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My Hero Academia 130-132 – Manga Review

My Hero Academia:

Chapters 130-132

Reviewed by: Tom

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 130:

While Midoriya and Mirio were running into Chisaki, Sir Night Eye and his assistant were scoping out the Yakuza stronghold. They get a call from Midoriya and meet up to learn what happened when they ran into our newest big bad. There’s some discussion of Chisaki’s potential quirk, due to an incident with robbers making a getaway the other day. This adds a new avenue of ability to Chisaki’s quirk and also makes me wonder if Chisaki having such a powerful ability, one that can even cure illness if used properly, will perhaps be repurposed to save someone’s life further down the line in the manga.

Midoriya brings up the little girl they met, Chisaki’s presumed daughter, and he bemoans being unable to save her. Sir Night Eye chastises him for thinking he has the power to save anyone whenever he wishes. I really like this little exchange, with Sir Night Eye calling out this arrogant/naive line of thinking and in some ways acts as great foreshadowing to the scenes coming up that go into All Might and Sir Night Eye’s rift. With that the day closes out and Midoriya finds himself continually perturbed by the events of that day, namely the truth behind Mirio and how he was almost All Might’s successor. It’s so distracting that Midoriya is starting to fall behind in his courses. I’ve complained before about how these revelations didn’t seem to be hitting Midoriya, but it’s great to see them effecting him now and really throwing him off his game. I would’ve liked a little more hinting earlier that Midoriya was bothered by what Sir Night Eye said, but at least it’s brought up here.

Sir Night Eye might just be the kind of teacher Midoriya really needs.

Midoriya confronts All Might about keeping secrets. All Might comes clean and divulges what formed the rift between him and Sir Night Eye: a future vision Night Eye had that foretold of a gruesome death awaiting All Might if he didn’t change course. All Might refused to listen and here they are. All Might says he sparred Midoriya all this because he’s a fan and he didn’t want to him to know because of that.

Sir Night Eye’s ability to see more than an hour ahead seems to come out of the blue, or I must’ve missed any foreshadowing for this greater potability that his quirk offers. But even without proper set up, this is still a fairly interesting development and will act as a defining moment for the series whichever way it goes: Will My Hero Academia be the type of manga that teaches lessons through the death of a beloved character, or will it allow Midoriya the opportunity to save the day totally, without any sacrifices? Personally? I’m pretty down on shonen, specifically when it comes to death. It’s not something the genre is very good at handling, with series often defanging themselves.

Let me make myself clear though: I don’t believe shonen need to be killing off characters left and right. But when you so frequently tease death as a threat/possibility, you really need to start putting money where your mouth is. If characters routinely escape what should be certain death scenarios, or outwit seemingly outwittable villains often enough, things start to feel a whole lot less real. The threat of death no longer seems possible and evens start to lose weight. It’s the same reason Dragon Ball has gotten criticism for how inconsequential death becomes after the Namek Saga, stakes don’t seem like real stakes.

Academia puts itself at a crossroads here. And like Midoriya talks about in the next chapter, the manga has used a lot of subtext and atmosphere to imply that All Might’s death is just over the horizon. If Academia doesn’t kill All Might, depending upon how those events play out, it could defang itself like other shonen have done. But if it chooses to go ahead and kill All Might, it’ll be doing something similar to what One Piece did, offering up a defining moment that will solidify not just the possibility that the heroes don’t always win, but that lose comes with an incredibly high price.

Chapter 131:

Midoriya is shocked by the news, but thinks back and realizes he always felt like All Might was on the cusp of death. All Might finally comes to the part of the story where his choice to hand his power over to Midoriya only furthered a rift between him and Sir Night Eye.

But first use that hand to shape your hair, god is it a mess.

Midoriya however no longer seems concerned about Mirio having meant to be the ‘true’ successor. Instead he’s focused on fighting destiny and saving All Might’s life. However All Might has already decided that thanks to Midoriya’s inspiring presence he wants to fight to live on now, not just defeat All for One. Midoriya agrees to stick by All Might’s side and help him change fate. Although Midoriya also gets the idea to have Sir Night Eye read All Might’s future again to see if it’s changed, All Might is reluctant due to their rift. I wonder if this Mirio thing will come up again or not. Midoriya sort of skirts the primary issue here and I can’t decide if that’s just All Might’s potential death taking precedence or us abandoning Midoriya’s insecurities over this issue all together.

However, things escalate elsewhere. Villain on Villain battles are erupting, though thankfully Uraraka and Tsuyu are working with the pros and Nejire, one of U.A.’s big three, to keep the damage to a minimum. Just as they finish work for the day, Dragoon Hero Ryukyu, the pro hero they’re working under, informs them that she wants them to take part in a certain case, as Sir Night Eye has requested help in dealing with Chisaki. It’s then we witness as Tomura makes his visit to Chisaki in order to join forces. It’s nice to see some of the female characters kicking ass now and again and witness other students going through their own internships. So far I feel like My Hero Academia is pretty good at letting its bountiful cast shine through from time to time, letting everyone feel equally relevant now and again.

Chapter 132:

Tomura meets with Chisaki in their secret underground facility, hidden beneath a maze of networking tunnels. However, Tomura isn’t quite ready to ally himself with Chisaki. They want the League of Villains name to expand influence, but still owe him for killing one of their members and wounding another. Chisaki’s men attack Tomura for his impertinence, but Chisaki calms them down, willing to hear Tomura out. I find this “league of villains” name thing really unconvincing and speaks again to the issues I have with believing Tomura is a credible threat. I won’t rehash that argument again here though.

Tomura produces a thumbnail size vial/needle and asks if their big plan has anything to do with this. We cut away to Kirishima out with Fat Gum and Tamaki as part of his internship. After a brief spat of character comedy revolving around Tamaki’s self-loathing/assume the worst disposition, bad guys arrive on the run.

Should have just called it the “IamwhatIeat” quirk.

They work to subdue the villains but one pulls a gun in the crowd and fires one of the needles Tomura was asking about. Tomura says that after Compress was hit with it he lost the ability to use his quirk. At this point Chisaki explains their purpose is to change the status quo forever. Tamaki is shot with one of the needles, but Kirishima hardens his skin and knocks it off. We end with Kirishima enranged and ready to strike back. The end point here is a bit… underwhelming and I feel like it would’ve been better to end on Tamaki becoming quirkless.

But overall these are pretty great chapters. We tease the potential for All Might to die, we continue to establish Chisaki as a credible menace, replacing Tomura for now as a more dangerous adversary and we deal a little with Midoriya’s wounded psyche over a plethora of revelations. Outside of my criticisms I’m still very excited to see where the series is going and after The Promised Neverland disappointed me, it’s my most anticipated manga week to week.

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 9, Chapters 72-80, releases on August 1st, 2017. Chapters discussed today (130-132) will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)

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