My Hero Academia Vigilantes Graphic Novel Volume 1
Rated “T” for “Teen”
In the world of My Hero Academia, 80 percent of the population has superpowers. These powers are called “Quirks.” If you want to be a superhero, you enroll in the Hero Academy, so that you can be trained and licensed. There are those, however, who have minor Quirks or who do not have powers, so not everyone can be a hero. Still, there are people who want to be heroes and do so without legal sanction. Whatever they fight for, they are called “Vigilantes.”
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 5) introduces 19-year-old Koichi Haimawari. He has a minor Quirk; he can “slide and glide” when he connects three of his two hands and two feet to the ground. People call him “Mr. Nice Guy,” because he uses his powers to help pedestrians and civilians, and he even cleans litter. Regardless of his intentions, he has no license to use his powers in public, so the police consider him a Vigilante.
Then, Koichi meets two other would-be heroes. First, there is “Knuckleduster – Janitor of the Fist,” who beats up criminals, but who does not have a Quirk. Kazuho Haneya can leap great heights, so she uses her Quirk to perform impromptu events as the pop idol, “Pop☆Step.” Together, sometimes reluctantly, Koichi, Knuckleduster, and Pop☆Step fight Quirk-powered villains, especially those empowered by a new mystery performance enhancement substance.
THE LOWDOWN: As a longtime fan of superhero comic books, I was delighted when my VIZ Media rep started sending me copies the My Hero Academia manga. Like Tiger & Bunny and One-Punch Man, My Hero Academia proves that manga can do superhero comic books that are every bit as imaginative as American superhero comics (if not more). Now, comes the spin-off, the My Hero Academia: Vigilantes manga.
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Graphic Novel Volume 1 is indeed a spin-off and not merely a byproduct of an already successful manga. The narrative and universe of My Hero Academia gets more complicated with each volume; however, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes focuses on a trio of characters, with Koichi Haimawari at the center. There is something refreshing about not having to remember all the cliques, clubs, teams, team-ups, culture, and politics of the original series.
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes is simple and straight-forward. This is the story of lovable losers, three characters who are really “characters,” who deal with the fact that fate and circumstance want them to be Vigilante heroes. The focus is both their quirky Quirks and their quirky personalities, and I must say that I am in love with Koichi's “slide and glide” Quirk. This is definitely now in my “Top 5” powers that I want to have list.
Writer Hideyuki Furuhashi and artist Betten Court do right by My Hero Academia creator, Kohei Horikoshi. Caleb Cook's translation and English language adaptation of this exciting manga makes this a fun read. I highly recommend this to superhero comic book and superhero manga readers.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of My Hero Academia, superhero comics, and shonen battle manga will want to work the streets with My Hero Academia: Vigilantes.