A newer and more recent shonen, My Hero Academia written by Kohei Horikoshi is an absolutely splendid modern take on the shonen blueprint. The story is set in a superhuman society, where a large amount of the population possesses some kind of superpower, known as a quirk. It follows a young boy by the name of Izuku Midoriya, or ‘Deku’, and his journey to becoming the number one hero despite having no quirks.
My Hero Academia follows an extremely generic shonen formula, involving a headstrong main protagonist going on a journey to achieve his dream. However, its strengths lie in how it executes this overused formula, that being to great effect. The manga contains some truly incredible characters, fights, and artwork which put it in the same league as the series that came before it. It has a rather tight and focused plot, with exceptional pacing, making sure there’s no dull moment while reading.
The manga still has its fair share of flaws, however. The main protagonist and main villain, in particular, are extremely weak characters and can taint the reading experience. The aforementioned shonen formula, while done well in this series, can still be extremely generic at times. Many scenes feel ripped straight from other series and others can come off as uninteresting or uninspired at best.
While it does have many problems that hold it back from being a truly incredible shonen, it doesn’t mean that I don’t recommend it. It still has a multitude of strengths that overcome its weaknesses and as a plus, the series is still ongoing, meaning some of my criticisms may be rectified in the future. Overall, it should be experienced by anyone with an affinity for this type of manga.
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