My Hero Academia is a shōnen manga written and drawn by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been published since July 2014 in Shūeisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, and has thirty-five volumes as of July 2022. An anime adaptation produced by studio Bones aired between April and June 2016 on MBS in Japan. A second season aired between April and September 2017, followed by a third season airing between April and September 2018, a fourth season between October 2019 and April 2020, and a fifth season between March and September 2021. A sixth season began airing in October 2022. Three anime films were released in August 2018, December 2019, and August 2021, respectively. But wait, when does My Hero Academia take place? In what year is it set? This is a question we are going to answer in this article.
The exact year in which My Hero Academia is set is unknown. The world depicted in the series is realistic and very similar to ours, but it is obvious, due to all the technological achievements we’ve seen, that it is a futuristic world, as all the things we’ve seen in the series simply aren’t possible with today’s technology. From what can be assumed, the show could be set sometime after 2,100.
The rest of this article is going to be dedicated to the story of My Hero Academia. Namely, in order to properly explain our answer, we need to tell you about the setting of this manga, as well as the story. That is why this article is going to be divided into three separate sections. Some spoilers will be present, but we’ll try to keep them limited.
In what year does My Hero Academia take place?
As is the case with many major manga series, the exact year in which it takes place is not known. This is done to avoid any references to real-life events and it makes things easier for the author, as he can create his world without having to worry about real-life references and being called inaccurate or inappropriate. This is not a rule, of course, but authors generally do it like that.
My Hero Academia is not an exception in this case and we really have no idea when it is set. From what we’ve seen in the series, we know that it does take place in our world, but the technology depicted is too futuristic for it to be anything more than a distant future. It is definitely not set in real-time, as this is not an alternative present. What we can assume is that it is set several decades in the future, at least, because the technology seems too advanced and we don’t think that it is something achievable in the next 50-ish years.
Some online theories state that it could be set as early as 2,050, but it doesn’t seem likely that our technology would be so advanced in such a short period of time. Some go as far as 2,300, but that seems like overkill to us, although it is more plausible than the first theory. From what we could gather, the story could probably be set sometime after 2,100 (and before 2,200), as the technology is not that advanced, but it is definitely more advanced than it is now. Based on that, it is quite possible that we could achieve such a level in a century or so. But, in order to clarify our thoughts, we are going to tell you a bit about the plot and the world of My Hero Academia.
What is the setting of My Hero Academia?
The story is set in a world where, due to a genetic mutation, primarily evidenced by the lack of a joint in the little toe, mankind has gained the ability to develop superpowers called Quirk, which appear in children by the age of four: it is estimated that around 80% of the world’s population possesses a Quirk.
There are infinite types of Quirks, and it is extremely unlikely to find two people who possess the exact same power unless they are closely related. These particular abilities have allowed the development of a new category of people: the Heroes, who face evil-minded individuals who use Quirks for selfish and criminal purposes, commonly known as Villains. Furthermore, Heroes who choose to practice heroism in the workplace are recognized as Pro Hero.
Typically, heroes collaborate in teams called Agencies, which are made up of a Pro Hero in leadership and heroes who serve as sidekicks. A person must go through a heroism education and training program that is integrated into high school education and involves fighting and lifesaving training in order to become a licensed Pro Hero. The chance to work with Pro Heroes who are authorized is available to aspiring Heroes.
This gives students the chance to receive specialized instruction and real-world experience, both of which might help them stand out to other Pro Heroes who might want to hire them as sidekicks when they graduate. Unless there are special circumstances, utilizing your Quirk in public without authorization is illegal unless you are a recognized Hero.
Quirks have been divided into three categories:
- the Emitter type, the most widespread, which gives the ability to produce and emit substances or alter materials within certain limits. As the name indicates, this type of Quirk requires conscious use and, at times, good concentration skills, especially for prolonged use;
- the Transformation type, which allows the user to temporarily transform his body or part of it in order to obtain a physical enhancement or additional abilities. With a few exceptions, alterations due to this type of Quirk only affect users;
- the Mutant type, which always remains passively active by amplifying or altering the functions and abilities of an organism and, precisely for this reason, induces much greater bodily mutations in the bearer than the other types, which makes bearers of this type of Quirk easily recognizable.
However, managing the control of these abilities requires training, and the resulting mutations can cause problems or discomfort to the bearers. Everything related to these powers, including the biological changes and mechanisms that allow them to function as well as the still unknown aspects, is summarized with the expression “Quirk factor”. In some cases, two Quirks can merge into a new Quirk. After the initial manifestation of a Quirk, it is also possible that it undergoes an “Awakening”, and evolves. This leads to the Quirk gaining new abilities that weren’t possible before. According to the widely accepted “Singularity of Quirks” theory, quirks will continue to evolve, becoming more powerful and complicated with each new generation until they reach a point where they are uncontrollable.
What happens in My Hero Academia?
Middle school student Izuku Midoriya would also like to be a superhero, but he belongs to the 20% of people without such abilities. While protecting another child from a villain, he meets the most famous of all superheroes: All Might. All Might gives him power by giving him his quirk – One for All. The quirk becomes stronger the more users it has over generations. This specialty gives Izuku physical strength that increases over time. However, he can hardly control the quirk at first. But now he can follow his dream and go to Heroes High School U.A. go high school.
This is where his competitor and rival Katsuki Bakugo and Ochako Uraraka, with whom he becomes friends, and the future class president Tenya Iida, who also becomes a friend, appears. Another competitor of Izuku, the son of famed hero Endeavor, Shōto Todoroki possesses the ability to create fire and ice, but only uses his ice-type attacks. During a rescue simulation, the league of villains led by Tomura Shigaraki comes into action, which wants to eliminate All Might and also attacks the students.
However, the teachers and students manage to corner the League of Villains, after which they retreat. At the U.A. Sports Festival, a successor to the Olympiad, the students of the U.A. compete against each other in various competitions. In the final, Izuku loses to Shoto. At the same time, however, Tenya’s brother Tensei Iida is attacked and severely injured by the heroic killer Stain, an idealist who believes that superheroes working for money are not real heroes. When Tenya finds out about this and visits him, he learns that Tensei’s legs are paralyzed and his career as a superhero may be over. Tenya then silently swears revenge for his brother.
After the competitions, the students do internships with various professional heroes, most of whom have been nominated for their performances at the Olympiad. While Izuku is tutored by All Might’s former master, Gran Torino, who was the only one who nominated him, Tenya interns with a pro hero in Hosu, suspecting the hero killer Stain based on his behavior pattern. He was invited to join the League of Villains, but declined due to their attitude toward society and All Might.
When he springs back into action soon after, during Tenya’s internship, the League of Villains simultaneously wreaks havoc on Hosu in order to gain attention. The superheroes in Hosu then move out, including Tenya. This becomes aware of Stain during the mission and, in a rage, challenges him to a fight. However, Stain is superior to Tenya. Before he can kill him, however, Izuku, who was in Hosu at the time of the events, intervenes. Izuku and the later Shōto fight alongside Tenya against Stain and, with the help of Endeavor and other heroes, are finally able to defeat him.
Stain is arrested, but the three’s involvement is kept secret so they don’t get into trouble for numerous rule violations. Endeavor gets the credit for the arrest. Tenya gives up his desire for revenge and goes back to his normal life. However, with the fuss surrounding Stain, the league of villains is also becoming known to the general public—and thus to the rogues—and various rogues are joining it.