September 25, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Gabbing Geek Manga Review: My Hero Academia Volume 1

A young man wants to be a superhero despite a lack of superpowered quirks in this manga series.

I’ve noticed a common plot to many of these manga stories.  Often, there’s a young protagonist who really wants to be the next Wizard King, or join a legendary magician’s guild, or a top exorcist, or King of the Pirates or the next Hokaji (probably misspelled), or something along those lines.  There’s nothing wrong with that and the paths can be very different to that goal, but so many go that way.

My Hero Academia has a kid who wants to become a superhero.  There’s just one problem…

He doesn’t have any superpowers.

In this setting, 80% of the human population develops some kind of superpower, known as a “quirk”.  The other 20% stay ordinary humans.  Izuku Midoriya is one of those 20%, but he really wants to be a hero and do to U.A. High School to learn how to be a hero.  Heroes are well-respected and well-compensated figures, but Midoriya just wants to do good.  Sure, a powerful classmate seems to hate his guts, but he doesn’t stand a chance, does he?

Well, maybe he does have a chance after a chance encounter with the greatest hero alive, All Might.  All Might himself has a secret or two, and his encounter with Midoriya gives hope to both.  As such, there is a chance for Midoriya to overcome things and become a real hero, perhaps the greatest of his generation.

Writer/artist Kohei Horikoshi does a fine job here, even using breaks between chapters not to give biographies for his characters like many of these books do, but to explain how he created the characters.  He even uses a page to give credit to his assistants by drawing them into the book as superheroes.  As it is, the volume ends with a cliffhanger of sorts as the new students are given costumes, but Midoriya’s hasn’t been fully revealed yet.  So, let’s say nine out of ten giant forelocks.