Powerless, weak, insignificant, unimportant. We all feel this way at some point in our lives. I remember this feeling well, and for those interested, I speak about my own personal story in an article which I wrote on how anime can help you reach your dreams.

My Hero Academia, a story of power, or lack of, and good and evil, spoke to me on many levels. With the start of Season 4, I thought this a fitting time to kick off this series of how anime characters have inspired me and how their stories can inspire you too.

In a world where 80% of the population are born with superpowers, know as Quirks, our Hero, Izuku Midoriya, who dreams of being a hero, is born quirkless. Ridiculed, bullied, and stigmatised by those around him, Midoriya’s life seems riddled with unfairness and hopelessness. I couldn’t help but pity him and empathize with his struggle.

That’s the thing, isn’t it? Life isn’t fair.

This was the first message I took away from My Hero Academia. Despite equality, on many different levels, being an ideal I and many others strive towards. The fact is, we aren’t there yet. It is obvious to me that is not right, but the fact still stands. So, what are we to do? Those of us who, for many different reasons, do not have these advantages? Or are even disadvantaged?

I consider myself as, like Midoriya, someone who lacked advantage in his childhood, and at times like this, I have, and probably always will, look to characters like him when I begin to doubt myself. Kind, honest Midoriya, pushing on with courage through a life that seems like it is and will always remain a nightmare. Always living by his own morals and ideology of heroism, despite being one of the weakest people on the face of the earth.

Man, if that isn’t a good way to live your life, I don’t know what is.

Midoriya’s principles are eventually noticed and rewarded, where he is then picked to inherit the number 1 Hero’s quirk, “one for all”. His elation is clear in the scene where he receives his Quirk, a scene that warmed my heart. Finally, he is able to follow his dream. So, now that Midoriya has a quirk, the playing field is even, right?

Wrong. So, so, so wrong.

It’s Midoriya’s appreciation and dedication, shaped from his memory and experience of being quirkless, powerless, and helpless, that I found truly inspiring. Midoriya has a burning desire to become the number 1 hero. A desire that I feel many of his classmates, whose quirks seem entwined with their very being, lack. Perhaps they wouldn’t lack this desire and appreciation, had they known what life without a Quirk was like.

So reaching the same position as someone who hasn’t had to work as hard to get there is not an even playing field. It’s you who will now be at an advantage.

For me, this was the second message from My Hero Academia, and from my own experience, I can say from the bottom of my heart, is true.

Now it’s up to you. Go out there and follow your dreams. Don’t let disadvantages get in the way. Because if you don’t, you’ll find the advantages have flipped, with you standing on top.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have had any experiences similar to Midoriya in the comments, and if you would like to see more don’t forget to follow me on here and Twitter!

Ani-inspiration posts