- Story and Art by: Kohei Horikoshi
- Translation & English Adaptation: Caleb Cook
- Touch-up Art & Lettering: John Hunt
- Designer: Shawn Carrico
- Editor: Mike Montesa
- Published by: Shonen Jump & Viz Media
In my search for more popular Manga and Anime series, I decided to look for some more series about superheroes, so that it would keep in line with my usual blog reviews of DC/Marvel comics, whilst still bringing new content that explores different types of media.
I really enjoyed the first season of One Punch Man as it was a very different take on superheroes, with bizarre characters, so I wanted to see what else I could find and I discovered a popular anime called ‘My Hero Academia’ so when I found the first volume of the manga, I decided it was definitely worth the read.
Izuku Midoriya is a normal, average looking 15 year old boy, living in a not so normal world. In this story, eighty percent of the worlds population are now born with superpowers, known as “quirks”. Each individuals quirk is unique and their origins are unknown, meaning that no two people will ever share the same superpower, though some may have similar ones.
When young people with “quirks” finish school, they have the opportunity to study at the Hero Academies such as U.A. High School, but to get in, there is a rigorous entrance test.
Sadly for Izuku, he was born quirkless and therefore will never get into the Hero Academy…at least not without some help from All Might one of Japans greatest and most famous heroes. After Izuku proves that he has a heroes heart, running head first into danger to help others, All Might decides to make Izuku his new successor, since All Might’s quirk is known as “One For All” and is a quirk he can pass on to a worthy successor without losing his own quirk. He helps to train Izuku Midoriya so that the young, quirkless, hero-loving boy with a hero’s heart, can gain a quirk and make it into the Academy!
The story is so much fun to read as there are so many quirky characters in the first volume alone, whether they’re students like Midoriya and Ochaco Uraraka, to heroes such as All Might and Mt. Lady, and finally the tutors, such as Shota Aizawa. Each character has their own unique personality and are very memorable from the start.
As the chapters go on you find yourself drawn to each page as the story progresses because there are a few twists and turns that keep you guessing as to what might happen. Whilst some of the plot points may seem obvious, there are others that will certainly lead to greater things in later volumes, that I am certainly eager to obtain and read.
As mentioned before the characters all have their own unique quirks and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Horikoshi came up with them and planned then all out beforehand or just began drawing sketches and adding some random unique power to the sketch because some of the characters really do have quirks you’ll not find anywhere else such as Yuga Aoyama whose quirk is a Navel Laser, which means he literally shoots powerful laser blasts from his belly button, using a special belt known as a Sparkle Belt, Yuga is able to better control his Navel Laser ability but it still has has some pretty bad drawbacks, such as causing a loss of bowel control if used too much or for too long.
There are definitely plenty of great designs to accompany the story of My Hero Academia, that give it a certain appeal that you won’t find in other superhero stories.
As a fan of superheroes, it seems like Japan is certainly becoming one of my favourite sources for those types of stories. As with One Punch Man, it seems they have a very unique grasp on the storytelling within the genre, with most superheroes being recognized and even having a constitution for them all to belong to. In Marvel Comics they had a Civil War about superhero registrations but in Japanese superhero stories, there seems to be a registration that solves many of the issues discussed in the Marvel event that had fans arguing, which I find really interesting.
Heroes are taught and raised under a constitution, without being government controlled, but still monitored, and praised by many for their work, without having to give up any personal information such as secret identities.
If you’re into superheroes and underdog stories then My Hero Academia is certainly for you.
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