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Deku & Bakugo VAs Talk World Heroes’ Mission

The latest film in the My Hero Academia franchise is now in theaters. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission features a familiar cast dealing with a new crisis and going up against the evil Flect Turn.

RELATED: My Hero Academia Interview: Robbie Daymond & Ryan Colt Levy on World Heroes’ Mission’s New Characters

ComingSoon’s Hayes Madsen spoke with My Hero Academia voice actors Justin Briner and Clifford Chapin about Midoriya and Bakugo’s growth, their arcs in World Heroes’ Mission, and more.

Justin, one of the big things in the lead-up to this movie is the fact that Deku’s accused of mass murder. What was it like putting a performance forward with that fact in mind?

Justin Briner: Well, it’s definitely not news you wanna have to break yourself. News that you don’t want to see on the news [laughs]. I think it’s just a really interesting element, how suddenly the world has turned against Izuku. In his heart, and in his core, he’s trying to do what he perceives as the right thing. So yeah, I think that having to deal with that new reputation is one of the main propellants of this story, and how to let them know that not everything is as it seems. 

Going to Clifford, In the more recent events of My Hero Academia Bakugo knows Midoriya’s secret, and he’s kind of started “softening” in the way he treats Midoriya. Going into the movie with that in mind, is there anything about your performance that’s changed, in terms of how you’re interacting with Deku?

Clifford Chapin: I mean overall since the way that everything started in the beginning, it has changed a lot. I actually feel like in terms of this thing and the performance, Heroes Rising was a little trickier because we were recording that film during Season 4, but with this one knowing that the movie took place at some point in Season 5, or after some point. That was kind of tricky because I knew there was development, I knew that Bakugo was starting to soften a little bit in that film and so I had to kind of always go into it a little bit less aggressive. But then we would go back and record the series which was at an earlier point in time, and so I’d have to be harsher. 

Now here we are, we were near the end of Season 5 at the time of recording the third film, and it didn’t feel like such a dynamic jump in the character’s personality. Because the film takes place more in line with where we are in Season 5, as demonstrated by Season 5 has a tie-in episode that sets up this film. For me, in this particular instance, it didn’t feel like such a drastic change as I was going about it, but if I look at it as a whole, from the beginning to now, there has been a lot of growth and a lot of development. Bakugo is not nearly as aggressive toward [Deku], he’s just not as aggressive in general I think. He’s still strong and has that aggressiveness, but he doesn’t just lash out at people anymore. 

With a character so over-the-top as Bakugo, as a performer how do you make sure you’re putting the right amount of energy into that character at all times?

Clifford: Well in Bakugo, I don’t want to say it’s easy because it’s far from it, but typically it’s difficult to go too big with something that Bakugo is doing. If I am very loud, or very strong, or very aggressive in certain reactions or lines, very very seldom does it play like “oh that’s too much for this moment, or that’s too much for Bakugo.” 

Typically what’s actually the harder thing is that when Bakugo has those quieter moments, the more introspective, the more analytical moments, sometimes Colleen our voice director pushes me like “you need to bring in a little more of that force, it needs just a hair more of Bakugo’s attitude to it.” It can almost get to the point where if I’m too relaxed or too in the moment of analysis, we worry that it doesn’t feel like the same character anymore. So it’s actually kind of coming down from the big moment that’s the trickiest spot to navigate.

Justin, with the third movie coming out now, is there any moment from any of these three movies that stands out as your favorite moment for Deku?

Justin: Well I do think it’s very interesting that unlike the previous two movies the main fight at the end with the antagonist is solo Deku. He’s got some support from Rody, Bakugo and Todoroki are also clobbering people nearby. But for the first time, it’s not Deku and All Might, it’s not Deku and Bakugo, it’s just Deku fighting and trying to adapt on the fly and sort of try and overpower this overwhelming force. I just thought that was kind of an interesting first for Deku, as he’s finally going out on his own against this worldwide threat. 

As a last question, Justin, I’m curious, have you caught up with the manga at all, and do you know what’s happening to Deku?

Justin: Yeah I read the manga, so I’m aware of what he’s going through, and you know growing up is tough. 

Is there anything that you’re doing to prepare for what your performance is going to need to be in the future?

Justin: I don’t want to overcomplicate it too much, but I am very interested in what the Japanese actor is going to lay down in those moments, and just anything in the manga I’m always just super excited to see animated. When we get there I’m sure it’s gonna be really cool. 

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