristics of Todoroki’s Quirk but whether Midoriya understood or not was not clear.
However, by splitting the line, it is clear that Midoriya understood at the same time. It is not because he was calmly watching from the sidelines but because he was fighting while taking many things into consideration that he understood that Todoroki’s movements were slow. The line that came after this, ‘The force of the ice is also weaker’ is connected to the previous line through the use of the word ‘also.’
One other thing I want to highlight is Todoroki’s line at the end. Finding out that his mother has been hospitalized and triggering his hatred for his father, in the anime he says, ‘…my father’s power’, but in the manga, he only says, ‘…my father.’
With the line ‘…my father’ [Oyaji…], it can be predicted that he wanted to say, ‘I will never forgive my father.’ [Oyaji wo yurusenai] However, the line ‘…my father’s power’, suggests that he cannot accept his father’s power. Todoroki believes that the Fire Quirk on the left half of his body equals his father, Endeavor, and refuses to use it. This is why Midoriya’s words, ‘Isn’t it your power?!’, pierced his heart.
The Line-Up in the Spectators’ Seats
In the manga, the order of the spectators at the start of the battle was Bakugo, Jiro, Asui, Yaoyorozu, Kaminari, and Sero. There doesn’t seem to be any order to it so I assume they were just sitting randomly.
In the anime, the line up was Bakugo, Kaminari, Sero, and Kirishima, who came back partway through and sat in front of Sero. The seat next to Sero was empty so I suppose the four of them were watching the fight together. It has absolutely no impact on the storyline of the Sports Festival arc but for those who know what is to come, its a bit of a happy change. If I talk more about it then it will no longer be based on Volume 5, but the four who were sitting together come closer.
My Hero Academia doesn’t focus only on the battles but let’s the characters who first met upon entering the school to get to know more about each other through their everyday lives. The growing friendships between the characters largely control the story so please pay attention to the relationships between the different characters.
My Hero Academia
There are differences in the tempo when it comes to the manga and the anime adaptation of My Hero Academia. Those who like the anime should definitely read the manga and enjoy both works.