My Hero Academia: Everything You Need to Know Ahead of Season 4

My Hero Academia has become one of the most popular and well-received shonen action anime in recent years, with it and contemporary One Punch Man filling the void of ended series' like Bleach, Naruto, and Toriko. Much of this success can be attributed to the anime, which brings the manga's expressive, over-the-top-characters to life. The series is soon to air its fourth season, adapting the latter half of its fourteenth manga volume and onward.

For fans or viewers wanting to get into the series, here's a recap of what has happened so far.

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Season 1

The first season of My Hero Academia was comprised of 13 episodes, adapting the first three volumes of the manga. It follows the story of Izuku Midoriya, an average student who lives in a world where super-powered heroes use their Quirks, or abilities, to combat legions of villains and monsters. Despite being powerless himself, he dreams of one day becoming a hero. His whole life changes when he is saved by All Might, the world's greatest hero. All Might reveals that his true form is a weak, emaciated man, but his "One for All" Quirk would allow him to share his vast strength with Izuku. That permit Izuku to finally chase his dream and enroll in U.A. High School to become a real superhero.

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The nature of his Quirk makes Izuku nervous about competing against classmates at the cutthroat school. This unsure, almost realistically discouraged protagonist is a change of pace for shonen, a genre known for its hot-blooded, overconfident main characters. He also showcases this humility in allowing the more qualified, super-speed Quirk having Tenya Iida to become class president of Class 1-A, even after Izuku is chosen. Another student, the literally explosive Bakugo, was once friends with Izuku, but ended their friendship when he resented Izuku's lack of a Quirk. Other characters introduced include Ochaco Uraraka, Izuku's love interest who has anti-gravitational powers. The maiden season comes to its climax as a group of villains target the school, with their leader Shigaraki attacking the students to strike at All Might.

Season 2

The second season is expanded compared to the first, made up of 25 episodes, nearly twice that of the first season. The first half of the season is based around U.A. High School's sports festival, which takes the place of the typical shonen tournament arc. The students are made to compete against each other in various events, utilizing their Quirks in the hopes of scoring an internship with heroes seeking sidekicks. All Might's own power is beginning to fade, forcing Izuku to rely more on his own innate strength. The conclusion of the event sees Izuku training with the hero Gran Torino, who helps him develop his own powers. Amidst the academic challenges of the protagonists, a rising villain named Stain begins targeting and killing those he sees as "fake" heroes.

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As final exams approach, Stain's ideology begins to gain mainstream appeal. Resenting how most of the world's heroes simply seek fame or fortune, Stain seeks to leave only true heroes as a way to purify the world. This makes the masses turn somewhat against the heroes, a fact which jealous League of Villains' member Tomura resents.

Season 3

The next season builds upon the themes of the previous, introducing several characters who speak out or act against the heroes. Kota, a young boy being cared for by a duo of heroines, hates heroes until Izuku saves him. Meanwhile, U.A. comes under fire from the press for the endangerment of their students, especially after Bakugo is captured by the League of Villains. The League of Villains' leader, All For One, is revealed to be connected to All Might's past, with Tomura being the twisted grandson of All Might's mentor. While he's able to defeat and capture the villain with the students' help, his weakening powers force him to retire.

The second half of the 25-episode season has the students moving into dorms, a measure that the school takes to better protect them. From there, they train and compete against each other again to gain Pro Hero Licenses. The public again begins losing their favor for the school, as the controversial Endeavor replaces the retired All Might. The mentally disturbed student Twice, who has lost sight of reality due to overuse of his cloning ability, deserts the school, feeling that only the villains will accept him. As he officially switches allegiance, the rest of Class 1-A faces Mirio, All Might's old sidekick, to become Real Pro Heroes.

What's Next?

The fourth season will more than likely cover the next three volumes of the manga, comprised of the Overhaul, Fighting Fate, and Red Riot arcs. These see an alliance between the Eight Precepts, a conglomeration of Yakuza members, and the League of Villains, as they strike against the heroes with a superpowered young captive. The passing students will also shadow Pro Heroes, with Izuku working with another of All Might's former allies, Sir Nighteye. The action-packed trailer gives viewers a first glimpse at some of what's to come, but given the show's propensity for introducing anime exclusive stories, fans will have to wait a few weeks to fully experience what's in store for the heroes.

My Hero Academia Season 4 will start airing October 12.

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