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.
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.
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.
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.
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?)