While Japanese fans of My Hero Academia are gearing up for the release of the latest film in the anime franchise to hit theaters, North American fans will need to wait a little while longer. Funimation has announced that they plan to bring My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising to North America for an official silver screen debut, but it won’t be arriving on the same day as in Japanese theaters.
PLUS ULTRA NEWS, HEROES!
The highly-anticipated movie My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is coming to theaters in the United States and Canada in early 2020!
— Funimation (@Funimation) December 16, 2019
In a blog post on the official Funimation website, the company announced its plans to bring My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising to North America and Canada in early 2020. No specific dates beyond that have been shared at this time. While the post doesn’t share any more details on the screening, it’s easy to look at the pattern set in place by previous Funimation film screenings to dictate how this one will likely play out. Much like their other North American and Canadian film debuts, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising will likely be shown in over 1,000 theaters across the country. It will also likely have a mix of English dubbed screenings and Japanese audio screenings with English subtitles, as their other anime films have done in the past.
This isn’t the first time Funimation has brought the iconic superhero shonen series to the big screen outside of Japan. The first film in the franchise, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, was also screened in North America and Canada by the anime publishing company. Back then, it only debuted across 500 screens, with the two audio options. The film earned nearly $6 million in North America during its initial release, placing it in the top 10 grossing anime films of all time in North America. The film ended its worldwide run by earning nearly $22 million.
Funimation describes the new film, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, as follows:
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.
According to AnimeNewsNetwork, this might be the last time My Hero Academia graces the silver screen. When asked about more films in the franchise, My Hero Academia manga author Kohei Horikoshi is quoted as saying “there won’t be a third film. Probably.” Apparently, he’s treating My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising as a sort of finale for the series. That’s attributed partially to the fact that the story of the film uses concepts that he originally had in mind to be used in the manga’s final battle. Much like the last film in the series, Horikoshi has overall supervision of this film, making these spin-offs far more canonical and meaningful than regular anime film spinoffs.
It’s easy to see these details come to light in the film’s trailers. Kohei Horikoshi originally planned for the final chapter of his superhero manga to portray the final battle that Class 1-A ever share together before graduating from U.A. High School. Sure enough, this film seems to do exactly that. We jump ahead far beyond the current arcs of the anime and manga, and we see the heroes of Class 1-A using their quirks in incredible new ways. Izuku Midoriya seems to control One for All safely at 100%, while Tokoyami manages to control Dark Shadow in complete darkness. Lightning-user Kaminari even manages to perfectly produce electricity without needing his Sharpshooting Gear.
Like the rest of the My Hero Academia anime, the production of this film is being handled by studio BONES. Kenji Nagasaki and Yousuke Kuroda, central directors and scriptwriters for the anime series and the previous film, are set to return as director and scriptwriter for this latest film. Yoshihiko Umakoshi is also returning to handle character design, while Yuuki Hayashi will be composing even more incredible music for the film. The theme song, meanwhile, is a track titled “Higher Ground” by rock band sumika.
Alongside the returning Japanese voice actors from the series, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising has the following guest cast members:
- Tomoyo Kurosawa as Mahoro
- Yuka Terasaki as Katsuma
- Yoshio Inoue as Nine
- Mio Imada as Slice
- Kousuke Toriumi as Mummy
- Shunsuke Takeuchi as Chimera
- Yūichi Nakamura as Hawks
The casting of Yūichi Nakamura as Hawks is especially noteworthy. While many of these characters are film-original characters without any ties to the main series, Hawks is a very special exception. He’s a major player in the original manga, being the current Number 2 Pro Hero. Hawks will make his animated debut in this film, before eventually appearing in the tv anime.
Anyone lucky enough to attend a screening of My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising in theaters in Japan will receive a special exclusive manga by My Hero Academia author Kohei Horikoshi. It’s titled My Hero Academia Vol. Rising, and will be included in a special booklet that participating retailers plan to hand out to attendees. The full booklet contains an exclusive interview with Horikoshi, special character design images, original character sketches for the brand new film characters, and a gorgeous original cover illustration.