Book Review: My Hero Academia (Volume 5)

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Volume 5 of My Hero Academia covers issues 36-44.


Volume 5 of My Hero Academia covers the last part of the UA Sports Festival with the one on one quirk battles. Bakugo goes up against Uraraka in one of the best displays of Uraraka’s skill seen so far in the series. Bakugo seems to toy with her, but as Aizawa explains, he respects her as an opponent and knows she has a plan. Uraraka thinks things through and has so much determination, she refuses to give up even when her plan doesn’t work. She comes out of the battle looking like a tough badass, but Bakugo moves on to the second round. Sad girls just wanting to make their dad proud is a trope that runs DEEP within me so I fully support and love Uraraka now. I love that she has a real world reason for wanting to be a hero. She isn’t trying to live up to a hero ideal or lineage, nor is she Bakugo types of confident, wanting to be the best hero ever. Girl just wants to make some money for her family. I respect that.

The main crux of this volume is one of my favorite storylines through the entirety of the manga, and that is the development of Todoroki and his relationship with his family. I love how Midoriya stands up to Todoroki’s father Endeavor, the number two hero, purely because Todoroki is his friend and he respects him and his determination, regardless of how scary his dad is.

The battle between Todoroki and Mirdoriya is one of my favorites in the series because it’s as psychological as it is physical. Both are incredibly strong and even though Midoriya’s quirk injures him, he manages to control it in a way where Todoroki never touches him. Midoriya gets in Todoroki’s head and forces him to think about his quirk and his past and how to combine the two in a positive way. We get glimpses to Todoroki’s past and finally he decides that he can use his flame side, but on his own terms. He doesn’t want to become his father; he wants to emulate All Might. He never wants people to be afraid of him the way they are his dad, but he accepts that he can use both sides of his quirk and make them his own without answering for his father. Todoroki finally accepts himself and knocks Midoriya out of bounds to continue to the next round and face Tenya Iida.

While their match is happening, we cut to Stain, the hero killer and insane villain, cutting down a hero we learn is Iida’s brother, Ingenium. Bakugo beats Kirishima as well, moving on to face Tokoyami and finally, Todoroki. The battle between Bakugo and Todoroki is heated, but Todoroki reverts back to not using his fire side, a move that infuriates Bakugo. Bakugo compares himself to Midoriya 24/7, so to see Todoroki not using that quirk against him when he did against Midoriya means that that he doesn’t think Bakugo is worth spending his energy on. Bakugo has an extreme issue with people taking pity on him, and thus gives it everything he has until Todoroki is knocked both out and passed the line. Bakugo wins, but not in a way he wanted and he loses his collective shit during the awards ceremony.

The end of this volume is nice in that we get to see the students being kids and with their families for the first time in ages. Iida runs to his, thankfully still alive, brother’s bedside, Todoroki leaves his family home to go visit his mother in the hospital, Midoriya gets encouragement from his mother and Uraraka and her parents exchange some much needed words of love. All in all, a fabulous end to the sports festival arc.

Also of note:
This volume of the manga corresponds with episodes 9 through 12 of Season 2.

Title: My Hero Academia (Volume 5)
Author: Kohei Horikoshi
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781421587028

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