Covert Coot: Why My Hero Academia is worth your time?

Over the last month I’ve seen the name ‘My Hero Academia’ being thrown around a lot and my walk through life lead me back to the local emporium of comic books, graphic novels and movie memorabilia – ten points to me for squeezing the word ‘emporium’ in here… am I right? – While browsing the manga section I stumble across the title this piece is about and finally had the chance to see what it’s all about. The back of the first volume reads as follows:

‘Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…’

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The first thing that ran through my mind was One Punch Man, with that in mind I grabbed the first two volumes of My Hero Academia (or Boku no Hero Academia) and I admit that I should not have gone into this with One Punch Man in mind, but I did love both volumes and booked my ticket aboard the hype train. Here’s why it’s worth your time.

My Hero Academia is written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi and introduces us to a world where 80% of the population have developed superpowers, also called ‘quirks’ in this universe. From there we are introduced to Izuku Midoriya who is among the 20% of the population without a quirk and the appeal behind Midoriya is that he’s both a believable and relatable protagonist, in fact Horikoshi’s design of the character has him look as plain as possible when compared to the rest of the cast which helps in the reader projecting themselves into the story. As well as this Midoriya is shown to always try to do the right thing and demonstrates more heroics and bravery than those with quirks.

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Then there’s the setting of U.A. High School, there we’re introduced to more of the cast in the form of students and teachers. One of my personal favourites being the carefree teacher Shota Aizawa and Midoriya’s childhood friend, now rival, Bakugo.

Shota Aizawa

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One of the things that ran through my mind when introduced to U.A. High School was the Disney film, Sky High (2005) which featured a similar setting and focused on superpowered high school kids developing their abilities and assorted into the career as hero or sidekick. Two similar scenarios between the two occur where the introductory exam is to test the potential of the student’s quirks and the other test had the class divided into groups of heroes and villains, the latter of which being a highlight of the second volume.

It’s still early days for My Hero Academia, in the UK at the time of writing this only three volumes have been released but so far these volumes have been consistently strong and show a lot of potential to be the next BIG shonen manga.

For those of you into your anime, My Hero Academia was picked up for a 13 episode first season and three of these episodes have been released so far. The animation studio working on the show is Bones Studio, who are responsible for Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Space Dandy – if you’re familiar with the studio or not, they’re noted for their high quality work and their style is suited to My Hero Academia, after all, it is a superhero show so expect a lot of beautiful colours and colourful characters.

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I urge you to seek out both the manga and anime of My Hero Academia, the work has drawn comparisons to Bleach, Naruto and Hunter X Hunter – I wouldn’t compare them much to those titles but it definitely deserves to be every bit as successful, also, if you reside in the US or Canada then you can watch the anime on the official Funimation website as part of their simulcast service.

…That’s this week’s Covert Coot article!!! Check back tomorrow for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!

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