This article is about the profession. For the ending song, see HEROES.
In the aftermath of the Paranormal Liberation War, many Pro Heroes have retired due to excessive criticism from the public, causing the number of Heroes in Japan to decrease.
Heroes started appearing when the Quirk phenomenon occurred and the general populace acquired superpowers. The dawn of this extraordinary era was plagued by a breakdown of society caused by the sudden onslaught of criminals empowered by their newfound abilities and ordinary people being prejudiced against the Quirk users. As society adapted to the new status quo, the police force moved to prioritize leadership and to maintain the status quo, and as such, decided not to use Quirks as weapons.
As chaos and unrest ensued due to the outbreak of Quirks, ordinary civilians with their own Quirks decided to take matters into their own hands to bring order to society, and thus the first "Heroes" appeared. These original Heroes to appear during this time of chaos were Vigilantes, as the Pro Hero system had not yet been implemented, beginning the time period known as the Vigilantly era. Later on, the profession of crime-fighting Quirk users separate from the police and military, Pro Heroes, began to exist.
The Pro Hero System was first put into place in Rhode Island in America under the "Rhode Island New State Statute". 189 Vigilantes were affected by this statute, with only seven being accepted as official Heroes. Now with the opportunity to become licensed Heroes and use their Quirks to fight crime legally, the number of unlicensed Vigilantes slowly began to decrease, with almost none left today.
The authorization of the use of powers that could so easily kill was greatly criticized at first. But over time, it came to garner public support due to the fact that the first people to work professionally as heroes acted morally and upheld the law.
Heroes generally work in groups known as Hero Agencies. The standard is one very strong Pro Hero in charge, and a number of weaker Heroes who serve as Sidekicks under the command of the primary Hero. An agency operates out of an office building which serves as their base of operations. Some Pro Heroes only have a small Hero Office, but some Heroes, mainly the more prestigious ones, operate out of massive skyscrapers.
The number of Sidekicks at an agency can vary; some Heroes have only a couple of sidekicks, while others have dozens, and some opt to work alone. Sidekicks make an effort to get hired by more prestigious Pro Heroes, whether out of admiration or to gain popularity and experience in order to eventually become full-fledged Pro Heroes themselves and open their own agencies. Though, most sidekicks usually stay at their rank and don’t continue on to become Pros. There are some exceptions to this standard, however. Some sidekicks, such as Sir Nighteye, have gone on to start their own Hero Agencies with their own sidekicks working under them.
According to Endeavor, Heroes have three basic duties: rescue, evacuation, and battle. Some Hero Agencies choose to specialize in only one of these fields, primarily rescue or battle. However, some Agencies do all three.
According to Gunhead, when a crisis occurs, the police will contact various Hero Agencies that are in the same area as the crisis. Once the chaos is settled, the Heroes will file a report about the work they did, saving people, capturing criminals, etc., and a special agency will review their work and determine how much they should be paid.
While out on patrol, the agency's owner Hero will lead the patrol themselves. Sometimes they will go out on their own, other times they will have a sidekick or two with them for backup. According to Best Jeanist, these patrols are meant to dissuade Villains from committing crimes and to show civilians that the Heroes are there to protect them.
Pro Heroes are allowed to have secondary careers. Some heroes use their second job as a means to increase their fame, Uwabami for example works as a product cover girl. For other heroes, their second job can be more of a passion project, such as Present Mic having his own radio show. Additionally, a Pro Hero's second job can also be an extension of their services provided to the people in society, such as Fourth Kind working as a civil servant and performing community service by cleaning up a park, as well as Lunch Rush being a chef who runs a cafeteria at U.A. High School, and who also provided food to victims hiding from a natural disaster.
Most notably, it is also possible for Heroes to become teachers who can help train and raise the next generation of aspiring heroes at Hero Schools, and are also capable of teaching ordinary school subjects. Prominent examples here include many of the teachers at U.A. High, as well as Ms. Joke who teaches at Ketsubutsu Academy High School.
According to Uwabami, heroes possessing side jobs was met with a lot of controversy when Pro Heroes were first established, although it was eventually accepted due to their popularity and public demand.
Heroes are often viewed with high admiration from the public, with civilians often watching them battle villains and cheering them on. As seen with All Might, Hawks and Uwabami, heroes usually have many fans and fanbases that sometimes gather around them to get autographs and selfies while they're patrolling. Heroes are typically viewed in a celebrity-like fashion due to their popularity and receive large public appeal, this includes merchandise being made after them, such as toys, posters, action figures, etc. Many children also deeply admire heroes and dream to become one themselves when they get their Quirk and grow up.
Generally, heroes are more popular based on their rankings, with higher ranking heroes receiving more popularity and public appeal, although it isn't uncommon for rookie heroes to gain such popularity as well, as is the case with Kamui Woods and Mt. Lady. It is also possible for sidekicks to garner popularity and fame, such as Sir Nighteye and Burnin.
Heroes can appear on the news during talk shows or interviews, and the media is often eager to newscast popular heroes. Some heroes, such as All Might, Midnight and Mt. Lady enjoy receiving the attention and approval, although this isn't always the norm as some heroes aren't bothered by things such as fans or news approval, while other heroes like Eraser Head choose to avoid the media entirely. Such a person is known as an "Underground Hero".
Despite their mass popularity and approval, there are people who dislike or disapprove of heroes for varying reasons. There are some tragic cases, such as Kota Izumi who lost both of his hero parents when he was a young child and came to detest the society of heroes and villains altogether as a result. Similarly, Kotaro Shimura was put into foster care by his hero mother when he was a child, this led to him growing up to despise her and heroes entirely, believing that his mother, Nana, chose her hero career over him, when in reality she wanted to keep him safe following the death of her husband. At the same time, many hate the hero society for its flaws, which have led to some people being ostracized and even becoming villains as a result. As pointed out by Tomura Shigaraki, people have become dependent on heroes protecting them, particularly due to All Might having been seen as the "Symbol of Peace", while others are rejected from or are overlooked by society and heroes, which in turn causes them to become villains.
At the same time, heroes aren’t immune to bad publicity or negative reception. When the press had gotten into U.A. High, Eraser Head stated that him and Present Mic would likely have their hero reputations ruined if they made the reporters leave by force, despite the fact they were trespassing on school grounds. Following the Vanguard Action Squad Invasion and the kidnapping of Katsuki Bakugo, the news criticized Eraser Head's decision to allow the students to fight back against the villains, while questioning the possibility of them targeting Katsuki for his unhindered aggression in hopes of bringing him to their side. During this, the reporter was clearly trying to antagonize Eraser Head into lashing out and saying something incriminating, knowing full well that he’s an underground hero who hates the media, and doing this so they could pin further blame on U.A. High School and their Pro Hero teaching staff.
Following the Paranormal Liberation War, many people's faith in heroes have been shattered or heavily damaged in Japan, with them blaming the heroes failings for the war getting as bad as it did and the resulting travesties. This has resulted in civilians defending themselves with their Quirks and salvaged support gear, believing that heroes are now unreliable and unable to protect them. This has caused anti-hero protestors to go against heroes, and at present, several Pro Heroes have retired due to being unable to handle the overwhelming criticism from the public. This has also re-awoken/reinforced feelings of bigotry, as people with Mutant Quirks have been attacked by civilians after being mistaken for villains, and heteromorphs have been turned away from evacuation shelters on the basis belief that they can't be trusted. Despite this, there are still people who believe in the heroes and hope that they will bring things back to normal from the collapse of society.
In order for a person to become a licensed Pro Hero, they must undergo an education and training program in the subject of heroism. This Heroics course is integrated into a student's high school education.
The Heroics course includes rescue training, combat training, and even training for dealing with the media. Schools with hero courses also provide their students with their own hero costumes and support gear, which are tailored to suit their design choices and Quirk functions. Students are trained so they can eventually earn their hero licenses and become fully fledged Pro Heroes themselves.
Hero students have the opportunity work as interns under licensed Pro Heroes. This allows the students to gain special training that their normal teachers would most often be unable to provide. There are two types of internships.
The first type is the Hero Agency Internships; this involves a student merely shadowing a Pro Hero, listening to their advice and watching them in action for an entire week. Since the Students are unlicensed, they can't legally participate in Hero work.
The second type is the Hero Work-Study; this comes after a student has passed the Provisional Hero License Exam and has earned their Provisional Hero License. Instead of being treated like guests at the agency, the students are treated like real sidekicks, and are allowed to participate in relief efforts during emergency situations. This allows them to gain real experience and can help them get noticed by other Pro Heroes who might want to hire them as full time sidekicks after they graduate.
In order to work at an Internship or Work-Study, the Hero in charge of the agency must approve of the student working there, sometimes the student must have certain qualifications that goes beyond the proficiency of their Quirk. In some cases, such as the aftermath of the U.A. Sports Festival, Heroes actually send recruitment requests to the students whom they wish to have work under them. Other times, a student simply undergoes an ordinary job interview in order to become an intern. In this case, it would help to have the introduction and recommendation of someone who already works there, even if it's another intern, like when Mirio introduced Izuku to Sir Nighteye, or when Shoto asked his father, Endeavor to take in Izuku and Katsuki.
A Hero Name is a code name a Pro Hero chooses to identify themselves with. A Hero-in-training may choose a temporary Hero Name in high school. While these high school names are not necessarily meant to be their permanent alias, Pro Heroes are often known by the name they first pick, as it is what they'll come to be known as.
Hero Names are considered very important to a professional Hero career, as they can bring a person closer to the image they may want to cement, and are also able to reflect their true character. For example, Toshinori Yagi wanted to be the champion of good whom everyone could believe in, so he chose the name, All Might. Enji Todoroki dedicated his life to proving himself to be the strongest and become the No. 1 Pro Hero in the country, so he chose the name, Endeavor.
Heroes often use names that describe their Quirks, or are at least based on their Quirks; Keigo Takami has a pair of bird-like wings on his back, so he uses the name, Hawks. Tsunagu Hakamada is able to manipulate fabric threads, denim especially, so he uses the name, Best Jeanist. Taishiro Toyomitsu goes by the name, Fat Gum, as he is able to make things sink into his body fat.
A Hero Name does not necessarily have to be original. Some people may choose to use the same name, or a very similar name, as an already existing and well-known Hero that is no longer active. By doing so, they have the opportunity to keep the legacy of their idol alive. However, this comes with the responsibility and pressure of living up to the level of greatness displayed by the Hero who originally used the name. It is also possible for Heroes to simply be known as their own given or family name, as seen with Shoto or Gran Torino. Furthermore, students who do not decide on a Hero Name and are yet to choose one are simply called by their surnames, as shown with Katsuki Bakugo and Kosei Tsuburaba.
Heroes can also go by separate aliases in different countries and regions, as seen with O’Clock, a Japanese Hero who was also known as Hyper Quadfist in China.
Many Pro Heroes possess a title along with their Hero Name. Like a Hero Name, the Heroes title describes the Hero and what they can do. Edgeshot is called "the Ninja Hero" because he is fast, stealthy, and good at infiltration and precision attacks. Fourth Kind is called "the Chivalrous Hero" because he is whole-heartedly dedicated to his role as a Hero and does not hesitate to go the extra mile to make society a better place. Manual is called "the Normal Hero" because he sees himself as average among Heroes and believes in not overcomplicating things.
A Pro Hero will wear a distinguishing costume that helps the public to recognize them and distinguish them from other heroes. Costumes come in a wide variety, from bodysuits, to spacesuits, to armor, depending on the abilities and style preferences of the wearer.
Costumes are generally tailored specifically to the hero their made for, in order to amplify their abilities and weaken their drawbacks. Costumes tend to come with support gear that can augment the wears skills and powers; Katsuki Bakugo has gauntlets that store up his excess palm sweat and release a powerful blast that is beyond what he can do on his own. A costume can also limit or remove the downsides of the wearers Quirk; Ochaco Uraraka's costume is designed to stimulate pressure points that decrease nausea, and Mirio Togata's costume is made from a fabric synthesized from his hair, so it turns intangible when his body does.
Every once in a while, a hero might decide to change some of the details of their costume and/or add new support items. This can happen if a hero wishes to try a new fighting style, if they discover something new about their Quirk, or if they simply wish to try something new. The costumes base design will usually stay the same though.
Occasionally, a hero might temporarily wear an alternate costume for varying reasons. An example of this is a winter costume, which can help the wearer stay warm during colder months. Another example is a stealth costume, such as the ones that Izuku, Katsuki, and Shoto wore during the conflict against Humarise. These alternate costumes usually bear a strong resemblance to the heroes regular ones, save for a few changes to their look and design.
Support companies and genius scientists are the masterminds behind creating costumes for heroes. There are even school classes that specifically teach students about the creation and maintenance of support gear, such as the Support Course at U.A. High School.
A Hero License is a certification that allows Pro Heroes to use their Quirks freely. The concept of the Hero License system was first developed and established in Rhode Island in the USA, around the time that Quirks first appeared. It was done in hopes of restoring order to society, which had descended into chaos following the phenomenon of people being born with superpowers.
In order to obtain a Hero License, one must complete all three years of heroics education in high school. It is currently unknown if there is an actual test that one is required to pass in order to receive their License.
The act of using ones Quirk in public without a license is illegal, even if they use it to save lives or stop criminals. Quirks are seen as too dangerous for untrained civilians without a license to use, as there is a significant risk of unintentionally hurting someone or damaging property.
There are exceptions to the rule that allow unlicensed individuals to use their Quirks; during Izuku Midoriya's internship with Gran Torino, the elder Hero decided to take Izuku out to fight real low level bad guys, so he would not develop bad habits from only fighting against Gran Torino's Quirk. Though not explicitly stated, this implies that Pro Heroes can grant the temporary privilege of Quirk use to their protégés. The Hero Public Safety Commission can also grant this privilege; during what was set to be the final battle with All For One, the acting Commission President gave Hitoshi Shinso permission to use his Quirk. Other than that, it is not illegal to use your Quirk in public if it is for self defense.
Provisional Hero License
Hero students judged by their teacher as being ready for real minor Hero work are allowed to take the Provisional Hero License Exam in order to earn their Provisional Hero License, thus allowing them to use their Quirks freely, but only in emergency situations.
This gives them the authority to participate in rescue operations and combat Villains, usually acting under the guidance of an official Pro Hero.
In Japan, following the retirement of the No. 1 Hero, All Might, the Hero Public Safety Commission decided to change the Provisional Hero License Exam. They decided to focus on quality over quantity and increased the difficulty of the exam. As such the rate of passing was significantly decreased, from 50% to less than 10%. They also decided to allow first year students to take the exam, while it is normally reserved for second and third years.
Most Heroes work alone, not counting their sidekicks, but occasionally they will team up and work together with other Heroes in the field on various missions. These team ups usually happen on the spot while the Heroes are responding to a crisis, as such, they don't really get to choose who they work together with and have to adapt to their new partners abilities. Alternatively, for the larger operations, such as the raid on the League of Villains hideout, Heroes are called in and teamed up ahead of time, allowing them to select certain individuals to work together with and come up with strategies.
Heroes don't only team up for their combat abilities, it can also be done for practical reasons. When Sir Nighteye called in multiple Pro Heroes to help take down the Shie Hassaikai, he selected Heroes based on who had the most knowledge about the areas where the Hassaikai had bases set up.
In some cases, Heroes form a permanent team, even having multiple owner Heroes at a single agency as opposed to the usual one owner Hero. This is usually done if the agency is geared toward a specific type of crisis relief and/or if the Heroes have Quirks that compliment and help each other. One example is the Wild, Wild Pussycats, a team that specializes in mountain rescues; Ragdoll could locate lost or injured people, Mandalay could send evacuation instructions to rescuees, Tiger could squeeze into tight spaces to get to people who are trapped, and Pixie Bob could manipulate a mountains mineral to help save people.
Aside from the obvious benefits of working together with other Heroes, such as strength in numbers and compensating for each other's weaknesses, a Hero team is able to achieve things that a singular Hero would normally be unable to. For example, they can piggyback on each other's popularity, garnering attention from the public and elevating their collective Hero ranking.
Known Hero Teams
The Hero Network, also referred to as the "HN", is a website that can only be accessed by Pro Heroes. It contains activity reports of Pro Heroes across the country, as well as information on known Villains, including their names and Quirks.
As the name suggests, Villain Insurance is a form of financial indemnity that covers damages and destruction caused by villains whenever a Hero fights or is in the process of capturing one. It is described as a must-have for any hero.
Despite this, the coverage this insurance provides is still limited, as one of Mt Lady's assistants stated that in spite of it, as well as her Hero Exemption, that her agency's finances were still in the red from the public property damages she caused during her debut.
Biannually, all Heroes and hero teams in Japan are ranked by an event called the Japanese Hero Billboard Charts. The rating is determined by various factors, including a Hero's level of strength, number of resolved incidents, contributions to society, and public approval. An event is held to introduce the top 10 Heroes to the public.
The higher a hero ranks on the charts, the higher their wages and the greater their prestige, allowing them to build bigger agencies and spread their influence. The top 10 Heroes in particular are known all across the country. It is these rankings and the chance to climb higher that serves as motivation for many Pro Heroes and numerous Hero students desire to one day hold the title of No. 1, or at least work as a sidekick for one of the top 10.
The ratings presented at the event are the overall rankings and the individual factors that determine them may contrast the rankings. For example, in terms of popularity alone, Best Jeanist ranks first, Hawks ranks second, Edgeshot ranks third, and Endeavor ranks fourth.
List of Pro Heroes
List of Hero Students
- My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Manga: Chapter 12.
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 56 (p. 15).
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 247.
- My Hero Academia Manga and Anime: Chapter 48 and Episode 27.
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 45 (p. 7-8).
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 45 (p. 8).
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 45 (p. 12).
- My Hero Academia Manga: Vol. 23.
- My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Manga: Chapter 44.
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 344 (p. 6).
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 135.
- My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Manga: Chapter 63.
- My Hero Academia: Ultra Analysis: The Official Character Guide.
- My Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 10.5.