Ah, one of the most ongoing heated debates going around online. It’s 3 am, and my curiosity got the best of me. Is My Hero Academia Heroes Rising canon? I tirelessly searched the web for answers, but there was no definite answer out there. The only thing I found out from my quest was that the community of My Hero Academia has gotten quite divided from this movie. Some fans say it’s canon, and some say it isn’t. I’m sure the answer I provide will not satisfy everyone, but I hope it can bring an end to that division so that we can enjoy anime as one. Note that this post will contain some spoilers to the movie.
Is the movie canon?
The answer is yes. My Hero Academia Heroes Rising is canon to the anime. In short, the movie is canon because Kohei Horikoshi confirms it to be. I’ve seen countless people on different forums trying to pretend that this movie didn’t exist. In my opinion, whether we perceive the anime to be canon, or not doesn’t matter in the long run, and senpai will try to explain why that is. If you had to choose between the red pill or the blue pill? Which would you choose?
What does something being canon mean?
Well, while on my quest I had to do some research on what it means for something to be canon, and this is what Wikipedia has to say.
I find that this definition doesn’t shine enough light on what it means for something to be canon. It also does not mention who the material has to be accepted by for it to be officially part of the story. This allows certain people to assume they have the authority to declare what’s canon and what’s not.
Some fans will make decisions of whether something is canon base on their personal feelings. Others will assume that if the majority of fans perceive an anime to be non-canon, then that’s what it officially is. Whether a piece of fiction like My Hero Academia Heroes Rising is canon or not, isn’t something that can be decided by the concept of majority rule. This is what you call the tyranny of the majority.
So how do we address this issue?
Let’s take a look at how the term canon came to be for us to fully understand what it means. According to Wikipedia again, the term canon is used to distinguish between original works of an author, and later additions that were written by other people. I think this is self-explanatory but still doesn’t hit the nail on the head. Why is Boruto canon then? Kishimoto didn’t create Boruto, and he doesn’t write it either.
Boruto is canon because the creator of the Naruto universe allows it to be. If the creator of a piece of fiction acknowledges something other than his work to be canon, then it is. Why? They have the right to dictate terms because they were the ones who created that fictional universe.
In essence, if it originated from the creator of a particular fictional universe, then its canon. It’s also canon if the creator acknowledges other works from different people that are part of that same universe.
Difference between filler and non-canon
While I’m on the topic, I might as well talk about this even though it isn’t necessary for the topic at hand. Now that we know what’s canon and what’s not, how do we go about with whether something is filler or non-canon.
A filler is usually an episode or chapter which if removed, will not affect the main storyline at all. There are two types of filler content. Either it’s canon or non-canon filler. I’m surprised at the number of people who think that all filler is non-canon.
The two types serve two different purposes. Usually, a non-canon filler ensures that an anime adaption doesn’t catch up to its source material. Some creators create canon filler so that they can lighten the mood before a big arc. Sometimes, they use it as a way to give themselves some time to think about how they want their story to progress.
Now, that we got this out of the way, let’s move to to why My Hero Academia Heroes Rising is canon.
Timeline of the movie
I think this is worth mentioning because of how it ties a lot of things together. I don’t read the manga so when I watched the movie I couldn’t determine when it all takes place, but it seemed like it was after season 4. After doing some digging, I discovered that the movie takes place somewhere around season 5. In terms of manga, many have speculated that the anime is between chapter 240 and 246. Do correct me if I’m wrong.
Anyway, I feel that this is important to note because why would they put in so much effort in worldbuilding? If this was non-canon, why would Kohei tie a lot of the scenes to future events that have not yet happened? In the first movie, future referencing was non-existent and what happened in the first movie stayed there.
I’ll explain why I find this interesting.
Proof that My Hero Academia Heroes Rising is canon
Before you get mad at me for spoilers, realize that this image does not have much context in it for it to spoil anything. As you can see, Shigaraki clearly remembers who Nine is in the panel. It shows that what happened in Heroes Rising ties into the main storyline of the manga.
I’m sure we’ve all deduced that All For One is trying to make Shigaraki his successor by finding a way for him to possess multiple quirks. This is where Nine fits into the picture. Nine was a prototype vessel created by ‘the doctor’ to measure whether his experiments are working. He is the bridge that will pave the way to what Shigaraki could become in the future. I think this alone proves that My Hero Academia Heroes Rising is canon.
The cherry on the cake
I can understand if you’re not convinced because everything thus far has been theoretical. I hoped my efforts alone were enough for you to switch sides, but this last piece of information definitely will.
The creator himself confirms it
I found a translated version of the interview on Reddit, where the mangaka talks about how he was more heavily involved in the makings of this movie compared to the last one. Initially, this was how he intended My Hero Academia to end, but somewhere along the lines decided against it. I admire how he weaves his old ideas that don’t currently fit the mould and showcases it for the world to see.
What he says here proves that My Hero Academia Heroes Rising is canon.
“I think there might be a lot of people who are confused by Deku passing on One For All in this movie. Since like I said earlier this is a big event for what makes up the core of Deku, and the whole manga”.
Give the interview the read and swallow the red pill. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if the movie is canon or not.
Is the Two Heroes movie canon?
The answer is no. Unlike Heroes Rising, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was not referenced at all in the anime or manga. Everything that took place conveniently didn’t affect the plot of the original series. Kohei actually confirms that he wanted fans to have a chance to see All Might and Deku fight alongside each other before All Might ultimately loses his quirk.
When asked about the film being set before All Might’s battle with All For One, Horikoshi confirms that the film is allowed to explore a new move with Deku and All Might because All Might has yet to lose One For All.
You could also consider it as a spin-off story as there was a one shot spin-off manga centering around Melissa Shield. She was one of the main characters from the first movie.
Is My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission Canon?
Not much information has been released about this upcoming My Hero Academia movie. What I do know is that none of the events that will take place in this movie ties in with the manga. So, same as the first movie, World Heroes Mission isn’t canon to the manga, but it is canon to the anime. What does that mean? Meaning, it happens only in the anime and does not affect the main storyline that’s adapting the manga. You can think of it as a spin-off.
It’s still not clear when exactly the events of this movie are supposed to take place in the anime’s overall timeline. But the film’s website has been translated into English and says that everything takes place during winter hero internships.
In the end it doesn’t matter
There is still so much to be excited about on the path of Deku becoming the greatest hero. You can have your opinion on whether you like the movie or not. You just can’t decide the canonicity of it.
Why are fans becoming divided over such a trivial matter? I’m sure many people will agree that the movie was quite good. The issue for some is that they didn’t like what happened at the end. Even so, if you’ve loved what the writer has done, then you should put your faith in him. Don’t sweat on the small stuff and let’s keep enjoying My Hero Academia