My Hero Academia 109-111 – Review

My Hero Academia:

Chapters 109-111

Reviewed by: Tom

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The many faces of horror.

Synopsis: Izuku Midoriya has wanted to be a hero all his life. He lives in a world where people are born innately with quirks, and if so chose, can go down the path of becoming a hero, choosing to fight those who would use their birth given abilities for evil rather than good. It’s a difficult path for anyone, but near impossible for Izuku, who was born quirkless, without any innate powers of his own. He’s mocked by his classmates, who rudely nickname him Deku, but Izuku holds onto his dream no matter what.

Izuku’s life is forever changed however, when he has a fated encounter with All Might, the mightiest super hero of them all. Through this encounter, Izuku found his path towards becoming a super hero, a path not easy by any means.

Warning: Spoilers to Follow:

Now, having fought several villains seeking to defeat All Might, and learned to properly control his quirk, Midoriya and the rest of his class retreated to a summer training workshop where they were attacked by the league of villains ends. They captured Bakugo, causing Midoriya and the others to plan a secret rescue mission while All Might and the other big heroes started their own official operation.

However, it turned out Tomura was backed by a far greater threat! All Might’s nemesis, All for One. All Might managed to defeat All for One, but at the cost of his powers. Will All Might no longer able to act as the symbol of peace things are about to get a whole lot worse. In order to ensure student safety, the Academy decided to institute Dormitories and with the new term starting it’s time for Midoriya and Co. to take their License Exams, but acquiring them may not be as easy as they’ve been ‘lead’ to believe.

Review:

Chapter 109:

Picking up from last time the second part of the exam is explained as a chance to see how our wannabe heroes act in a rescue situation. We’re introduced to the idea that old and young people have jobs as Professional Rescuees for Heroes to practice on. Specifically the students are going to find themselves graded by the Help Us Company or H.U.C. It’s pretty cool idea and one of the things I love about My Hero Academia: The bizarre little world building touches.

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He looks like he’s going to be having way too much fun with this.

Midoriya is instantly reminded of the not so long ago Kamino Ward battle and affirms  to himself that they can do this. Jumping away from the upcoming exam, a few of Midoriya’s classmates learn of his encounter with Camie, who was naked. Midoriya tries to deny any scandalous allegations, but Camie’s friendly wave at him doesn’t do him any favors. Uraraka watches as Midoriya tries to defend himself with a rather thoughtful, introspective look on her face. The chapter calls attention to Uraraka like this a couple times. And even after Uraraka has an internal monologue to expand on how she’s feeling, I still don’t really understand where we’re going with this plot line. I’m all for a little newbie hero romance, but it feels a bit bland now. I’m hoping it’s early set up for a plot line down the road.

Meanwhile students of Shiketsu come by to apologize to Bakugo for Shishikura’s earlier behavior. Todoroki confronts Yoarashi shortly after, and learns that Yoarashi’s beef has to do with Todoroki being Endeavor’s son. He announces that he hates all of Endeavor’s family, and that Todoroki, despite changing since a certain day, still has the eyes of his father. It seems like a pretty serious little feud we have here, only making it all the more of a let down when Yoarashi’s reasoning comes off like that of a spurned fanboy. But we’ll get to that.

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I hate all of you for extremely petty and childish reasons!

Camie again bids goodbye to Midoriya, reigniting the horny teenage jealousy, forcing Yaoyorozu call them out for their shameful behavior. But Uraraka becomes a bit lost in thought, clearly struggling with her budding romantic feelings for Deku. She’s about to call out to him, perhaps to talk to him about it when the exam starts suddenly, the walls of the room falling away again to reveal the field. It’s go time.

Midoriya rushes out to save a crying child, but immediately loses points for lacking the composure as a hero. The child actor calls them out for how unprepared they are and points out that the other heroes around them are already working to make the situation better, or providing reassurance to the victims. It’s a great moment, and one of my favorite points of the chapter. We’ve been so focused up till now on Midoriya and Co. preparing for full on combat with villains that we’ve completely negated talking about heroes other big task: Saving lives. Perhaps it’s even a commentary on the way we portray heroes in media, rarely giving attention to the live saving acts and always concentrating on the war against evil.

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Boy, Midoriya. For someone who wants to follow in All Might’s footsteps you’re really blowing this exam.

Even Eraser Head admits that maybe his students are lagging behind the others here. It’s a little weird, as with how thorough Eraser Head can be you’d think he’d have taught them something about this, but I can chalk it up to Midoriya and Co. taking the licensing exam earlier in their schooling than normal. Midoriya takes the criticism to heart and remembers All Might’s signature phrase. He slaps himself back into the game, takes charge of the situation, and puts on the reassuring facade expected of heroes or, well, the best he can muster.

Uraraka continues to struggle with her emotions for Deku, but decides to bottle them up for now, curtailing this little romantic side line for the moment. She’s inspired by Deku, and she needs to work hard for her dreams just as he is. Meanwhile the exam master notes that a typical rescue doesn’t always go as planned. Hint. Hint. Wink. Wink.

Chapter 110: 

Yoarashi saves people utilizing his wind abilities, although he’s criticized for jumping the gun and not checking on each individual’s condition first. Shishikura criticizes his teammate from the stands, even though he was already knocked out. This leads to his instructor reminding him to be careful about the influence he’s feeling from Stain’s whole event. As it turns out, everyone is feeling that influence, especially after the loss of All Might. It’s an interesting note, and it feels like the author wants us to keep this in mind. I’d normally be tempted to say it’s merely lip service, but within the next chapter we touch on the ramifications that have been building, which is great.

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Don’t fall to the dark side wannabe hero guy that has a power that’s totally suited to being a villain!

Uraraka and Yaoyorozu work to save another civilian, although Uraraka also jumps the gun, and it’s only thanks to Yaoyorozu’s guidance that they don’t lose massive points. Everyone gradually gets a handle on the test, realizing it’s better to split off into groups, tackle the areas one by one, etc.

Midoriya meanwhile finishes carrying the child to the designated relief zone where he learns that heroes need to basically start sorting victims so that police and medics can take over with ease.

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Bakugo’s secondary profession: Motivational Speaker.

Back in the examiner’s office he notes that from the way the exam started most of them wouldn’t make the cut, but H.U.C.’s judges aren’t handing out as many deductions as they expected, basically balancing the test out. Oh look, everyone is gearing up to pass again. Anyway moving on, at this point a wall in the arena explodes, and Gang Orca, a hero who looks an awful lot like a villain, takes the stage to help simulate heroes having to deal with an ongoing assault while rescues are still underway. Eraser Head is surprised, as this seems a bit much for a provisional license, but now it’s on our wannabe heroes to figure out how to proceed.

Chapter 111:

Flashing back we learn that with All Might’s retirement the Hero Commission decided to change up the exam guidelines in favor of bolstering teamwork until a new symbol of justice can take the stage and reassure the public. I really like how consequences are building in Academia’s world and events feel like they flow into one another rather than exist in a vacuum. The best manga manage to do callbacks like this and I think Academia’s really nailing that aspect of itself.

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Looks like our author is self aware on how silly the ball part of the exam came off.

The students are a bit stunned, unsure exactly how to handle the situation. Shindou tries to handle Orca himself, but is quickly dealt with. Todoroki and Yoarashi step in the handle Orca while the others focus on rescue. But it doesn’t go all that well as both Todoroki and Inasa can’t seem to get along. Todoroki tries to convince Inasa to go help civilians as his quirk is suited to that, but he won’t listen to Todoroki, not with the grudge he’s holding.

The two end up undoing each other’s attacks. Finally Inasa spills the beans, that his hatred for Todoroki stems from Endeavor’s callous disregard for him as a fan wanting an autograph and later, when he met Todoroki at U.A.’s entrance ceremony, he was met with the same unfeeling, callous, cold stare. Because of that he refuses to accept Todoroki or Endeavor as real heroes. It’s– honestly lame. It feels like such a petty, pathetic grudge to hold and let ruin this exam. Inasa does a rubber band between his cool design and pathetically petty. I really hope there’s more to it, otherwise Inasa feels well, dumb.

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I mean, I get that it sucks to find out your hero is an asshole, but come on man, you’re actively failing at being the exact kind of hero you admire!

Despite a few comments from Orca himself on how this isn’t the time for such an argument, the two continue to undermine each other, and Inasa accidentally sends Todoroki’s flame attack back at a paralyzed Shindou. Midoriya thankfully jumps in at the last minute to save Shindou and scream some sense into his fellow bickering wannabe heroes.

Outside of a couple small complaints, and Inasa’s rather tepid reveal, I’m very happy with these chapters. It’s looking like Midoriya will shine through this portion of the exam by inspiring the other students and holding things together. I just wish someone from U.A. would actually fail though, to remind us that failure is possible in this manga.

That’s it for today. Please let me know what you’re thinking of My Hero Academia’s current arc in the comments below!

My Hero Academia is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Volume 5, Chapters 36-44, released on August 2nd, 2016. Chapters discussed today (109-111) will be collected and released sometime next year.

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