Currently in Japan, superhero manga is popular. One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia are leading the charge in this category. This series started on Weekly Shonen Jump in the month of July 2014 and is currently one of the top new series in Jump.
14-year-old Izuku Midoriya has a dream, ever since he was a kid and saw the American superhero All Might saving people from a disaster, he has wanted to become a superhero. The only problem is, he has no Quirk. Quirks are what people call superpowers and 80% of the population are now born missing a bone in their little toe, signifying that they have a Quirk. Izuku, was born with a normal little toe, meaning he is part of the 20% that doesn’t have a quirk. Not giving up, Izuku strives to become a superhero in the mold of Batman. A chance meeting with his idol, the American superhero All Might will change his destiny and goals. Reaching for his dreams, Izuku will train at Yuuei High, the top hero training school in Japan to become a superhero in the mold of the greatest in history, All Might.
Shonen Jump has a formula for creating adventure manga. Take one weak boy who dreams of greatness, add a power up and combine it with spirit. Spice it up with rivals and love interest, throw out a few comedic side characters. Oh, and to make sure and that the mc will have someone to train under so that he can go through the obligatory training session power-ups. It also doesn’t hurt to give a spin to the story, like let’s just say , quirks.
My Hero Academia sticks to the Shonen Jump script but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it’s classic for a reason. The world building is very polished, the story is energetic and fast paced. I happen to like the training session power up’s, as long as they are done well and My Hero Academia does it well. Superheroes are still considered to be in its infancy in this manga, so it is only recently that schools have been established to train and vet superheroes. This leads to some funny moments when the heroes don’t quite understand how to act and just say or do what they think a superhero is supposed to do.
The writing is classic Shonen Jump, with a good dose of self-awareness to keep it entertaining. The artwork is detailed, angular and very consistent. The characters manage to be distinct while still sharing similarities and it has great use of momentum to keep the pages turning. I admit that I am somewhat jaded on classic shonen jump formula’s, but My Hero Academia pulls it off well enough that I am hooked.
Verdict: Qualified Buy. If you don’t like Shonen Jump series, then try it first before buying.