HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "My Hero Academia: Vigilantes" - Volume Fifteen [FINALE]

MANGA REVIEW | "My Hero Academia: Vigilantes" - Volume Fifteen [FINALE]

MANGA REVIEW | "My Hero Academia: Vigilantes" - Volume Fifteen [FINALE]

If there’s one thing My Hero Academia has taught its readers, it’s that anyone can be a hero. The mainline series showcases the proper ways to become a hero, with Quirk users going to school and learning the ropes. My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, on the other hand, takes a more street smart approach to heroism, with The Crawler, Pop Step, and Knuckleduster acting heroically in guerrilla fashion. Thankfully, as the final volume of My Hero Academia: Vigilantes shows, even those acting noble underground can one day become the legit thing.

Number 6 and The Crawler are still fighting, as Pop Step lays in the hospital still in a coma. The chaos becomes wilder, and the risk of endangering innocent people becomes higher. Thankfully, the best heroes in the business arrive — ranging from Endeavor to Best Jeanist — to help save the day. However, this is The Crawler’s story, so it is him that has that final confrontation between hero and villain.

Although Pop Step is still comatose, she — alongside Knuckleduster — still find a way to send words of encouragement to The Crawler. It’s still unknown if these were just in The Crawler’s head or just inexplicable conversations. Either way, what Pop Step and Knuckleduster tell The Crawler is exactly what he needs to go all out heroically. He may not be Deku or Bakugo, but The Crawler showcases a bountiful of impressive heroism during this climatic battle.

Of course, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes has always been about being a hero outside of the law. However, that doesn’t mean that The Crawler’s contributions to the fight aren’t warranted. Quite the contrary, as a certain American hero arrives to give The Crawler the opportunity of a lifetime. And from there, well, I don’t have any right to spoil what happens next.

This has always been the grittier version of Kohei Horikoshi’s world, and while My Hero Academia is known to get dark, it doesn’t go Frank Miller levels like Hideyuki Furuhashi and Betten Court did. (Hell, I’ll even say what I said many years ago: Knuckleduster is just a more powerful Marv from Sin City!) Because of this aspect, Vigilantes had an advantage of never having to hold back with the carnage. As such, it resulted in a more grounded narrative.

I’ll admit: I’m going to miss covering My Hero Academia: Vigilantes. I also hope that this isn’t the last time we see this trio of renegade heroes. Perhaps Horikoshi will find a way to insert them into the main series. Maybe it’ll get the anime adaptation it rightfully deserves. There’s also always the chance at a continuation somewhere down the line.

But until then, I think The Crawler, Pop Step, and Knuckleduster deserve their flowers, as well as an all-expenses paid vacation. Vigilantes knew when to be funny, when to be dark, and when to throw in some much-needed life lessons. Thanks to this, there were times when this spinoff found a way to outshine the main series, a feat that is quite hard to accomplish in any form of medium. My Hero Academia: Vigilantes wasn’t just an expansion of a beloved manga; it was also a damn good story of how anyone can be a hero if they tried hard enough. Plus Ultra!

FINAL GRADE (Volume Fifteen):

Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)