My Hero Academia 136-138 – Manga Review
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.
Chapter 136 picks back up in the middle of Sir Night Eye’s meeting to discuss the Yakuza problem and mostly focuses on detailing plans to keep an eye on the group in order to gather intel for an upcoming assault. We also get a bit more focus on Night Eye’s power and discussion as to why he just doesn’t use it all the time to see people’s futures. There’s some good character work here as we see how his prediction for All Might’s impending doom has had an affect on the way he operates and chooses to use his abilities.
There’s also a scene between Midoriya and Eraser Head as they put aside Midoriya’s earlier misconduct from the last few arcs and agree to work together. Eraser Head also offers up some inspiration in reminding Midoriya that his actions with the little girl likely gave her hope. This idea is then echoed by a conversation between Gran Torino and Sir Night Eye, who note that Midoriya is a lot like All Might in the way they jump into things with all their passion. It’s nice set up to eventually bring Sir Night Eye and other characters around on the idea that Midoriya is, truly, the best successor for All Might.
Less well done I feel is when we return to Eri. Eri recalls how Midoriya felt so kind when he reached out to her. I feel like the inner monologue Eri has is just too on the nose to what Eraser Head says to Midoriya. In fact I think it would’ve played better with less monologue from Eri, a little flashback dialogue and just keep the “His hand felt so kind” part. The message would get across all the same and wouldn’t feel quite so ‘samey’ of what Eraser Head was telling Midoriya.
Chapter 137 is mostly character work and prep for the upcoming assault on the Yakuza. There’s a nice scene where Iida tries to comfort and get Midoriya to open up to him, mirroring stuff Midoriya had told Iida earlier in the manga. It isn’t long before the manga snaps to the big day.
Mirio, like Midoriya, has also recovered from their run in with Overhaul. The manga gets a bit on the nose in describing the lessons Sir Night Eye feels Mirio needed to learn, about regret and handling that feeling. It probably could’ve been visualized similar to Midoriya’s scene with Iida, but I suspect the author doesn’t want to get too bogged down in side character drama at this point, while at the same time wanting to at least service the idea that Mirio is a regular person like everyone else.
Here we learn it’s a pretty big joint operation with the police and they’re just about ready to go. The chapter focuses on Overhaul’s minions refusing to go quietly, launching the initial strike just as the police ring the bell. Despite how many heroes and police are here, the Yakuza aren’t afraid at all.
As Overhaul prepares to move out his minions rise to the call to halt the heroes advance into their complex/hideout. the manga gets a bit narrator exposiony here as it details some of the justification for Overhaul’s character design and the masks the entire organization wears. I feel like it’s kinda shoehorned in here and isn’t necessary. Maybe an explanation would’ve been good at some point, but I don’t think this heavy handed approach adds a lot to the chapter.
Overall these are good chapters, if a bit boring. But that’s to be expected as they’re mostly set up for the upcoming arc, sprinkled with a little bit of character work. They do get me excited for this upcoming throw down between Yakuza and Heroes and that’s all that really matters. I’m crossing my fingers we’ll see some real escalation here and turning of tides in favor of our villains as things haven’t really gotten too much worse since All Might retired. I’m about ready to see things take a turn for the worse.
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 (136-138) will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)