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- Author : Hideyuki Furuhashi (story); Betten Court (art)
- Genres : Action, Super Power, Shounen
- Publisher : Shounen Jump+
- Publication Date : September 2016 – May 2022
My Hero Academia’s manga is in its final arc right now, rapidly approaching the end of one of the most successful franchises Shounen Jump has ever had. So if you’re on the lookout for more content to fill that void, we highly suggest the spinoff series My Hero Academia: Vigilantes! Written by Hideyuki Furuhashi, illustrated by Betten Court, and with input from Kohei Horikoshi, this prequel story focuses on a group of unlicensed do-gooders who clean up the crimes that Pro Heroes leave behind. It desperately deserves more love, so here are 5 reasons why you should read My Hero Academia: Vigilantes!
1. A New Perspective on the HeroAca Universe
The main story of My Hero Academia goes into great detail about how the existence of Quirks affects every aspect of daily life and society at large. Still, we’re largely limited to Deku’s perspective, so some important questions go unanswered. If you have a powerful Quirk but no hero license, are you supposed to just let that talent go to waste? How did the proliferation of the Trigger drug affect the rest of the country? What happened to those other children All For One tried to turn into his successors? And what is life like for a normal citizen of this crazy world? If you’re a worldbuilding connoisseur, you’ll love the new perspective that Vigilantes adds to the mix.
2. Fascinating New Characters with Unique Motivations
This series isn’t just an addendum to Deku’s story, though. The three main characters – Koichi, Pop Step, and Knuckleduster – are all fascinating in their own ways and have complex relationships with one another. Koichi just wants to make his community a safer place to live, Pop wants to be a famous idol, and Knuckleduster is more of a dark Batman type with a mysterious past. The issues they deal with are usually on a smaller scale than the ones we’re used to seeing, but that’s what makes them intriguing and relatable. And the fact that they have so few resources to work with and are acting against the law most of the time gives a tense feeling to every arc. Without All Might and U.A. to back them up, these heroes have to make their own path to victory.
3. Detailed Lore for Existing Characters
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Have you ever wanted to know what the original Ingenium was like in his prime? Or what Mirko was like as a teenager? What about how All Might managed to keep his identity secret for so long? Vigilantes is absolutely chock full of lore for existing characters, either in flashbacks or as part of the narrative proper. This is also the only place where you can find the full backstory of Oboro Shirakumo (Aizawa and Present Mic’s former friend), as well as the origin of the Quirk-enhancing drug Trigger. Horikoshi worked closely with Furuhashi and Court to flesh out these concepts, and everything in Vigilantes is canon to the main storyline. We hope that he returns the favor and includes Koichi and the gang in My Hero Academia, too!
4. Betten Court’s Gorgeous Art
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Horikoshi’s iconic artwork is one of the main selling points of the manga, especially with its exaggerated proportions and sketchy lines in action scenes. However, if you’re looking for a cleaner aesthetic, Betten Court’s art style might be even better. It’s not too different at just a glance, but the longer you read Vigilantes, the more you realize how beautifully crafted his work is. He’s great at detailed costumes, subtle facial expressions, and tasteful colors. Plus, Koichi has that same quality as Mob from Mob Psycho 100 of looking like both a hero and a nondescript NPC at the same time, which is no easy feat. Take a look for yourself and see which style you prefer!
5. A Complete, Well-Told Story
One of the best things about My Hero Academia: Vigilantes is that it’s actually complete – it started in September of 2016 and ended in May of this year. You can binge read the entire thing at whatever pace you like, and it’s well worth sticking around until the end. We obviously won’t spoil, but it wraps up in a very satisfying way and doesn’t overstay its welcome. And while Furuhashi’s writing is a bit slower paced than what you would see in the main series, it works for this more intimate sort of story. Vigilantes is available both in tankoban form and on Viz’s website, so if you’re interested, be sure to check it out.
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If you want to see more from the My Hero Academia universe, you should absolutely read My Hero Academia: Vigilantes. It’s a terrific story in its own right, and the copious amounts of lore are the icing on the cake. But what do you think about this unusual spinoff series? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading.
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