Thursday, November 19, 2015

Getting into My Hero Academia

I have been a fan of superheroes since I was a child and that love has never completely gone away. Though these days I do not read many American superhero comics regularly, as I find many go into the "dark and gritty" to prove some kind of maturity. But thankfully there are some exceptions to that, Ms. Marvel being a shining light for that. As superhero movies being global hits they are seeping into the media of other countries, and Japan picking it up should be no surprise. Superheroes are not a far cry from some of their own hero fare, just usually they did not wear capes, unless they were made of bread. There has been dabbling in the genre for some years and in the past few there has been a rise in series based off the premise of superheroes, like Tiger & Bunny, One Punch Man and one of the more recent series, My Hero Academia.

One thing I enjoy about the Japanese takes on the superhero genre is that they have the fun element to them that I find largely missing from American superhero comics, though oddly enough that is a prominent style to Marvel's movies. But because of this I am willing to give superhero manga a try at least and I am so glad I did with My Hero Academia.

It does not break far from the usual Weekly Shounen Jump mold but has enough unique flavors to it to make it an enjoyable read. The super hero school setting is a perfect way to get the WSJ and superhero tropes to mix as well as give them a new twist.

I love the character designs and the kinetic artwork of mangaka Horikoshi Kohei. I am not familiar with his past series but this looks to be his break out series. And I hope it continues for some time if just to see Horikoshi become (hopefully) better at his craft.

Also seeing different powers and how the characters use them in battle has always been something I have enjoyed with superheroes. Or at least when it involves stories where a character has to be creative with their abilities and just cannot simply overpower their foe. It helps that even though the hero of the series, Midoriya "Deku" Izuku, has a power that looks to be mostly overwhelming strength he cannot depend on it because of his lack of control and naturally being powerless before made him into more of strategist.

Overall I am enjoying the series so far and see a lot of potential with it, especially as it is willing to give some decent character development and exploration to the side characters. I have always liked series with large casts so that is another point in its favor for me.

There is no word yet for when the anime will premiere but I am hoping for a spring debut. Partly so there is more of the manga out as it is still a fairly new series so it most likely is not going to become another long running Weekly Shonen Jump series like One Piece or Naruto. So far the little promotion for the anime that has been released so far look really promising. (Anime News Network article ) I will be glad to have it start airing to bring in more fans and I know I am going to want to review the episodes.

I just hope it keeps things on its current level of story telling and action and does not fizzle out like some other Shounen Jump series I used to follow. Which is mainly Bleach. It had so much promise but sank so quickly after a point. I am still bitter about it. But I do want to remain optimistic about the series and at least for now I have a new series to give me my fun superhero fix.

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