Are the My Hero Academia movies canon?

There’s an unspoken rule within the anime community that says, “Nothing is canon unless it’s in the source material.” In most cases, the source material refers to the manga, although it also refers to the databooks or light novels that the mangaka has written. Since the stories of films and OVAs are usually not written by the author, they are rejected. However, there are two anime films that challenge this belief. Dragon Ball Z Battle of the Gods is the first anime feature film to be considered canon by the fanbase as the entire film was written by Akira Toriyama, although the events in the manga never happened.


Then, years later Demon Slayer Mugen train was released and this film has captured events of the manga and turned them into a feature film making it impossible to consider the film as filler or even skip it and continue the source material. These two movies have started a new debate in the anime community that doesn’t have a clear answer. Are the Hero Academy movies canon? Kohei Horikoshi takes several references to the events of the films in the source material without showing them in the manga. Therefore, many fans will accept parts of the information but reject others.

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Two heroes

In an interview, Kohei Horikoshi explained, “I’ve always wanted to write a chapter about All Might’s past, or rather, I felt like I really HAD to write about his past. The film shows the young All Might studying abroad in America, and I thought that this couldn’t be brought up in the actual manga story until now, so I saw the film as an opportunity to showcase that. ” The opening sequence of the My hero academy The film begins with All Might in the States trying to stop two villains who were on the run after a bank robbery.

A young girl is shown in the car with her sister and then All Might comes and protects her. This little girl is later revealed to be the main character in the My Hero Academia manga. Starts & Stripes is the number one heroine in the US and when she comes to Japan and fights Shigiraki, she ends up having a flashback to that exact scene that took place in the movie.

But there is more. In the same interview, Horikoshi later said, “Of course, the movie and the manga are related without a doubt, and the story of the movie is connected to the manga story that happens after.” This was said years before the events with Stars and Stripe, but this quote is interesting as the movie is now directly connected to the manga chapters with their introduction.

This is even more interesting considering Melissa Shield’s character. The gauntlet she makes in the film is worn by Deku in Chapter 310, and she not only appears in the My Hero Academia Smash sub-series, but also in the manga one-shot that came out with the film. Speaking of which, each of the films has a special one shot that accompanies it, and should these chapters be considered source material?

heroes rise

The second film is a bit trickier since it’s canonical source material. As mentioned, there is a one-shot manga that is supposed to set the stage for the movie. It shows Nine’s mindset and how he eventually went to the doctor to seek physical improvement and strength. It shows how he was given more quirks and the connection between him, the villains and Shigiraki.

This information isn’t really explained in the film, where it just starts with him being picked on by the villains and the heroes trying to stop them. It is shown later in the manga when he references wanting to destroy everything, an image of Nine in the lower left corner in chapter 222. This is also relevant because in the previously mentioned one-shot Nine says something similar by saying that everything must be destroyed.

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The most controversial part of the second film is the final fight. Deku gives Bakugo One For All so the two can work together to beat Nine. However, after the fight, although Deku passed the Quirk on to him, Bakugo loses all memories of it, and Deku is allowed to keep the Quirk under mysterious circumstances. With no proper explanation, this appears to be a plothole and fans only consider it a fanservice edition, allowing us to see One For All double in the final scene. However, this is not actually a pothole. In an interview, Horikoshi explained, “By the way, due to the length of the film, we couldn’t show everything, but there’s a reason Bakugo didn’t appreciate the power of One For All.

In the timeline that the film is in, the will of the predecessors has started to interfere with things. The will of One For All, a force unknown even to All Might, is shifting and so it has come about.” Horikoshi gave fans a reason for how Deku was able to pass on the quirk, and it’s not entirely true consistent with the current story in the manga but would also explain the events of chapter 362 where Bakugo speaks with Trace All Might. This should only be possible if he was/is the owner of One For All, which if true is related to the fight in the second film.

Mission of World Heroes

As for the third film, this is the only film referenced in the anime. In episode 107 of the anime, Ryuku Tatsuma, hero number 10, the hero’s agency actually takes on the villains of the film. The villains one Mission of World Heroes use a drug known as a Trigger to increase their Quirks, and Ryuku stops a shipment from leaving Japan to get to them. While the trigger plays an important role in the vigilantes Manga, this is one of only two times the drug is mentioned in the main series (the first was during the Overhaul arc). Outside of the anime, this film has a special one-shot manga where Deku, Bakugo, and Todoroki fight Endeavor to get permission to go on the mission and another where they get on the plane. Manga chapter 328 features number one heroes from Egypt and France, and both characters were in the movie.

Whether fans are looking into the anime, manga, side stories, or even interviews by Horikoshi himself, all evidence points to these stories being canonical. They fit into the timeline set in the manga and are referenced in some form in the source material. The most important question, however, is whether it is relevant to include these stories in the canon. While it’s nice to acknowledge the events of these films, they have very little to almost no impact on the manga’s story. Even if canon, the films are isolated incidents or events that happen to affect the protagonist of My hero academy. For this reason, it is ultimately up to the reader whether to accept these stories as canon.

If accepting the events that take place in the story as canon improves your experience as a reader, then feel free to do so. There’s nothing in the main story that conflicts, and it could bring more personality, depth, and intrigue to characters who otherwise lack screen time or relevance. On the other hand, if you are a fan who only wants to read the manga’s main story, these events will not stand in the way of your enjoyment. Not acknowledging them doesn’t result in a lack of context or understanding of the main series. The main series is about the students at UA versus the League of Villains and the movies don’t advance that story. What they’re adding is canon world building and more character development, and it’s those aspects that make canon so easy to consider.

MORE: My Hero Academia: Is Endeavor Redemption Possible? Are the My Hero Academia movies canon?


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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