Review of My Hero Academia (Season 1)


My Hero Academia is a bit like the reverse X-Men. Rather than being the minority, in this series, super powered mutants make up most of the population. Some folks use their special abilities to commit crime, whilst others opt instead to become costumed law enforcers. Teenage protagonist Izuku Midoriya (nicknamed Deku… because he is a scrub) has always dreamt of becoming a superhero. Unfortunately for him, he happens to be part of the twenty percent of people who never develop a superhuman skill. His hopes and dreams seem to be over, until one fateful day when he bumps into the nation’s mightiest hero.


One thing that I like about My Hero Academia is that Deku earns his power through courage and effort. He isn’t one of those anime dweebs who acquires an “I win button” by randomly stumbling upon a huge mech or cute kitty that gives away magical girl outfits. Deku inherits the abilities of a Superman clone (named All Might) through a tough apprenticeship that involves cleaning up a beach. Deku possesses far more willpower than myself. I would pass on super strength if ridding the seaside of litter were the cost. Plucking dirty syringes and used condoms from my local coastline isn’t worth the hassle.

All Might is looking for a worthy successor, who he can transfer his powers to, because injury has severely depleted his super hero work hours. On an average day, All Might can only fight crime for a period of 180 minutes. After that time limit elapses he morphs from The Rock into Pee-wee Herman. With his days numbered All Might accepts a mentorship role at an academy that tutors the next generation of Marvel rip-offs. Deku enrols at said U.A. High School after gaining a portion of All Might’s power, which he accomplishes by devouring a strand of the hero’s hair. I accidently ate a hair follicle once, which was served in the soup of a dodgy restaurant. Rather than boost my fortitude it gave me indigestion!


Like a motion picture from Marvel Studios, My Hero Academia suffers from villains that lack depth. The season finale however teases that the evildoers, who show up in the third arc, may get some development in future episodes. On the plus side Deku’s classmates make up for the weak antagonists. They are a colourful bunch, whose ranks include a gravity defying love interest, a hot-headed rival and a bespectacled speedster. Oh, and let’s not frog-et best girl Tsuyu Asui. She’s an amphibian who can leap high and literarily give out tongue-lashings with her elongated mouth organ.

I am awarding My Hero Academia (Season One) a four out of five. Unless the subpar DC movies have killed your passion for all things superhero, I can highly recommend this thirteen episode series. The action is good, there are some funny moments that will make you chortle and most important of all the characters have heart. Clearly I am not the only person who liked My Hero Academia. The series has since spawned a lengthier follow up and a third season is already in the works. That’s plenty of content to keep fans of capes and tights occupied, until the next instalment of One Punch Man comes out.

Review of Attack on Titan (Season Two)


Carnivorous giants aren’t the only things that are huge. The gap in time between seasons one and two, of Attack on Titan, has been pretty big too. At long last however, the wait is finally over for British anime fans. Sony Pictures, who replace Manga Entertainment as the show’s UK distributor, has released a DVD set containing all twelve episodes. Things pretty much begin from where the last series left off. In case you don’t recall, season one’s finale revealed that the walls keeping danger at bay are in fact made up of Titans. It’s a secret that the clergy kept hidden from the military. Child molestation and Titans… priests sure do love their cover-ups.


Despite only containing a dozen episodes, a lot of entertainment is squeezed into these two discs. Not only do the Scouts have to battle against tall nudists, but this time round they also have to contend with King Kong. Um… I mean the Beast Titan. Unlike his mindless brethren, said ape possesses intellect and can even speak. He’s not the only threat though, as the colossal titan makes an appearance too (joined by his armoured buddy.) Eren, Mikasa and Armin have their hands full with that duo, so it falls upon the supporting cast to locate the wall breach where all these monstrosities are coming from. Giving the other characters screen time is nice, as I can only stand so many scenes of Eren wailing.

Without giving too much away, Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover play a “huge” role in this story arc. Pint sized blonde Krista Lenz and her faithful companion Ymir also feature prominently. Their backstories are revealed via flashbacks, which offer some clues on the origin of Titans. I was also pleased to see that Sasha “Potato Girl” Blouse got a moment to shine. Her gluttonous antics never fail to make me smile. On a more serious note she also got to show off her archery talents, in an episode where she protects an orphan from a Titan singlehandedly. Just when Hunger Games fatigue was starting to make me dislike babes with bows, Sasha shows why females who fire arrows are cool.


My rating for Attack on Titan (Season Two) is a five out of five. The series was well worth the wait. Wit Studio has managed to maintain the high benchmark set by the debut series four years ago. Back when season two aired I heard murmurs that the pacing was slow, but I couldn’t disagree more. Every episode had me captivated thanks to the surprising revelations and character development. Viewers who tune in just to watch gory deaths won’t be disappointed either. Many auxiliary warriors succumb to the titanic horde and ultimately meet their demise in a most gruesome manner. In their final moments, they must have felt like the Jelly Babies I devour.

Based on this impressive showing, I cannot wait for the summer season to arrive. No more pesky rainfall to worry about and Attack On Titan season three hits Japanese television. In the meantime fans can enjoy themselves with the upcoming video game, which is due out on all current gen systems imminently. I may also occupy myself by checking out the parody series Attack on Titan: Junior High. Let me know, in the comments section below, if that 2015 spin-off is any good. I very much doubt that Junior High can match the quality of season two. Just like Sasha Blouse, I would have to say that Attack on Titan season two is truly spud-tacular.

Review of Thor: Ragnarok


When it comes to dysfunctional families the Norse gods of Marvel’s cinematic universe are tough to beat. Odin and Thor have a strained relationship, to put it mildly, and Loki doesn’t get on with the thunder deity either. The god of mischief lives up to his reputation by routinely betraying his brother. In Thor: Ragnarok we learn that Thor has a long lost sister named Hela. She is the goddess of death and has returned from exile with aspirations of claiming the vacant Asgardian throne. Hela’s thirst for conquest will put her at loggerheads with Thor, who seems to be blighted with unruly relatives.


Don’t let the movie’s title fool you, a substantial chunk of Thor: Ragnarok takes place outside of Asgard. After getting trounced by Hela, a hammerless Thor ends up marooned on the alien world of Sakaar. The planet’s ruler is a nutty chap named Grandmaster (who is played by Jeff Goldblum, who appears to have walked on set wearing his morning gown.) Grandmaster enslaves Thor and forces him to compete in mortal combat. In effect Thor is now a gladiator, who fights against other gladiators, in a gladiator arena… just like that Ridley Scott movie whose name I cannot recall.

Thor: Ragnarok boasts a star-studded lineup. Many of the big names are limited to brief appearances though. That’s what happens when 130 minutes has to be rationed out between such a big cast. Benedict Cumberbatch’s reprisal of Dr Strange is constrained to a cameo. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is relegated from nemesis to comic relief. If you came to watch a memorable performance from Karl Urban, I “dredd” to inform you that he is nothing more than Hela’s lackey. I didn’t mind that Mark Ruffalo barely featured in human form though. I found the chattier CGI Hulk to be more entertaining than his alter ego Bruce Banner.


My rating for this motion picture is a Thor out of five. Overall I would have to say that Ragnarok is a big improvement over its predecessor Thor: Dark World. If you enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy I imagine you will like Ragnarok too. Both films deliver on sci-fi spectacle, tons of action and lashings of humour. If anything, the script was a little too saturated with gags. Most of the jokes are hilarious, but there were some moments of slapstick that missed their mark. Another grievance I had, with the witticisms, is that on a couple of occasions the mood was ruined by an out of place quip.

I’ll conclude by saying that the ladies acquitted themselves well. Hela is just a generic Marvel villain, who looks like a blade wielding Maleficent. Cate Blanchett made the role work though, with an over the top portrayal that is cartoonishly evil. Tessa Thompson also did a good job as the booze swilling Valkyrie. As someone who loves blondes, I was disappointed to see that Valkyrie doesn’t resemble a traditional Scandinavian war maiden. Tessa did however match the boys when it came to fisticuffs. She’s actually tougher than some of the guys (Loki and Banner I am looking at you.) Okay, I take that back. Banner is a badass. Best not to upset him with insults. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.