On Being Yourself: Lessons From Kōhei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia

In a world where majority possesses one strange power or the other - where your neighbour can see through the wall into your home and his kid’s mouth can make sounds like a blow horn; where your friends can actually fly without going on the plane and Nicaragua is just several minutes away from Australia. In a world where majority are superheroes and the most powerful ones are seen as celebrities, what do you call a boy with no power of any sort? Normal? Special? When what is normal is flipped on its head, the line between what is the new normal or abnormal becomes bizarre and confusing.

CaptureMy Hero Academia is about Izuku Midoriya, who wants to be a hero but has no superpower. The setting of this story is in a world where an unknown phenomenon caused 80% of the world population to develop superpowers, thus causing an explosion of extraordinary individuals all over the world.
Izuku Midoriya desires to become a superhero but he falls into the minority of people with no “quirks” or superpowers. He is undeterred, though, as he continues to dream and wish for his dream of being accepted into U.A. High School, an institute for high-achieving superhero prospects.
Meanwhile, Izuku’s life at school is far from comfortable as he faces daily bullying and snide comments from students with superpowers.
Izuku’s life, however, changes dramatically one day as he faces down a supervillain in a reckless move that almost costs him his life. An enigmatic superhero rescues him and being impressed by Izuku’s personality, decides to bequeath his power to him, changing Izuku’s world forever.
It's rough being left out - unexceptional, plain, and lacking in what most people consider "cool". We often hear this phrase, "Be yourself." It is easy to interpret this in a way that makes us obsess about our person. My personal interpretation of what "Be yourself" means is "not to give a monkey's butt about people's expectations of you. Midoriya is a great example of this - though he is bullied and ridiculed, he is still willing to have to go at what he wants. He knows it is impossible to achieve but he still wants to enjoy the ride.
Capture3By not caring too much about people's expectations and pursuing his passions, Midoriya finally achieves more than he ever dreamed.
My Hero Academia’s story premise is a dream and the story development makes me want more. The dialogue is natural and the art has some uniqueness about it. The characters are unpredictable, yet consistent making each page full of suspense and intrigue. I enjoyed it so much that writing the book review is a breeze.
My Hero Academia is bursting with potential and is easily one of the mangas to watch out for in 2015.
My Hero Academia is written by Kōhei Horikoshi and published by VIZ Media LLC (August 4, 2015)
Many thanks to VIZ Media for review copy. All images are © to their respective owners.


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