January 24, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Gabbing Geek Manga Review: My Hero Academia Volume 5

The superhero tournament comes to a conclusion, and the winner may not be all that happy about it.

Hey, here’s something I haven’t done in a while:  read and reviewed a manga volume!

And why not My Hero Academia, the series about a special high school for training kids with “quirks” how to be heroes?  I mean, it’s the Japanese take on a very American genre, so if nothing else, it’ll be fun and interesting.

The previous volume had a superhero tournament in it.  Simple enough concept:  the various student heroes took to a variety of events to see who was the best potential hero of the lot of them.  There’s some talk in there about how performing well will lead to some sort of superhero recruitment and funding after graduation, but I don’t really wonder too much about that.  I mostly wonder how, in a world where 80% of people are born with superpowered “quirks,” who does the various jobs that don’t require superpowers?  I mean, if the majority of people can train to become superheroes, who are the doctors, the lawyers, and the sanitation collectors?

Eh, I probably shouldn’t think too hard about that.

If anything, this volume acts as something of an origin story for Shoto Todoroki.  He has hot and cold powers, but he only really uses the cold since the hot came from his father, the world’s second-greatest hero (after All Might), and since his father is an abusive jerk who thinks his son’s glory using the flame powers will somehow make him look good, Shoto is determined to never use them.  Meanwhile, there are a few other competitors of note, such as series star Izuku Midoriya, inheritor of All Might’s quirk that he can’t quite control, and Midoriya’s childhood frie…”bully” is probably a better word…Katsuki Bakugo.  I’ve long felt Bakugo acted more like a villain than a hero, but until this volume, the series itself didn’t seem to have anyone else who thought so.  But it’s hard not to wonder how the snarling young man who threatens to kill his opponents in the ring is somehow “heroic”.

What I liked about this particular volume is that, essentially, given the less-than-friendly characters that are Bakugo and Shoto’s father, the story allows them to both see other people are not always willing to give them what they want most.  Midoriya knows just what to say to both encourage the downbeat Shoto, ruin Shoto’s father’s good mood, and that has a ripple effect to other people who seem to want to make Midoriya miserable for no good reason.  That Midoriya does it in a way that impresses All Might also helps.  Sure, the lad may not have figured out how to use All Might’s quirk without severely injuring himself yet, but he’s got a good heart and good instincts, showing he is more of a hero even without being able to control his superpowers than many of the people surrounding him whether friend or rival.

Basically, I still think this series is a lot of fun, and if I ever get back to regular manga reading again, this one is sure to be one of the ones I go back to the most.

9 out of 10 medal ceremonies with far too much frothing-at-the-mouth.

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