My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising continues the tale told in the popular superhero shonen anime, featuring a side story that is separate from the main series. That said, there are still plenty of references and Easter eggs to past events and characters–we go into our full list below. If you think we missed one, let us know in the comment section.
As a warning, Heroes Rising takes place several arcs ahead of where the anime currently is and thus makes references to events and character developments that have yet to be seen outside the manga. If you’re all caught up on the manga, then you don’t have to worry about a thing. But if you only watch the anime, you may want to steer clear, as several of the characters and events in Heroes Rising reference back to story beats that likely won’t appear in the anime until Season 5.
Heroes Rising sees Izuku “Deku” Midoriya (Daiki Yamashita/Justin Briner), Katsuki Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto/Clifford Chapin), and the rest of the superhero-in-training Class 1-A temporarily take over a hero agency on an island with a low crime rate. The hope is that the experience will teach the high school class how to behave as heroes without adult supervision. Though the job is fairly easy to handle at first, Class 1-A finds themselves cornered when the island is attacked by a group of powerful supervillains.
As written in GameSpot’s My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising review, “Though the last few moments of Heroes Rising erase the character development between its two leads and deprive the story of concluding on as high of a note as the rest of the movie, the vast majority of Heroes Rising is good. The movie takes the time to contend that being a hero doesn’t always mean beating up bad guys, while also delivering on a satisfying multitude of well-animated fights.”
At the very start of the movie, the League of Villains happens to run into a team of heroes, which includes Enji “Endeavor” Todoroki (Tetsu Inada/Patrick Seitz). Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that the Flame Hero has a massive scar across the left side of his face.
This scar is from Endeavor’s battle with High End, a powerful Nomu, during the Pro Hero arc (manga chapters 184-193). This arc will likely conclude My Hero Academia Season 4.
The Identity Of Past One For All Users
As seen in Heroes Rising, Midoriya now sees most of the One For All users as who they were instead of as shadowy outlines. Most notable is a bald, Hellboy-looking man: Daigoro Banjo.
First seen in the Joint Training Battle arc (manga chapters 195-216), Daigoro is the one who explains to Midoriya that as One For All has been passed from one person to the next, it’s mutated again and again and inherited the characteristics of every Quirk it’s come in contact with.
The identity of Daigoro is the furthest point in My Hero Academia’s story that Heroes Rising showcases, implying that–at the very least–the movie takes place after the events of the Joint Training Battle arc. This arc will likely be the first part of My Hero Academia Season 5.
Nine’s Nine Quirks
Nine’s (Yoshio Inoue/Johnny Yong Bosch) whole deal is that he can steal and store up to nine different Quirks at once. He himself has one Quirk and then we see a police report say that he’s stolen the Quirks of four heroes. He also steals the Quirk belonging to Katsuma Shimano (Yuka Terasaki/Maxey Whitehead) and Mahoro Shimano’s (Tomoyo Kurosawa/Dani Chambers) dad, putting him at six over the course of the movie’s runtime.
That said, we only see Nine use five Quirks throughout the whole movie. This makes sense, given that the Quirk he steals from Katsuma and Mahoro’s dad is useless to him–that’s the whole reason he has to steal Katsuma’s Quirk. Katsuma and Mahoro’s dad’s Quirk doesn’t affect type B blood (which Nine has), while Katsuma’s does.
Heroes Rising doesn’t specifically name the five Quirks that Nine uses, but each are distinct enough to differentiate them. The Quirk that allows him to control the weather is likely his original ability, as he’s seen using it in a flashback. We also see Nine use Quirks that allow him to manipulate air (both to create nearly indestructible shields or fire powerful blasts), shoot piercing lasers from his fingertips, produce powerful crystal-like serpents from his body, and identify the abilities of other people.
The Actual Reason Nine Can’t Steal Midoriya’s Quirk
When trying to steal Midoriya’s Quirk, Nine is unable to. Nine shrugs it off, believing that Midoriya’s Quirk is a mutated composition of multiple Quirks and thus he technically doesn’t have enough room to steal all of them–as he’s already holding six at this point.
This is only half right. Midoriya’s Quirk, One For All, is in fact a mutated composition of multiple Quirks (as many as eight, though only four have been identified). However, during the Vs. Hero Killer arc (manga chapters 45-59, anime episodes 26-33), All Might (Kenta Miyake/Christopher Sabat) explains to Midoriya that One For All can’t actually be stolen by others–it can only be given or forced upon someone.
Air Force Gloves
Midoriya has gloves that you may not recognize if you only watch the anime. The gloves were created by Mei Hatsume (Azu Sakura/Alexis Tipton)–the same pink-haired student that crafted Midoriya’s Iron Soles–during the UA School Festival arc (manga chapters 169-183, the current arc in the anime).
Much like the Iron Soles, the Air Force Gloves are designed to augment Midoriya’s Shoot Style by giving him long-range options in combat. The gloves funnel the force created when Midoriya flicks his fingers, allowing him to pull off a concussive wind blast without having to use One For All at 100% and breaking his hand.
Shoot Style: St. Louis Smash
During the UA School Festival arc, Midoriya develops a new super move that he then uses during Heroes Rising. The move is a powerful downwards roundhouse kick–it has a long wind-up, but delivers one of the hardest hits that Midoriya’s Shoot Style can produce.
Midoriya isn’t the only one to show off a super move in Heroes Rising that hasn’t been seen in the anime yet. While fighting Chimera (Shunsuke Takeuchi/Greg Dulcie), Tenya “Ingenium” Iida (Kaito Ishikawa/J. Michael Tatum) uses Recipro Turbo–a super move he first utilizes during the Joint Training Battle arc.
During the arc, Iida learns from his older brother that his family has a trade secret: when the mufflers are removed from their Engine Quirk, their bodies will regrow new ones. The process is extremely painful but it results in a significantly more effective engine that allows for new types of super moves.
As opposed to the 10 seconds of speed granted by Recipro Burst, Recipro Turbo grants 10 minutes of enhanced speed. This is currently Iida’s most powerful super move–though the speed boost is so strong, Iida still struggles to control his movements while Turbo is activated.
Black Fallen Angel
In order to save Mashirao “Tailman” Ojiro (Kosuke Miyoshi/Mike McFarland) from Chimera, Fumikage “Tsukuyomi” Tokoyami (Yoshimasa Hosoya/Josh Grelle) utilizes the super move he learned under the tutelage of Keigo “Hawks” Takami (Yuichi Nakamura/Zeno Robinson) during the Joint Training Battle arc. Called Black Fallen Angel, the move allows Tokoyami to fly–he puts his sentient Quirk, Dark Shadow, beneath his cloak to give it the necessary darkness to spread its wings and carry Tokoyami through the air.
It was under Hawks that Tokoyami grew more accustomed to close-range combat as well, developing the more muscular build seen in Heroes Rising. This combat training is also why he’s able to at least hold his own against Slice (Mio Imada/Lydia Mackay) with support items during the final battle without the need to rely too much on Dark Shadow.
While fighting Chimera, Iida uses Recipro Turbo in order to distract the villain and give Shoto Todoroki (Yūki Kaji/David Matranga) the chance to use a new super move of his own. Unlike the moves used by Midoriya, Tokoyami, and Iida, Todoroki’s attack isn’t named–it’s really just a different variation of something he’s done in the manga.
During the Joint Training Battle arc, Todoroki takes some advice from his father and superheats his flames to their limit in order to fight against Tetsutetsu “Real Steel” Tetsutetsu (Kōji Okino/David Wald). In Heroes Rising, Todoroki goes for the opposite effect and lowers the temperature of his ice powers to such an extent that he freezes everything around him–including Chimera.
When Midoriya’s St. Louis Smash isn’t enough to break through Nine’s defenses in the final battle, he’s sent flying back. Bakugo manages to catch Midoriya, however, and flings him back at Nine with Explode-A-Pult.
As you might surmise, this is yet another super move first seen in the Joint Training Battle arc. Occasionally also shortened to X-Catapult, Bakugo uses this move to grab opponents and then fling them with tremendous force. Because of One For All, Midoriya just so happens to be one of the few people who can withstand the force behind the attack–so Bakugo uses it in Heroes Rising to give Midoriya an extra boost, enhancing the overall force of Midoriya’s next kick.
The Origin Of A Brand-New Hero
In the final battle, there’s a moment where it seems like Class 1-A is no match for Nine and so Mahoro sacrifices herself to save her younger brother, telling him to take the chance to run. Katsuma is clearly terrified–frozen in place and crying as his sister begs him to run.
Before he has a chance to think about it, though, Katsuma runs out in a (stupid) attempt to save his sister. For a brief moment, the music stops and the scenery fades away as the camera cuts down to focus on Katsuma’s feet–the background goes completely white to solely highlight the brief moment that a young boy decided to run towards danger instead of away from it.
If you’ve been following My Hero Academia since the very beginning, the scene is likely familiar to you. It’s almost, shot-for-shot, a direct reflection of the scene of Midoriya trying to save Bakugo from the slime monster at the very beginning of the series. That scene features a scared, crying Midoriya (also stupidly) running towards danger, the shot lingering on his feet while the background fades to all white. Later, All Might tells Midoriya that every great hero throughout history has had a moment like this–a point in their youth where their bodies moved towards saving someone before their mind had a chance to process the danger of the situation.
During the final moments of the final battle, the song “Might+U” (by Makayla Phillips) plays. Its somber melody may seem familiar to you if you watch the anime–it’s first played in Season 4, Episode 13 during the scene where Midoirya is trying to reach Eri (Seiran Kobayashi/Emily Neves) so he can save her from Kai “Overhaul” Chisaki (Kenjiro Tsuda/Kellen Goff).
Todoroki Lets Endeavor Hug Him
The concluding chapters of the Pro Hero arc mark the beginning of Endeavor’s redemption, which is why in Heroes Rising, the anti-hero isn’t nearly as much of an asshole as he currently is in the anime. In the final moments of the movie, Heroes Rising showcases how Todoroki and his father have become closer, featuring a scene where Endeavor hugs his son and cries with joy that his child is safe-and-sound.
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