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My Hero Academia Vol. #16 Manga Review

4 min read
Heading forth into the yakuza's den!

Heading forth into the yakuza’s den!

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Kohei Horikoshi
Translation: Caleb Cook

What They Say
The Hassaikai crime gang, led by the young boss Chisaki, has been working on a plan to distribute a Quirk-destroying drug. The key to this evil scheme is the young girl Eri, held prisoner in Chisaki’s hideout. Nighteye asks other heroes to form a team to launch a rescue attempt—and the students of Class 1-A are going into the lion’s den with them! But Nighteye, who can see the future, refuses to look at the fates of anyone going on the mission…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This volume kicks off by jumping right into the action, with the raid of the Hassaikai gang’s hideout! And I’ve got to say, it’s fairly low-key, but I love the way that Nighteye’s powers are used here, allowing the heroes to really get an upper hand in terms of information. With that said, though… the yakuza sure aren’t caught entirely off guard, as they really do put up a fight, and have a definite defensive plan in place. That includes a guy who can fully manipulate the basement area our heroes wander into! And… I have to admit, this is one part that really bugs me, as it seems like there’s a ton of ways that ability could be used to just immediately kill all of the intruders, but instead, it’s pretty much just a tool to split everyone up. There’s a halfhearted excuse later on that he didn’t just crush everyone because it’s really hard on him to move large amounts of mass quickly, but I just find it hard to buy that he can’t really do much against them offensively when he’s shown so smoothly moving everybody around. Not the biggest deal in the world, mind you, but it just feels pretty awkward and questionable.

Anyway, the bulk of this volume goes to two big fights, the first of them being between Suneater/Tamaki and three Hassaikai underlings. And this is the one other bit in the book that really bugs me with the logistics, as the setup is that Tamaki tells everybody to go on ahead and leave these guys to him, as time is seriously of the essence. Now conceptually that works just fine, but the specifics really make it awkward, as they have a whole discussion on the matter while Tamaki is holding the enemies in place. Literally, anyone in the group could have just walked up to the guys and knocked them out easily in less time than the argument would have taken, and they would’ve avoided a pointless fight in the process. That said, Tamaki’s powers are really cool and are used well in the battle, so the actual content is fine. I just really wish Horikoshi would’ve put a bit more thought into how he set it up, as it wouldn’t have taken much tweaking to make everything feel a whole lot more natural.

The second big fight of the volume, meanwhile, goes to Kirishima and Fat Gum up against a pair with a barrier user and a powerful physical attacker. I like this battle okay, though it’s kind of weird having Kirishima’s background pop up in the middle of a battle RIGHT after Tamaki had the same thing happen, and it was honestly done a bit smoother there. There’s just some real awkward overlap to the whole thing that kind of make both feel a bit less special due to them being in such ridiculously close proximity. The villains are also kind of eh here, but at least Fat Gum is pretty fun to make up for that. So yeah, not a total wash if nothing else.

In Summary
This volume is a bit of an awkward one, as the content is fine even if not the most exciting stuff imaginable, but there are all kinds of little nagging issues throughout the book that throw things off. Whether it’s some really weird logic from characters or just odd structural overlap, it really adds up and just makes things not feel quite as tight as they should be. Still, even if the villains are a little bland and empty, we get some nice fights and use of Quirks, which certainly keeps this volume from being a drag. Hopefully things will tighten up a bit as the arc fires up, but for now, what we get is firmly in the range of decent, but not especially exceptional.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: December 4th, 2018
MSRP: $9.99

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