Tuesday, March 20, 2018

RTFB Manga Edition, Vol. 2: My Hero Academia, Vols. 1-10

Today's Read This F@!%ing Book Manga Edition is all about one of my favorite ongoing manga series: My Hero Academia. I was sold on both the manga and the anime when my best friend described it to me as a Japanese Superhero High except way better. I was immediately intrigued. Let's talk a bit about this series, shall we?

My Hero Academia, Vols. 1-10

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25074597-my-hero-academia-vol-01 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25111261-my-hero-academia-vol-02 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25814001-my-hero-academia-vol-03
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25814066-my-hero-academia-vol-04 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27406773-my-hero-academia-vol-5 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29499022-my-hero-academia-vol-6
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31140439-my-hero-academia-vol-7 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31140451-my-hero-academia-vol-8 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32919026-my-hero-academia-vol-9

(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)

My Hero Academia is one of many series where the anime lead to me picking up the manga. The series is classified as shounen and currently has seventeen volumes out in Japan with the 18th coming out in April. Eleven of those volumes have been translated into English with new volumes releasing every other month in the US.

When I first started watching the anime, it was a story that I never knew I needed in my life until I watched it last year. It's the perfect blend of Western superheroes and Eastern culture. And it is both an underdog story and origin story and I love it! The whole thing is about main character Izuku Midoriya's struggle going from being quirkless (having no superpower) to having to gain control of his quirk to learning how to be the hero he wants to be. This manga is perfect for those in your life who are obsessed with superheroes like I am. The illustrations have a definite comics feel to them while still retaining the feeling of being a manga.

Izuku "Deku" Midoriya, The Underdog Hero We Deserve
Deku is the type of underdog you can't help but fall in love with. When we are first introduced to him, he's a wimpy nerd who has no quirk in a society where everyone has a power. He's been singled out for being different and bullied by those stronger than him. You can't help but root for him to succeed. Everything changes when he meets his idol, All Might. Deku has to work harder than everyone else and it's so heartwarming to see him find friends and to start fulfilling his dream to be the number one hero. One of the things I adore about Deku is that he getting a quirk doesn't change who he fundamentally is. He is still the hero nerd we meet in the first episode analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each quirk he sees.

The Whole Cast is Great!
This manga has a large diverse cast and it is wonderful! I've fallen in love with most of the characters. The whole story revolves around Class 1-A and their interactions with one another. The friendships that form are amazing! And I am totally here for it! It's the best kind of tropey where you've got your rival character, your class president character, your love interest, your pervert, and, of course, your main character who wants to be the very best like no one ever was. All the characters are just so likable in combination with their designs, personalities, and special abilities that it makes the manga feel fresh and stand out amongst other shounen mangas.

Speaking of characters and their personalities, the hero suits and villain outfits are both ridiculous and cool. There is one character who has freaking grenade gauntlets but it works in the context of the story. Each character's suit design fits their personality and quirk to a tee. Did I mention they're kind of ridiculous? There is another character whose costume is badass and it's based off of a tape dispenser. A TAPE DISPENSER. As I said, it's kind of ridiculous but in aesthetic and actual design it works and is completely cohesive.

The Quirks Are Weirdly Awesome
I can't talk about this manga without mentioning the broad range of quirks and powers the characters have. It's become me and my Best Friend's favorite thing to try and guess what each new character's quirk does before it gets revealed. We hardly ever guess right but that's okay! It's refreshing. Some of the quirks are weird but they're also so unique that you can't help but keep watching to see how each character grows into their powers and learns how to do new things with them.

The Anime is Definitely Worth A Watch!
One of my very few complaints about this manga is that the action scenes can sometimes be hard to follow. But that's where the anime shines! The adaptation from the manga is practically perfect and the animation is awesome. I can't recommend it enough. It ranks high in my list of top five favorite animes of all-time. I own an actual physical copy of season one because I love it so much!

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