Hello, my friends! With their humble beginnings within the Big Red Machine behind us, it’s time for our superhero team to reach an era where they’ve gotten some widespread attention. As such, I welcome you all to another entry of…
On August 30, 2009, the Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, thus providing the opportunity for Marvel’s various characters to get on-screen adaptations. The gears towards Big Hero 6’s theatrical outing came about by eventual co-director Don Hall who came across this concept while directing the 2011 Winnie the Pooh film. Despite not having heard of the team before, he took a liking to it and pitched it to executive producer John Lasseter in 2011 before going into production in 2012 at the Walt Disney Animation Studio. Chris Williams would join Hall in the director’s chairs, while Jordan Roberts, Dan Gearson and Robert L. Baird wrote the script.
Debuting at the 2014 Tokyo International Film Festival on October 23 before getting its North American release on November 7, the film was praised by critics and managed to earn over $657 million at the box office against its $165 million budget. Not only that, but it also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature among its many accolades. While Marvel Comics didn’t have any plans to release a tie-in comic, Disney wanted to do so. After Marvel refused, they ultimately agreed that a translated manga series would see a U.S. publication by the NYC-based Yen Press.
Published in 2015, Volume 1 saw its release on March 24 before Volume 2 saw the light of day on September 22. Written and drawn by Haruki Ueno, this actually serves as an altered adaptation of the movie. I’ll make sure to point out some noticeable changes between the film and our present comic, but let’s dive in and see how Ueno handled the story.
Following a quick scene where a young teen named Hiro Hamada creates a dragon’s image out of fire, our story begins with Chapter 1: “Hiro’s Dream”. We open four years after the playful incident as Professor Aquino is teaching a class at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. However, one of his students is busy working on something else to listen to his lecture. That pupil turns out to be an 18-year-old Hiro as his older brother Tadashi scolds him for not giving the teacher his full attention. Aquino comes over and tells him not to be so harsh towards his younger sibling since his college teachings may be too much for him. However, Hiro proves that he was listening by answering the question and even shows up his professor by mentioning that he didn’t properly address his inquiry to his classmates well enough.
Embarrassed by this course of action, Aquino confiscates a device that Hiro was working on and inadvertently pressed its button. Suddenly, various classroom items ranging from stools, writing utensils and lab equipment begin to fly uncontrollably around the room. Hiro admits that his professor’s teachings were boring and that he decided to have more fun inventing things. After Tadashi tells his brother to get the situation under control, a pen flies in and takes Aquino’s hairpiece off of his head.
Later, the Hamada brothers have been sent to their professor’s office as he scolds Tadashi for not keeping a closer eye on his brother. He assures his teacher that things will be fine since Hiro will make “the entire city proud”. Afterwards, the Hamada boys are walking through the park as Hiro rides his own hoverboard. Wanting to see his brother put his vast-intellect to good use, Tadashi asks him what he would like to be when he gets older. Hiro says that he’d like to be an inventor if only that it lets him “do something awesome”. Just then, a group of kids have their playful fun time get derailed when a young boy in their group trips and falls down, getting a minor injury on his knee. As such, Tadashi comes over and blows some bubbles towards the kid as one of them lands on his injury. As the kid notices that it’s not popping, Tadashi explains that these bubbles are made to heal scrapes and that they won’t pop until the injury is completely gone.
After the kids head on their way, he reveals the inspiration for his invention to his brother. When they were younger, Hiro kept getting himself hurt and would always complain whenever his bandages were getting removed. From there, the scene ends with Tadashi looking forward to see how his brother will “change the world”. Later, they arrive back home as dinner is served by Aunt Cass. After Tadashi shoots down a pitiful attempt by Hiro to avoid eating carrots, the young lad activates a mini-rocket in his fork as it strikes his brother on his forehead as various objects also fly around the room. After Tadashi scolds him for his immature action (especially with a comical strike to his head), he asks Hiro if he’s prepared for the upcoming showcase. Instead, he tells his aunt that it’s merely “a school project” before excusing himself. As Hiro continues some private inventions in his room, Aunt Cass is beside herself on her nephew’s genius-intellect and how it would transpire when he becomes an adult. Tadashi tells her not to worry as he proceeds to explain about his school’s upcoming showcase. With it being a platform for students to share their ambitious projects to their professors and even technological companies, he plans on entering alongside his brother and even invites her to attend in order to “learn something about Hiro”.
We then cut to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology where it’s the final day before the showcase. Hiro is hard at work perfecting his microbot for the upcoming show. Tadashi comes in to give him some food, but the lad doesn’t want his brother to see his invention yet so he rushes out of the workspace with him. After heading outside, Hiro is presented with a list that presents the order of presentations as Tadashi looks forward to seeing his brother take a step towards becoming “the world’s greatest inventor”. We then have a narration where Hiro states that it was his own brother that inspired him to head down that career path before we flashback to a funeral. It turns out that the brothers’ parents lost their lives in a car accident as Aunt Cass looks over their graves with a mournful loss on her face. That night, Hiro notices his brother working on something. Later, Cass comes across Tadashi’s invention with a note telling her to “knock it over”. She proceeds to toss it as it rolls around and presents both a flower and a note that say “good fortune”. Afterwards, the flashback ends with her becoming tearfully happy as she hugs her two nephews while Hiro narrates about his brother having a consistent ability to cheer people up and that it became something that he admired about his sibling.
Back in the present, the Hamada boys are suddenly confronted by a massive Tyrannosaurus stomping through the campus. Hiro realizes that its made up of his microbots, the same invention that he planned on unveiling at the showcase. In his explanation to his older brother, a microbot is less than two inches tall, but a vast amount of them can be gathered around a “core” in order to create whatever its user want. Hiro is befuddled as to how they’re operating on their own, since they’re connected to his computer and he was in the middle of putting them through a debug process. With his own invention putting other people in danger, Hiro springs into action as he leaps upon the construct and reaches for the core microbot. Suddenly, they quickly disassemble before reassembling into a gigantic ape as it prepares to punch him.
Fortunately, Tadashi managed to jump in and protect his brother as he takes the hit. After telling him that he wants his brother to attend his own showcase presentation and that Aunt Cass will be attending, Hiro cries over Tadashi’s selfless nature before he leaps in and grabs the core microbot as the technological creature is brought to pieces. Shortly afterwards, Professor Aquino shows up and is appalled by the rampage caused by Hiro’s invention. Despite Tadashi trying to explain what happened, the teacher isn’t willing to hear any of it as he proceeds to expel the young lad from the school. Tadashi then steps in and claims responsibility for the microbots’ small-scale destruction, saying that he accidentally severed the debugging connection between Hiro’s computer and his brother’s invention as he demands to be expeled in place of his brother.
Afterwards, Tadashi tells his sibling that he made a promise following their parents’ death that he would never put him or Aunt Cass through any further grief. As Hiro berates his brother just because of his selfless act, they’re suddenly approached by Dr. Robert Callahan as he exclaims that no one is getting expelled today. He then calls out Professor Aquino for his actions since he asks the opposing teacher how he could possibly know that the microbots were Hiro’s invention to begin with, especially since the showcase has rules in place where no one other than the inventor him/herself is allowed to be in the inventor’s lab. Hiro then realizes that his invention has internal cameras in them as Aquino internally realizes that his scheme has fallen apart. After sending the sniveling teacher on his way, Dr. Callahan gets to properly meet Hiro before taking his leave as Tadashi tells his brother that they’re just met one of the chairmen for the upcoming showcase.
We then cut to the next day as a newscast reports about Professor Aquino facing some disciplinary action while Tadashi and Hiro prepare to make their way towards the showcase as Aunt Cass wishes her youngest nephew the best of luck. As the lad thanks her, he narrates how that moment, he was unaware how he was on his way towards getting an unexpected friend, which takes us into Chapter 2: “Tadashi’s Wish”.
Following a quick scene where Tadashi tells a fellow labmate that what they’re working on will take a lot of energy to work and that it’s a shame that he can’t be around to continue working on it, we properly begin this part with Hiro comes across his brother talking to a group of his fellow students, most notably Fred, GoGo, Honey and Wasabi. With the opening ceremony upon them, Tadashi’s friends head out to watch the upcoming presentation as GoGo smacks Hiro and tells him to “woman up”. He then demands to know why his brother hangs out with them, to which Tadashi says that they’re good people when he gets to know them, but Hiro exclaims that his brother is the only friend he’ll ever need.
We then cut to the San Fransokyo Technology Showcase, which begins with Tadashi as the lead presenter. As Honey Lemon brings out his presentation, she trips and falls as she slams her face on the stage. Despite that minor hiccup, Tadashi begins his presentation by showing his featured centerpiece: an inflatable healthcare robot named Baymax. He goes on to explain that his creation will provide health support to the people. It then proceeds to scan Honey Lemon as its internal sensors detects the bruise on her forehead and places on bandage onto it. Afterwards, Baymax is told that she’s satisfied with his care before giving her a lollipop.
In the audience, Hiro is met upon by GoGo who exclaims that his brother’s invention isn’t “half bad”. He says that even though this isn’t anything new to Tadashi, it’s still something that only he could create. Tomago then pinches his cheek and tells him to “get over it” and compliment his brother’s work. Afterwards, it’s Hiro’s turn as he proceeds to present his microbots to the crowd. Later on, the presentations are all finished as the judges award first place to Hiro.
After that, he and Tadashi are met upon by Dr. Robert Callahan. After some initial awkwardness, Hiro proceeds to chat with him about his showcase victory. Dr. Callahan tells him that even though Tadashi’s invention was the most impressive, his creation was far more “inspired”. He explains that it can be used in a multitude of ways, ranging from rescue machines, industry robots and even creating brand-new weapons. As such, he offers Hiro the chance to come work for him as Tadashi is ecstatic at the opportunity that his brother has since Dr. Callaghan has laboratories supported by worldwide sponsors. However, Hiro declines the offer if only because his brother won’t be with him. Even when Robert considers bringing his brother along, Tadashi exclaims that he won’t join his brother since he announces that he’ll be transferring to another school in three months. Hiro is shocked at this news as Tadashi explains that he’ll be able to see the world and expand his creative mind in order to invent grand things without having to live under his brother’s thumb. However, Hiro says that nothing else matters except inventing things with his brother. As a result, Tadashi slaps his brother’s face and tells him to not be stupid. Hiro ends up crying and runs off as his brother starts to regret his action.
That night back at Aunt Cass’ cafe, dinner is prepared as she asks Tadashi to call his brother down. However, he says that Hiro isn’t hungry, yet nothing is wrong. Later that night, Tadashi comes upstairs and apologizes to his sibling for mentioning his school transfer sooner. Because Hiro is asleep, he says that they’ll talk about this tomorrow. Later, he inadvertently wakes up his brother through an urgent phone call as he takes his leave as Hiro wonders where his sibling going.
As such, he follows Tadashi towards the technology institute accessing a secret door. After seeing the punch code from afar and memorizes it, he uses it to enter and comes across a hidden facility. He then hears a growing hum sound as he sees a massive device opening a portal before discovering a mysterious figure operating it. The person sees him before the created doorway’s gravitational force begins to pull him in.
Fortunately, Tadashi arrived in time to grab his arm and manages to pull him back onto the walkway. Unfortunately, a heavy piece of pipe flies in and smacks him with enough force to knock him off the platform. Hiro manages to save his brother while holding on to him with all of his might as he also notices the mysterious being taking his leave. Tadashi then proceeds to tell his brother to not hold this against the mystery person. He then confesses how even after all of the years of them inventing things together, he never truly understood what his brother actually want. Hiro then confesses that he always wanted to be an inventor like his older sibling, to which Tadashi says that while he had no problem with that, he only wished for his younger brother to explore the planet in order to learn all that he can and one day see the world he’ll create. Hiro doesn’t believe him and says that he’ll save him. However, Chapter 2 ends with Tadashi stating how proud he is of his brother before he falls through Hiro’s grip and gets sucked into the portal. Our young lad then exclaims that afterwards, “Baymax was all that was left”.
Chapter 3: “Aunt Cass’s Worry” opens with her mourning the loss of her eldest nephew as Wasabi, Honey, Fred and GoGo arrive to share her grief. She tells them that the police informed her about how Tadashi was “caught in an experimental machine” and that it’s unlikely that he’s still alive. Upstairs, Hiro cries on his bed as he blames himself for what happened. As he makes a fit in his room, the noise is heard from downstairs as Wasabi wants to talk to Hiro in order to ease his pain. However, GoGo stops him and shakes her head ‘No’ as she wishes to give their friend some grieving time. We then cut to sometime later as Hiro is still in his room drowning his sorrows as Aunt Cass tries to cheer him up with her triple-layered rice-stuffed omelet. However, he’s still in a teary-eyed mood as he turns it down. Cass says that she doesn’t want him to starve, before he angrily yells that he doesn’t want it as he forces her away.
As he continues his utter state of misery, he accidentally slams his foot into a tool box and cries out ‘Ow’. Suddenly, a familiar figure emerges next to Tadashi’s bed. It turns out to be his invention Baymax as he tries to assess Hiro’s “injury”. The kid tries to fend him off by saying that he’s fine before falling in between his bed and drawers. He tries to pull himself out as he grabs a nearby shelf, but it gives out as his various toys fall onto him. As Hiro recovers and tries to stuff Baymax back into box, we learn that it’s been a week since Tadashi’s disappearance and that he hasn’t left the house in that span. Hiro tells the robot that he’ll only go outside if Tadashi’s back and that his creation should know where he is. At that moment, Baymax suddenly leaves the house as Hiro hurriedly follows him.
They ultimately make their way to the hidden facility where it’s been completely stripped of its equipment. Baymax then points and say “Tadashi” as Hiro discovers his brother’s hat. After picking it up, he notices something moving inside as it turns out to be a microbot. After wondering what his invention is doing here, he notices that it’s moving around and decides to follow where it’s tugging him. During the journey, he wonders why it’s leaving the campus since he left the core chip in his lab before he realizes that someone may have copied his design as he feels that this may be connected to Tadashi’s disappearance.
He and Baymax ultimately arrive at a rundown shack as they make their way inside and discover a machine that has made barrels of microbots. Suddenly, they come to life as the mysterious being from before sends them after our heroes. They weave their way through the rundown facility before Baymax pushes a massive shelf to dump its contents onto their foe. However, he used the Microbots to protect himself before having them form a hand and send it after our heroes.
Just then, a sudden order to ‘stop’ causes them to redirect back and pin the mystery felon to the debris. Hiro reveals that he originally created his microbots for disaster relief and they automatically lock-on to fallen rubble. As he puts on his brother’s hat, Hiro demands to know who the mysterious figure is and what he’s after.
From there, we begin Chapter 4: “The Masked Man’s Secret” with a silhouetted past look of a man who grew up with more interest in machines than people. However, he would meet a significant other and fall in love with her before giving birth to a child. Despite that upswing, the narration alludes to him losing “everything” as we shift back to our present situation as Hiro demands some answers. Baymax then tells him not to approach their foe. His detection turned out to be right as Yokai (who’s villainous name is never uttered here or in the film) unleashes a powerful blast of bright light. As they get flown out through a window, Baymax holds onto Hiro and helps to cushion the fall. As the mysterious person retreats, Hiro is bummed that he didn’t get any answers to his questions.
After arriving back home, Baymax treats his wounds as he wonders why Tadashi met the unknown felon and if they possibly knew each other, especially since his older brother did say that he shouldn’t “hold this against him”. Eager to know how Tadashi got involved in this situation, Hiro decides that he has to capture their foe. However, he realizes that he can’t do this with just Baymax. His robotic companion then reminds him that he isn’t alone as he points towards Tadashi’s friends. However, Hiro states that Wasabi, Honey, GoGo and Fred aren’t his pals when he notices that his picture was placed in the same photo as his older brother alongside his comrades.
Remembering his sibling’s sayings about taking a chance to know his friends, we cut to the next day as Hiro meets up with the friendly foursome as he’s initially hesitant before he informs them about his present situation before asking for their help. To his surprise, they gladly accept.
Later on in his home-based work station, he uploads a series of fighting moves onto a data card before inserting it into Baymax. His robot displays its newly-possessed fighting prowess (with Hiro also introducing a friendly fist-bump to him) before getting equipped with its newly-formed battle armor. Hiro’s newfound friends arrive as they’re amazed with seeing Tadashi’s creation redesigned before he presents them with their own superhero outfits, which he also created. Fred is easily impressed as he gives the group their team name: “Big Hero 6”.
With the gang impressed with their new costumes, Hiro prepares to give them their proper training. Just then, his computer sensors picks up the nearby presence of “the masked man”. We then cut to a short time later where our team comes across their foe as his microbots are holding up a portal generator above the city as Hiro yells at him to stop. Suddenly, Yokai uses his excessive supply of microbots to create gigantic spiders in order to attack our group as Chapter 4 ends with him stating that he won’t give any mercy to any opposing adversary.
Before we continue the main story, let me step aside and present something that actually closes out Volume 1: a special prequel chapter (or Chapter 0) called “The Birth Of Baymax”. Following a quick shot of Tadashi working on his creation’s skeletal structure, we quickly flashback to him as a child as his brother is born. We then jump ahead in time as a 14-year-old Hiro comes in during the middle of the night wondering what his older sibling’s up to. Tadashi managed to hide it in time and simply explains that he’s prepping something for the upcoming showcase. Hiro gets ecstatic, since he loves anything that his brother creates before heading out. Afterwards, part of Tadashi’s invention breaks apart as he wonders if his brother could do a better job on it.
We then cut to the next day as a professor praises Aunt Cass’s nephew for solving a complex theorem, but Tadashi reveals that he wasn’t the one who solved it and that it was actually Hiro. With all of the praises that the young lad got for his advanced genius, his other classmates got jealous and began to beat him up in retaliation. Tadashi chased them off before taking his brother home to heal his cuts and bruises. Hiro whines when the treatment stings him, but Tadashi pressed on and gave his brother a lollipop for his trouble.
However, Hiro became isolated and shut himself within his room. As such, Tadashi gets an idea and gets to work on it before showing his brother what he created, a small two-seater plane. Hiro is initially unimpressed, but Tadashi will have none of it as he places his brother in the craft and joins him before they surprisingly take off. They fly for a bit before they crashland in a shallow lake as Hiro expresses his enjoyment.
From there, Hiro’s inventive mind and ambitions would grow over time. Back in the main story, Tadashi completes Baymax’s body and gives his creation the medical data disc. From there, Baymax comes to life to his enjoyment and the prelude story ends with Tadashi telling his creation that he’ll help loads of people, in addition to becoming Hiro’s friend.
With that little side-tale out of the way, we rejoin our main story over in Volume 2 as we begin Chapter 5: “Brotherly Love”. With San Fransokyo in danger from Yokai’s giant portal, Big Hero 6 proceeds to engage the massive creatures made out of microbots. However, their first outing as a team doesn’t start off well as they mightily struggle. After a while, the city becomes engulfed in a blackout. It turns out that Yokai had drained the unique metropolis of its electricity in order to power his portal. An enraged Hiro manages to fly in and leap onto his adversary as he vents his anger upon him before he seemingly crumbles away, leaving our young lad to land on top of a pagoda.
He then looks up and finds Yokai unmasked as he discovers that it’s Dr. Robert Callaghan who expresses his regret for unintentionally killing Tadashi. In his fury, Hiro charges at him only to get stopped by Callaghan’s force field. The young lad continues to punch away at the barrier before he manages to shatter it before tackling the doctor and prepares to enact some brutal revenge. Fortunately, Baymax arrives and prevents him from striking his foe. Hiro orders his creation to destroy Dr. Callaghan, but he refuses to comply before he fends off a sudden attack from a small surge of microbots. From there, Robert places his mask back on and retreats.
Hiro’s blind & desperate need for vengeance continues later on back at his home-based work station as he tries to open up Baymax’s data card port, but his creation doesn’t comply. He then tells his teammates that he blames Dr. Callaghan for stealing his creation for his own devious scheme and for what happened to Tadashi as he wishes for Robert to pay for his vile acts. Just then, Baymax suddenly plays an archive video where Hiro’s older brother is giving his creation its trial run. After performing some initial tests, he’s told by Tadashi that he’s going to help loads of people some day and even become Hiro’s best friend as his creator is eager to see what kind of world his brother will create someday. With our young lad tearfully realizing Tadashi’s intentions towards creating his invention, Baymax proceeds to hug him as his teammates tell Hiro that neither they nor his older brother would want him consumed by revenge.
From there, we cut to a quick training montage where Wasabi, Fredzilla, Honey Lemon and GoGo Tomago are sharpening their superpowered skills over at Fred’s mansion. Hiro and Baymax arrive late as he explains that the reason for their tardiness was that he was looking for Dr. Callaghan. He explains that he used Baymax’s scanners to comb over the city before picking up a signal from an offshore island which contains an old facility.
Our heroes make their way out to the abandoned building where they come across the central hub and discover a pair of gigantic portals (one looking more complete than the other). Hiro then comes across a still-active computer console which contains the experimental files for a past venture called “Project: Silent Sparrow”. Upon activating its video file, it shows a young girl named Abigail who’s going to test an upcoming experiment as it’s revealed that she’s actually Dr. Robert Callaghan’s daughter. From there, a group of military officials are on hand to witness “the moment of the century”.
Chapter 6: “For Abigail” opens with Dr. Callaghan giving a quick demonstration on what his portals can do as he grabs the general’s hat and throws it into the gateway. A short time later, it flies out through the portal on the opposite side. Robert explains that he’s been developing a brand new mode of teleportation by creating artificial wormholes that’ll connect to form a “time-space tunnel” and thus allow mankind to embark on “instantaneous travel” throughout the world and even the vastness of outer space. With the military personnel impressed, Robert then informs them that he’s already gone through numerous tests on animals with all of them performing flawlessly. Now, he’s ready to conduct a human trial as he confidently preps Abigail for the upcoming experiment. As such, the procedure gets underway with her getting launched into the wormhole.
Suddenly, Callaghan’s fellow scientists detect “a sudden space anomaly” and decide to shut the experiment down. Robert refuses to abandon his daughter. Suddenly, the secondary portal explodes as the transmission ends with Robert getting evacuated by his fellow scientists. Hiro then realizes that Tadashi was trying to help Dr. Callaghan in rebuilding his invention in order to save Abigail as he comes across the programming for the experiment. Suddenly, he & his teammates are attacked as Yokai arrives and uses his microbots to throw a massive piece of rubble at them. Fortunately, Baymax punches the debris into tiny pieces before Hiro informs Callaghan that he just learned about what happened to his daughter. He’s willing to help the misguided doctor, but only if he stops putting innocent people in harm’s way. Hiro even mentions that Tadashi told him not to hold Robert against this.
Yokai then proceeds to explain how our young lad reminds him of his younger self. In a flashback, Callaghan explains that he was also a young inventor. He even got the rare opportunity to work at a high-end laboratory where he racked up numerous science awards over the years. One day, he hears a small group of students talking about him recently winning another award. However, one young lady doesn’t find his inventions all that special since they don’t “make anyone happy”. He climbs out of a window in order to confront her as it turns out that she was his future wife Sarah. Eventually, they become a couple and got married before she gave birth to Abigail. On the day of his daughter’s birth, Robert ran late and was thus unable to be there when Sarah delivered the child. After he wishes that he could fly right towards his family’s side at a moment’s notice, his wife sees that as “an invention that could make someone happy”. One year later however, tragedy struck as Dr. Callaghan rushes to the hospital. It turns out that Sarah was the victim of a traffic accident and despite a successful operation, she ultimately didn’t survive and lost her life. Saddened by the fact that he didn’t get to see his wife alive for the last time, he ends the flashback by telling Hiro that this portal is his only remaining reminder of his family. He then claims that Tadashi understood his plight, but Hiro doesn’t due to his age.
As such, he uses his microbots to trap our heroes in order to prep his fully-charged invention for its activation. All throughout San Fransokyo, the blackout not only affects the buildings, but even cars, the cellular network, the hospital’s backup generators and the local power plant. As such, the portal activates and begins to open. Suddenly, Yokai’s mask gets hit by an electromagnetic disk as GoGo Tomago shatters his connection with his microbots as the portal falls towards the ground. Wasabi then comes in and mentions how Callaghan “fell for it”.
It turns out that Hiro’s supposedly-captured teammates were made out of his own microbots as Honey Lemon throws some chemical balls towards Yokai. Fredzilla shoots fire from his suit which causes the contents inside the projectiles to activate and entrap Robert in a block of ice. As Hiro and Baymax head over to destroy the portal, Dr. Callaghan notices his mask from afar as he purposefully falls over. He manages to use his force field to cushion the impact before getting his face onto his proper guise as he uses his microbots to free himself. Afterwards, he rushes over to stop Hiro just as he orders Baymax to “FIRE!”, causing it to detach its fist before firing a beam towards the sky. Yokai is amazed on how badly he missed, but Hiro begs to differ as the chapter ends with a massive lightning bolt striking the island facility.
Chapter 7: “The Heart Of Baymax” opens on a flashback as a recruiter visits Aunt Cass to give her nephew Hiro the opportunity to join his school. However, the mischievous lad shoots those plans down as he activates some miniaturized propulsion boosters on the man’s chair and flings him out of the cafe. Tadashi comes in and scolds his brother while Cass arrives later to offer him a chance to look at other schools, but Hiro exclaims that he’s uninterested. Later on, Tadashi tries again to convince his brother to enroll in a school. However, Hiro says that he’s more than capable of entertaining himself (which includes a past moment where he defeats Mr. Yama in an illegal bot fight) and that he has no need for friends, since his older brother is the only friend he wants.
As such, Tadashi offers him to enroll at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. That way, Hiro can hone his inventing skills and still be alongside his brother. As the young lad develops a sudden interest in the idea, Aunt Cass is shocked when she gets informed of the proposition. Tadashi tells her that this will help Hiro socialize and even hone his skills since he’s more that interesting in seeing the world that his brother will create. Sometime after enrollment, Hiro is walking down the hall when he sees Tadashi showing Wasabi, Honey, Fred and GoGo an invention that’ll explain whatever its user is presently thinking. He proceeds to demonstrate by placing the device onto GoGo’s head as it states her thought about eating a steak. Tadashi then notices his brother and offers him to join, but Hiro doesn’t take much interest in meeting them and proceeds to walk on by. From there, the flashback ends on his narration with him stating that he only thought what Tadashi was trying to do, but he finally understands after everything he’s been through alongside Baymax.
Back on the battlefield, Hiro and Baymax’s attack plan comes to fruition as their shot actually lured the lightning bolt towards the portal in order to fully-charge it. Callaghan is stunned by this revelation as Hiro explains that this is a two-for-one rescue mission. He’s going to help the misguided doctor save Abigail in addition to his brother. As such, Hiro and Baymax fly right into the portal to begin their perilous trek.
After arriving in the limbo-esque dimension, they fly around the rubble before coming across a familiar pod. They look inside to see that Abigail is still alive and is in suspended animation before Hiro orders his robotic comrade to scan for his older brother. Unfortunately, Baymax is not able to detect Tadashi at all. After Hiro realizes that his brother is possibly in another dimension, they hear some noise as they find out that the portal is losing energy and will close soon.
As such, Hiro promises to save Tadashi someday before Baymax grabs Abigail’s pod and begins to fly towards the exit. Because of the debris, they’re forced to fly around it. However, a massive piece of rubble is closing in on them from behind. As such, Baymax gets Hiro out of the way in time and withstands the hit. Unfortunately, the impact has caused massive damage to his suit and has even ruptured his thrusters. With little time left, Baymax tells Hiro that he can get him and Abigail back home by using his last rocket fist. After realizing that his robotic companion will be unable to join them as a result, the lad tearfully refuses since he doesn’t want to lose him in the similar vein of Tadashi. Baymax tells him that his teammates and Dr. Callaghan are waiting for him to return and that if he doesn’t make it back, then Aunt Cass will be all alone. After some much-needed convincing, Hiro sadly agrees as Baymax fires his rocket fist and sends both Hiro & Abigail home while drifting into the empty void as a result of his sacrifice.
From there, we begin the eighth and final chapter of our tale titled “Hiro’s Friends”. As his teammates wait in baited breath, Hiro arrives back in the real world with Abigail before the portal closes. He gets embraced by his teammates before he silently hints at the fact that Baymax didn’t make it. Suddenly, the construct containing the portal explodes as it sends debris right towards our heroes. Fortunately, Robert uses his microbots to catch them.
Afterwards, he sees Abigail’s pod as he opens it up and embraces his daughter before thanking Hiro. Just then, she wakes up and cheerfully states that she still loves her father’s inventions. She even tells him that her mother would love them too since they “make people happy” as Callaghan tearfully hugs his baby girl before Wasabi tells Hiro that they should take their leave.
We then cut to the next day where regular life has returned to San Fransokyo as both the power and cellular network gets restored to the city. Back at his home, Hiro recalls his brother’s vow to never leave him or Aunt Cass alone before he places a object down behind her back. She turns around upon hearing a clatter only to discover a particular sphere with a note next to it telling her to “knock it over”. She proceeds to roll along the floor before a miniaturized version of Baymax called “Minimax” pops out and gives her a flower. Afterwards, he gives her a message where Hiro apologizes for his recent actions towards her before giving his “thanks for everything”. From there, he pops up at the top of the stairs to stand by what he said in his note and that she can have Minimax before she runs up and hugs her nephew.
As Cass gives Hiro a triple-layer rice-stuffed omelette with carrots in it, a news broadcast from a reporter who looks like Stan Lee (Rest In Peace) tells of Dr. Robert Callaghan who willingly surrendered himself to police custody for his actions. Come the next day, Hiro and his teammates are back at school as he attends a class led by the recently-reinstated Professor Aquino. He notices his pupil once again working on something in the middle of his lecture as he calmly takes the lad’s invention. As he examines the squid model, it suddenly blasts him with an ink-based substance and forces his toupee off. Before the embarrassment can settle in again, he’s suddenly surprised by the fact that a new batch of hair has grown on top of his head. Hiro explains that it’s his welcome-back present: a substance called Liquid Wig which won’t come off unless exposed to warm water. Aquino is puzzled about the nice gesture since he purposely sabotaged his microbots all those months ago. Hiro tells him it was his invention and that he should have been more aware in preventing them from acting up. Aquino then comforts him by saying that his microbots were actually wonderful and that he’ll one day become a grand inventor.
After a personal reminder of a past speech from Tadashi where he wants his brother to keep inventing things in order to help people and change the world for the better, we cut back to his bedroom where Hiro has the only two remaining objects of his family (other than Aunt Cass, of course): his brother’s hat and Baymax’s rocket-powered fist. He picks up his brother’s cap and promises to eventually save him before giving a fist-bump to the robotic attachment. Just then, it partially dislodges something that was hiding inside the mechanical limb. He discovers that it’s the original memory chip as Baymax managed to sneak it aboard prior to his self-sacrifice act. As such, Hiro ultimately re-creates his robotic comrade and installs the memory chip as Baymax comes alive once again. From there, the story ends on a quick narration as Hiro exclaims that he and his friends became San Fransokyo’s superhero team and got involved in many battles, but exclaims that those will be explored another time.
As far as major differences from the film go, here’s what I could find. In the movie, Hiro doesn’t attend his brother’s school. While the TV series does have him attending the technology institute, the only time he’s ever at the facility is when he takes part in the student showcase as he demonstrates his microbots in order to enroll in the academy. After said demonstration, he meets up with a guy who was left out of the manga: Krei Tech CEO Alistair Krei. In the film, he’s initially set up as a red herring due to some morally questionable actions, such as cutting corners to have certain projects done on time. When our heroes are over at the abandoned Krei Tech laboratory, it gets revealed that Yokai is actually Dr. Callaghan. Before they learn that, they see video footage of Project Silent Sparrow going horribly wrong. Because he financially backed the experiment, he ignores a sudden defect that briefly pops up before accidentally getting Abigail (who’s more of a young adult here than her child-like appearance in the manga) trapped in the limbo-esque dimension. Robert has hated Alistair ever since the incident and thus conceived a revenge scheme where he’ll use the portal to suck up the entirety of Krei Tech into the otherworldly realm (instead of the city, as in the manga) as a means of making him feeling what it’s like to lose everything, just like how he felt after losing his daughter. Speaking of Callaghan and losing a family member, Tadashi (just like the film) was mentored by Robert. In the movie, Tadashi died in a campus fire due to him running in to save his mentor. Callaghan managed to take control of Hiro’s microbots in order to fake his death and having apparently no remorse whatsoever towards the demise of his former student. In the manga, Tadashi is sucked up into the portal and is in another dimension with Robert expressing regret. As for how our heroes defeated Callaghan, they manage to get his massive supply of microbots sucked into the portal until he nearly ran out of them. Also, Hiro’s introduction to Baymax was changed. The manga has Tadashi introducing his creation to the public during the showcase as his brother watches from afar. In the film, Tadashi demonstrates Baymax within his personal workspace at school for Hiro. Other than that, there’s not much else in that vein. As such, let’s quickly go over the differences that this and the movie have from Marvel’s original pair of mini-series. With Hiro, his last name was changed from Takachiho to Hamada, he’s no longer the lone sibling of his small family and he did have a mother in both series (though she’s only briefly seen in the second series’ first issue). Also, he already attended classes, though the Tesuka Advanced Science Institute was more along the line of a traditional Japanese prep school, not to mention that Hiro and his teammates were based out of Tokyo instead of the Japanese-American cultural mixture of San Fransokyo. In fact, Hiro’s redesign also has him more of a Japan-U.S. mixture as well. Speaking of his teammates, Baymax has the biggest change going from the Big Red ‘M’ to the House of Mouse. In both original mini-series, he was created by Hiro to serve as his helpful assistance and bodyguard. His normal appearance was that of a massively tall man. In the original mini-series, his secondary form saw him take the shape of a battling dragon while his second outing had him become more of a traditional battle bot. In terms of Honey Lemon, she was changed from being entirely Japanese with a bit of a perky/sexy charm to her personality to having a Latin American ethnicity coupled with an upbeat personality to go with her scientific knowledge. With GoGo Tomago, she was originally a young criminal who gets spared from her jail sentence in order to test out an exo-suit for Japan’s Ministry of Defense. She also has a brash behavior stemming from her past, which led to her saying rude comments at certain points in the original mini-series. The second mini-series tones this down a bit to have her be snarky and even show some cleverness, especially when it came to her plan for inspiring their foreign exchange school’s football team. For both the film and the manga, her personality seems to be at a reasonable balance, though there were a few times that her snarky charm popped up a few times in the manga. As for Wasabi and Fred, they have a few differences from their appearances in the second mini-series and how they were presented in the movie. Wasabi-No-Ginger is entirely Japanese and is also skillful in prepping foods from his homeland, not just with his katana blade and his Qi Energy kunais. Here, he’s a black guy who’s skilled with laser-cutting technology, especially with plasma blades as his weapon of choice. Finally, Fredzilla has been changed from a Japanese-born American who’s a descendant of the indigenous Ainu group and is capable of summoning a Kaiju aura to fight back against his adversaries to a laid-back young man who works at the school as its mascot and has an overly-imaginative view of science due to his love of comic books. He also lives with his rich folks in a mansion containing his faithful butler Heathcliff and a spacious backyard that he and his teammates can practice their powers in. No matter the differences that the latter two characters have, they would both replace Sunfire and Silver Samurai to make up the final third of the team starting with their second series. As for why they don’t appear in the movie, this can easily be explained away by the fact that both of them are mutants and thus part of the greater X-Men media series as 20th Century Fox owns the film & TV rights. With Disney acquiring Fox, maybe there will be a future Big Hero 6 tale that brings them back in some form, possibly as mentors of some kind and can interact with Furi Wamu. Who knows what kind of agreements and disagreements all three of them would come across while trying to properly guide our team?
In the end, this presents a semi-alternate take on the film and compliments both fans of the superhero team & those who’re only familiar with the movie. It can serve as a proper way to introduce young kids to reading manga and it adds an additional flavor with some minor alterations that don’t detract from the cinematic tale at all. The art style compliments the team’s historically inspirational Japanese roots and it handles its translated script in a nicely effective way. It should be easy enough to find and also at an affordable price. Now that this version of the team has forged themselves together through an initial crisis, it’s for this retrospective to start winding down as these “Heroes of San Fransokyo” will wrap up their present comics history with a one-shot in a multitude of tales. Before their own TV series came to be, we’ll find out what further ventures awaited them.
Big Hero 6 (created by Steven T. Seagle & Duncan Rouleau) is owned by Marvel Comics, the film is owned by Walt Disney Studios and the manga is published by Yen Press.