Boku no Hero Academia
|Name:||Boku no Hero Academia|
|Abbreviation(s):||My Hero Academia, BNHA, MHA|
|Date(s):||July 7 2014 - present (manga), April 3, 2016 – present (anime)|
|Medium:||Manga, Anime, Video Game|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official Website (JP)|
My Hero Academia at Wikipedia
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Following the fall of Bleach and the eventual ending of Naruto, many pointed to BnHA as an alternate for one of the spots in The Big 3 from Shounen Jump. Its readership seems strong in both America and Japan, but some theorize that it's placement low in the Shounen Jump's Table of Contents means that it does not have as strong a Japanese readership as American fans have assumed.
The manga's infinite number of characters, expanding from the base ~25 with many of the arcs, makes the fandom even more active as they explore different characters and their relationships.
In a world where having a superpower (a Quirk) is the norm, Midoriya Izuku has no special powers. He's admired the Heroes who use their Quirks to defeat Villains, but his society does not approve of the idea of a Hero without a Quirk. Enforcing this societal view is Midoriya's childhood best friend turned childhood bully, Bakugou Katsuki. However, Midoriya's bullied, Quirkless fortunes turn around when he's saved by the Number 1 Hero, his idol, All Might. Although All Might a secret: his power has significantly decreased because of a major injury from a Villain battle years before and he can no longer maintain his powered form for more than a couple of hours. After Midoriya risks his life to spur Heroes into action to save Bakugou, All Might agrees to mentor Midoriya. All Might reveals his other secret: his powers are inheritable, gaining in strength with each new generation, and each possesser of his Quirk One For All chooses their successor.
Midoriya wants to enter Yuuei, or UA, the preeminent high school for teaching future Heroes. All Might puts Midoriya through an arduous year of body training. On the day of the UA Entrance Exam, All Might grants him the power of One For All.
Midoriya is accepted into Yuuei, and so the story introduces the primary cast: the 20 students of Class 1-A with their teachers Eraserhead and All Might. Midoriya struggles to live up to the legacy of All Might, to control his power, and to survive against a rising group of Villains, who seem to have it out for All Might and the students he teaches too.
Aliases (hero names and villain names) indicated in bold.
League of Villains:
With the large numbers of characters, there are many variations of ships, especially since there has not yet been any canon examples of romance. Earlier fandom was interested in the DekuBowl, a friendly competition over ships involving Midoriya. The most common Midoriya ships are Tododeku and Bakudeku, with the most popular het ship being Uraraka/Deku, a ship close to canon given Uraraka's crush on Deku. Bakugou, when not shipped with Midoriya, is most often shipped with Kirishima (Kiribaku), but there he also has a fairly popular het ship with Uraraka. Both boys are also parts of fairly popular OT3s: Todoroki/Deku/Iida (Todoiideku) and Deku/Bakugou/Todoroki. On the femslash side, Tsuyu/Uraraka (Tsuchako) and Momo/Jirou are both popular.
Shipping is not only popular for the students of 1A: their teachers also get special attention. Homeroom teacher Aizawa is often shipped with friend and English teacher Present Mic in Erasermic. Aizawa is also shipped with All Might in Erasermight, and in OT3s with Present Mic/All Might/Aizawa and Aizawa/Present Mic/Midnight, another teacher and pro-Hero. All Might is also often shipped with Midoriya's mother, Inko.
List of Ships
- Todoroki Shouto/Midoriya Izuku
- Midoriya Izuku/Bakugou Katsuki
- Kirishima Eijirou/Bakugou Katsuki
- Kirishima Eijirou/Bakugou Katsuki/Kaminari Denki
- Midoriya Izuku/Uraraka Ochako
- Bakugou Katsuki/Uraraka Ochako
- Uraraka Ochako/Tsuyu Asui
- Yaoyorozu Momo/Jirou Kyouka
- Kaminari Denki/Jirou Kyouka (Hinted to be likely canon)
- Midoriya Izuku/Shigaraki Tomura
- Kirishima Eijirou/Kaminari Denki
- Todoroki Shouto/Bakugou Katsuki
- Todoroki Shouto/Yaoyorozu Momo
- Iida Tenya/Midoriya Izuku
- Shinsou Hitoshi/Midoriya Izuku
- Shinsou Hitoshi/Midoriya Izuku/Todoroki Shouto
- Kaminari Denki/Shinsou Hitoshi
- Dabi/Shigaraki Tomura
- Dabi/Todoroki Shouto
- Todoroki Enji/Hawks
- Todoroki Enji/Todoroki Rei (canon married couple)
- Todoroki Enji/Todoroki Shouto
- Dekuzawa or Aideku - Midoriya Izuku/Aizawa Shouta
- Shinzawa - Shinsou Hitoshi/Aizawa Shouta
- DekuMight - (Midoriya Izuku/All Might (although some groups use it for Midoriya/Bakugou after his name reveal in the manga)
And many more; because of the complex ensemble cast, there are many ships. There are fandom controversies about shipping students with teachers and heroes with villains, as well as the common controversies related to incest.
BNHA fandom grew rapidly with the release of the anime. The fandom mostly centered on Tumblr, Twitter, and AO3, though it also has some fic on Fanfiction.net and a presence in other fan communities and forums focused on anime. According to fandometrics on Tumblr, Boku no Hero Academia #3 on the Top Anime and Manga list in 2017. In 2018, BNHA was the most popular Anime and Manga Fandom and #5 in fandoms overall. BNHA had 8 ships on the list of 100 Tops Ships, with 3 in the top 30, an increase from Tododeku as #27 in 2017. The Tumblr fandom has a particular propensity to zine production.
BNHA fandom's rate of growth has been significant. In August, 2019, the Boku no Hero Academia tag on Archive of Our Own reached over 30,000 works, becoming one of the top 5 most popular Anime & Manga fandoms on the site when it surpassed Hetalia: Axis Powers. It continued to climb through the ranks. In less than a year, on March 26, 2019, the tag hit the 50,900 works, surpassing Haikyuu, which had been the most popular fandom since January 2018. By March 2020, the tag passed 90,000 works.
My Hero Convention, a BNHA-themed con is hosted twice a year in different states of Southern USA.
Common Tropes & Genres
- Quirks as Plot Devices: The wide range of possible Quirks that exist in the canon universe can be used to make almost anything plausible. Fanfiction often features one-off original villains who exist solely to use their Quirk to create an often tropey situation that the characters will have to deal with the fallout of. For example, a villain's Quirk may trap the heroes in a time loop, act as a sex pollen, cause shapeshifting or amnesia, force them to tell only the truth and elicit a love confession, etc.
- Future Fic. Fan works often take place after the main characters have graduated from U.A. High and are working as Pro Heroes.
- Villain!Deku. A large large trope in fanfic, the Villian Midoriya Izuku tag on Ao3 has 2112 works as of February 2020.
- Midoriya Izuku Has a Quirk: AUs with alternate Quirks for Deku. The related Ao3 tag has 1566 works as of June 2019.
- Dad Might and Dadzawa. A lot of both fic and fan art place an emphasis on the paternal relationships between various students and their teachers, particularly Midoriya and All Might or Aizawa, and Shinsou and Aizawa. This trope is often referred to as Dad Might or Dadzawa by fans.
- Dekusquad and Bakusquad. Fic and other fan activity also often differentiates between two major friend groups in class 1A: the Dekusquad--Midoriya, Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, and (usually) Asui Tsuyu--and the Bakusquad--Bakugou, Kirishima, Mina Ashido, Kaminari Denki, and Sero Hanta.
- Chatfic. With all the teenagers in high school as the primary characters, chatfic is also popular.
- Mineta Doesn't Exist. It's fairly common for the character Mineta Minoru to be written out of fics as many fans dislike him for canon's treatment of his sexual harassment towards women as a joke. In such fic, his absence may go unaddressed or he may be expelled. His place in 1A is often taken by the popular character Shinsou Hitoshi, who in canon is placed in General Ed class. Fans note that Mineta and Shinsou both have purple color schemes. Shinsou is an Ensemble Dark Horse in BNHA fandom, and is one of the most popular characters outside of the main class.
Horikoshi and the animators have drawn the BNHA Cast in different AUs. These involved complex costume designs. These AUs have been seen in extra art from Horikoshi and, significantly, ending themes of the anime. These AUs have been popular inspiration for fans, particularly for cosplayers and fanartists.
In his drawing displaying the top ten winners of the second BNHA character poll, Horikoshi depicted the characters in outfits befitting a fantasy RPG setting. He then ended a volume with a black and white drawing of some of the other popular 1A students in fantasy dress.. The concept of the characters in a fantasy setting, in these clothes, became a popular AU in response, heightened by the use of the designs for the third ED. Art, fic, and even full zines have been created within the scope of this creator-encouraged AU.
It's also popular to theorize about which character is "the traitor," who at Yuuei is feeding information to the League of Villains. Popular fan theories for class 1A are: Kaminari, Hagakure, and Aoyama. In chapters 167 and 168, Horikoshi even teases the idea of Aoyama as the traitor.
Another one, that has been gaining more popularity as the manga reaches what many fans think is its final arc, is "Dad for One", that All Might's old nemesis and mentor of the League of Villains is Izuku's absent father.
The largest fandom controversy is over the acceptability of BakuDeku as a ship, as some in the fandom disapprove of shipping Midoriya with his childhood bully.
Another large argument of the fandom is over Endeavour, Todoroki's Hero father with a grudge against All Might. Horikoshi seems to be emphasizing a redemption arc for Endeavour over his forced marriage to and negligence of his wife, driving her to a violent mental break and subsequently putting her in a mental health facility, and his negligence and abuse of his children with a particular focus on Todoroki Shouto. Whether Endeavour deserves any forgiveness or can be redeemed and whether Horikoshi is handling the story well are often up for discussion. However, the theory that Endeavour would be redeemed has been floating around since as early as December of 2017, purportedly first shared on a thread in 4chan's /a/ (anime) board.
In 2020, Horikoshi faced harassment on Twitter by KiriBaku shippers to make the ship canon.
Kohei Horikoshi is a controversial figure himself, as a shounen mangaka who draws sexually suggestive art of teenage characters. BNHA has, at times, been praised for body positivity because the female characters are not all skinny. (The anime has been criticized for not remaining faithful to Horikoshi's art in this regard). Others have have cited statements Horikoshi has made that he is attracted to curvy women, and retaliate that there is nothing positive about an adult projecting his own sexual preferences onto underaged characters. Critics have pointed out that the character, Mineta Minoru, widely disliked by fans for his sexual harassment in canon, exists as a mouthpiece for choices Horikoshi makes.
In particular, there has been widespread fandom criticism of the hero costume designs of Yaoyorozu Momo, whose costume is extremely revealing with a large boob window, and Hagakure Tooru, whose hero costume consists only of gloves and boots due to her invisibility; she's effectively naked all the time. Both characters are fifteen/sixteen years old in canon.
- Yesterday Upon The Stair by PitViperOfDoom: Izuku has a quirk that lets him see ghosts
- A Room Full of Your Posters by Krombopulos_Will: Izuku slowly descends into villainy
- Hero Class Civil Warfare by RogueDruid (Icarius51): Izuku shows that he makes a formidable villain
- QUIRKS: an Unofficial BNHA Fanzine
- Akogare (zine) - Bakugou/Midoriya
- Class Zero: a BNHA OC Zine
- RISE (zine) - Amajiki Tamaki, Hadou Nejire, and Togata Mirio
- Seasonal (zine) - Bakugou/Ochako
- Decay (zine) - Shigaraki Tomura
- Triple Threat (zine) - Shigaraki Tomura, Toga Himiko, Dabi
- Mind Blown - ShinBaku
- MHA is kinda the story of a next gen shonen story by saisai-chan, July 2017.
- the BNHA universe is a dystopia and here’s why by bau-liya, January 2019.
Links & Resources
- BNHA Fandom Calendar -- Tumblr Blog that keeps track of Zines, ship & character weeks, and other fandom activities and events
- My Hero Academia Wiki
- 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia at Archive of Our Own
- My Hero Academia/僕のヒーローアカデミア at FanFiction.Net
- 2017′s Top Anime and Manga
- 2018’s Top Anime and Manga
- Best of 2018
- 2018’s Top Ships
- 2017′s Top Ships
- Tweet by Shonen Jump (English), on 22 July 2018.
- Villian Midoriya Izuku on Ao3. Accessed June 7, 2019.
- Midoriya Izuku Has a Quirk on Ao3. Accessed June 7, 2019.
- Vigilante Midoriya Izuku on Ao3. Accessed June 7, 2019.
- Quirkless Midoriya Izuku on Ao3. Accessed June 7, 2019.
- DAD MIGHT!!!!!! Accessed June 7, 2019.
- "Alternate Universe - Mineta Minoru Doesn't Exist", Archive of Our Own tag with 416 works. (Accessed 10 November 2018.) Note: some fans' opinions are evident in the canonical's synonymous tags.
- Splash Page of Top Ten Characters from the 2016 Character Poll
- "for those curious..." by @SaiSaixChan on Twitter
- lingtosite.Theory: dabi is todoroki shouto's older brother, posted to Tumblr on 16 June 2018. (Accessed 3 November 2018.)
- Kaminari is the Traitor, Reddit Theory
- Hagakure is the Traitor, Twitter Theory
- Aoyama is the Traitor, Reddit Theory
- Anonymous. Endeavor: Not (entirely) What He Seems, posted to Imgur on 17 December 2017.
- leinbow. There's an anon on /a/, posted to Tumblr on 19 December 2017. (Accessed 3 November 2018.)