Book Review: My Hero Academia (Volume 14)

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Volume 14 of My Hero Academia covers issues 119-128.

The beginning of this volume continues where we last left off, with Bakugo challenging Midoriya to a fight. Although trying to hold him off in the beginning, Midoriya realizes Bakugo will only be happy if he’s able to defeat Midoriya, so he finally begins to fight back. It’s a contained battle, but the boys give it all they’ve got with Midoriya using his newfound powers all the way to 8% to try and outmaneuver Bakugo. Bakugo is quick thinking and has advantage in the air, so Midoriya tries to keep moving as fast as possible, not giving Bakugo time to think before he attacks. Eventually Bakugo gets the upper hand on Midoriya and pins him down, though thankfully the boys have screamed out most of their issues to one another. Midoriya has always been weak and looked up to Bakugo, even when he was being an asshole. Bakugo resents Midoriya’s spirit and determination, as he never left Bakugo even when he was shitty to him. Bakugo is also harboring deep-rooted insecurity about being weak and bringing along the fall of All Might with his weakness. All Might shows up as the fight is ending and tries to convince Bakugo this was inevitable and not his fault, but as always, it’s not easy to get through the emotional wall he’s build. Nevertheless, Bakugo agrees to keep their secret and not say anything about Midoriya’s power.

After the confrontation, Aizawa places the boys under house arrest where they finally calm down and talk a little. Very little. The other students go to the opening ceremony for the new semester where Nezu discusses how they’re the new pillar going forward now that All Might is out of commission. They are the students that will be asked to step up, and they have to start working even harder. They also touch upon work study and what that holds for their futures.

While Midoriya is outside throwing away some garbage, a face appears in a wall and quickly becomes the best character introduced in ages. Is there anything better than a sentient floating face? I think not. The face says Midoriya will learn about him soon enough which, honestly, is exactly what a floating face WOULD say and Deku just goes with it! How these kids are so chill with floating heads I’ll never know.

Pages later we find out who the face is! One of the Big Three, the top three students at UA. I. Love. Them. Amajiki, please marry me you odd emo nerd. Hado is weird and curious about everything, and since the talk goes a bit off track, Mirio, the floating face, decides the best way to show why they’re the big three is to have the entirety of class 1A fight him.  And he kicks their asses. It’s awesome. Mirio has a cool quirk called Permeation where he can basically phase himself through things, including the ground, and then when he deactivates his quirk he can propel himself toward whatever direction he’s aiming towards. Mirio is AWESOME. I love him. He emphasizes that his quirk isn’t that powerful, most of his awesomeness comes from his hard work and dedication to making his quirk work for his body. He is intense, he doesn’t give up, and he thinks ahead. He’s so great I’m entirely wooed by him after one issue.

The Big Three are really there to talk about work study, and the kids begin to figure out who they can contact in order to get someone to sponsor their work study. Midoriya tries asking Gran Torino to be his work study leader, but he’s busy working with the police on the League of Villains case. He suggests Midoriya talk to All Might and see if he can get him into work study with (DRAMA) All Might’s old sidekick! That we knew nothing about until now!

The story continues with a man, we assume All Might’s sidekick, getting a run down of a villian by the name of Overhaul, who we saw in the last volume for all of two pages. The League of Villains is meeting with him, and it’s revealed he is a member of the Yakuza, which is basically the Japanese crime syndicate. Overhaul states he wants to be the next leader of villains because it’s obvious Shigaraki has a goal but no idea how to get there. He doesn’t understand how to use the people on his side, nor does he have a step by step plan in order to do so, but Overhaul does. He thinks with them all combined, they could take over, but only if he is leader. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with Shigaraki and Magne goes to fight on his behalf, but holy shit Overhaul kills Magne. And then destroys the arm of Compress. Shigaraki tells the League to fall back and Overhaul leaves without furthur incident.

Back at UA, Midoriya is turned down by All Might when he asks him to introduce him to Sir Nighteye, All Might’s old sidekick. Instead, All Might summons Mirio and we learn that not only is Mirio doing a work study with Nighteye, he was the one chosen to be All Might’s successor before All Might defied and chose Midoriya. Mirio takes Midoriya to meet Nighteye, but before he can be accepted he needs to make Nighteye laugh. He and Midoriya eventually bond over their mutual weird obsession over All Might, and Nighteye tells him he must figure out what he can contribute to an agency and to society before he will agree to be his mentor. That and he has to try and get the approval stamp from him in under three minutes. Adults are weird in this series, what can I say?

Nighteye taunts Midoriya as he tries to steal the stamp of approval, but due to his quirk, foresight, he is able to see all the moves Midoriya plans on making. He also reveals that he was against All Might giving his power to Midoriya and thought Mirio should recieve it. Eventually he asks Midoriya if he lost focus since he failed, and Midoriya says he had a focus, he tried to avoid stepping on all the one of a kind All Might merchandise on the walls. Nighteye realizes Midoriya was controlling his power to avoid certain areas and accepts him as part of the agency. At their first patrolling session, a little girl runs into the legs of Midoriya and as he bends down to check on her, Overhaul appears behind her, seemingly her guardian.

Intense! Drama! New bad guys! New characters we already like! This is an awesome transition volume that wraps up some things and sets up a whole new world for the students to operate in now that most of them have gotten their provisional licences! Can’t wait to see where to go and also can’t wait for the next series of the anime! Season three ends with this volume, so I’m excited to see which future arcs are included in the next series!

Also of note: This volume corresponds with episodes 23-25 of Season 3.

Title: My Hero Academia (Volume 14)
Author: Kohei Horikoshi
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1421599472

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