Manga Review: My Hero Academia V1 by Kohei Horikoshi

May Contain Spoilers

I grabbed this because I kept seeing it at the library. I knew nothing about the series before I picked it up. Like Black Clover, the hero of My Hero Academia has no natural superpowers, or quirk, as they are called here. Izuku still desperately wants to be a hero, and despite his lack of a quirk, he is going to make his dream come true. Too bad he is timid, afraid of confrontations, and not really hero material. That is, until he sees someone who needs saving, and then his courage kicks into overdrive.

Eighty percent of the population has suddenly developed powers, but poor Izuku’s never manifested. Concerned, his mother had him examined as a child, but the doctor points out that because he has two joints in his pinky toe, he has absolutely no quirk, and never will have one. Izuku’s mother is devastated, and because she is so upset, young Izuku believes that he is at fault for being a dud. Sob!

Because he has no quirk, he is picked on at school, particularly by bully Katsuki. Katsuki has a really strong explosive quirk, and when he learns that his classmate shares his goal of getting into UA High School, he doesn’t hesitate to ridicule Izuku’s dream. He makes his life miserable, both because he’s weak and because Izuku is too timid to fight back.

A chance meeting with All Might, one of the most powerful superheroes of them all, gives Izuku hope. All Might, moved by Izuku’s desire to be a hero, and by his selfless action trying to defend someone from a monster, agrees to help him gain strength and power. Part of All Might’s quirk is sharing his power with others. After training for months, All Might gives Izuku a strand of his hair and tells him to eat up. Yuck!  After ingesting the gross bit of DNA, Izuku rushes off to take his UA High School admission exam.

I’m kind of meh on this right now, but maybe once I get to know the characters better, I’ll feel more invested in the series. It was a pleasant read, but nothing about it said WOW to me. I felt like I’ve read it before, in various other Jump series. I’ll give this a few more volumes, and see if it sucks me in.

Grade: 3.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

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…