By Dustin Cabeal
My Hero Academia is a strange creature. On a personal level, I enjoy this story and prefer the manga to the anime. It’s a very interesting take on the superhero genre, and it’s surprising that it’s not more popular with American comic readers as it fits the market perfectly. The strange thing about this story is that I don’t rush to read it like I do so many others. Perhaps it’s a slump right now where it’s missing that spark of interest, but while I read it and enjoy it, I’m not craving it.
This volume is fairly complete in the story that it tells. The bulk of its time is spent with the hero-villain challenge in which the teachers are acting as the villains and not holding back against the students. The teachers have been catered to the students, even if they don’t all realize it. The start of this story was teased in the last volume, which is exactly what this volume does as well, it starts the next arc at the end which leaves it feeling incomplete, but enticing enough to come back for more.
As with any superhero comic that has an abundance of characters, there’s going to be segments dedicated to underdeveloped characters. It’s a natural progression for the story because as much as this is Midoriya’s story, he’s just the conduit to get us to this world. He’s our entry point, but then it becomes X-Men/Avengery in that there are all these other characters that can’t or rather shouldn’t be ignored. Such in the focus of part of the book as Momo Yaoyorozu is developed into an actual character instead of continuing to be the person that shouts in agreement. Strangely enough, she’s not the only one as Minoru Mineta is also developed, but in a wonderful way that I won’t spoil.
What was a bit of a letdown was Midoriya and Bakugo working together. While they did work together and sacrifice for each other, they made no steps in repairing their friendship. Bakugo still feels as damaged as before and while he’s not a step closer to being a villain, he sure as hell didn’t take any steps back from being one either. That and the way they worked together wasn’t nearly as intelligent as it should have been and mostly seemed like they were getting by on luck and convenient storytelling.
The art is gorgeous as always. There’s been a lot of improvements in the character designs, or maybe they’ve “aged” and are looking better. Midoriya is starting to look more adult like, and his posture is better which just shows his confidence in a visual way. As strange as it is to say, I like the over exaggerated hands that everyone has. Particularly on Uraraka as it matches the design of her costume.
It’s a good volume, but it’s not great. There’s a lot of foundation being laid for the overall series which is a good thing, but that doesn’t particularly make this volume wonderful. It’s average, but that doesn’t make it bad or any less entertaining. It’s what any reader would come to expect from the series, and hopefully, the next volume will offer something new to the story.
My Hero Academia vol. 8
Creator: Kohei Horikoshi
Publisher: Viz Media