My Hero Academia, vol. 11

9781421595832_manga-my-hero-academia-volume-11-primary.jpgThough I have not yet written about My Hero Academia on this site yet, it’s one of my favorite manga currently running. It’s got a great ensemble cast, and its theme of heroism being present in people of all kinds speaks true to life.

The pacing has been pretty consistent throughout the series, so it feels like something important happens in every volume. This one features the end of a major arc and the beginning of a new one.

In the last few volumes, the League of Villains infiltrated the cast’s summer camp, terrorized the kids, captured Bakugo, and threatened to convert Bakugo to the dark side. Midoriya and some others cooked up a scheme to try and rescue Bakugo, and in the midst of it all, All for One, the mastermind behind the League of Villains, emerges for the first time.

The first portion of the book covers All Might’s confrontation with All for One, which, while All Might emerges victorious, All for One deals a crippling blow that prevents All Might from staying in his muscular form for any length of time. All for One also reveals that Shigaraki, the public face of the League of Villains, is the grandson of the woman All Might obtained his quirk from. Lastly, the fight is televised, so everyone sees All Might’s skinny, spindly form for the first time.

The aftermath of the fight is that UA builds a new set of dormitories for the students to inhabit, as a means to keep students close for the sake of their safety as well as an internal investigation. All Might and Eraser Head meet with each student’s parents to gain their trust on the matter. The students all move in to UA, but not without a hitch. Midoriya, in particular, faces stern opposition from his mother, who, concerned for his safety and limited control over his quirk, initially refuses consent for him to continue studies at UA. Midoriya is able to convince her of his passion by showing her a letter from Kota, a boy he saved from the League of Villains in the previous volumes, and so he joins the rest of the class at the dorms.

The battle against All for One was pretty thrilling, but I thought some of the revelations thrown in were sort of confusing. It might be that I’ve not read the earlier volumes recently, but all the side talk of Shimura, All Might’s predecessor, kind of shook up the pacing in the fight. Still, I was pumped to see All Might come out on top, and the way his spirit grants him one last adrenaline boost was fantastic. I also can’t say I saw this new twist coming, where All Might is effectively out of commission. The series is definitely moving in an interesting direction!

The dorm life chapters at the back end were pretty cheeky, but the dialogue between Asui and Uraraka towards the end made me feel like they were more necessary than initially let on. They did provide some laughs, too, so they weren’t for nothing!

This was a pretty action-packed volume of My Hero Academia, and it only highlights Horikoshi’s strengths at writing action. Then the later chapters highlight the indelible chemistry between each member of our ensemble cast, who even in subtle moments can display some personality. This volume probably doesn’t reach the highs of, say, volume 4 or 5, where the school tournament fights shot the series up to cloud 9 status, but it only suffers relatively. By offering up a huge, climactic fight, and pairing it with scenes of school life, Horikoshi is playing to the series’ core strengths. That’s never a bad thing.

My Hero Academia is written and illustrated by Horikoshi Kohei. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since 2014, and its chapters have been collected in 17 bound volumes as of February 2018. The series has been licensed for release in North America by Viz Media, which has released 11 volumes to date. Check out Viz Media’s page on the series here.

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