In this lovely breakdown I will be talking about My Hero Academia Vigilantes a spin-off series that happen years before the current My Hero Academia. If you are a fan of the current series I highly suggest picking up a copy of Vigilantes, or go to Viz Media to read Vigilantes for free! Here are the following topics I will talk about in this breakdown, the plot, key characters in volume 1, the art, and give my overall thoughts on manga itself.
Warning Spoilers Ahead
Yo, I am not very good at not spoiling things, but I do try my best not to. However, this breakdown may contain spoilers on volume one of Vigilantes. I would highly recommend reading the first volume before you continue. I will of course source out any information that did not come from my mouth directly. Why? because plagiarism is a big no-no my friends! Let’s get this breakdown on the ball shall we!
How About That Plot Though
Summary: “In the world of My Hero Academia, not everyone needs a license to fight for justice!
In a super-powered society, there is nothing ordinary about evil anymore. Heroes, trained and licensed to protect and defend the public against super-villains, stand above all the rest. Not everyone can be a hero, however, and there are those who would use their powers to serve the people without legal sanction. But do they fight for justice in the shadows, or for reasons known only to themselves? Whatever they fight for, they are called…vigilantes.
Koichi Haimawari couldn’t make the cut to become an official hero, so he uses his modest Quirk to do good deeds in his spare time. Then one day a fateful encounter with some local thugs leads him to team up with two other unlikely heroes. None of them really know what they’re doing, but they’ve got the courage—or foolishness—to try. But they soon discover fighting evil takes more than just being brave…” (Source Amazon)
My Thoughts: As I have mentioned above My Hero Academia Vigilantes is a spin-off series done by Hideyuki Furuhashi. This spin-off series was published August 20th, 2016. Currently Viz media has published 38 chapters with one volume available for purchase on amazon. What is a vigilante?
“A member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the process of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly: a self-appointed door of justice” – MHA Vigilantes
let me start off by saying if you purchase the manga you don’t get chapter 0.5 … so I suggest you go to Viz Media, and read chapter 0.5. I am honestly disappointed that this chapter wasn’t included with manga purchase, because it explains so much, and gives you a lot of important information that is vital to the manga in opinion. Basically chapter 0.5 goes into great detail about what a vigilante is. Which is very necessary to understand if you are going to read My Hero Academia Vigilante. Not only does it go into detail about Vigilantes, but chapter 0.5 introduces your main characters, and gives you a little information about each one of them.
Volume one was a lot of fun to read! I really love the concept of the manga itself. You have these vigilantes who work in the shadows of pro heroes. Vigilantes are doing what pro heroes aren’t able to do. They basically clean up the mess that no one wants to deal with. I am a huge fan of seeing the underdog come out on top. What do I mean by this? Well, most vigilantes are heroes who weren’t able to make the cut to become a pro hero, either because they didn’t have a quirk, or their quirk just wasn’t good enough to make the cut. To me this concept is absolutely compelling, and just all around unique. Don’t get me wrong I love MHA, but I am honestly more attracted to the ideal of Vigilante. If they made Vigilante an anime … you bet your ass I would be watching it.
Another interesting take on vigilante is the slightly darker theme that it embraces compared to the original manga. You see the darker side of being a “hero” where as in the original series it doesn’t go that in-depth like it does in vigilante. It really makes you question what a hero is. Do you really need a license to be a hero? Does having a license truly make you a hero? These are all questions that ran through my head as a read volume one.
The story follows Haimawari Kouichi your average looking college student. Like any normal person he goes to work, school, and home, but his life becomes a little difficult when he has a run in with some thugs on the street. His first encounter he was able to escape, his second encounter he got the shit beat out of him (Popstep comes into the picture), and his third encounter really went south. As Kouichi was doing his side work as Nice Guy ( brief explanation) On the side Kouichi puts on his All Might hoodie, and becomes known as Nice Guy. He does all sorts of small good deeds throughout the town as Nice Guy. Definitely when he has had a rough day. Kouichi third encounter didn’t only go south, but it also would change his life. Knuckleduster to the rescue!
As the story progress we learn about a drug called the Quirk-enhancing drug Trigger. Basically this drug does exactly what it says enhances individuals quirks however, they turn into what they call “Instant Villains.” The plot follows heavily into this drug so it is very important to make sure you pay attention, and read carefully. Overall the first volume is pretty solid, and covers a lot. You learn a little bit about vigilantes, and even discover more about the characters they introduce throughout the first volume.
Key Characters To Look Out For
The manga does a pretty good job with giving you some of the basic information about the main characters. I was actually impressed to be honest. The three main characters I will be talking about are, Kouichi, Kazuho, and Knuchkeduster. These three are key characters you will meet in volume one, and they are also our vigilantes who work behind the scenes illegally. Please note the following information comes from wiki fandom to help you get a better understanding of the characters.
“Kouichi is a skinny young man with short brown hair. His costume consists of his normal clothes in conjunction with an All Might-haired hooded jacket, a black mask covering his face, red sunglasses, and bike protective gear.
Kouichi is viewed as an easy-going, warm type of personality. Kouichi is the type of kind who does things not because he expects anything back, but because he is just a generous dude. Though he means well he doesn’t do well with social clues. This gained him the title of “creepy guy” among his fellow classmates at university due to an incident that happen when he first started college. He is so bad with socializing that he accidentally insults people when he is just trying to compliment them (lol me).
Kouichi will use his quirk as long as he is dressed up at The Crawler, or in a somewhat desolate area. Though you are not supposed to use your quirk if you are not a pro hero. Typically Kouichi use his quirk to do good deeds for the public. For example, picking up trash, returning lost items, giving directions, helping people get onto trains, being a cameraman, and recycling. He has a very heroic nature and cannot ignore people who need help.
He tends to be a rather calm person, sometimes accidentally making light of dangerous situations after they have passed. He is reasonable and is willing to have a dialog with thugs and petty criminals, as seen with his interactions with the Three Sturm und Drang Brothers. At the same time, he is quick to help when there is a real need for his abilities against Villains, showing that he can be attentive as well as calm.
He dreams of being able to become a recognized hero and is shown to enjoy the vigilante work that he does. He is very willing to do the less glamorous jobs, such as cleaning up trash and does not seem to think that these are negative aspects of being a hero or vigilante. He refuses to give up doing it just because it seems uncool because he claims that “that’s not the sort of person I am”, showing that he does not seem to want to be a Hero for fame or money, but out of a genuine desire to help society and other people. “(Source Wiki Fandom)
“Slide and Glide: Kouichi’s Quirk seemingly allows him to slide over plain surfaces, but to do that he needs to touch the ground in at least three places. Kouichi has also displayed the ability to slide up vertical surfaces. He can move in any direction, including backwards.
Enhanced Speed: Slide and Glide grants Kouichi enhanced speed, allowing him to move as fast as a bike. He is able to go faster but at risk of losing control and hurting himself because he can’t stop. Training his Quirk eventually lets him go fast enough to easily overtake a wildly speeding bus.
Maneuverability: Very high maneuverability by learning to use an opposing acceleration as a brake. He now possesses the abilities to move and perform tight turns at high speeds as well as brake” (Source Wiki Fandom)
“In her civilian attire, Kazuho looks like a timid and shy young girl with big poofy pink hair and glasses. Her hair is a tad messy and her eyes are concealed bPop☆Step is a very smart and intellectual person; as she “acts as the brains of the vigilantes.
She has a habit of berating both Koichi and Knuckleduster when either of them acts up in a way that she disapproves of. She also constantly denies having any involvement with them to the police, even though she clearly doesy the glare of her glasses.
When she wants to use her quirk and express herself, she paints a black mask, ties her hair in pig-tails, dresses in a succubus themed one-piece black leotard with a heart-shaped opening in the center of the chest, a super-miniskirt with three hearts on the belt, knee-high boots, and elbow length gloves.” (Source Wiki Fandom)
“Leap : Kazuho’s Quirk allows her to leap very high. However, in order to do this, she needs a solid surface to jump off of. Her Quirk is not related to flight, so she is powerless without having a foothold to jump off of. She cannot use her Quirk when falling onto an object, but if she leaps off of an object, she will land safely, meaning that when she leaps, her Quick activates and protects her as she falls, but this will not occur unless she leaps first. Her Quirk can also be less effective if she is on a non-solid object, such as muddy ground, and this can limit her leaping distances.” (Source Wiki Fandom)
“Knuckleduster is a towering, heavily muscled man. What is visible of his face under his mask reveals heavy stubble and part of a scar on his left cheek. His costume consists of a simple wrap-around mask tied over the top of his head, a tight-fitting dark shirt, jeans, boots, a trench coat, and a pair of gloves topped with a pair of brass knuckles, or knuckledusters, from which he derives his name.
Despite his intimidating appearance, Knuckleduster is actually a very caring and good-hearted individual with a drive to do the right thing. Despite having no government-issued hero license, he still puts on his costume and goes out every night to fight street-level criminals and local gangs to keep his neighborhood safe from crimes most “heroes” will not bother with.” (Source Wiki Fandom)
“Overall Abilities: Knuckleduster is Quirkless, proven when Shota Aizawa tried to erase his Quirk only to have no effect on Knuckleduster. Despite being Quirkless, Knuckleduster is incredibly tough in strength and skill as he was able to fight on even terms with Shota. He was also able to single-handedly defeat Stendhal with a single blow.
Hand to Hand Combat: Knuckleduster appears to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat, utilizing brass knuckles as his weapon of choice. His skill with his fists was great enough to overcome Chizome’s skill with the sword, landing a heavy blow before Chizome could scratch him.
Enhanced Durability: Despite being Quirkless, Knuckleduster is very sturdy, standing up even when he receives blows from physical enhancement Quirks.
Enhanced Strength: Knuckleduster’s strength is surprisingly high, and he is sometimes mistaken for having a strength-enhancing Quirk.” (Source Wiki Fandom)
Overall the characters we meet in the first volume are pretty interesting, and fun to learn about. I would have to say Knuckleduster is probably my personal favorite. Knuckleduster is like an off brand All Might lmao, but he is still extremely cool, and he kicks ass! I really loved that they included character design pages throughout the first volume. It was really cool reading what the creators had to say about the character designs. Popstep reminds me of my little sister which isn’t a bad thing, but that is how I relate to Popstep in the series so far. Kouichi is a pretty solid main character so far. I am really curious to see how grows in the upcoming volumes.
Put it simply the art was superbly done in my opinion. The panels weren’t sloppy, but very clean, and easy to ready. Betten Court who did the illustration did a fine job with making the characters stand out from the scenes. Furthermore, making the scenes stand out when they needed to. I felt like the art gave a Saturday morning cartoon feel to it. Which I for one highly enjoyed! The art was clean, not to simplistic, and really fun to look at. Betten Court was able to express the characters feelings through his art. Not only express the characters feeling, but set the right moods in the series.
My Final Thoughts
My Hero Academia is a wonderful spin-off series that sometimes feel like it isn’t really a spin-off. Volume one was very well done, and thought out which made the first volume that much more enjoyable. If it wasn’t for the success of the original series I would have probably never gave the manga a chance. Which kind of makes me sad, because I would have been missing out on something amazing! Take a chance, and dive into the world of a Vigilante … you surely won’t regret it!
I hope you guys enjoyed this breakdown! I greatly appreciate those who took the time to read this. It truly means a lot to me! I would love to hear your thoughts about this breakdown in the comment section. What did you like? Will you be picking up this manga? Do you have any good manga suggestion? Please do share!