My Hero Academia 115-117 – Review

My Hero Academia:

Chapters 115-117

Reviewed by: Tom

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Ladies and Gentlemen: Our new main character, emotionally confused and distressed multiplying bad guy.

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 became targets by the league of villains, culminating in a battle against All Might’s nemesis, All for One. All Might managed to defeat this great evil, but at the cost of his powers, now no longer able to act as the symbol of peace. With a shift in the status quo, Midoriya and Co. manage to get their provisional licenses so they can prepare for the great rise of villains just on the horizon. the world is in for a turbulent time.

Review:

Chapter 115:

We open with focus on Twice, one of Tomura’s League of Villain allies, helping us readers to see the shifting state of Academia’s world through the eyes of its villains. I don’t particularly like this chapter. I enjoy its sentiment, and the look into what the new status quo is like from the villain’s side of things: But I feel like the execution here leaves a lot to be desired. It’s hammered home again through the TV news that the world is increasingly on edge after All Might’s fall and Endeavor just doesn’t have the chops to be the symbol of peace everyone needs. This part is a tad confusing, as it’s not always obvious through the speech bubbles when we’re getting TV reports, or our villain’s thoughts on the matter. I like the notion that Endeavor just doesn’t energize and comfort people like All Might did, and it speaks to me as someone currently living through one of the most turbulent elections in America’s history where Charisma was a center talking point.

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Man that must be eating him alive.

As Twice struggles with an inner voice, we see that crime is on the rise, specifically joint crime, with groups of villains working together, something that had been uncommon prior to current events. Heroes find themselves outnumbered and outdone. It’s these illustrative scenes I find more compelling and engaging, sadly much of the chapter is bogged down on heavy amounts of monologue.

Our villain gets a call informing him that the league of villains wants to meet up, although he’s conflicted and increasingly crazy as his inner voice contradicts everything he says. This also feels like a disconnect to me, as we don’t know enough about Twice for much of this chapter to have any real impact or interest surrounding his character. It’s almost played as a mystery as to why he’s so crazy, but doesn’t feel engaging since the chapter’s focus is also split with introducing us to the new status quo.

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This phone call looks hella confusing.

Eventually we get some context for Twice, whose Quirk is called Double. He’s able to make a double of himself many times over, but this eventually lead to confusion amongst his separate selves, which killed each other, leaving him unsure who was the original. He feels he has no place for himself within society. But after spotting a group of villains conversing, and noting that everyone is finally carving out a place for themselves in the world he contemplates whether to step forward and ask to join back up with the league of villains or not. He’s possibly going to be a bigger player going forward, or perhaps just an illustration of the rising tide of villains, but I can’t help but feel this reintroduction was botched here, the manga trying to do two different things at the same time and never really doing either proper service.

Eventually we snap over to All Might who’s face to face with the imprisoned All for One, hoping to settle things for good. Or he says that anyway, that doesn’t really happen over the next chapter.

Chapter 116: 

I don’t particularly like this chapter either. It feels very try hard, unsure of exactly what it wants to say, or how to execute that without All for One coming off like a classically smug super villain who’s got an ‘edge’ over our hero. More troubling is that it doesn’t feel like it really furthers the story at all. All for One and All Might have a chat, with All for One filling us in on the prison he finds himself incarcerated within, Tartarus. All Might quickly turns the conversation back to his own topic, asking where Shigaraki is. But All for One isn’t forthcoming, pointing out that Shigaraki has left the nest, unlike All Might’s pupil. This is probably when the chapter is most on point, but doesn’t provide us with any new information. We know that Shigaraki is moving on his own, and we’ve already heard similar notions before about Shigaraki taking up All for One’s mantle.

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Oh snap, All Might, you gonna just take that dig?

All Might eventually asks All for One why he set up a successor, and All for One explains wanting to leave one’s mark upon the world, to leave himself a legacy. All for One then goes on to note that he expects the world is shocked by All Might’s retirement. He then accurately surmises the state of the world and taunts All Might with the idea that he can’t save people anymore. It’s almost like these chapters are more meant as character exploration, but the trouble is we never knew All for One that long anyway. It makes All Might’s chat with him feel so– well, off. This struggle between these two has never really been in the manga’s foreground. It’s only recently that it came to a head, and while that battle was epic, this battle of wills lacks punch because we’re still so unfamiliar with All Might’s longstanding history with All for One.

All Might reveals he understands how All for One thinks too. He refuses to die and he won’t allow Shigaraki to kill him. He won’t let the future be what All for One wants it to be. He gets to leave and tells All for One that the future he forsees will be smashed, no matter what it takes and All for One instead will be the one watching on in horror in his remaining years.

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Is this going to become a checklist for everything that goes wrong down the line?

On the drive back All Might gets Midoriya’s text, with a photo of his new license. Back with Midoriya everyone is celebrating, that is until Bakugo asks Midoriya to meet him out front so they can discuss his quirk.

Chapter 117:

This chapter finally brought us around to some real meat but continues the format of focusing more so on character than story. Later that night Midoriya and Bakugo meet up and Bakugo leads them to where they first fought after joining the academy. Bakugo notes how Midoriya was a quirkless failure, but somehow got into U.A. He notes it all began after Midoriya met All Might. And after the Kamino incident he’s finally pieced it together that Midoriya got his quirk from All Might.

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Dun dun dun!…. Well we all actually kinda knew that.

He realized it wasn’t just some B.S. Midoriya had spouted before, not after seeing All for One suck up people’s quirks. Midoriya realizes this is his fault for blabbing to Bakugo ages ago about a borrowed power. We knew this confrontation was coming and I think it’s very apt that it happens right after Bakugo has clearly been surpassed by Midoriya.

Bakugo then decides that it’s time they fight. He wants to see what Midoriya has that All Might saw in him. And if Midoriya wins then it means Bakugo was wrong this whole time. Midoriya still doesn’t want to fight but Bakugo charges. Midoriya takes too long to respond and by the time he jumps away his leg gets caught in Bakugo’s blast. Bakugo screams for Midoriya to come at him, but he still doesn’t want to fight. We end on an image of All Might, who may in fact be watching this battle in secret. It’s unclear, and perhaps a tad confusing whether All Might is literally meant to be nearby or merely appears in panel to remind us that these two are battling it out over their differing ideals of what All Might means to them.

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Cliffhanger!

Overall I’m disappointed. I get what 115 and 116 are trying to do, but I think they do it very poorly and I feel like they’re perhaps some of the more disappointing chapters in the manga yet. But 117 brings things back around and I’m hoping it stays that way.

That’s it for today. Please let me know what your thoughts are on these chapters in the comments below!

My Hero Academia is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Volume 7, Chapters 54-62, release on February 7th, 2017. Chapters discussed today (115-117) will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)

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3 comments

  • I was generally satisfied with these chapters. By all means there were not perfect and could’ve been done to push the story forward but I feel that these chapters are meant to showcase some of the changes happening since All for One’s fall.

    It has even been commented on during the license arc that Endeavor was put in a position he couldn’t hope to fill and these chapters, I think are the author’s way of providing a snapshot into these changes. I also personally enjoyed Twice’s characterization mostly how it gives a glimpse of how Quirks can actually be actively detrimental to its user and his desire to be part of something bigger despite being considered one of society’s “outcasts”. Still I must admit that Twice is a rather odd choice to use as narrative focus. Because up until that point he seemed to be a gimmick character with interesting powers. Who’s main defining trait was speaking in a contrarian manner. But still given the author’s style of developing characters I doubt this will be the last we hear from him.

    All Might’s conversation with All for One to me was interesting but it was just confirming what we already knew about All for One’s character. Still I thought it was effective in showing that despite no longer being in power, his influence is still being felt and that knows just the right things to say to get under All Might’s skin. But as you said in the review, it was pretty uneventful story wise. Even All Might himself pretty much comments that his conversation with All for One pretty much went nowhere.
    If nothing else, it shows that the author puts thought into fleshing out story details and has a general self awareness of how others might perceive the direction of the writing.

    All his life Bakugou was told he a prodigy, and his own natural talent in addition to the praise all fed into his ego. But ever since he came into Yuuei he experienced multiple failures and even now is still to trying to reconcile the bright future he was promised with his own current lack of success. To add insult to injury, Izuku, the person he picked on for years for being “useless” is suddenly surpassing him in all the ways that count. Most notable of all, getting All Might’s support and approval.

    Both Bakugou and Izuku both idolize All Might in their own ways. Izuku admired him for giving hope and comfort to the people he saves and Bakugou admired him for always winning his battles no matter the odds. Bakugou is trying to figure out for himself if the reasons he followed All Might for were “wrong” and just what All Might saw in the “useless” Izuku that made him worthy of support.

    It seems that the author intended to show that Bakugou is a character that clings to the past. If the childhood flashback to the forest was any indication. In his mind he still sees Izuku as the quirkless kid who followed his lead. When he had the talent and nothing could stop him. He is still trying to reconcile the people they were in the past and the people they are now and it seems that the way he intends to go about this is by attempting to kick the crap out of Izuku until a answer comes to him.

    I have to say at the beginning of the I was not a fan of Bakugou due to how shallow seeming his reasons for being a prick were. So I was rather surprised how invested I was in his character arc in this chapter.

    Overall, I’m not too worried about the way the author writes his characters. It seems to be his favored way of developing characters. He seems to enjoy playing around with simple character traits and have them acquire depth and humanity over time. Almost all the main character’s in this manga, at the start, could pretty much be pigeonholed into certain archetypes. But it wasn’t until Horikoshi takes the time to showcase their emotional growth that I got invested in this story.

  • Twice, the guy from 115, isn’t “new”. He’s been around since the camp arc. He was the guy who made the clone of Dabi that Aizawa fought and always says the opposite of what he means.

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