I’ll be honest; the only reason I decided to give the manga MY HERO ACADEMIA
an honest chance was because the mangaka, Horikoshi Kouhei and I share something in common: Naruto.
not for the fact that Horikoshi respected Masashi Kishimoto immensely
and believed Naruto to be the greatest manga he has ever read, I don’t
know if I would have given this, Horikoshi’s recent work after a series
of failures, a chance.
are not born equal; a realization that 4-year-old Midoriya Izuku faced
when he was bullied by classmates who had unique special powers.
one of a rare set of individuals born with absolutely no unique
abilities. This did not stop Izuku from pursuing his dream, a dream of
becoming a hero like the legendary All-Might.
transform into the great hero he hopelessly wants to become, he will
join the ranks of one of the highest rated "Hero Academies" in the
country: Yueiko. With the help of his idol All-Might, will he be able to
claim the stars and become a true hero?
the fact that Sensei no Bulge, Horikoshi’s last-and possibly most
promising- manga was met with cancellation mere months after it first
begun serialization, it is easy to approach Boku no Hero Academia as
another potentially impressive series waiting to meet its end at the
whims of Shonen Jump.
to say, Horikoshi seems to have finally found that one gem he has been
struggling to create after a string of failures.
Is Boku no Hero Academia
the next best thing in manga, and possibly, anime? Well, I made that
same assumption about a certain manga, only to watch it crash and burn
after only 24 chapters.
Then again Hungry Joker never enjoyed ratings anywhere within the realm of Boku No Hero Academia
Manga presents a number of fairly interesting elements that are bound
to work in its favor, at least as far as attracting the adoration of
Japanese readers is concerned:
-Heroes- My Hero Academia
is heavily influenced by American comics, not only in its character designs but the story arcs and even villains.
the American theme actually works in allowing the manga to take on the
vibe of a bad yet entertaining American comic book series, with its
bright costumes and flashy battles.
One Piece, Japanese audiences proved their fascination for all things
foreign oriented, pirates being chief amongst them; and few things are
as western themed as costumed heroes with secret identities fighting to
save the world from the grand plans of dark villains.
Sufficing to say, it makes sense why Boku No Hero is appealing so strongly to Japanese markets.
It isn’t quite the perfect fusion of East and West, Manga and comics, but the spirit is present.
-Quirk- Boku no Hero Academia
has an abundance of quirk and oddness to it; from boisterously heroic
characters like All Might to humorously titled attacks like Detroit
supelex and the Tennessee Kick, Horikoshi's manga enjoys bathing in the
quirkiness of its universe, this despite the fact that it manages to
take itself seriously enough to generate tension and thrills.
Sufficing to say, the humor isn’t to everyone’s tastes, this despite the fact that Boku no Hero Academia
, like One Piece, usually manages to balance its quirkiness with a serious tone.
Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia
thrusts its hero into the confines of a special academy designed to
transform young and gifted minds into honorable heroes ready to stand in
the gap between evil and it’s innocent victims.
the manga’s cast is quite large, presenting a wide variety of boys and
girls, men and women with unique personalities and abilities, each of
which the series has actually worked to incorporate into the story in a
again that is something most shonen manga can accomplish effectively
today and which isn’t really worth commending the manga for.
The question is whether Boku no Hero Academia
can keep up the practice where other manga would normally throw their weight behind two or three primary heroes.
The primary protagonist is pretty likeable, if a little too wimpy; the
eventual rise of an underdog to the position of super star never gets
old, and for the moment, Horikoshi is doing a pretty decent job of
retelling this story.
Kouhei is a MASSIVE KISHIMOTO FAN; and, for the love of all that is
manga, he needs to tone his admiration down a notch, because it shows.
chapters in and Boku no Hero continues to struggle under the shadow of
Naruto, with so many elements correlating so closely to Kishimoto’s
series that the similarities, not in concept, but story structure can
become difficult to ignore.
doesn’t need to be a massive Naruto fan to realize that Midoriya was
clearly inspired by Naruto; and Bakugou and Uraraka are obviously Sasuke
and Sakura facsimiles.
a similar rivalry already emerging between the pair of potential
heroes, the cool but mysterious Aizawa-sensei-who’s clearly channeling
Kakashi- the villainous plot perfectly timed to coincide with a major
event in the life of Midiroya’s class-clearly reminiscent of the chunin
exams- Horikoshi walks the fine line between paying homage to Naruto and
manifesting the major influence upon his career as a mangaka, and
potential plagiarism-well, maybe plagiarism is an over exaggeration.
in the same way One Piece and Naruto begun with a Dragon Ball
influenced mindset before eventually going their own way, Horikoshi
doesn’t seem content with simply repeating the same formulas that work,
instead already working to stamp his own signature upon the shonen genre
less than 20 chapters into his manga.
America’s Got Powers
is an American series published by Image comics; it tells of a universe
in which the entire human race acquires special powers and abilities,
but for one single human, the hero of the comic.
Boku no Hero Academia
mirrors America’s got powers
, with a somewhat miserable hero in a world where everyone is special except for him.
burden is the desire he carries to play the role of hero no matter his
circumstances and the resistance he faces from the powerful figures
around him who deem him undeserving of the title hero because of his
displaying a wide array of heroes working to save the world using a
number of unique methods even while fighting for the adoration of the
public and the financial benefits that come with them, Boku no Hero Academia
also manifests hints of Tiger and Bunny
, with a world that has more or less commercialized the hero status.
of Toriko, with the quirkiness of its villains and the oddity of the
super powers in play, the shadow of Naruto isn’t likely to chain Boku no Hero Academia
down, which is extremely fast paced, almost like it wishes to outrun the shackles the mangaka restricted its progress with.
chapters in, and the manga seems ready to finally blossom into its own
thing, and could potentially develop into the weird, action packed yet
story driven series Horikoshi clearly wants it to be.
While still finding its footing, My Hero Academia
shows potential and can prove entertaining for curious readers.
The first chapters of the manga are not exactly inspiring. Yet as My Hero Academia
continues to progress, elements of the story begin to stand out.
Only time will tell whether this embryo of a series will mature into something noteworthy.