MANGA REVIEW | "My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions" - Vol. 3
With My Hero Academia going down dark territories (especially in the most recent anime season), it’s nice seeing the characters have a breather or two. Yes, saving the world from evil is their main priority, but even the greatest heroes deserve an easy job to tackle. Volume Three of My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions gives many of the main and sub-heroes-to-be a chance to stretch, with a good mixture of comedy and heart thrown in.
Mineta aims to be in the eyes of ladies everywhere, with a plan to disguise himself as a pet backfiring big time. The girls prepare for a day at a water park, which means avoiding sweets of any kind for two weeks. Shishida aims to befriend a gorilla in a wildlife sanctuary, but has trouble ridding of his proper etiquette. Meanwhile, a familiar face from a My Hero Academia movie returns, with Deku doing his best to show him and his siblings around town.
When Team-Up Missions takes its focus away from the main cast, the writing shines greatly. It gives characters like Mineta, Shishida, and Tenjina a chance to show what they’re made of, even if they’re more comedic fodder than the likes of Deku and Bakugo. Seeing how far Mineta will go just to be liked by women is guaranteed to bring laughs, especially when we see the dog costume he wears. However, the real fun is seeing the villains tied to this side story, with one paying homage to a certain cruel puppy kidnapper.
There’s also some fun lessons shared amongst these heroes-to-be. In regards to Shishida, he aimed to bond with the gorilla so that he could be a stronger ape-like hero. However, as he learns, the gorilla has nothing to teach him; Shishida already has the makings of a proper hero. However, the gorilla does learn something from Shishida, with a gag that’ll certain bring a good laugh to readers.
However, when Team-Up Missions does go back to the main cast, the stories can be hit-or-miss. Deku, Bakugo, and Mount Lady protecting a town with a sacred tree has some solid action and morals on display, with a new character that one hopes can become a recurring one in this series. One chapter involving classmates dressing as one another has some goods laughs, but Deku bonding with an explosion-powered kid feels too similar to other stories involving Eri and Kota. Then there’s the chapter with the returning Rody from World Heroes’ Mission, which really doesn’t hit the mark it was aiming for due to poor pacing and a lack of focus.
Volume Three of My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions shares the same strengths and weaknesses as its preceding volumes. When it focuses on other heroes, the stories are fun and memorable; when they return to the main cast, it lacks good character growth. Perhaps Yoko Akiyama should stick to the former, as it gives the author a chance to add something to the My Hero Academia mix.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.