Here’s a break between more ‘mature’ stuff for a Shounen that that everyone can (and DEFINITELY SHOULD) enjoy XD
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia 「僕のヒーローアカデミア」 My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia vol 1 and 2 covers
My Hero Academia is a Shounen, sci-fi, fantasy, action, school-life, comedy, superhero series written and illustrated by Horikoshi Kouhei. It has been serialised in Weekly Shounen Jump since Jul 2014 and is currently ongoing with 25 chapters and counting. The first 17 chapters have been compiled into 2 tankoubon volumes so far.
The first volume reached 7th place on the weekly Oricon manga chart and, as of Nov 9 2014, has sold over 71,500 copies. It sold out almost immediately on its first printing. [Wikipedia]
My Hero Academia will henceforth be referred to as Hero Acad throughout this post.
In a world where people with superpowers known as “Quirks” (個性 Kosei) are the norm, middle school student Midoriya Izuku dreams of one day becoming a Hero despite being bullied by his classmates for not having a Quirk. After a chance meeting with All Might, the world’s greatest Hero, and an incident involving his childhood friend, Katsuki, Izuku gets the chance to to work for his dream. The story follows Izuku’s entrance into Yuuei High School (雄英高校 Yūei Kōkō), a prestigious school that cultivates the next generation of Heroes.
WARNING: Nothing really. “Shounen action” pretty much covers all warnings in this.
When I first heard about Hero Acad from a close friend and how it included superheroes and the growth of a ‘weakling’, I thought about how generic a ‘Shounen starting point’ that was. Totally a given. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Shounen manga—I really like it, but I think it takes me quite awhile to start on a new one because of how much we expect it to cover the same recurring themes with similar scenes and story lines.
Honestly, the basic plot of Hero Acad isn’t anything that special. It’s pretty much a typical Shounen plot and predictable to a certain extent, but really, how many good Shounen stories can one come up with without it sounding ‘generic’ anymore. Maybe the best way to differentiate them would be the different ways at which those stories progress and the little things that make an enjoyable, cohesive story… At least to me.
Enough about that. Shu has successfully dragged me into Hero Acad and I’ll never get out again.
The best and most distinctive feature of Hero Acad would NO DOUBT, HANDS DOWN, be… ITS ART.
Hero Acad’s art is really DRAMATIC and EYE-CATCHING with sharp lines and lots of contrast. Backgrounds aren’t always extremely detailed, but everything is framed nicely and scenes are always dynamic, whether action or not. The really IMPACTFUL style contributes immensely to the excitement and heart-thumping moments throughout the story. There’ve been so many scenes I’ve silently gone “YEEAAAHHH!” and felt the need to punch my fist in the air.
But that would’ve been embarrassing so I didn’t OTL
Only read one other work by Horikoshi-sensei previously (Barrage) and even then, his art was already pretty distinctive. It might be the ‘superhero’ concept that brings out the best of it, but Hero Acad’s art is comparatively on a whole other level with it’s cool mix of American comic style and manga. This is mostly evident through its characters (both good and bad) and unique costume designs. If you didn’t notice, the Hero Acad chapter 2 cover image from above is depicted just like an an American comic cover 🙂
Besides the fact that everything progresses very quickly and exciting development happens super-fast, I also like how the story subtly links back to everything that happens from the start of the series. It’s already clear how much development has taken place in the span of 2 volumes, but it feels even better when you see it referred to in the manga itself. I hope this makes sense; it’s a little hard to explain. Something to note though, for how fast the pace of the story is, Hero Acad can sometimes be a little text-heavy.
Okay, I most definitely did not do justice on describing this manga, but hey, I hope you’re not turned off by ‘generic’ Shounen because Hero Acad is great for a number of reasons, art being a darn big one.