My Hero Academia: School Briefs, Vol. 3

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

Another volume of giving the readers what they want, which is more light and fluffy stories that Horikoshi would like to tell but doesn’t have the time for. This time they’re set in and around the move-in to the dorms, and indeed “Dorm Life” is the subtitle. That said, the volume is bookended by non-kids in dorms stories, as we see All Might attempting to bond with his fellow teachers at an izakaya, giving us a chance to see most of the faculty completely drunk off their asses (except All Might, who is a teetotaler and also the world’s most awkward man) and the final story, which is a “what if My Hero Academia were an RPG fantasy?” based on the color pages Horikoshi drew of the kids in that style of costume. This story did remind me how often the novel author refers to Uraraka’s poverty, but is relatively cute and breezy. It’s also nice to know that Midoriya still collects All Might figures even in alternate worlds.

The other stories are, as you guessed, set in and around the 1-A dorm rooms. The weakest story in the book features Iida trying to have a normal day while the rest of the class avoids him and makes stuttering excuses. At the start of things the reader guessed “oh, one of those surprise birthday party stories” and waits to see if anything will be subverted. Nothing is, it is a stupidly predictable tale. The story from the POV of Koda’s rabbit is not quite as predictable, if only due to the fact that it’s from the POV of a rabbit, but doesn’t really add much to the narrative except giving us a chance to see more of Midoriya and Bakugou cleaning the dorms as part of their post-fight punishment. There’s also a “scary stories” chapter that tells us, unsurprisingly, that Tokoyami is the best at being scary. I also liked the anti-Mineta measures the girls have set up for the dorm.

The best stories are earlier in the book. We see Todoroki’s extreme discomfort with the generic Western-style room and how he managed to get the Japanese-style flooring and furniture to renovate his. This also involves him meeting Hatsume, who as always is very over the top and working on inventions that are not quite as perfected as she would like. The best story in the book also indirectly features Hatsume. Monoma shows up at the 1-A dorms, ready to be obnoxious and disdainful. Fortunately Kendo, Tetsutetsu and Tsunotori show up to stop him, and things settle down a bit. Highlights include seeing Tetsutetsu’s room is almost a carbon copy of Kirishima’s (these two really need a “same hat! same hat!” gag) and Todoroki bringing out a Pop-Up-Pirate game that Hatsume had given him when Monoma, as always, suggests a challenge. The game, being made by Hatsume, ends up being more like a “dark nabe” sort of thing, with every participant getting some form of punishment. I also enjoyed seeing Pony’s room as, as you’d guess, filled with anime crap.

These books are designed to not affect canon all that much, though we do see the Big Three in a brief cameo from before they meet 1-A. They’re fluffy and fun, and should be enjoyed by most MHA readers. This volume also had less Mineta, which I appreciated.

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