Saturday, June 8, 2019

Book Review: MY HERO ACADEMIA: School Briefs Volume 1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

AUTHOR: Anri Yoshi; Kohei Horikoshi (original story)
ART: Kohei Horikoshi
COVER: Kohei Horikoshi and Shawn Carrico
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0486-6; paperback (April 2, 2019); Rated “T” for “Teen”
248pp, B&W, $10.99 U.S., $14.99 CAN, £6.99 U.K.

My Hero Academia is a shonen manga created by Kohei Horikoshi.  It is set on an Earth where 80% of the human population have manifested superpowers called “Quirks.”  If someone wants to be a superhero, he or she enrolls in the Hero Academy.  What would a person do, however, if he were one of the 20% born Quirkless?  Middle school student Izuku Midoriya has no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes.  Then, Midoriya meets the greatest hero of them all, All Might, who gives him a chance to change his destiny…

My Hero Academia: School Briefs is a new series of light novels (Japan's version of a “young adult” or “YA” novel) set in the world of My Hero Academia.  The first novel in the series debuted in Japan in 2016 and, and the series currently stands at four volumes (as of this writing).  VIZ Media publishes the My Hero Academia manga as a graphic novel series in North America.  VIZ published the first School Briefs novel in North America in early April 2019 under the title, My Hero Academia: School Briefs, Vol. 1 (subtitled Parents' Day).

My Hero Academia: School Briefs Volume 1– Parents' Day opens at U.A. High in “Class 1-A,” the homeroom of taciturn teacher, Shota Aizawa.  He informs Izuku Midoriya and the other students that the school is holding a “Parents' Day.”  Not only are the students' parents invited to visit the school, but they will also get to hear their children read the letters of appreciation that they have written for their parents.  It is enough to make the students of Class 1-A cringe, but little do they know that Parents' Day will be a lot more tense than they could ever imagine.

I cannot remember the last light novel published by VIZ Media that I read.  It has been a few years since my VIZ Media rep has sent me one to review.  The My Hero Academia manga is one of the best comics about youngsters dealing with superpowers that I have ever read, so I was looking forward to reading a novel set in that world.

In a note at the end of My Hero Academia: School Briefs Volume 1, Kohei Horikoshi, creator of My Hero Academia, says that this novel gives readers a chance to read about the series' characters going about their everyday lives.  I have to admit that I enjoyed reading about these characters as ordinary teens, although, early in this novel, I wanted more action.

Writer Anri Yoshi is quite good at presenting the U.A. High kids as kids and teens, and Caleb Cook, who translates and adapts the My Hero Academia manga into English for VIZ Media, makes this dialogue-centric prose convey personality.  This book is aimed at an audience that is far younger than I am, but, by my reading, I think My Hero Academia: School Briefs, Vol. 1 is a good start to a book series that will hopefully show more of the civilian side of life in the world of My Hero Academia.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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