My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission made its debut back in 2021, and fans of the anime had high praise for its third theatrical release. The film sees Izuku Midoriya and his friends trying to prevent a terrorist group called Humarise from eradicating Quirks around the world. As such, it boasts high stakes and a number of epic fight sequences.
In fact, the final fight between Humarise’s leader, Flect Turn, and Deku was recently nominated for Best Action Sequence at Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s inaugural Isaac Awards. In honor of that nomination, Justin Briner and Robbie Daymond, the English voice actors for Deku and Flect Turn, spoke with us about their work on the film.
‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’ lets Deku shine
My Hero Academia fans can always count on heart-pounding fight sequences. And My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission delivers that through Deku’s showdown with Flect Turn. The fight has incredibly high stakes, to begin with, but one thing that stood out to Justin Briner was how it challenged Deku to defeat the villain on his own.
“Yeah, this one was kind of special because, in the preceding two movies, Deku teamed up with someone and they sort of had a character moment between them,” Briner explained. “And [in] this one, it’s Deku versus Flect [Turn] all the way.”
According to Briner, that added “a little more pressure” to this particular sequence. However, the actor had confidence in the movie’s direction, as well as the animation and soundtrack to boost the energy while recording:
“We get the benefit of recording to the stellar animation, and the soundtrack is going hard in the background. So that always helps, I think personally, my energy get where it needs to be. And, you know, you don’t want to give it away all at once when these fights start. Sometimes they last for a while. You get some character moments. You cut to the side here and there. So, you want to keep it nice and dynamic. And thankfully, I have a lot of trust in my director to keep that sort of melody going throughout the whole scene.”
Speaking of cutting to the side, World Heroes’ Mission also sees Katsuki Bakugo, Shoto Todoroki, and a number of other heroes fighting Flect Turn’s followers while Deku takes on the boss. Their confrontations keep things interesting as the climax unfolds. And for Robbie Daymond, they’re a highlight of the film.
The peripheral fights add to the suspense
For Robbie Daymond, the peripheral fight scenes happening during the climax of My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission helped strengthen the big finale. They ramped up the confrontation between Deku and Flect Turn, and they were each exciting in their own right.
“I really enjoyed the way all the final fight scenes with the supporting characters coincided with our big fight,” Daymond said. “I thought those were, you know, just as epic as the others.”
In addition to watching Deku’s friends and mentors take on Humanise, Daymond also enjoyed the drama that came with Flect Turn putting them on a timer.
“And I always love a good ‘mwahaha’ speech over the TV,” the actor laughed. “That was my favorite, to be the big baddie that takes over the airwaves and is like, ‘The bombs will burst in 10 hours.’ What’s more fun than that? I love a little mustache-twirling.”
The mustache-twirling certainly makes the ending more suspenseful, but it’s only part of bringing Flect Turn to life. Any good antagonist requires some explanation as to how they got there. So, how did Daymond go about portraying that?
Robbie Daymond talks bringing Flect Turn to life
Justin Briner has played Deku for years, but Robbie Daymond was a newcomer to the franchise in My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission. The actor has been a fan of the anime but wasn’t sure the opportunity to voice a character from it would arise. Naturally, he was excited to join the cast of this movie — even if it meant tasting defeat in the end:
“I’ve worked in anime and video games for a long time, and I don’t always get a chance to watch the things that I’m in. But I’ve been a fan of My Hero [Academia] for ages. So, I always sort of thought, ‘Ah, Texas. You know, it’s not really something I’m ever going to get a chance to do.’ And when the call came in, I was like, ‘Sick. Yeah, awesome.’ I love this universe. So, consider me honored to get my booty kicked.”
Of course, bringing a character like Flect Turn to life requires a certain balance. The villain’s beliefs and actions are abhorrent. But how do you make fans understand what made him that way?
“It’s always a challenge,” Daymond admitted. “I mean, I enjoy villains for that very reason. You know, I’ve played quite a few in my career. And you always look for those little threads of humanity, as it were. And this one, in particular, it’s all there in the script.”
Deku’s journey in ‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’
Even if Flect Turn’s backstory wasn’t laid out, there’s a good chance Deku would still show him mercy. That’s par for the course with My Hero Academia‘s main character, whether you’re talking about World Heroes’ Mission or the main series. And Deku’s empathy stood out to Justin Briner from the beginning:
“Something that really struck me immediately with his character, since episode 1, is just his sensitivity and his capacity for understanding others, especially through adversity. Because he sort of came from what his society would say is basically nothing. So, to see all the hard work that he gets to put in — and you know, the audience gets to cheer him on all the way — I think that’s really special.”
Most fans know Deku as kind and compassionate, but that’s what makes one of the central plot points of My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission so surprising. Briner’s character is forced to go on the run until Humarise is dealt with. Seeing Deku’s face plastered on ‘Wanted’ posters is a jarring experience. However, Briner enjoyed seeing his character “a little out of his element.”
“You know, this whole movie had sort of international stakes in the hero world,” the actor said. “So, for Izuku to be on the lam, as it were, with his new friend Rody, it’s just cool to explore sort of a different relationship there. He’s never made friends with someone in that way, and especially one of Rody’s particular nature.”
That’s one of many highlights from My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission. Stay tuned for the movie’s U.S. DVD and Blu-ray release date.