19

The credits for My Hero Academia add "plus Ultra" after the series name. Occasionally All Might shouts "plus Ultra!" as sort of a battle cry when he is about to strike a foe. From context, I guess it means "extra power" or "boost", but "plus ultra" seem so random. Is there more meaning to the two words than this? Is this just something which does not translate well from Japanese?

  • I believe they explain "plus ultra" on the first school day, at least they did so in the manga. – Dimitri mx Nov 1 '17 at 16:09
  • 3
    "Is this just something which does not translate well from Japanese?" — ...It's Latin. – jwodder Nov 1 '17 at 20:24
  • 5
    Not just Latin, but Latin that's been used throughout Europe since it became the motto of Spain in 1520, from the older idiom non plus ultra that is used in English. – Jon Hanna Nov 1 '17 at 22:06
30

"Plus Ultra" is actually a Latin Phrase. It translates to "Further Beyond." In My Hero Academia, it has been adopted as the school motto of U.A. High. It's uncertain in-universe whether or not the motto was around before All Might, or if he's the one who came up with it, and his alma mater adopted his personal motto.

In-context, it is an extremely gung-ho statement that tells you to push past your limits and go further than you think you can.

It also happens to be the national motto of Spain, previously the personal motto of King Charles V. Which he adopted as a rejection of the words inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules "Non Plus Ultra" (Nothing Further Beyond) after the discovery of the Americas.

Even IRL, it carries that same sort of gung-ho "You told us there was nothing beyond this point...let me prove you wrong!" sort of sentiment.

The fact that it sounds cool to Japanese Ears by using a pair of English-adopted words that they like is bonus points. But this phrase is not, in-fact, "English" gibberish as anime/manga occasionally produces on account of their writers not being entirely fluent in English. It's a Latin phrase with real-world history.

  • And it's fairly accurately translated in the source, too (更に向こうへ = further beyond). – JAB Nov 2 '17 at 2:27
  • Thanks for the info guildsbounty and @JAB too. It did not even occur to me that "Plus Ultra" was anything other than modern English words. Well, I'm not sure ultra is a word on its own, but a common prefix (ultrasonic, ultramarine, etc). Then we frequently nowadays to grab the prefix to emphasize words; even though the result is not an actual word, the meaning is understood (ultra-big, ultra-sexy, etc.). I feel ignorant not realizing that "Plus Ultra" is the national motto of Spain. Maybe I just missed it in my 4 years of Spanish classes. – RichF Nov 2 '17 at 8:28
  • I found this connection to "plus ultra", when looking up the dollar sign. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_sign – VISQL Feb 22 '18 at 10:02
8

Even in Japanese they say "Plus Ultra!". It is more a reference to when All Might saved many people despite being tired, while having a smile in his face, because he always goes beyond his limits. Plus Ultra is (as far as I concluded from Season 1) when he does something with all his power and more. When he gives his all doing something and even a bit more is when he shouts it. Going beyond his limits. The others adapted to it as their favourite slogan from their almighty hero. That's why they always shout it too. It reminds them about All Might and gives them courage to push forward or to give that little extra more that's needed. But yeah at the end of the episode it can be compared to fanboy/fangirl behaviour.

5

It means "Above and Beyond!" which is All Might's motto and his ideal vision for all heroes to aspire to.

Also, the English words "plus" and "ultra" sound kinda cool to the Japanese audience already, and combining them together is double trouble :)

4

As others have said, the phrase relates to giving it more than your most, rather than just "more power".

This is personified in All Might's fight with Nomu, as Deku notes that each of All Might's punches are more than 100% of what he can give.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.