My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi is a series that focuses on a young man’s journey to become the number one hero. In a world where nearly all individuals develop a superpower of some kind, commonly called a “quirk”, the profession of hero has emerged to help maintain law and order. However, there are very few who are born that never develop a quirk. Enter Izuku Midoriya, a quirkless boy who dreams of being a hero, and who is given the opportunity of making that dream come true.
I typically try to avoid recommending a series that hasn’t been completed, but this story is in its final arc and has been simply incredible throughout. I’ve read all volumes currently available (in English) which is 33. I suspect the series will end somewhere between volume 38-40. The show has done a great job of adapting the story without really any changes or omissions which often happens with adaptations. Staying true to the source material, and even adding more content for some of the many interesting side characters, makes me appreciate the show even more.
What I like most about this series is seeing a young generation all working hard toward their dream of being heroes which is centered around saving and helping people. So the general story is uplifting throughout, but it also covers, and questions, some key components as to what a superpowered society and the role of hero would actually look like. Obviously villains are those who use their quirks for selfish gain or to harm others, but some assume the title of hero with less-than-honest purposes.
Popular culture today may seem saturated with heroes as Marvel and DC continue to make many movies and people are talking about various other superhero movies, shows, books, etc. I’m glad this one isn’t simply following in those shadows. I think it brings some really interesting questions to light and even questions the definition of hero and villain and what it means to save someone. Seeing some heroes fall from grace and a hero-killer gain a cult following are a few things I have not yet seen in any other story about heroes (I’m sure it has happened somewhere, but I’m certain not in quite the same way).
So, whether you are a fan of heroes or not, you may like this series that takes place in a superpowered society, especially since not all quirks are created equal.