My Hero Academia Vol. 2 - Manga Review

Now that Izuku Midoriya has gotten into U.A. High, he has a long way to go to master his new powers among a class full of super powered students! With an anime adaption on the way, this new series from the author of Barrage! continues!

The Lowdown

After inheriting All Might’s incredible “one-for-all” power, Izuku was successfully accepted into U.A. High and is slowly getting used to the school. However, he can barely control his power and the competition at to become heroes is fierce among all of the students. Receiving their costumes for the first time, Izuku’s class begins their first practical hero class. Paired up with Uraraka to face Bakugo and Iida, Izuku has to use all of the hero knowledge he’s learned so far to hold his own. Meanwhile, word of All Might teaching at U.A. High has gotten out and the surrounding villains decide this might be their best chance to finally eliminate him.

How Was It?

My Hero Academia got off to an excellent start with its first volume, establishing a convention coming of age story amid a captivating world where superpowers are the norm, excelling because of great pacing and a visible sense of heart. Now that Izuku has gotten into U.A. High, his real work in becoming a hero begins and this volume wastes no time getting this underway.

The first third of the volume shows his class’ first session of battle training, where the students are paired up, each assigned to be heroes or villains. Izuku conveniently finds himself partnered with Uraraka to their mutual excitement, and together they are assigned to infiltrate a building to disarm a bomb guarded by the opposing team of Bakugo and Iida. This sequence is fantastically action packed, creating an interesting sense of just how dangerous (and necessary!) their hero training is. It also continued to establish Izuku as an interesting and likeable protagonist, and I really enjoyed the way this segment displayed his more intangible qualities. The contrast between Bakugo’s impulsiveness and brute strength is used effectively to emphasize Izuku’s ingenuity by contrast, and I’ll be interested to see if this dynamic shifts as the story moves along.

The second major sequence follows the class as they go on a rescue training mission, only for villains to attack them in order to rattle All Might. In an exciting scene, the students all decide to fight back against the mooks assigned to hunt them down, forcing to make use of their still-developing powers. One of the best parts of this series is how creative creator Kohei Horikoshi has been in developing the powers of the ever expanding group of students, and this battle was absolutely fantastic because of the way it showcased students making use of their quirks in unpredictable ways. This really kept my attention during the action scenes, keeping things exciting and helping the series rise way above the standard coming of age tropes that some might find tiring.

Horikoshi’s art continues to impress, giving a strong sense of force and impact the powers of these characters while keeping the proceedings appropriately cartoony for a manga about superpowers. Additionally, there is a very real sense of motion and momentum conveyed by his art, with an action sequence between Eraser Head and the villains being a highlight. I loved how Horikoshi used this scene to really capture the “cool” factor of watching a full-fledged superhero fight, showing the gap in abilities between the students and the heroes they aspire to be. Additionally, I really enjoyed how close up panels of the characters faces were interspersed into the action scenes, conveying their emotions perfectly to create a thrilling intensity.

Final Thoughts

My Hero Academia Vol. 2 follows up the excellent first volume with no problems, further establishing this likable cast of characters in unpredictable and exciting ways. Perfectly paced with doses of character building and thrilling bouts of action, I’m really excited to see what will happen as next as these students continue to battle to become heroes.


My Hero Academia, Vol. 2
By Kouhei Horikoshi

My Hero Academia Vol. 2 was published by Viz Media on November 3rd, 2015. Authored by Kohei Horikoshi, the series began in 2014 and is still ongoing in Shueisha’s ’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Volume 3 will be published in English on February 2nd, 2016 and there are 5 volumes currently out in Japan.

Verdict:

A

Date of Publication: November 3rd, 2016

Translator: Caleb Cook

Author: Kohei Horikoshi

Publisher: Viz Media




Matt

Matt is a broke law student by day, broke law student by night, and one of the co-founders of Taykobon in his dwindling spare time. Although his favourite series tend to be shonen adventure series, he also has a soft spot for slice-of-life shojo romances. He enjoys following the manga industry, and is a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays in other nonexistent spare time. 

Favourite series: Bakuman

Favourite author: Io Sakisaka