Book Review: My Hero Academia (Volume 16)

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Kirishima and Tamaki and Fatgum oh my!

Volume 16 of MHA starts off with a bang as the group of police, pro heroes and those in training meet to overtake the Yakuza lair. Thanks to Sir Nighteye’s foresight, they know the direct path, but have no idea what expect with the quirks of those inside.

Things start off quickly with the villains already anticipating their moves and jumping to attack first. This is where we get our first glimpse of Ryuko, my new favorite pro hero because SHE BECOMES A FUCKING DRAGON Y’ALL! A GODDAMN DRAGON! How can you not love this, holy moly.

The villains split up our group of saviors and we follow Kirishima and Midoriya until the floors go wonky and start turning the place into a giant Labyrinth, sans David Bowie. Mirio rushes ahead because his quirk allows him to pass through the walls, as the others fall into a room with three of Overhaul’s main followers. Tamaki Amajiki, known as Suneater, takes center stage here. He wishes he could be more like his BFF Mirio, and the reader is given some backstory to Tamaki and how he became Fat Gum’s right hand man. He and Mirio have been friends since 3rd grade, and Mirio is the first person to believe in Tamaki. They’ve pushed each other to be better, and they’re best friends. Tamaki uses the strength Mirio gives him in his battle against the three villains, turning them on one another in order to take them down. His ability is incredible but honestly, his quick thinking is what makes him a badass hero. He realizes the villain with the eating ability will eat anything, so he uses the poisonous abilities of the octopus in order to paralyze them. It’s genius. I love him.

As our heroes move on, more villains come out of the woodwork to try and separate as many as possible. We learn that Overhaul has taken over his father’s gang and included villains in the mix in order to gain an upper hand. He has also made followers of those on the edge of society; people who don’t fit it. Several have been those who have been nearly beaten to death or have actually killed themselves, but Overhaul is able to bring them back to life and give them purpose, and for that they will do whatever he asks. He is evil and badass and I am loving this new arc.

Fatgum and Kirishima get separated from the rest of the group and start faltering under the impressive quirks of the villains they’re up against. Fatgum uses his quirk to absorb all the blows reigning down on him so he can use them as a mighty force (and we see thin Fatgum for a bit! Cool!) Kirishima is panicking, worried he can’t stand up and fight any longer but finally hardens and jumps in to join the fight to save Fatgum. Here we also get some Kirishima backstory, about how Mina is the one who inspired him to really try out for UA and stand up to bad guys. It’s ADORABLE. Mina is so wonderful, I’m glad she’s getting some time to shine in other people’s arcs! And Bakugo is mentioned as well which makes my little Bakugo/Kirishima heart burst. Also Kirishima dyes his hair! *Ashley’s Voice * SCANDALOUS! But seriously he is a cinnamon roll of hardworking sweetness and I would die for him.

Our volume ends with a Midoriya and Aizawa getting split up from the group as they try to find Rock Lock and lo and behold, who do they find? Just our favorite blood licking stabber extraordinaire, Toga! Which means the Yakuza and the League of Villains are working together after all! How dramatic and exciting.

Honestly I love this. I love this series, I love how these stories weave together and the author lets different people shine in each volume. This one was Kirishima, Fatgum and Tamaki and it’s the most brilliant way to keep the story moving at a solid pace while also giving us exposition about the characters we already like. Midoriya is there, as is Eraserhead and others who push the plot along, but having the plot go hand in hand with these little stories about how the heroes got to this place in life makes it SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING than just following Midoriya all the time because he’s the protagonist. I love it. I love these kids and these pro heroes and honestly, these villains. A series is only as good as it’s bad guy collective and my god this series has some fantastic evildoers.

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