Welp, admittedly ever since I mentioned this series in my award post it wasn’t a secret I love this series, but here it is! A post on the series I’ve been hyping up since the Animanga Spellbook began!
For the uninitiated, Boku no Hero Academia: Vigilantes (English licensing name) is also known as Vigilante: Boku no Hero Academia Illegals (Japanese name) and…welp, the name says everything. It’s a spinoff of Boku no Hero Academia, following a different group of superpowered individuals who work under the guise of vigilantes.
- It has plot points that make you think again about the Boku no Hero Academia world.
It shows Tensei Iida at work, for one thing, which we never see in the main series due to the focus on his younger brother Tenya.
Also, if you’re particularly interested in how Stain (from season 2 of the main anime) became the way he is, you might want to keep an eye on that guy called Stendhal…
- It’s more Spiderman than Deku.
The protagonist Koichi is more like Spiderman than his Superman counterpart Deku, from the type of Quirk to the applications of it, and he has the snark to go with it. Koichi is of college age too, which makes its core audience naturally older than that of its main series.
By the way, it also makes fun of the (All-American) Flying Brick trope (warning: TV Tropes link) by having a Superman stand-in by the name of Captain Celebrity.
- Even if you haven’t seen Boku no Hero Academia’s anime or manga, it’s still enjoyable.
The core of the series – the big fight spectacles and the Quirks handled in creative ways – is still here, so even though Koichi is college age, younger readers who want more Boku no Hero Academia or maybe even people who haven’t seen the main manga or anime can also enjoy this manga. That’s because the references to Boku no Hero Academia points are treated as subtly hidden Easter eggs, and not entirely compulsory to understanding Vigilantes as a whole.
- It continues the trend of cool Boku no Hero Academia Quirks, like…a Catbus?
Continuing from point 3, this manga demonstrates how Quirks are used and applied in about the same detail as they do in the main series.
No major spoilers here since the Catbus is a small step on the road to plot relevance, but it appears during a moment when Koichi and company are in Asakusa.
Technically it’s a nekomata, but who cares.
- It questions the nature of a hero.
It’s one of the big draws of Boku no Hero Academia, so of course it’s here too. However, the different angle from not-quite-the-other-side of the law means you get a much broader look on how society works in this world.
- It has a cool “old man” (?) character who kicks butts like Batman without gadgets.
Knuckleduster’s his name, the aura of mystery around him is his game. He’s an ol’ fart (as Pop Step would call him), but he’s tough for a reason.
- It makes its side characters worth their time.
There’s one side character who can produce spikes that shows up at one point and eventually becomes a source of information for Koichi and company. Thus, you gotta keep your eyes peeled for side characters you might have seen before, or better still, characters from the main series (as mentioned in point 1).
- It’s got less material than its source material.
It’s only around 20 chapters as this post goes live, compared to the main series’ 100 or so chapters. That makes it easy game for catching up on and reading weekly if you don’t have too many other series on your plate.
- It’s got two “main crew” gals, unlike Boku no Hero Academia’s one.
Boku no Hero Academia’s main crew is normally Deku, Bakugou, Tenya and Ochako. Comparatively, here you have Koichi, Knuckleduster, Pop Step (her civilian identity is a secret up until a certain point) and Makoto (an older senpai), which is overall a much better gender balance. Makoto is related to a certain person who appears briefly in the main series, which is a real bonus. However, said character is only mentioned by name, so if you’re not memorising whose name is whose in the main series, the character might be harder to identify…
- It’s serialised online and will be going to print…er, soon. (Thank you, based Viz.)
…What do you mean, that’s too long to wait for an official release?
Well, lucky for you, Viz is putting it online for you to read.
- Bonus point: It’s educational…?
I didn’t know what a cruller was until I read this manga. The best thing about that joke was that it seems to be a cross-language joke, because there was a picture of a cruller at one point.