ICv2 Stars: 4 (out of 5)
Posted by Nick Smith on March 2, 2021 @ 4:24 am CT
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 3, 2021
Creator(s): Yoko Akiyama, based on the main series by Kohei Horikoshi
Format: 208 pgs., B&W, Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Teen
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Fans of the main My Hero Academia series should enjoy this spinoff, but it would not be a good jumping-on point for a reader not already familiar with the series. That is, in fact, the only real weakness of this book, because character relationships and interactions will make little sense without that background.
As in the main series, the focus is on retiring hero All Might and his chosen successor, but the stories all involve characters working together. Since the main characters in the story are teens in training at a high school for potential heroes, the focus is on some of their "extra credit" work with licensed heroes, so these stories come after they get their "provisional" licenses to use their powers in public, which is several volumes into the main series.
Also as in the main series, one of the key attractive parts of the story is the weird and unusual super powers possessed by the students and the villains they encounter. If your apparent main power is being able to produce sticky balls of goo, or project earphone jacks out of your head, then the use of those powers has to be interesting to keep the story working, and that is handled well here. The combat uses of seemingly non-combat powers has always been a fascinating part of this series, and that continues here.
This series is more directly connected with the main series than the Vigilantes spinoff was, especially since the start of the spinoff can be fixed in the main manga and anime story lines. This should end up in the hands of at least most of the fans of the original series, and in libraries that carry the original manga.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.
Watch ICv2 for more Manga Week coverage, click here.