My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions is a collection of short stories set after the events of the Provisional Hero License arc. Designed to answer the question of ‘What if these characters teamed up?’. It shines a light on some of the characters and stories that we might not otherwise see.
While the concept is by the My Hero Academia author Kohei Horikoshi, both writing and art for the Team-Up Missions series are by his assistant, Yoko Akiyama. She is mostly known for other My Hero Academia spin-offs but also created Saguri-chan Exploration Party.
Heroes Rise Up
Volume One starts with a chapter to set things up. Due to the events surrounding One-For-All and All Might, people want the next generation of heroes to rise up. The young heroes-in-training all across the country are given the opportunity to work together with pro heroes. In this world, professional heroes often need to work together even if they’ve never met. This lets them meet more people and get used to it.
While it explains this, it mixes in some humor following All Might as he struggles to get the students registered for this new program. As you might expect, various problems pop up along the way that are swiftly resolved.
Most of the following chapters focus on team-ups. It’s interesting to see some of these situations that wouldn’t otherwise happen and characters put into unusual situations. In one example, we see Deku, Bakugo, and Uraraka paired up with Mirko – a hero even more aggressive than Bakugo. This had him put into the position where he actually was the voice of reason.
While some of the short stories focus more on the traditional ‘beat up the villain’, I liked that a lot of them were different. Sometimes it still focused on a villain, but other methods of resolving the situation were used. Others had heroes helping people in other ways, like finding a person or helping a child. Seeing nearly the entire class come together and use their powers to help reclaim a ball was a fun read. These team-up chapters are often fairly light and use humor well, both visually and in the dialogue.
One complaint I do have here is that a lot of these still followed Deku. It seems like a missed opportunity to explore other characters. This did happen, notably with one chapter focusing on Momo, Tenya, and Tamaki, but I would’ve liked to see more of it. Perhaps future volumes will contain more of these. It may just be due to this volume setting up the concept.
There were two chapters that I felt particularly stood out. One of these was where Mei Hatsume and Melissa Shield teamed up. The support characters don’t often get much exposure and seeing them trying to outdo each other was great. It took us behind the scenes of the hero work too. For those not familiar, Melissa Shield is a character who appeared in the My Hero Academia movie.
The other one of these focused on Melissa Shield again. Stepping away from the Team Up concept in this chapter, it showed Melissa as a child and how she struggled with not having a quirk, much like Deku. It serves as a prequel to the movie and has the theme of how anyone can be a hero. Seeing the same theme as the opening of the main series reiterated with another character worked well and I appreciated the more serious tone in this chapter. Having a chapter that fleshed out a character’s background was nice too. It wasn’t something I expected in a collection of mostly comedic side-stories.
Yoko Akiyama has done well to match the original art style in My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions. This isn’t surprising, considering that she’s an assistant on the main series. It’s consistently high quality, with some particularly detailed action shots. I love how clearly the emotion is shown on certain close-ups too.
Between most chapters are some great pieces of character art too. This sets the scene for the subsequent chapters, as it shows off the characters from the team up or the one-shot story it tells.
The art in this series is a treat to look at and only helps to add to the experience.
Overall I certainly enjoyed these stories. They all felt like they were over in a flash, but gave some more insight into the characters. The one focusing on Melissa’s past was my favorite, despite taking a different tone than the rest of the chapters.
I really enjoy the concept of My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions. It’s a great collection of stories to expand the My Hero Academia universe. I’m interested to see where they take it in Volume 2 and beyond.
MY HERO ACADEMIA: TEAM-UP MISSIONS VOL.1 IS RECOMMENDED
At the time of writing, you can read a preview for free on Viz Media’s website.
Many thanks go to Viz Media who provided an early review copy of this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.