The quirk enhancing drug known as trigger continues to spread throughout the city. Koichi, Kazuho and Knuckleduster try their best to locate the source and users of the dangerous substance, but their methods prove to be less than effective. While training his slide and glide quirk, Koichi runs into Tensei Ida, also known as the Turbo Hero: Ingenium. After observing Koichi’s abilities, Tensei suggests an alternative approach to momentum control. Koichi immediately notices an improvement and is blown away by Tensei’s ability to fix a lifelong issue so easily. He puts his newfound control to use by aiding Ingenium in the capture of a known villain. Tensei recognizes Koichi while in his Crawler disguise and permits him and the other vigilantes to walk away. The pair later meet up and train together.
After Kazuho questions Koichi about his All Might hoodie obsession, it’s revealed that he is only missing the silver age edition from his collection. He reveals that while on his way to take the hero entrance exam in Tokyo, he witnessed a young child drowning. He jumped in to save the child, gave them his silver age All Might hoodie and then rushed off to take the exam. He was too late however and missed the exam and his chances to attend a hero school. Kazuho returns home and pulls the silver age hood from her closet. She was the little girl that Koichi saved that day and has been intrigued by him ever since. While attempting to return the hoodie, Kazuho gets rattled by Knuckleduster and decides against revealing her secret.
Koichi and his allies encounter another vigilante by the name of Stendhal. He is an extremely skilled fighter with deadly intentions. After Soga refuses to take trigger from Hachisuka, she uses her queen bee quirk to inject the drug into his system. Stendhal attempts to eliminate Soga, but Koichi steps in to save his former foe. Stendhal turns on Koichi and paralyzes him after tasting his blood… Sound familiar? Knuckleduster steps in and pulverizes Stendhal with a punch so strong it shatters his mask and stains his face with blood. Is that last line too on the nose?
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Vol. 2 is a strong installment within the MHA universe. This spin-off excels when it incorporates characters from the main series. Vigilantes offers a unique look at heroes and villains that deserve more attention and backstory that MHA alone can’t provide. The narrative decisions behind Stendhal’s identity reveal were brilliant. The subtle hints throughout the chapters were smart without being heavy handed. The Hero Killer: Stain, was a standout favorite from MHA, which makes his pseudo origin story that more interesting. If you’ve seen or read MHA, you know the connection between Stain and Tensei. Incorporating both of these characters in the same volume was genius. It helps you understand Stain’s mindset and feel more connected to Tensei’s fate.
Volume 2 furthers the character development of both Koichi and Kazuho, while Knuckleduster just seems to be around when someone needs to be punched in the face. It is truly impressive how the writing is able to expand on new characters by bringing in some we already know. The action is a bit darker in this series, but looks amazing. Stendhal’s fighting technique in particular are visually stunning and, at times, graphic. I’m hooked on the trigger storyline and can’t wait to see how it plays out.
While Vigilantes is improving, there are still a few issues. I have no idea why the writing attempted to make me sympathize with Soga. He assaulted Kazuho in the first volume… why would I ever feel bad for him?! I understand the desire for a redemption arc, but Soga is the wrong choice for that particular literary device. The pervy start to the volume was weird and unnecessary. A trio of dudes that steal women’s panties and then wear them is a bit much. If you’re content is solid, you don’t need to rely on tropes to engage the reader. I know it’s commonplace in manga and anime, but it’s just not my thing.
Overall, MHA: Vigilantes Vol. 2 is a huge step up for the series. The incorporation and development of already existing characters was done flawlessly. The main story is coming together which generates legitimate interest. With solid action, great art and the possibility of fan favorite characters showing up, whats not to love? I personally appreciate the incorporation of comic book characters. If for no other reason, read this volume just to see if you can spot the Hulkbuster armor. All jokes aside, I have really enjoyed this manga so far and hope it continues to improve. You can find your copy of My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Vol. 2 right here!
Note: We reviewed a free review copy from Viz Media in exchange for an honest review
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Vol. 29.99
- Cameos from major MHA characters are fantastic
- Character development is a vast improvement from the first volume
- Well paced
- Full of dynamic action
- Confused why the writers attempted to make me sympathize with Soga after his assault on Kazuho