So, My Hero Academia is another new manga series that our library has recently picked up. With Naruto ending, we needed a new shonen title to take its place, and while it doesn’t have ninjas, it’s still a crazy fun read.
The Basic Premise:
In the somewhat near future, people start being born with super-hero-esque abilities. Like X-men. But since X-men and the idea of mutants is fairly heavily trademarked and policed, these abilities are called “Quirks.” However, unlike the Marvel universe, 80% of the population has Quirks, putting “normal” people in the minority. This sets the world of My Hero Academia apart from most superhero-based worlds, and Horikoshi’s world-building reflects that, from the way insurance is taken care of to the type of jobs you can get. And yes, superhero is a valid job in this world.
Izuku Midoriya, our 14-year-old protagonist, is Quirkless. And even though it puts him at a disadvantage in life, he doesn’t let it keep him down. He’s determined to get into U.A. Highschool, the premier superhero academy, as is his rival and all around bad-boy with an attitude Katsuki Bakugo. While preparing for exams, Midoriya crosses paths with All Might, the greatest of all superheroes. And All Might has a secret that might be the key to Midoriya getting into his dream high school.
Okay, honestly, I don’t love most shonen styles. I like my artwork pretty, and shonen styles like Hunter x Hunter, One Piece, and DBZ just aren’t that pretty to me. That being said, although My Hero Academia is not pretty, it is a good style fit for the comic. And Horikoshi is amazingly creative. Check out Midoriya’s middle school classroom:
Every single student has a unique power that is displayed in the picture. And the powers (and costumes) only get more interesting as the series goes on. Not only are the array of background characters amazing (and main characters as well) but Horikoshi does excellent fight scenes. He has a great sense of movement, action, and intensity.
One more quick thing about the art: to set apart how incredible All Might is, he draws him in almost another style of artwork with strong lines and heavy, heavy shading. It’s kinda cool.
Not only are the characters well-drawn and unique, but they have different personalities and quirks that set them apart from each other—which is good, because by volume 3 you have A LOT of characters that they’ve introduced and they expect you to keep track of. And if you read volume 1 and feel there isn’t enough …villain in it, try volume 2. Seriously.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great shonen series to throw yourself into, I would put this at the top of the list. It’s just started as an anime (the first episode aired April 3rd , 2016) and was picked up by Funimation so it’s available with English subtitles.
As a side note, at the end of each chapter are notes about characters or the setting from Horikoshi himself. And they’re hilarious. He is a guy I would like to meet.
Verdict: I give this a 4.5 stars of 5 stars. The twist in the middle of the book makes the summary a little…unfair in its accuracy. Kind of. But the characterization, world building, and art are all excellent, and the books only get better. That’s right, we have volumes 1-3 right now in our library! You can find them here: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3
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