One of My Hero Academia's key relationships is the rivalry between Midoriya and Bakugo. This dynamic has carried over into MHA's films too. With the new MHA movie, World Heroes Mission, their dynamic continues to evolve. As Deku goes on the run after being accused of murder, Bakugo and Todoroki decide to do what they can to help their classmate.
In MHA, Deku and Bakugo have come far as rivals and aspiring heroes. Midoriya is a far cry from the kid who almost shattered every bone in his body using his Quirk. Meanwhile, Bakugo has learned that brute force is not enough to be a top hero. Now, these two students are fighting alongside the pros in 2021's upcoming film MHA: World Heroes Mission. In anticipation of this new MHA movie release, Deku's English voice actor, Justin Briner, and Bakugo's English voice actor, Clifford Chapin, sat with CBR for an exclusive interview.
CBR: Since the start of My Her0 Academia, Deku and Bakugo's dynamic has been one of the most interesting and has developed so much over the seasons and movies. What's it been like to grow these two characters side by side, to the point where Bakugo is willing to risk his life to fight alongside Deku?
Clifford Chapin: It's great. As an actor, there's nothing more gratifying than playing a character that has character growth. That is one thing that Bakugo has in spades. It's so much development and so much growth in his personality over the course of the series. We saw it sort of start off as an antagonistic relationship and build into a more healthy rivalry, and we saw in the previous film, in Heroes Rising, maybe almost some genuine concern at the end of that movie. It seemed like will this be the end of Deku's pursuits of being a hero?
So to now be here in this third film where Deku is accused of having done something terrible and Bakugo is trying to catch up and find where Deku is, alongside Todoroki, to try and find him and help him and get him out of whatever the situation is and try and get to the bottom of whatever is going on -- it was very exciting and gratifying. It's always fun to see the character in a new situation and see how they act in a new setting
Justin Briner: I completely agree. To have seen these characters come from point A to all the way where they are now in the series and some of what we've seen in the movies is rewarding. There are many people whose favorite character's Deku. There are just as many or more whose favorite is Bakugo, so you always see them butting heads or working together. You get to root for them and their rivalry/friendship and all the places it takes them. It's great to see these characters grow up before our eyes. It's also rewarding because they know each other so well and in a way that very few characters in the anime can, so to see them have each other's backs and lean on each other and push each other is great.
There's so much action in this movie for both of your character. As voice actors, what sequences were the most challenging to tackle, and what were you most excited to see fully animated?
Briner: I probably have the same answer for both. It's always the fights.
In these movies, I feel like so many people are coming to see the huge action that happens toward the end or in the middle or all over. I thought, especially in this movie, there's a lot of crazy action. It goes all over the place in terms of its setting, and the fights -- especially toward the end -- are just brutal and incredible. They're also sort of the hardest stuff to get completely rights. It's also the things that I'm personally looking forward to seeing the most all put together.
Chapin: I completely echo Justin's sentiments on that. It's the fights.
There's a really cool fight in the middle -- I think around the middle of this movie -- that it's not too terribly long, at least as far as Bakugo's involvement. But the things that are done in that fight and how the characters are moving and cooperating and how the camera moves around the setting are awesome. And then the big climactic fight is wildly intense. There are a few big Bakugo screams that I was like, "I hope I can get this in one take because I don't know that I want to try it a second time." It's very cool. I'm very excited to see the finished product. I haven't seen the finalized movie yet, so I'm very eager and excited to do so.
Bakugo and Deku have come across so many different villains and threats over the years, how does the villain and threat in World Heroes' Mission compare to those?
Briner: In my opinion, the stakes of this movie are literally worldwide. The effects of what the antagonist is trying to achieve in this film affects every single hero; therefore, every single citizen of the world, so you can't get higher stakes than that or more responsibility on your shoulders. I think every hero that has rallied to this cause is also feeling that. That just elevates the tension of the entire film.
Chapin: Yeah, I agree. There are some really interesting dynamics that get explored in this film about people with Quirks and people without Quirks. Should the people of the world have Quirks? If that's the case, if they shouldn't, but people who do have Quirks are fighting alongside for that cause: why would they do that? There's a lot of interesting intrigue to that. What would motivate a person who has power to want to live in a world that doesn't have power? It's just a really interesting question to explore.