My Hero Academia 121-123 – Review

My Hero Academia:

Chapters 121-123

Reviewed by: Tom

Knowing Shonen Manga? A loooooonnnng way.

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 121:

The chapter opens with a little more aftermath of Midoriya and Bakugo’s fight. All Might manages to get the two to come around and recognize each other as rivals. However, the two can’t escape from punishment for breaking school rules and are given cleaning duty for the next few days.

We get a brief scene during their cleaning duties that seems to hint that Bakugo and Midoriya’s relationship is on the mend. Midoriya asks Bakugo what he thought of his style and Bakugo actually gives him useful feedback for once. It definitely feels like their relationship is improved. I can’t decide if it’s going to be uphill from here and Midoriya and Bakugo’s difficult relationship is truly on the mend or if this is merely a calm before a greater storm. I kind of get the sense its the former, as everything seems pretty resolved, but I guess that depends on what happens with the new character teased at the end of this chapter.

Pretty sure Bakugo briefly contemplated just ending Midoriya here.

Meanwhile the others return to class and deals with some ribbing from Class B, who seems like they’ll be coming back into play over this next arc. We meet a new character, Pony Tsunotori, a transfer student from America, whose Japanese isn’t all that great. She’s cute, but right now looks to mainly exist for a quick one off gag.

The Principal holds a speech to get the ball rolling again on the new term and tries to instill the idea into the students that they’re the future of the hero world and will inherit society. During all this All Might thinks back to why he was even at U.A. in the first place when he met Midoriya. As it turns out, there was already an individual selected who would’ve made a perfect successor. This I feel is a really interesting development. The idea that there was another potential successor is really interesting, and as we’ll come to find, possibly would’ve been an immediate better pick that Midoriya himself. I wonder if this is going to be a massive blow to Midoriya’s self-esteem if he learns the truth? Either way this begins the introduction of someone who is fast becoming my new favorite character in the series.

Chapter 122: 

As the assembly gets a bit weird with Hero Hound Dog berating the student body for Midoriya and Bakugo’s fight, the students begin to discuss the situation and a certain student seems to take an interest to all the gossip surrounding Midoriya.

Back in class Eraser Head is forced to take questions about “Work Studies.” which are basically internships with Pro Heroes. We go over the whole concept, also addressing potential plot holes concerning the Sports Festival before the students move onto their regular classes. It’s not a huge deal, and the manga side steps any possible plot holes fairly well by going into just enough detail to make what the Sports Festival was about tie into the concept of Work Studies.

Midoriya briefly thinks back to the warning the doctor’s gave him about his arms before we move onto the students returning to the dorms and dropping hints about the Work Studies they learned about. Midoriya becomes agitated and feels like he’s falling behind. But as he’s taking the trash out a weird face pops out of the nearby wall and starts talking to him. It’s Tintin! Well, not really, but what is with Japan and characters harking back to Tintin’s design? This anime season not only does this guy show up in Academia, but ACCA has its own bizarre ‘recreation’ of Tintin’s likeness. Is there a Tintin Popularity resurgence I’m unaware of? Anyway this disembodied face seems to have an interest in Midoriya and promises they’ll meet again soon.

Tintin’s back!

Finally Midoriya’s penance is over and he’s back in class, all fired up to learn and catch up. Eraser Head decides to talk about Work Studies in full now that Midoriya is back and introduces three upperclassmen to explain things to them. And one of those three is the same guy who’d taken an interest in Midoriya just the other day. Unlike this season’s ACCA, Academia has decided to go for outrageously buff Tintin. I like Tintin, so, I guess I’m ready for him to begin popping up all over the anime world?

Chapter 123:

Midoriya instantly realizes that the student hero who’d visited him is actually someone he’d seen before on TV during a prior U.A. sports festival, a super promising hero.

As the three introduce themselves we discover they’re all very quirky characters. Our dark haired, intense gaze upperclass men is Tamaki Amajiki, but he’s got a social anxiety problem. There’s also Nejire Hado, who seems to have the attentions pan of a grade schooler. Finally we’re introduced to the guy who’s taken an interest in Midoriya, Mirio, although we learn his name later. He’s got a lot of All Might’s presence, although is far weirder. He decides the best way to teach the students about Work Studies is to show them first hand the experience he’s acquired from it.

He challenges the class to a battle, although Tamaki urges him not to, as he wouldn’t want him to break anyone beyond fixing. Midoriya steps up to the challenge first and charges in against Mirio, who immediately disrobes. He yanks his pants back up as Midoriya attacks, but all his attacks phase right through Mirio. As the rest of the students join in on the assault it quickly becomes clear that Mirio has the overwhelming advantage. Within six minutes Mirio Togata has taken down what looks like over half the class. It’s then that Eraser Head gives the game up. Mirio Togata isn’t just one of the three best students at U.A. Even including the pros this guy is the closest to becoming the newest Top Hero.

The age of Tintin has begun!

These chapters were incredibly gripping and interesting. Introducing Buff Tintin Mirio Togata as All Might’s ‘almost’ successor has built a new avenue for some potential drama concerning Midoriya and his frustration’s at falling behind compared to everyone else. It all depends on whether this truth reaches his ears or not. I could see it either hurting Midoriya or spurring him on to push himself harder. Mirio is also a fairly fun and interesting character. He’s clearly meant to be a replacement for All Might. Buff, Blonde, and quirky. He’s a bit more full in on the quirky aspect (and in a different way) but his character exhibits the same charm that made All Might my initial favorite of the series. Part of me worries that he’s mainly been brought on out of a fear of loss of readership with All Might relegated to a more diminished role. But I can think of a few avenues that could really make use of this guy and I hope he sticks around. I’m prepared for our new lord and savior: Buff Tintin.

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 (121-123) will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)

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2 comments

  • Pony Tsunotori’s actually appeared before (as have all of Class 1-B as well as their names known), this was just her first speaking role. Also, I’m surprised you didn’t mention Shinsou’s reappearance at all.

    • I didn’t mean to imply that Class 1-B hadn’t been seen before, I of course remember them from their earlier appearances in the manga, although I’d forgotten about Pony (unsurprising as My Hero Academia has a lot of more minor characters, especially non-speaking roles.) So my bad.

      I hadn’t meant to leave Shinsou’s appearance out either, but in an interest in keeping the recap as light as possible, mixed with my own comments/criticisms, it’d accidentally gotten cut as my attention was drawn instead to “Buff Tintin.” I’ll try and be more careful in the future. I don’t want to make these reviews/discussions too bloated however. I should’ve mentioned it however as the manga really sells that he’s going to feature in a big way soon, especially with the framing of the panels he’s in.

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