It’s day two at Anime Japan 2018 and at the White Stage we have the My Hero Academia segment! A special stage had been put together get everyone hyped up about the new season of the anime! As announced, season three of the hit anime adaption will be starting on 7 April this year, and quite a few star members of the cast were present to give us more insights on the new season.

Appearing first on stage were amazing life-sized mascots of All Might, Katsuki Bakugo, Ochaco Uraraka, Midoriya Izuku, quite like those you would see at Disneyland or a Universal Studios park. Seeing the characters life sized, complete with voice-overs, really makes you feel that they’ve come alive.

They then exited the stage, making way for four cast members, Daiki Yamashita (who plays Midoriya Izuku), Nobuhiko Okamoto (Katsuki Bakugo), Sakura Ayane (Ochaco Uraraka), and Kaito Ishikawa (Tenya Iida), who was the host for today’s stage.

They each introduced themselves energetically, getting the audience to scream their names as well. They first chatted about how excited they were for season three. “It’ll definitely be more powered up than the previous seasons!” said Daiki Yamashita, “we’re quite ahead on the voice recordings currently, and it’s super exciting!”

Suddenly, voices could be heard increasingly loudly in the background, and the villains; Tomura Shigaraki, Himiko Toga, and Dabi appear on the big screen! Out come three cast members who voice characters from the league of villains, Kouki Uchiyama (who plays Tomura Shigaraki), Misato Fukuen (Himiko Toga), and Hiro Shimono (Dabi). All three of them introduced themselves in a cool and composed way, which was especially unfitting for Shimono. “Wait, wasn’t he super energetic back stage? He looks so cool now,” commented Okamoto. It was not long before Shimono reverted to his usual energetic self, poking fun at the nervous emcee Ishikawa. “You’re sweating a lot! It’s only been a few minutes,” he joked, with the rest of the cast roaring with laughter. “I was thinking that the whole time as well!” said Fukuen.

A collage of various scenes from season one and two appeared on screen, and the cast were asked to comment on their characters. “Izuku started as a very pure and innocent character, went on to inherit All Might’s One-for-all quirk, and had to learn how to manage it. We start to see a more crazy side of him during battles, especially recently, and it becomes a little dangerous, so I hope everyone can look forward to that in the new season, ” commented Yamashita.

The cast members from the league of villains were asked about their first impressions of their characters. Uchiyama was rather taken aback when he first saw the character design of Tomura Shigaraki, and said that he looked like “Hand-Man” or something. “You can’t read the character’s facial expressions but as the show goes along, we notice his various personalities,” he continued. “Actually Uchiyama looks like his character when he stands in front of the microphone. Show us!” Ayane chimed in. “It’s because the microphone is too short! There’s a taller microphone but it’s mostly used by All Might” said Uchiyama.

Shimono remembered researching on his character, Dabi, in the original comics, but could not find much information about him at all. “At the recordings, I was also told not to say my lines so loudly, which is something I’m not used to. It’s like my energy is being sealed off,” he laughed. The cast members chatted about how the microphones used are able to pick up small voice changes, such that they do not need to project their voice as much as before. “While I was recording I was constantly worried about how my voice would turn out in the anime, so I’m particularly excited to watch the anime when it airs,” added Shimono.

Fukuen said that Himiko Toga was actually her first villain role. She loved the series and was thrilled to be able to secure a role in it. When asked which character she would like to play if she could, she replied, “All Might!” in a heartbeat.

Okamoto mentioned that many of the characters are shouting a lot more in the upcoming season compared to previous seasons. ” I felt I had to shout a lot but when I saw the rest of the cast shouting even more I felt better,” added Fukuen.

The cast also talked about the upcoming movie of My Hero Academia, which was announced last year at Jump Festa. A key visual for the movie was revealed, featuring a mysterious new female character. It will be My Hero Academia’s very first movie, and it will cover what took place right between seasons two and three. The story will start with Deku and All Might receiving an invitation to a futuristic island called, “Island”. There, Deku will meet a girl called Melissa, who is also quirkless like Deku was before. Island’s system suddenly comes under attack by villains and chaos ensues. It is a completely original story by Kohei Horikoshi, and features some mysterious new characters as well, so be sure to check it out!

The seiyuus gathered at the centre of the stage for a brief photo session, before giving their closing messages:

Shimono: “We villains will be playing a bigger role in season three, please support us villains too!”

Fukuen: “I’m very excited for the new season! I’m the only female in the group of villains, so I’m ready to crush Ochaco!”

Uchiyama: “As what the other two have said, every season we try and try to defeat the heroes, so we can end the hero series and start our villains series! Like “Villain: The Movie”, or “Boku no Villain Academia”.”

Ishikawa: “Thank you so much for coming today! Did you guys have fun? The heroes will continue to be fired up this coming season, please look forward to it! Thank you!”

Ayane: “Thank you for coming today! I’m really thankful, as a cast member, to have the mangaka write up a totally original story for the movie. We heroes will be facing more and more villains, so we’ll be working hard at our recordings too! Please give us all your support!”

Okamoto: “As a fan of the series myself, I feel that everyone should look forward to Izuku’s near-death fights in the new season. Thank you!”

Yamashita: “Thank you everyone! Like what Okamoto has said, Izuku has not had any fight-to-the-death scenes yet. In the previous seasons, when the villains attack, the teachers would come to the students’ rescue, but in season three, the students will face even more dangerous situations and fight emotional battles as well. We’ll work hard at our recordings as well so please look forward to season three!”

With that, the stage ended with the cast members getting the audience to shout “Plus Ultra!” together.

As you can tell, this year is going to be packed with My Hero Academia content, so fans, get ready for a wild ride with your favourite heroes and villains!

• My Hero Academia Season 3
Starts on 7th April 2018
Airs at 5:30pm on Saturdays on Yomiuri TV, NTV etc.

• My Hero Academia, The Movie: The Two Heroes
In theatres from 3rd August 2018

Reporting by eternalemerald.