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Are The My Hero Academia Movies Officially Canon?

"My Hero Academia" has only increased in popularity over the years, even as it heads toward its inevitable endgame. Though the series and its myriad of characters are generally beloved, the fact that the manga is coming to an end means that the anime adaptation is heading in the same direction.

Taking place in a world where 80% of humanity has gained superpowers called quirks, "My Hero Academia" follows the evolution of society into a tiered set of superhumans climbing the ranks in hopes of being branded heroes. However, there are those on the outside of this system who want nothing more than to bring the whole hierarchy to its knees.

The series has been popular enough that it's gone on to spawn three major motion pictures. Still, as with many anime movies, you may find yourself wondering if the films from the "My Hero Academia" franchise are considered canon or whether they're more akin to fun what-if scenarios that have less of an impact on the overall plot.

All three movies are considered canon

Since all three "My Hero Academia" movies have connections to the central story arcs of the series, it seems pretty clear that they're meant to be taken as canon. Though the villains and struggles that fuel the films are largely superfluous to the overall narrative that powers the franchise forward, there are more than enough context clues to conclude that they're happening in the same universe as the series. The manga's creator, Kōhei Horikoshi, also confirmed in 2018 that the first film in the franchise, "My Hero Academia: Two Heroes," is part of the manga's universe. "Of course, without a doubt, the movie and manga are adjoined, and the movie is connected to the manga story that happens after it," he told Toho Cinematic T. Magazine, as translated by Twitter user @aitaikimochi.

The reason fans have to debate this in the first place is that it's not uncommon for movies based on major anime and manga series to occur outside the established timeline. While some of them, like "Demon Slayer: Mugen Train" or "Jujutsu Kaisen 0" are central to understanding the story of their respective series, many are made simply to capitalize on the success of an anime and generate a bit more revenue from the value of the established property.

While the "My Hero Academia" movies fall somewhere in the middle of these two distinctions, they're still entertaining and exciting enough to warrant a viewing. Viewers who decide to skip them won't be missing much with regard to central plot elements, but watching the three films adds additional layers to the fictional universe of the series that die-hard fans definitely wouldn't want to miss.