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Fun With Names: U.A. High School (雄英高校)

Fans of the Shounen genre will have seen, or at least heard of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia), a third-wave Shounen title which has taken the mantle from previous Shounen proponents and brought out tried and tested formulas from the genre and applied its own range of twists to what we know and love. The hype around this show is immense, but that's not what we're here for. Welcome to another Fun With Names, where I will be breaking down the names of anime characters, titles and basically anything in an anime with an interesting name; all to see how these small pieces of information link up with the rest of the story.

MHA

BNHA

Today I'll be looking at My Hero Academia's famed U.A. High School, a school in the series known for its comprehensive hero course which prepares aspiring heroes for a career in crime-fighting. Most of the names in this series are puns and I'm thinking of lining up a few of these names for future iterations of Fun With Names. My Hero Academia is set in a world where supernatural abilities or "Quirks" are commonplace in human society and thus, superheroes and villains alike exist in this world. The series follows 15-year-old Midoriya Izuku, a Quirkless boy who despite his lack of a Quirk, wishes to become a hero and follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol, the number 1 hero, All Might. When All Might reveals that his Quirk can be passed on, he puts Izuku under a grueling training regimen to prepare him for the power so he can achieve his goal to attend the Hero Course at U.A. High. However, the path to the top is riddled with challenges.

Hero


As said before, U.A. High School is an academic institution committed to turning its students into fully-fledged heroes. It is the top institution in Japan in this regard and separates its students by class and department, with Midoriya Izuku and the other main characters in Class 1-A. Classes A and B are directly related to heroics, while the rest are assorted departments, one of which is dedicated to students who didn't make the cut for heroics, are aspiring for college or other personal pursuits.

UA

Over to the name, "U.A. High School", or 雄英高校 ("yuu-ei kou-kou"). The Japanese word for "hero" is 英雄, which is pronounced "ei-yuu". A quick switching of the Kanji involved and we are given 雄英 "yuu-ei", which is then pronounced like the letters U and A. It's really that simple with the name of this institution; however, it can go completely unnoticed by a non-Japanese audience. I stumbled upon it by pure coincidence and when looking into it further, my suspicions were confirmed. U.A. High School being known as a school for heroes is literally in the name if you look hard enough. What's in a name? Just our main character's hopes and dreams.

AUUA

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