Changing things up a bit this week and reviewing a manga series. Manga is basically the Japanese form of comic books. They tell typically overarching storylines in serialized panel format. There is a lot of variety in manga, but it typically falls into two categories (I am way over simplifying this, but if you are curious for a more in depth look at manga and its nuances let me know and that could be a topic for a later post) Shonen Manga is boy oriented with action heavy plotlines or Shoujo manga aimed at girls with more emotionally driven plots. You will find a multitude of genres contained under those two umbrella genres. My Hero Academia is a Shonen manga, published in Weekly Shonen Jump, a magazine geared towards Shonen manga’s. Typically manga volumes that you see in the store are gathered versions of these individual comics (like graphic novels or trade paperbacks for American comics). Japanese manga reads reverse to American comics. Instead of reading the panels left to right you read them right to left. This can be very confusing when first starting out, but you get used to it eventually. I occasionally find myself reading American comics backwards! Anyway… on to the review!
The Plot: The story starts with Izuku Midoriya in middle school living in a world where superheroes are real and everyone is born with a “quirk” that makes them special. Izuku, called Deku (which means Good-For-Nothing) by his classmates and bully/friend, has always dreamed of becoming a superhero and following in the footsteps of his favorite hero All-Might. One problem with this… Deku has 0 super powers. He’s completely normal. When he meets his childhood hero by chance, things begin to change.
Izuku Midoriya “Deku”- OMG I love Deku SO HARD. I am trying to be objective for you dear readers but… he’s the BEST. Ahem. Deku is a Hero with a capital H. When the chips are down Deku will ALWAYS step up, even when there is no hope of winning and survival is slim, Deku will step up. When the kid who has bullied him for years is in danger and the professional heroes can’t/won’t step up to try and save him, Deku runs forwards to fight. Deku with no powers. Deku who has just had his dreams crushed by his idol. But he’s not stupid he instantly judges the situation and makes a strategic choice that is fairly accurate. His Idol impressed with his courage offers him the deal of a lifetime, to become his successor. The rest of the story is Deku’s journey to be the greatest hero.
All-Might- The greatest hero in the land, All-Might is even drawn in a different style from the other characters, much more Americanized. Following an encounter with his arch nemesis All-Might is losing his powers. It is time to find an apprentice. All-Might is not a bright man, but he is a good one, and he recognizes the same goodness in Deku.
Kacchan- Big Fish in a little pond Kacchan is Deku best friend and tormentor. The kid with the biggest personality and best powers the one constant in his life was that he was ALWAYS better than good-for-nothing Deku. Until suddenly he’s not. Deku, who has been powerless for years, suddenly develops powers and now Kacchan has to readjust.
5 out of 5 stars
I seriously almost rated this 7 out of 5 stars. I LOVE these stories. Good guys are good guys, bad guys are bad guys. Deku is everything that a hero is supposed to be, good, loyal, and true. He will always step forward to not do so is an alien concept to him. Seriously if you like superhero stories you should give this a shot, even if manga isn’t normally your thing.