Keeping this short and sweet. I mean it today. Genuinely pretty short.
Boku no Hero Academia 2 is a direct continuation of the first, so nothing about it has drastically changed, aside from the placement of the heroes within a school-like environment basically the whole season. What has increased, from my perspective, are two things: scope of characters and number of Shounen clichés.
It is absolutely amazing to me how well this series pays attention to its characters. There are close to twenty student characters alone, without taking into account the number of teachers, villains, and miscellaneous characters, that are established commodities. Ochaco, Mineta, Midoriya, Bakugo, Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, Iida, Tsui, Tokoyami, and others all have their merits as both heroes and characters, and it’s such a heartwarming acknowledgment to know that the series isn’t playing favorites (at least not extensively). I think this is where most of the series’s charm comes from; characters taking the forefront and distinguishing themselves from their peers in terms of personality, powers, or motivations. Amazing as this is to say, I don’t hate any characters in this series. I don’t like all of the characters, but I don’t find any of them useless, irritating, or bland. On top of that, the characters I do like, I really like.
On the negative side, tropes are abundantly increased as the pressure is poured on. A lot more monologues, stupid resolutions, and sweeping conceptually uninteresting shit under the rug for the sake of moving things along are much more prevalent here than in the first season (outside of the first season’s last three episodes). There’s also more filler, with one example being Tsui getting her own episode seemingly out of nowhere. It’s probably the worst episode in the whole season. Still, it isn’t enough to trample a story that, despite the overuse of superheroes in pop culture now-a-days, is intriguing enough to follow from both a newbie and veteran standpoint. Todoroki gets substantial growth as a character this time around, as does Iida and others in smaller doses. These two names probably wouldn’t have progressed so smoothly if the story was half-assed fanfiction.
Otherwise, second verse, same as the first. Boku no Hero Academia remains a consistently entertaining and endearing series, and one of the first Shounen series I’ve found myself immersed with in a very long time. I only hope the third season continues to build upon the greatest strengths of the second season without destroying itself with overly cliché villain battles and deus ex machinas—or, dare I say, self-sacrifices.
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.