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My Hero Academia – The Dawn Of A New Era For Shonen Jump

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Throughout our childhood we’re told time and time again to enjoy it while we can. As teenagers, as school students, as growing human beings we’re once again told to enjoy every single moment. All the while it’s drilled into our heads that, once we become adults, we’ll only be left with a longing for the type of life we lead as young men and women. That’s possibly why nostalgia is such a power feeling.

For many of you reading this article and definitely for us writing this article, the early days of our adolescence were spent enthralled by things like Anime or Manga. A possible memory burned into the minds of those people is that of waiting for a new issue of Weekly Shonen jump or the latest volume of your favorite Manga to be released. Back then it seemed as though all that mattered was what happened to Naruto next or how Ichigo Kurosaki (“Bleach”) was going to defeat the next Hollow. It turns out that what our parents said was entirely true; that, as adults, most of our days will be spent longing for the past. It makes it a great deal harder to deal with especially when the things that you used to love grow to become the things you hate.

In more recent years, Shonen Jump has had quite a steep decline in publication quality thanks to the never-ending stories that made our childhoods so great but have now more than outstayed their welcome. Shonen Jump, as a whole, seems to exist in quite a similar manner to the fans that grew up with it: Always reaching back in time, trying to take grasp onto whatever it is they can in an attempt to stay in their prime. This is why “Bleach” still continues to be written week by week, this is why “Naruto” has only just ended after fifteen years, this is why a great deal of us who grew up in the golden age of Shonen Jump are now deciding to leave it in our dust.

There is salvation, though, for those who are on the verge of putting Shonen Jump to bed forever and it’s name is “My Hero Academia” (Boku No Academia): The vanguard for a new generation of Shonen titles set to take the flame from the ones that came before it into a bright future for the publication. – (Frank Inglese)

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There are a lot of things going for My Hero Academia, whether it be its fresh take on the super hero concept or its rich cast of colourful characters. But what really stands out about My Hero Academia is the way in which it simultaneously feels deeply rooted in shonen manga tradition yet bucks shonen convention at just about every turn, taking familiar paths to an exciting new direction.

The concept itself has a great hook, a world where just about everyone gained super powers or ‘Quirks’ as the series calls it. The idea of a world of superheroes is something that feels new in Shonen Jump, which is something that is rare to say about a new series in Jump in recent times. Interesting to note is the road that has lead mangaka Kohei Horikoshi to making this fantastic series. Having previously had two failed series in Shonen Jump magazine, we have a history of work that we can trace his journey with and in a way Horikoshi bares a lot in common with My Hero Academia protagonist Izuku Midoriya.

He has tried so hard to be a great mangaka like his idol Masashi Kishimoto and after many attempts with series like Oumagadoki Zoo and Barrage which showcased this young mangaka’s potential it is clear how those series laid the groundwork for what would ultimately become his best work, My Hero Academia. But after being knocked down so many times, Horikoshi hasn’t backed down. With his third serialization, My Hero Academia, Horikoshi has finally arrived.

This series is clearly the embodiment of Horikoshi’s long journey to becoing a great mangaka and you can clearly see he has learned a lot from his past failures and his tenacity has led him to creating what in my estimation could quite easily be the next big thing. There is so much potential for this manga and it could easily break into the global market, it’s on the verge of breaking through and with the serialization in Viz Media’s english language Jump magazine, it is about to do just that. – (Luke Halliday)

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It truly is only a matter of time before “My Hero Academia” nets itself an Anime adaptation and that’s very much thanks to the highly dedicated Japanese audience who have taken this almost unknown Manga to immeasurable heights. While it does have a fairly sizeable Western audience, it’s nowhere near as mountainous as that of the Japanese. It’s a localised Anime that will help boost Western popularity to match that of the Japanese and as soon as that happens it’s a guarantee that this series will eclipse all that came before it.

Video games, figurines, a collectible card game, these are all in the future for “My Hero Academia” and it’s only a matter of time before the series is, for lack of a better term, a “household name”. It’s a series with a great deal of heart that can be felt almost instantly. It’s no stranger to high-octane action but it also isn’t afraid to make these characters seem human despite the fact that eighty percent of them are anything but.

The feeling you’ve been looking for can be found somewhere between the pages of “My Hero Academia”. It’s a series that fills you with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia in spite of it only beginning mid-way through last year. It takes a very special Manga to be able to do that and to say that “My Hero Academia” is “special” is just one hell of an understatement. – (Frank Inglese)

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Ultimately there always comes a time when one generation must pass the torch on to the next. Horikoshi has proven himself to be a tenacious Mangaka working hard at it for years and he has finally done it with this series. With Naruto finally reach its long overdue end, a successor has arisen in the form of My Hero Academia. If you haven’t read it, you should.

There is so much to like about this series and any true Shonen fan would be doing themselves an injustice to overlook this manga. It’s still early days for My Hero Academia but with the meteoric rise in popularity it has seen with only half a year barely passed since it has begun, things only can go one way from here and that is up. When you look at the history of Shonen Jump and the series that have carried the magazine to being the number 1 manga magazine in Japan, you get a cavalcade of some of the great manga titles in the history of the medium.

While the magazine has fallen into stagnant territory in recent memory with the editorial department struggling to recapture the same lightning in a bottle they have had in the past, all might be well for Shonen Jump magazine because My Hero Academia is here and it may very well just be the saviour of shonen manga as we know it. – (Luke Halliday)

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1 comment on “My Hero Academia – The Dawn Of A New Era For Shonen Jump

  1. Pingback: ‘My Hero Academia’ to Get Print Release by Viz Media, With Great Power Comes Great Manga | SnapThirty

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