How Would 'My Hero Acadamia's Society Actually Work?
If you love shonen anime and still haven't seen My Hero Academia, then you either don't own a streaming service that carries it or the various algorithms that purport to know your preferences inside and out have gravely failed you. It's an awesome show about a society in which nearly 80% of people have some form of superpower (known as quirks), and they all live together in relative harmony. Yes, there are villains trying to disrupt this society, and there are heroes appointed to keep them in line. Still, the vast majority of the population is able to go about their business in relative harmony. It's basically the world that Magneto was fighting for in X-Men.
But as much as I love this show, and as much as I don't want to burst Magneto's electromagnetic bubble, I think the super-powered civilization depicted in My Hero Academia would never actually work in reality. Sure, when I watch the show, I'm able to suspend my disbelief, much like how Uraraka is able to suspend her friends in midair with her Zero gravity quirk. But when I'm done watching, and able to stop and think about all the bureaucratic and logistical issues with having a near entire population possessing mutant characteristics, suddenly that belief comes crashing down like this.
Here are just a few of the reasons why:
The Quirk Power Hierarchy
Let's start with the obvious here. Even in a super-powered world, All Might is a god amongst men, which means he holds considerable authority over everyone else. This works out because All Might is a good guy, but if a supervillain were to defeat All Might or a new hero that was perhaps less benevolent, such as Endeavor, were to rise up and take his place, then the entire justice system could be in danger of collapse.
Spoilers. Spoilers. Spoilers. Both of these things sort of happen, but the anime doesn't fully address the consequences of All Might's vacancy. Endeavor continues to keep the peace, but it's easy to imagine a scenario in which Endeavor just up and takes over the government. But maybe a collection of heroes would rise up against him. But then, maybe, Endeavor could assemble his own group of heroes or align with the League of Villains to seize control. We could keep playing this game as factions start to form ever larger and larger as they struggle to amass more power, and we should play this game because that's what historically happens whenever a power vacuum emerges. In this universe, that vacuum would be created almost any time the top hero died.
But this problem of a power hierarchy doesn't just persist at the top. Every citizen down to the 20% of the population without powers, could theoretically hold considerable advantages over the next. And I know you might be thinking, "Well that's real-life too," which is true. Some people might be smarter and stronger than other people. But there's a difference between two people with different SAT scores and two people where one is able to cast a stream of fire, and the other has grapes on his head.
Everyone's Needs Are Vastly Different
Almost all of the characters we meet in My Hero Academia, save for All Might who passes his power down to Midoriya, has a unique quirk. Imagine catering to an entire society with so much variance. Think about the accommodations we strive to make just for people who are left-handed in the learning sector (and still it's not very much.) There are left-handed scissors, desks, and computer mice. Now imagine finding a way to accommodate Shigaraki, who literally destroys everything he touches.
Everything he owns would need to be custom-made so that he didn't choke it into oblivion, and that's just one person. 80% of the population is going to have a different quirk that requires special care. Even a seemingly benign quirk, like having a tail, means you'll need a custom toilet seat for the rest of your life.
It's hard to imagine any economy -- definitely not a capitalist economy, which the show seems to possess -- that could thrive this way. Our economy is built upon mass production to keep costs low. But if you need a toilet seat that almost no one else is in the market for, then chances are you're going to be charged an arm and a tail to have it built.
Potentially Everyone Has Access To A Lethal Weapon
Bakugo fights Midoriya early on in the series, and Bakugo has every intention to kill him.
Bakugo's ability allows him to fire off explosive sweat, making his threat to kill Midoriya no joke. We essentially almost had a school shooting on our hands from the first arc, and it's brushed away so casually that it's easy to believe this is commonplace for this universe.
Living in this world is like living in a world where everyone has a concealed carry permit, except instead of just holding a gun, some guy could be hiding a freeze ray in their shorts. There's a reason this society has devolved into a surveillance state.
The only way to protect a populace where individuals have potentially so much on hand weaponry is to monitor who has access to what powers continuously. Otherwise, imagine the legal proceedings that would ensue every time some kid who didn't understand his power accidentally fired his laser bellybutton at the helpless frog girl and vaporized her.
There are probably dozens of other examples as to why the My Hero Academia society would descend into chaos. Just off the top of my head, who decides who cleans up after the Headmaster makes a no-no on the rug?
I don't know, but Magneto, if this is the world you're looking for, then good luck figuring it out.
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Top Image: Hulu