SUPERVERSIVE: Why Heroes Wear Capes

Tuesday , 22, October 2019 2 Comments
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Deku followed by Mirio

Just a short post today, a little reflection on “My Hero Academia” (I know, bear with me) prompted by an already-famous scene from the manga. This is, I think, a good example of why it feels like such a breath air in modern fiction.

A warning: What follows is a minor spoiler of season 4. It’s not a huge deal or anything, and won’t change all that much, but if you want to experience it as it happens don’t read on.

Right: Warning aside, the scene:

So Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles” is one of my all-time favorite movies, a decon-recon that ultimately affirms the value of heroism and family. Edna’s famous “capes” scene takes place before the reconstruction starts and it is rightly famous, because it really is absolutely hilarious. Not only that, it sets up a sort of stealth Chekhov’s gun that is fired brilliantly at the end of the film.

But there’s just something about this scene in “My Hero Academia”. The show is full of little bits of lore like these: Why heroes have special attacks, why they shout them out in the middle of a battle, how Deku and All Might are able to go “Plus Ultra” and surpass their limits.

This is because Horikoshi, the creator, genuinely and non-ironically loves heroism and loves classic shonen battle stories. He sees these conventions, often mocked as silly and over-dramatic, and instead of laughing at them or making fun of them he takes them at face value and tries to justify them in the story. Because even these silly moments deserve to be treated with authentic respect.

Only in “My Hero Academia” can a man punch another man in the face while an explosion goes off in the background, screaming “UNITED STATES OF SMAAAAAAAASH!!!!” and have it be one of the most emotional, dramatic, and moving scenes in the entire series – no humor, no winking at the audience, just undiluted awesomeness treated with the seriousness it deserves.

So with the scene posted above. Why do heroes wear capes? Is it for vanity, like “The Incredibles” suggest? Is it only because it looks cool?

Or is there something else? Maybe heroes wear capes for a reason. Maybe they wear capes because you can use them to wrap up little girls in pain.

That scene in “The Incredibles” is very funny. But if you can’t appreciate the meaning of a line like Mirio’s, if you can’t see the love of heroism dripping from it, if it doesn’t stir something beautiful inside of you, well…

Maybe superversive just isn’t for you.

2 Comments
  • 'setting says:

    Its a beautiful line.

  • Joel Weaver says:

    Yes it is an amazing line and the shared scene is undeniably incredible.

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