All Elite Wrestling star Kenny Omega got to play a special role at FunimationCon last week, as he was the host of a live Esports challenge where the English voice actors of My Hero Academia went head-to-head in the My Hero One's Justice 2 video game. Ahead of the panel Omega sat down with ComicBook.com to discuss his love for My Hero Academia and how he first got into the series. The reigning AEW World Tag Team Champion said he was hooked from the very first episode of the anime, which famously sees Izuku Midoriya meeting his hero and (eventual) mentor, All Might.
"In general, I hate reading to be honest. But I love superheroes and I'm a huge audio guy, music guy. I love seeing things, I love film," Omega said. "So to see my favorite superheroes animated is always a huge thing for me or to see them on the silver screen. So the huge boom in superhero culture with Marvel Comics and all that, to see is fantastic. But I mean it's been a long time since I actually felt really, really emotionally connected to a story. A lot of the movies were kind of like popcorn movies to me. Yeah, they're fun to watch, but you sort of forget about what you've seen within a couple of days.
"However, upon watching the first episode of My Hero Academia, you barely know anything about the story you had met a couple of the characters, because what can you really accomplish within 21 minutes? But I was more emotionally invested within that story. I was almost moved to tears that first episode, maybe I was, if I'm being honest. And I just felt that there was the idea that they had, the concept that they had just tugged on so many heartstrings. And it accomplished so much within that first 21 minutes, it was almost overwhelming."
He talked about being thrilled that the show caught on so well with fans
"I'm just sort of counting my blessings, that this is one of those series that never got canceled on the first season," he said. "There are a lot of series that I love and I think are just done so well. And they never get a longterm commitment from producers or writers or whatever because it gets canceled. So I'm very glad that the special things that I saw, that I felt, in My Hero Academia, a lot of other people felt too, because now there's a huge group of us enjoying the same story and universe together."
Man fans of the show will often theorize about what their Quirk might be if they lived in the world of My Hero Academia. For Omega, he wants a speed Quirk similar to Tenya Iida's Engine ability.
"So I actually put a lot of thought into this and I think there's some funky ones," Omega said. "The question was always like, 'Hey, if you have any superheroes who would you be?' And sort of the cop-out answer for me was Superman. [He] can do anything, he's invincible. But I feel that like Hero Academia balances a lot better because you don't really get that ultimate superhero that can do everything. I think that's awesome because everyone's got their ultimate strength, everyone has their weakness and they are able to take a somewhat meaningless power or quirk and give it value, give it purpose.
"But for me, I am a huge fan of speed," he continued. "And I think that if you have incredible speed, you can accomplish anything. So I really think I would want to be like Tenya Iida for sure. And just have the fastest speed around where you're just kicking into high gear, whatever you want, get yourself in a situation, out of a situation, propel your kicks super hard. Because with speed comes precision, comes power, comes a force that is generated only by the speed that you can generate."
Omega noted that a speed Quirk would have a huge upside inside a wrestling ring.
"I look at it that way too. I try to be really fast and dynamic in the ring and that's sort of how I've always lived my life. Now that I'm getting older and it becomes more difficult to generate that force and speed. I can still reach it, but it strains you a little bit. And in a way it's almost like All Might's power leaving his body and increments as he goes along and it's more difficult to pull up Muscular Form. That's sort of how I feel in the ring. I can do it, but boy it's not as easy as it used to be."
My Hero One's Justice 2 is available now on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Omega can be seen in action every week on AEW Dynamite, at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday nights on TNT.
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