My Hero Academia 139-142 – 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.
This chapter picks up right where we left off as our heroes bust into Overhaul’s hideout and attempt to apprehend him before he can escape. The chapter is initially heavy on expositional dialogue to try and explain the Yakuza’s behavior but once we reach the underground labyrinth the chapter really takes off.
Mirio runs on ahead of everyone else when they encounter Irinaka. He’s Overhaul’s right hand man, who has the power to distort and warp objects, effectively blocking off the hallway for everyone but Mirio. It’s actions like this that really signify why Mirio was seen as an excellent choice to succeed All Might, as it feels like the kind of thing he would’ve done. At the same time, I wonder if the manga will re-frame this type of heroism as a bad idea. That you’re more likely to fail without the aid of others around you. It’d be a very shonen take on the core concept of American heroism. Academia isn’t exactly one for truly original ideas. A lot of its core principals and concepts are just standard shonen tropes reforged into a fresh take on the genre. So I could see it going down that route. I think it’ll all depend on what happens to Mirio after he catches up to Overhaul.
Otherwise the chapter focuses on the rest of the gang getting dropped down into the basement levels and Tamaki, initially panicking before Mirio inspires him by dashing ahead, finding resolve to take on three lackeys by himself and allow everyone else to push on.
With this chapter we’re almost exclusively focused on Tamaki and his battle against Overhaul’s three lackeys. It’s a solid chapter, although I feel it’s a little bogged down by Tamaki’s flashback to how he first met and was inspired by Mirio. The flashback itself isn’t bad, giving fans a glimpse into either hero’s childhood, but I don’t think it actually adds a lot to the story. We already know Tamaki is a meek guy, and based on his earlier interaction with Mirio, it’s clear that he can be inspired into heroism. The flashback merely reinforces this notion. It does provide reasoning for why Tamaki’s hero name is Suneater, but outside of that I think this flashback isn’t really necessary.
That said as mid-battle flashbacks go, it’s better than many other shonen series which have sometimes gone multiple chapters with backstory flashbacks, completely killing the present day action and tension. This at least flits between everything, making sure we’re never stuck in the past too long.
Otherwise it’s a solid chapter as Tamaki holds these villains at bay while the rest run on ahead. It’s turning out to be one of the more exciting Arcs in Academia.
Chapter 141 is all back and forth as Tamaki struggles against three small time villains and is, honestly, an impressively well paced and executed chapter. It’s a real stand out moment both for Tamaki’s character and the manga as a whole. The art has so many wonderful panels making both Tamaki look powerful, or the villains to look incredibly dangerous and life threatening. I really have nothing to add or criticize. It’s easily one of the best chapters in the manga since I started these reviews.
We get a few color pages to start this chapter as Tamaki collapses from his injuries and fatigue. Seems a but unfortunate that one of the color pages is, well, that. Not exactly the most exciting use of color.
Refocusing on the main gang, Eraserhead and Fat Gum lead everyone on, but are quickly attacked by Irinaka who attempts to separate Eraserhead from the group, but Fat Gum and Kirishima both save him, getting separated in his stead.
Inbetween all this we return to Bubble Girl and learn a little about the Yakuza from one of the goons, their place in the world, and how Overhaul changed all that, earning him his alias, as opposed to it directly referring to his quirk. It’s interesting back story and brief enough not to slow down the chapter.
Both Fat Gum and Kirishima become the focus as they’re attacked by two more of Overhaul’s goons, who unfortunately have complimentary powers. The chapter does a great job of selling how bad a match up with art depicting Kirishima with his hardened skin absolutely shattered in grim and brutal fashion.
Fat Gum manages to talk Kirishima back from the pain and fear of despair, ending the chapter on the two preparing to stand up and fight again.
Knowing Academia Fat Gum and Kirishima will very likely win their battle, although I’d think it a more ballsy move would be to allow both to be defeated here and really add in some give and take with this battle between Overhaul’s Yakuza and the heroes. I doubt that’ll happen as Academia doesn’t seem the type of shonen to allow its heroes to lose in any extreme capacity. Outside of the league successfully capturing Bakugo for a small handful of chapters, I can’t think back on any major defeats for our primary cast.
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 (139-142) will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)