My Hero Academia (Chapters 80-83) – Review Discussion

My Hero Academia:

Chapters 80-83

Reviewed by: Tom

MHA 80-83 I1

Jeez what happened to “only you can save the forest”?

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 finally properly control his quirk, Midoriya and the rest of his class retreat to a summer training workshop where Aizawa-sensei hopes to speed up the groups development in order to prepare to fight this budding league of villains. However, the league of villains learned of their location and have mounted an assault that seeks to capture some of the students, including Midoriya’s childhood frenemy and rival, Bakugo. Can Midoriya prevent Kacchan’s capture?

Review:

Whew! What a set of chapters this time around. Reading through them I was nervous about where the story would head, not so much because I was sucked in, but because I was afraid Academia would shy away from the outcome I was most hoping to see. Thankfully Academia isn’t afraid to get dark or play hard-ball with its characters. So let’s jump right in with Chapter 80.

We return with Midoriya and Shoji charging towards Bakugo and Todoroki with Tokoyami rampaging right behind them. Despite how the last chapter ended, our bladed teeth villain isn’t actually out for the count (This seems to be a recurring thing with Academia, villains getting hit by a ton of bricks but somehow still moving in the next chapter.) This villain rises back up and mounts his own assault against Tokoyami, only to finally be defeated for good, his teeth shattered into nothing. Disappointingly Bakugo and Todoroki are both able to subdue Tokoyami bringing an end to any of the menace from the end of the last chapter. It feels anti climatic to have this resolved so quickly and thoroughly.

MHA 80-83 I2

Are we positive we can’t just let the villains have him?

But moving on, The group, now united, decides to head to Aizawa-san at the camp complex and escort Bakugo to safety. Meanwhile Asui and Urakaka are under attack from a knife wielding villain named Toga. Initially both Ochaco and Tsuyu try to save one another, but Toga catches Ochaco off guard and begins to drain her blood. It looks bad for Ochaco, until Midoriya and Co. show up, spooking Toga to retreat. Again, this feels like another lame conclusion as Toga is dealt with so swiftly here that she feels like no more than a passing threat.

However, what I think ultimately makes the above work, even if both quick resolutions feel weak back to back, is it only all adds to how complacent Midoriya and the rest have become now that they’ve had some easy success. Moments after explaining to Ochaco their plan everyone realizes that Bakugo and Tokoyami are no longer with them, instead captured by a new villain who was following them silently the whole time, Mr. Compress. The chapter ends on a great shot of Midoriya’s face as he’s angry with his own sheer ineptitude.

With Chapter 81 Mr. Compress explains that he’s kidnapped both Bakugo and Tokoyami in small marble sized prisons and he’ll be taking them both in and attempting to convert them into villains. Mr. Compress then signals the recall and the entire entourage of villains heads to escape.

MHA 80-83 I3

I’m gonna have to side with Mr. Compress here. Bakugo totally belongs on their side.

Aoyama, who’s held up hidden behind some bushes overhears Dabi and his partner commenting on their escape. It looks like Aoyama might be caught when Dabi and his partner remember he still has a Nomu on the loose he needs to call back. Aoyama’s part is purely set up and ultimately for the moment feels otherwise empty.

Instead we switch to both Yaoyorozu and Awase as they try and escape the Nomu that was just mentioned. When it’s recalled Yaoyorozu has Awase put a tracking device on it. Despite the revelations at the end of Chapter 83, this little bit hasn’t come into play yet, but I imagine it’s this moment that’ll allow Midoriya and the other students to join in the forthcoming assault on the villain’s base down the line. Again, not much more than set up for events to come.

Two of the cat heroes have managed to subdue two of the villains that were attacking the main group in the forest. The lizard looking of the two comments that he’s seeking to resurrect Stain, or at least his ideals. In a quick and subtle exchange that only takes two panels it’s implied that these two villains are freed and our two cat heroes here are defeated, but all this happens off screen and it’s very possible for readers to miss this moment or simply forget about it week to week.

Back to the chase, Mr. Compress is getting away as Midoriya comes up with a plan using Urakaka’s ability as well as Tsuyu’s to fling himself, Shoji, and Todoroki after Mr. Compress, forcing him into the ground right in the middle of the villain’s get away point. Again, this is another chapter ending that makes it look like a villain is out for the count only for them to get up again like nothing happened in the next chapter. It’s odd, but I guess we’re going for the visual impact more than week to week continuity.

MHA 80-83 I4

Boy Mr. Compress can really take the abuse.

With Chapter 82 we don’t immediately return to Midoriya’s struggle but instead come back to see what’s going on at the camp complex. The Hero, Blood, is attacked by a Dabi clone, who introduces the idea that these frequent villain attacks will shake the people’s confidence with the hero organization. Aizawa arrives and destroys the clone, dropping off Kota before heading out again. To be honest I don’t think this scene is needed. It doesn’t seem like there’s any reason to show Aizawa-san or the Dabi clone, considering none of these characters influence the outcome of this arc’s events. I don’t feel like this scene adds anything and is probably one of the few completely useless sequences in Academia I’ve seen so far. I believe you could cut these panels and nothing would be lost.

Returning to the one big fight, Midoriya and the gang battle against Mr. Compress and the other villains. Shoji manages to pick Compress’s pocket, getting the marbles containing both Bakugo and Tokoyami. Unfortunately Compress reveals them to be no more than decoys and he still has the real ones. It’s looking especially bad for the gang when the black portals show up, indicating the aid of Kurogiri, who begins to spirit away every one of our attackers.

In a last ditch effort the gang goes for Mr. Compress as he’s escaping and the set up for Aoyama comes back into play as he, still hiding behind the bush, fires his beam, hitting Mr. Compress and sending the marbles flying. Despite everyone’s efforts they only manage to save Tokoyami (which isn’t obvious till the next chapter.) and that Bakugo is indeed lost. Midoriya falls to his knees and screams in rage at this defeat. It’s a powerful moment and I was really hoping we’d hit something like this, a growth moment for Midoriya that it’s not possible to always win as a hero and save everyone.

MHA 80-83 I5

It’s okay, Midoriya. Krillin and Gohan will gather the dragon balls and save the forest! I’ve seen this film.

Chapter 83 declares this incident as a total loss, which I think is misleading as we see just a few panels later that it really was only Bakugo they lost, so they did manage to recover Tokoyami. I think it’s trying to oversell the drama of the moment and it makes me wish we had gotten an actual total loss, with Tokoyami captured as well.

This chapter otherwise mainly consists of a long list of aftermath information, injuries, possible deaths (This is shonen so that’s really unlikely to stay true) and some exposition sequences involving the U.A. school heads discussing matters. We also get some dialogue and inner monologues from All Might showing he’s struggling just as much as Midoriya. It feels like they’re really suited for each other, as All Might beats himself up just as much, if not more than Midoriya, for his own failings. I imagine going forward Midoriya will have to learn to not be to hard on himself like All Might is, and will need to grow past All Might’s own personal flaws.

We learn there might be a mole amongst the team, but ultimately this idea is skirted to the side for the time being. It seems like the U.A. President has some big news to unleash but All Might gets a phone call before we can learn what this big news is. Instead All Might learns the police might have a lead on the villain’s hide out, which pumps All Might up as he prepares to head out and crush the villains in order to retrieve Bakugo.

Going forward I think we’ll see All Might and some other A-list heroes attempt to take on the villains. Midoriya and the others, recovered, will possibly use that tracking device to come into the battle and aid All Might and the rest. Now I think we could be building towards a perfect moment to finally force Midoriya forward as a character. And I think that moment comes with All Might’s demise. It’s a moment I’m sure is coming in the manga at some point in the future, as All Might is more a catalyst character than anything else and I think he needs to die in order to bring tremendous growth to Midoriya.

No matter what happens though I just hope we don’t see Bakugo retrieved too quickly, or perhaps at all, as I don’t want Midoriya’s struggle undermined by a quick resolve. I want to see things build and get far worse before Midoriya is able to affect a turn around. Anyway that’s it for this session’s My Hero Academia chapter discussion! Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the manga!

My Hero Academia is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Volume 4, Chapters 27-35, will be releasing May 3rd, 2016. Chapters discussed today (80-83) will be collected in Volume 9-10 to be released sometime next year.

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