My Hero Academia: School Briefs, Vol. 2

By Kouhei Horikoshi and Anri Yoshi. Released in Japan by Shueisha. Released in North America by Viz Media. Translated by Caleb Cook.

The second of the My Hero Academia light novels is set at the training camp, so around Vol. 8-9 of the main series. It ends right before the villain attack. As such, as you might gather, it’s as light and frothy as its predecessor. The goal here is to tell standard “summer camp” stories that Horikoshi would like to do in the main series but hasn’t got the time for. So we see Momo tutoring the left-behinders of the class at her palatial mansion; the long bus drive to the training camp; Mineta being the worst – again; The girls of 1-A and 1-B (well, half of 1-B) having a combined slumber party; the boys of 1-A and 1-B having an arm wrestling contest/pillow fight; and Iida trying to find his glasses without waking anybody up. There’s no earth-shattering character revelations here, but if you want more of the cast being fun goofballs, you’ve come to the right series. It also reads more like it was written for teens rather than younger kids, which the first volume had an issue with.

Let’s just get this out of the way; Mineta is in this, and has just as large a role as the first book, including the third story being dedicated to his continued efforts to try to peep on the girls. I get that the author wants a comedy pervert in the cast for humor reasons, but you can’t have Aizawa bitching about how half-hearted heroes will be expelled from UA on the spot and keep Mineta around as a serial sexual harasser. The girls beating him up is not really sufficient punishment either, nor is having him groping Tiger, the transgender man from the Wild Wild Pussycats. It’s frustrating because, in the bus trip chapter, we do see that he does have the power to tell a compelling (if perverse) story, and keeps the rest of the class on tenterhooks waiting to see what comes next. There’s more to do with Mineta than this. If he’s only going to be this, get rid of him.

The main reason to pick this volume up, as someone who also dabbles in the fandom of My Hero Academia, is the shipping. There’s nothing “official”, no, except for Uraraka’s crush on Deku, but there’s lots of subtext if you know where to look for it. The first chapter sees Jirou worrying that Momo’s mother disapproves of her, and it reads exactly like meeting the girlfriend’s parents. Likewise, Bakugou tutoring Kirishima will make fans of that ship happy, and I was also pleased to see Bakuygou’s two middle-school bullying friends show up, and observe how much he’s actually mellowed out, despite getting thrown out of TWO studying places. As for the slumber party, Ashido is of course trying to make it all about romance, but unfortunately the girls in UA aren’t really into that right now. Aside from the brief IzuOcha I mentioned, there’s some KamiJirou tease, some Kacchako tease, and, perhaps most oddly, Ashido/Dark Shadow shipping from the rest of the girls, a ship so rare I don’t even think it has a name. This was fun.

These books are meant to be something that are fun to read (Mineta aside) and supplementary to the main storyline. This one does a good job. The next volume seems to be set right after moving into the dorms, so that should be fun.

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