My Hero Academia, Volume 2 – Review

And we’re back to Shounen Jump, picking up the latest volume of My Hero Academia. The manga really kicked into high gear in this volume – nearly every chapter was studded with exciting fights and new power debuts, and even the quiet moments demonstrated a welcome grasp of pacing and understated character writing. My Hero Academia isn’t a story I’d point to as a great character piece (cough Silent Voice cough), but I really appreciate how its characters are given the right to be reasonable. These are talented kids who’ve worked hard, and they express that in every scene of congratulating their classmates for putting out a strong effort or recognizing the importance of a positive attitude over straightforward power. Couple that with the bulletproof visual execution, and My Hero Academia presents an immensely satisfying experience.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my chapter notes below!

My Hero Academia

Chapter 1

“Rage, You Damned Nerd”

Nice worldbuilding details about updating your quirk registry information as you discover the more precise nature of your powers

Midoriya’s costume is silly, but everyone just compliments him on it. Nice cast

“Statistically, the most heinous villains are more likely to appear indoors.” The more you know

All Might’s unique visual style remains great

The story already feels less constrained now that we’ve got a big cast

Their mock battles are the bomb defusal mode of Counterstrike

And again, the speedy hero listens to Midoriya’s explanation and apologizes for getting ahead of himself. Reasonable characters are a very nice change of pace!

And the heroine is a very reasonable person too – not tsundere, but also not ditzy, and not immediately taken with the MC. All good stuff

Brilliantly kinetic action sequences. This artist is such a goddamn pro

And the hits feel earned – Midori wins through reading his opponent and using his energy against him, not through brute strength

And Midori remains an actual “win with brains” character – using smart tactical choices to keep ahead. That plus his incredibly volatile quirk are a really nice combination

I love All Might’s ridiculous hero expressions applied even to the small panels of him taking notes on his clipboard

Bakugo’s got deep-seated insecurities, of course. He has to be stronger than Midori for his own sake

Bakugo stores up sweat and blows it up to make larger attacks

Chapter 2

Great all-shadow shot of Bakugo. The comic isn’t beautiful, but it’s very visually dynamic. Lots of heavy shadows and jagged lines, perfect for a superhero story


Things slow down after that opening fight

Chapter 3

Midoriya gets voted in as class president, which actually isn’t that surprising. But again, it counters the common trend – he’s soft-spoken but immediately well-liked

The character designs are distinct enough that each of them gets a unique set of expressions, though some of them fall back on standard ones – like Midori himself

Ida, the glasses-pusher, immediately respects Midori. He comes from a wealthy hero family

Ida handles a minor class emergency using his and Uraraka’s powers in a smart way. Nice incidental use of powers, leading to him taking the class president role

Chapter 4

“Missouri Smash!” what are these attack names

Now time for Rescue Training. The school setup allows for plenty of fine chapter conflicts

The kids talking about their quirks. Bakugo’s unpopular because he’s a jerk. This feels more like college than high school, frankly – not in tone, but in how they interact socially

Wonderful full-page shot of that first villain appearing out of the portal

Solid villain designs. The guy with the hands all over him is super creepy

Chapter 5

“No good hero is a one-trick pony.” This manga sure can drop the hammer for its dramatic panels

“We are the League of Villains” Unabashedly archetypal as all hell. That could maybe work, but it’s obviously a natural handicap. We’ll have to see where they go with it, but “villainy for villainy’s sake” isn’t interesting unless it’s being sold by an incredibly charismatic figure

Tsuyu (frog girl) gets a pretty great hero moment here

Midori trying to figure out their plan

Nice hero shots of everybody

Chapter 6

Another sweet fight setpiece that made strong use of three characters’ quirks

Chapter 7

All the variables of this encounter are great – using the disaster zone combined with the diverse villains combined with the scattering of the heroes

The frost/fire guy interrogating the enemies. This guy seems almost too immediately strong to remain a good guy

Thirteen gets ripped in half between two portals. Damn!

And Eraserhead’s also getting crushed

Chapter 8

Holy shit, this finale. What a great second volume