(Manga Review) My Hero Academia: Volumes 1-6

At first I wasn’t going to even talk about My Hero Academia because it was something I was reading outside of this blog, but I decided to change my point of view on it.  I have some thoughts that I want to get out to world about it because I don’t think they are the exactly same as everybody else.  Maybe that is an extremely poor reason, but it’s good enough for me and this is my blog and I get to do what I want.  I should also mention that the anime of this series was the one series that made me want to read the manga of it.  The anime didn’t have that much of an ending and I wanted to know more I bought it digitally and started reading it on my tablet.  I have also been buying other manga as well, so reading My Hero Academia has started this new routine of me occasionally reading manga when I can find the free time.

(Plot/Story)

MyHeroAcademia All Might and Izuku.jpg

If you have watched the anime, you know exactly what it’s about.  It is almost as standard as a shonen manga as you can get with the first arc being how Izuku Midoriya gets his powers, followed by school and training, then the first encounter with villains that makes Class A stronger then everybody else, a tournament arc, and now the appearance of the first anti-hero.  All this sounds basic, but My Hero Academia has a way of making basic things interesting in its own way.

For example, the training focuses on the interesting relationship between Bakugo and Izuku.  Bakugo was the biggest fish in his school for a long time and now he’s on an equal level with everybody else.  Suddenly Izuku, the person he’s been making fun of for not having powers, has them and he’s extremely frustrated about it.  Bakugo is a good representation of heroes not always being the clichéd nice people that you see saving everybody.  It takes all kinds to do this job.

Or maybe we can talk about the tournament arc where it is actually more like a field day before characters fight each other.  There is a relay race and a “calvary” battle where heroes have to work together to get points from other teams.  This is also the start of the venue of how heroes get recruited to work in the field.  There are just so many character and story nuances that makes My Hero Academia stick out from other series.  You can call MHA basic and unoriginal and it is, but the execution is pretty great.

(Characters)

mha-cast

Like a lot of other series that I’ve been watching recently, My Hero Academia has a great large cast of characters.  I mean, there is even an entire class room full and then some.  If you are going to have a school, you need some teachers and a principal as well.  That’s just standard.  I am only going to talk about three in major detail, but here is a quick glimpse at some of the rest of them.  There is All Might who is the quirky hero who gave Izuku his abilities, but All Might’s use of his abilities has lessened as time goes on, Aizawa, who is also known as Eraser Head, is the home teacher, Shouto, the kid who has awesome ice and fire powers, but refuses to use fire because of family issues, Bakugo, who I mentioned before and also has fire powers, and Frog Girl, who has powers of a frog.  The rest of the cast are great characters themselves, in the show as a joke, or just there to fill the background.  Kind of typical in some ways.

quirkless in MHA.jpg

Izuku Midoriya is My Hero Academia’s main character.  He is as plain looking as he can be and has only recently got his powers from All Might.  His arc is him gaining confidence and learning to use his ability, One for All, because he hasn’t mastered it yet.  Most of the time that he uses it, he ends up breaking himself in some way.  You see, in a world of people that is full of quirks, Midoriya was born without one.  His abilities came from All Might.  It’s called “One For All” and it grants the user ultimate strength.  Midoriya’s body has not fully adjusted to using it yet, so he ends up with broken body parts all the time.  Watching his development feels so natural because he earns level up by working harder than everybody else.  So yeah, he’s a basic shonen protagonist with some nuances that make him interesting.

Ochaka.png

The next two characters are kind of a package deal to Deku (Izuku).  Kind of like the way Harry Potter has a Hermione and a Ron, Izuku has a Ochako and a Lida.  Ochako is the cute brunette of the group.  Her abilities are antigravity.  She can make whatever she touches float which is cool.  Her main motivation for being a hero for money.  She needs to bring back money to her family.

lida

Lida is a character that is motivated by his family of heroes.  His bigger brother is the kind of hero he wants to be and we see him struggle to hold up to their family’s potential.  While he is friends with Deku, there are times he takes his own route to stand out more and that is what is so interesting about him.  His family is his strength and his weakness. Lida’s abilities is like an engine.  Like, imagining a motor cycle that uses legs instead of wheels, that would be Lida.  He can move incredibly fast.

(Art)

mha manga art.jpeg

The art style is incredibly interesting.  While the backgrounds are nothing special, each character has their own unique design.  Even no character actually gets development, you can tell who they are by their designs.  That’s incredibly good.  The action scenes are very cool as well.  While they are short, each fight is incredibly memorable because of the large number of unique abilities throughout the manga.  Fire, Ice, and strength abilities are nothing special, but anti-gravity, engine, frog abilities, item creation, quirk stopping abilities, and so on are incredibly cool.

(Comparison between the anime and the manga)

MHA color.jpg

Besides the faster pacing of the manga, depending on how fast one can read, there are virtually no difference between the adaption and the source material besides the anime having color 100% of the time and the animation itself.  I have read in quite a few places that people think the manga provides better characterization for its characters and I don’t think it does at all.  The only advantage that the manga really has right now is having more material and being produced faster than an anime.  Because there is more material, there is more time for the characters to be developed.  Other than all that, same difference really.

(Final Thoughts)

My Hero Academia is an absolute blast to read.  While everything has been done back and forth again and again because MHA is not original at all, there is something special about it that makes it stand out from the crowd.  While the art work is average, but the character designs are so unique that you can easily tell which character is which by their shadows.  If you are interested in investing more time in the world that My Hero Academia presents than the short amount of episodes that aired, go ahead and read it.  I am definitely excited about season two because I want to see all of those cool moments of volume 3.5 and on animated.

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