The My Hero Academia franchise has been getting bigger with the feature films, My Hero Academia: SMASH! and of course the most robust addition to the MHA universe My Hero Academia: Vigilantes. This series is written by Hideyuki Furuhashi, and features art by Betten Court and of course is based on the original concept created by mangaka Kohei Horikoshi. Published in English by VIZ Media through their Shonen Jump imprint, the series follow humble college student Koichi Haimawari.
More mature than the main My Hero Academia series, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes explores how those who lack the means to be heroes cope in a world that wants them to pretend like they’re quirkless and leave the big work to the pros. More violent than the main series, the other distinction in My Hero Academia: Vigilantes is that it deals with larger themes of inequality, inequity, and how the pros can sometimes be detached from the world they serve. Over the course of the last six volumes, we’ve followed Koichi as he’s learned new ways to use his quirk, made friends with hero favorites like Eraser Head and formed a found family with Pop Step and his mentor Knuckleduster. The last of these has been hiding his whereabouts since he confronted his daughter who was being controlled by a bee user and broke their hold on her, saving her and bringing on a new big bad at the same time.
During all of this, Captain Celebrity, a disgraced American hero has joined the family and we’ve gotten to see the philandering self-obsessed hero turn into someone wholesome. Now, in My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7, Koichi and Pop Step have their hands full getting ready for an all-out entertainment extravaganza which will mark Captain Celebrity’s final appearance in Japan at the Sky Egg stadium. Now loved by civilians and heroes alike, Captain Celebrity is saying goodbye, that is, until the high-speed villain from Osaka initiates a major catastrophe at the event. While the event is filled with heroes, they have to focus on saving the thousands of civilians inside, Captain Celebrity and Koichi need to confront the danger head-on, which pushes them past their limits.
Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7 is comedic in the beginning, but its strength is in its emotional core, more specifically, Captain Celebrity’s growth. As a character, Captain Celebrity is annoying, toxically masculine, and filled to the brim with an ego that calls for heroism only when the cameras are on him. He is everything that All Might is not and generally, everything a hero shouldn’t be. But this volume showcases Captain Celebrity’s growth and selflessness while also giving us his backstory and breaking the hard exterior we’ve come to know. In this issue, we get to see him pushed to his limit, sacrificing himself, and thinking about the ones he loves along the way.
For this volume, Koichi takes a backseat to Knuckleduster searching for the mysterious villain, and ultimately Captain Celebrity going Plus Ultra and finally becoming worthy of his status as a hero. And you know what? That’s okay, in fact, one of the defining features of the My Hero Academia is allowing side characters to not only shine but become as dynamic as our protagonists. Furuhashi excels at flipping between the past and the present and bringing in strong emotion while also balancing Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7 with solid humor. Additionally, this issue allows us to see so many of our favorite pro heroes being, well, heroes. From Best Jeanist to Eraser Head and Ryukyu we get the chance to see more of heroes only shown in passing or performing teacher duties instead of fighting bad guys.
Court’s art is another amazing thing about this volume. The variations in current Captain Celebrity and one of the past are so well done that you can map his changes from a college student just looking for love to a hero who lost his way. But in the final chapter of the volume, you get to see the character in pain and like All Might, smiling through it, pushing through it, and finally achieving a moment of pure heroism. There is a beauty here that the parallels to the Symbol of Peace bring. Additionally, the Best Jeanist panels featuring his quirk usage are gorgeous. From the thin thread manipulations of his clothes to that of the thick fiber cables, it’s nearly magical.
Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7 is a phenomenal volume and continues to prove that this manga just as good as its predecessor. Humorous and emotional, this volume packs a smashing punch and leaves you on a cliffhanger that will make you excited for Volume 8.
Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7 is available from booksellers now.
Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Volume 7 is a phenomenal volume and continues to prove that this manga just as good as its predecessor. Humorous and emotional, this volume packs a smashing punch and leaves you on a cliffhanger that will make you excited for Volume 8.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.