Sweeping Japanese sales in manga is an interesting series known as My Hero Academia. Visually, the manga takes heavy inspiration from the highlights of American comic book culture, using similar color scheme’s and poses from classic comic books. The art style even goes as far as to use the lost art of Ben-Day Dots, those polka dot looking things from older prints of comics, in its lettering and framework.
If My Hero Academia seems mysterious, there’s good reason. It is a fairly new series, starting in Japan in 2014 and has only started English production in the last year or so through Viz Media. Since then, it has received enough praise and sales to warrant an anime adaptation, similar to how Attack On Titan got its series before finding hide or hair of the basement. The popularity has carried over stateside, as millions of copies of the first few volumes have been sold.
Starting in April, Funimation will be streaming the new series on its FunimationNow service as part of an agreement with Toho, giving Funimation exclusive international rights. The adaptation is being produced by BONES, a studio responsible for hits such as Soul Eater, Full Metal Alchemist, and more. We’ve been told that the episodes will be available in English Subtitles and English dubbing, but its safe to assume that the subtitled version will air first. More information will be available soon, but signing up to learn more on their website will help sate the appetite.
Story-wise, the show and manga have an interesting premise. The world’s population has gone super, in fact about 80% of the people have some sort of super power, whether big or small. Unfortunately for, Izuku, a young lad and the main character, not everyone gets powers. However, Izuku defies reason and joins a Hero Academy anyways. Luckily, he becomes the apprentice of one of the strongest heroes around. Now if he can just pass the entrance exam!
Needless to say, I’m surprised My Hero Academia has flown under the radar for me. Constantly browsing the manga and comics at the bookstore, I tend to be up to date. Yet, I had no idea of this one, even though it was so popular that it appeared as a New York Times Best Seller. While waiting for the anime, there’s only one thing to do.
To the Manga section and beyond!