10 best non-animated shows like My Hero Academia
My hero university is a very popular shonen anime which is currently in its fifth season. Detailing the adventures of Izuku ‘Deku’ Midoriya and her teenage peers, the series takes place in a world where being a superhuman is quite normal. Eager to be the best at what he does, Deku is an aspiring superhero who enrolls in UA Academy to hone his skills.
Even non-anime fans can have a great time watching My hero university, given the way it plays around the familiar tropes of superhero drama and high school comedy, culminating in a memorable coming-of-age story.
ten Invincible (2021 -): Available on Prime Video
Based on the Image Comics series of the same name, Invincible deals with Mark Grayson, a half-human, half-Viltrumite who wishes to put himself in his father’s shoes, Omni-Man. However, maintaining daily relationships with his violent superhero pursuits takes an impact on Mark, who must face the dark secrets his father holds.
While the show has plenty of satirical nods to the Marvel and DC tropes, Invincible also has its share of dramatic moments. In fact, the strained father-son relationship that forms the heart of the story can be compared to the toxic link between My hero university‘s Todoroki and his father “Pro Hero” Endeavor.
9 Umbrella Academy (2019 -): Available on Netflix
The Umbrella Academy offers a bizarre and dark-minded take on the superhero genre. Plus, the titular team is as eccentric and chaotic as My hero universityof the UA class 1-A team. The only difference is that while the hero group of the first is part of a superhero academy, the Umbrella Academy members include a foster family of misfits with superpowers.
Based on the comic book of the same name by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy is bolstered by a talented cast that stars Elliot Page, Aidan Gallagher and Robert Sheehan, arguably the best character, Klaus Hargreeves.
8 Impotent (2017): Available on DIRECTV
Just like My hero university, this DC show takes place in a world where being a superhero is pretty common. In a city filled with such powerful beings, the show seeks to imagine how ordinary people would lead their lives. Powerless, as the title suggests, turns the tables and honors the ordinary people who survive against the daily collateral damage.
With a sitcom set at a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises, the main characters are involved in the design of specialized products for protection from supervillains. And yet, it’s fascinating to see what normal people do when heroes are busy battling threats.
7 Cobra Kai (2018 -): Available on Netflix
A direct sequel to Karate kid movie theater, Cobra Kai is perhaps one of the heaviest streaming shows right now. What will impress My hero university fans is the focus on the guidance and teaching behind a fighter’s actions. In the anime, the ever-optimistic All-Might trains Deku, who also learns the tricks of a cynical professor, like Eraserhead.
Likewise, in Cobra Kai, childhood enemies Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence both disagree over their methods of teaching karate in their respective dojos. With what it takes of ’80s nostalgia, family comedy and martial arts action, Cobra Kai lives up to the legacy of its source material.
6 The Tick (2016 – 2019): Available on Prime Video
A sequel worthy of the animated classic, the original dear Amazon Prime Video, The tick stars Peter Serafinowicz as the titular hero who ticks all the boxes of what is required to be a superhero. He declares himself the savior of his city, wears an outrageous flashy costume, and also has his share of nemesis. The satirical nature, however, does not prevent the central character from having his heroic moments of glory.
The tongue-in-cheek comedy that the main character imitates is reminiscent of All-Might in My hero university. Both heroes are highly regarded by others, but they both have their share of goofy ways and comedic scenes.
5 X-Men Evolution (2000 – 2003): Available on Disney +
The shows of the X-Men universe have often touched on serious storylines. In this context, X-Men Evolution relied on a more teen-centric approach, featuring most of the characters as high school kids. Struggling with the teenage changes as well as their mutant identities, Cyclops and the rest of the team embark on several adventures to hone their skills.
As X-Men: Evolution dramatically changes its comedic characters, even non-Marvel fans would be delighted. As for fans of My hero university, they would instantly connect to high school drama tropes, given that the anime itself is largely about the overpowered students of the UA Hero Academy.
4 Doom Patrol (2019 -): Available on HBO Max
Born from a Titans episode, Fate Patrol would excite fans of comedic superhero team shows like The Umbrella Academy. Unlike their contemporary Teen Titans, the eponymous team inherited their powers following tragic accidents. A group of social outcasts, the team embark on one mishap after another as the show celebrates charming weirdness instead of just heroism.
Its balance of darker tones and comic relief is quite comparable to My hero university. Another common element is how both series include characters with the most absurd powers rather than relying solely on conventional heroes.
3 The Super Hero Squad Show (2009 – 2011): available on Disney +
Like any other comic book publisher, Marvel has its fair share of over-the-top stories and hilarious, dramatic characters. Reinterpret all the heroes and villains of Marvel Comics as childish caricatures, The superhero squad show laughs at all the clichÃ©s and flaws of these characters. Self-aware humor provides cleverly written sketches that satirize the very notion of superheroes.
While My hero university offers a more satirical approach to clichÃ©s of the superhero genre, The superhero squad show would also make a fun watch if the audience needs a more slapstick approach to the same tropes.
2 The Boys (2019 -): Available on Prime Video
My hero university has always shown how superhumans have certain responsibilities to shoulder with their powers. The boys can be seen as its dystopian opposite, as the superheroes in this hyperviolent satire are selfish, bloodthirsty, and irresponsible like never before.
In the center of The boys is Billy Butcher, a bloodthirsty vigilante who wants to end the reign of superheroes once and for all, while on the other side is Homelander mimicking the worst character traits of a selfish superhero. The clash of ideals between the two leads to a grim, funny, and introspective analysis of superhero culture as a whole.
1 Teen Titans (2003 – 2006): available on HBO Max
The very first series dedicated to the young team of superheroes, Teen Titans is monumental for mixing teenage tropes with darker themes. In fact, some intrigues of Teen Titans are still pissed off enough to feature in the current series Titans.
Besides the obvious similarities in the genre, the young superheroes of Teen Titans and My hero university are quite similar in terms of personality. Robin and Ida are righteous leaders and Starfire and Ochako Uraraka are always positive peacemakers, while Raven and Tsuyu Asui are both introverted strategists. The parallels continue even with intimidating villains like Deathstroke and All For One.
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