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My Hero Academia 147-149 – Manga Review

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:

Chapters 147-149 bring us back to the main action as Team Nighteye tries to make their way through Irinaka and catch up to buff tin-tin, a.k.a Mirio, who’s gone on to confront Overhaul. Irinaka’s efforts are quickly bolstered by League of Villains members Twice and Toga, surprising the gang as our heroes weren’t aware the two organizations were working together.

We get a flashback showing the moment when Overhaul convinced Shigaraki to transfer a few of his members under his command. We then return to the present as Twice confronts Sir Nighteye with his own copy of Rappa.

Who’s this!? How do you not recognize the wonderful Stain Wannabe Girl, Toga!?

Chapter 148 showcases how bad ass Sir Nighteye is as he takes down the Rappa clone easily. Twice even has his mask get damaged and nearly loses himself, threatening to split apart. Toga saves him though.

We flashback again to when Shigaraki had to break the news to Twice and Toga that they’d be working with the Yakuza, who’d already killed one of their members and wounded another. Shigaraki manages to convince Twice, who seems extremely against the idea, and we get a look at Shigaraki’s face for (I think?) the first time.

Outside of a handful of stand out moments, I don’t have strong feelings one way or another on these events. I don’t feel like these chapters are stand outs among Academia’s content, yet I also don’t think they’re particularly weak.

The chapter does end on a high note as Irinaka loses his cool under Twice and Toga’s assertion that the Yakuza are finished and really turns the battleground around on itself and our heroes.

That face is a dead giveaway!

Chapter 149 opens with another flashback where Twice and Toga introduce themselves to Overhaul’s group. Again, as I’ve commented on some of these flashbacks before, I don’t think this one adds a lot. The last couple felt somewhat more necessary, particularly as we dove into Twice and Toga’s feelings about their reassignment. Outside of reintroducing/more accurately defining either’s quirk, this flashback feels far less necessary for the overall impact of the manga’s current events.

Otherwise Toga and Twice betray Irinaka and leave him to be defeated by Midoriya. I think the moment lacks impact however as we’ve spent so much attention away from our lead that when we, very suddenly, refocus on him for the take down it feels too fast and abrupt.

But maybe that’s okay, or at least not a huge deal as Irinaka wasn’t the main dish. The chapter ends as we turn back the clock to when Mirio ran ahead of everyone and caught up to Overhaul. It’s a great moment to go out on and even if I wasn’t feeling the last few chapters I’m dying to see how this played out.

Cute yet creepy at the same time.

My one concern is how ‘easy’ Overhaul’s minions have gone down by this point. Outside of some injuries this battle hasn’t cost our heroes anything and I am worried Overhaul, an excellent villain up to this point, will be dismantled by the end of this arc and proven otherwise ineffectual. I’ve said it before, but my greatest issue with Academia is how frequently our heroes best villains, or when our heroes do lose it’s not for long/offers up no significant lasting consequences.

The best outcome in my opinion would for Overhaul to manage to get away and perhaps take Mirio down with him. As much as I love Buff Tin Tin I think it’d be a powerful moment if he was killed or incapacitated by Overhaul. Trouble is I don’t think something like that is likely to happen in a manga like Academia. Academia prides itself on a diverse and unique cast with unique quirks, personalities and designs. It’s a lot like One Piece in that regard, where even the more minor grunts are given their own unique appearance.

It takes a lot of guts for an author to risk riling his fan base by killing off characters and most Shonen don’t dare risk it. So it begins to create this safety net for its characters, where nothing truly bad can happen to anyone, not for long anyway. It’s not to say any Shonen should be killing its beloved characters left and right, but too often Academia teases death as a possibility. Many Shonen do, and if you never make good on the threat, it begins to feel hollow. I don’t think Academia is actually at that point, it hasn’t quite gotten as in your face about its lack of fangs like The Promised Neverland has, but it’s always something I’m a bit weary of with the Shonen medium as a whole.

But I guess we’ll see in the next set of chapters what becomes of Overhaul and Mirio.

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, released on August 1st, 2017. Chapters discussed today (143-146) will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)

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7 comments

  • It’s the second time we see his face. The other one will get animated soon. It’s a wonder you forgot considering how impactful and huge it was for both him and Deku. But hey you’ll be surprised once again comes the moment, so good.

    As for people insisting someone has too die for the story to get more impactful…the whole thought bugs me to no end. Death feels impactful when you don’t see it coming. Killing someone for the sake of it sounds terrible. The best deaths that comes to mind in shonen are Hughes from FMA and Jiraiya and Asuma from Naruto. The impact from those knows no bounds. You never expected them at first.

    Also I never felt like MHA played with the fear of death in any bad way like you say. When would that be? The first Nomu encounter?

    Anyway I trust Horikoshi to handle it well. Because when a character dies, he’ll dead for good. No coming back.

    • Ah right, I remember now. See, I guess I don’t feel like that upcoming scene in the anime is all that hugely impactful. It’s why I don’t feel like it’ll make a solid end point for S2.

      I think you misunderstand me. What I mean is that when Shonen threaten death as a possible outcome, it starts to lose its effectiveness when it never happens. We put our heroes, any shonen series, so often in the line of fire that if death never actually rears its head subsequent threats feel less dangerous and the series loses its ‘fangs.’ so to speak. You’re right that you don’t want characters dying left and right (although that can work too if done right) but death shouldn’t be as avoided as it is in Shonen.

      With MHA it’s about selling threat. It’s part of why I haven’t felt Shigaraki is a credible threat. His effects have largely been off screen and failed to have any lasting/obvious impact on the main cast. Stain, for example, feels at least like a more memorable and impactful villain due to the affect he had on Iida and his brother. Same with All for One and ‘taking down’ All Might. The series has also continued to tease All Might’s impending death, so it’s not as if the series isn’t toying with death as an outcome. We’ve even had Stain kill heroes off screen. So death is definitely a possibility in this world and one that is eventually going to have to hit home if My Hero Academia wants to maintain its ‘fangs.’ I’m not saying My Hero Academia is currently doing a bad job, but more positing how My Hero Academia could maintain its quality, or lose its edge depending on how things play out.

      I too trust Horikoshi to handle it well. It’s clear he’s doing a slow build, as by how detailed, thorough, and ‘slow’ My Hero Academia can be. However, with Overhaul’s ability capable of bringing people back to life, I don’t fully trust that resurrection isn’t off the table.

      • I’ll put both answers on the same post for the sake of not constantly breaking the convo.

        I’ll go kind of off topic first,

        I think our idea of the whole death in MHA just diverge on the All Might point. See I consider All Might the symbol and All Might the weaken man to be both majorly important characters in their own right. The symbol dying turned MHA’s world upside down. Parents became more involved, criminals actually coming out(the Yakuza and the drugs), Midoriya and Bakugo worlds facing sudden shifts which caused a major turn in their life(which actually finally brought the 2 closer), the society questioning the role of heroes, the school forced to change their ways and more importantly All Might can’t come and save anyone anymore. The big blinding light that warded evil off is gone. This change the perspective a lot. The symbol of peace was basically an escape from jail for free in 2 situations(more 1 but the second kinda)for our heroes. So we already had a big *death*. You say we did not see the effects yet, but I think it changed everything.

        So to the point of death never comes I guess, it came but you did not really see it has such. I don’t think MHA’s handled it in a way that lessen any arc impact yet. Even the opposite in fact, like I said previously. Mirio dying would surely leave an impact, but they are way more ways for this whole thing to feel more impactful. Mirio or someone else could lose their quirks. Which could lead Deku to question himself if Mirio isn’t a more worthy successor to All Might.

        As for Tomura, I think is recent growth since the Stain arc has been insane. Mainly from the point that you find not really big lol, where he established his resolve. Just these past few chapters. The decided and calm faced Tomura was never , NEVER, something we would have saw before. He actually acted more mature, in a more leader way. That’s insane for a character that was such a man-child before. Just like Deku, the lost of his mentor changed him, forced him to actually take steps forward in their independence of them. The parallels are crazy! Tomura is just like one step behind, at least for now.

        If something doesn’t make much sense tell me, I’ll try to reword myself. My brain is just going left and right lol.

        • Sure there’s been some changes, but I’d argue the overall atmosphere hasn’t changed. This means that while the kids are in dorms, parents a bit more involved, and Yakuza showing up, there hasn’t yet been a sense that the heroes can’t keep up. There needs to be that sense that without a Symbol of Peace things might fall apart. Right now it feels like whenever things threaten to fall apart the heroes swoop in and much of everything is right by the end. I personally think the big moment when things hit home that the Symbol of Peace is gone, and that things could take a harsher turn, just hasn’t happened yet. It hasn’t been hammered home and that’s the moment I’m really waiting for. I still wouldn’t really equate it to a death though.

          The moment I’d best compare it to is the big Death at One Piece’s midpoint. That really did change everything. I don’t think the Symbol of Peace failing has yet to showcase as significant an impact. Not yet anyway.

          Sure, this situation could end in a different way that would still leave an impact. It doesn’t have to be death. The issue I have with Mirio merely losing his quirk is how easy that is to undo. Heck even death is easy to undo with Overhaul’s ability. We’ve seen other Shonen gravely injure their characters (Rock Lee for example) only to see them pop up, powered up, later on due to popular demand. Now, I’m not saying that because Naruto went down that route that Academia is going to, or that Rock Lee’s revival is an inherently awful development, but with Hirokoshi we don’t have a lot to go on. My Hero Academia is his first truly successful series and the only other work of his that’s made it over was the ill-fated Barrage Manga (Which I quite liked by the way) so this is all really just speculation.

          My Hero Academia certainly is big on character development. And I’d agree that Tomura has grown. But that hasn’t materialized in his actions so much. Yes he’s mellowed a bit, and that’s great to see, but we need to really see him disturb society in such a way that it feels like he could tear Academia’s world apart. Seeing as he’s mostly produced failure after failure up till now, it’s hard for me to really feel all that menaced by him. There’s definitely a way to appease me, and make me feel like Tomura is a true danger, but right now I’m not feeling it.

          And don’t worry I got you =) remember I like Academia too, but I’m not as big a fan as you are, and my background in screenwriting/creative writing leaves me a bit more critical/weary of what I read/watch and enjoy. Doesn’t help that Shonen has burned me quite hard as I’ve gotten older and I think it’s a genre that can, unfortunately, remain largely stagnant in its efforts to generate huge breakout hits. Not saying My Hero Academia is bad, it’s probably my favorite currently running Shonen right now, but I do remain critical.

          • It’s cool we just see things differently, what made an impact on me didn’t do that much too you.

            Actually I had the chance of reading Crazy Zoo, the other series that the US didn’t get, since, one of the good thing about speaking 2 language, a french edition licensed it. It’s really crazy actually how much the 2 story compares in a way. So many cameos and characters inspired by Crazy zoo are in MHA. From Gang Orca to Tomura, Overhaul and Uraraka’s design. It’s everywhere lol.

            Speaking of best shonen, MHA/Kimetsu/Haikyu/Black Clover is the holy quartet(that’s the word right?). World Trigger would be a 5th member, but it’s been sooooo long 🙁

  • Also it just crossed my mind, but I think that the death of the symbol of peace during the AfO fight is ONE of the best *death* in shonen. Yes All Might isn’t dead, but the symbol is. The effects it had were numerous and massive.

    • I think it’s a good moment, but thanks to MHA’s slow build I’m not sure we’ve really seen the effects yet. The effects are still ongoing, otherwise we’ve only really been told through exposition that there’s been a shake up. Depending upon how this Overhaul/Yakuza arc continues is, I think, when the effects really start coming into play.

      I dunno if I’d consider it one of the best ‘death’ moments in Shonen, but it is a series highlight and it’s a shame we don’t have a confirmation of Season 3, as I think that’s going to be a very big moment for the anime and libel to turn MHA from a liked shonen anime series, to a beloved.

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