My Hero Academia Volume Three focuses on Izuku Midoriya, a Quirkless boy who yearned to be a hero. He gains a Quirk through an encounter with a hero named All Might, and Izuku is now a student at U.A. High School.

My Hero Academia Volume Three
Written by: Kohei Horikoshi
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Volume 3 continues with The Villains Alliance interrupting the training session for Izuku’s class. All Might makes a grand entrance and plays an important part in this story. However, All Might doesn’t get all of the glory, because it takes the help of Izuku and some of his classmates to defuse the situation. With this confrontation and the fighting taking place, it provides opportunities for Horikoshi to draw some impressive action sequences.

But after the dust settles, the story calms down long enough for the police to investigate. This downtime also gives All Might a chance to reflect on how his powers are declining and how Izuku needs to become stronger and make himself known to the public in order to succeed him after his powers fade completely. I appreciated seeing a superhero recognizing that he is becoming weaker, but has to hide this fact from the public for now. While it may not be blatantly shown, I imagine that this deception can’t be an easy thing for All Might to have to deal with.

The rest of My Hero Academia Volume Three sees U.A. High School putting on its annual sports festival. However, it’s not the typical sports festival that’s usually depicted in manga. Instead, it focuses on the students in the school’s various courses competing to show off their Quirks and abilities. The students who aren’t in the Hero Course are desperate to show the world that they can be as good as, if not better than, the students in the Hero Course who have recently received a lot of attention after fighting against The Villains Alliance. While it’s been said that these other courses exist at the school, this is the first time the reader truly gets to see the animosity that the other students at the school have for the kids in the Hero Course.

Volume Three is a perfect continuation from where Volume Two left off. It finishes the story arc with The Villains Alliance, but it also gives the reader a bit of a breather with the sports festival storyline. While the sports festival may be competitive, it’s nowhere near as intense as the fights with the villains have been. The battle with The Villains Alliance was full of intense action, so something with less intensity was needed to balance that out. And to be honest, a sports festival at a school like U.A. High School makes a lot of sense, and the fact that students have Quirks open up a lot of storytelling possibilities for a sports festival. The festival will be continuing in Volume Four, and it’ll be interesting to see how it progresses.

When it comes to the art in My Hero Academia Volume Three, what stands out to me the most is how Horikoshi is able to use shadows to depict just how powerful All Might is when he’s in peak form. The contrast between this depiction and how All Might looks after his power runs out is very noticeable. In fact, it’s so noticeable that he almost looks like two completely different people. On the negative side, though, I thought that one of the new characters introduced in this volume (Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu) looks and acts too similar to Katsuki Bakugo. There were times when I had to try to figure out which character I was seeing while reading the sports festival portion of the story.

Readers who have enjoyed the previous two volumes of this series will also likely appreciate My Hero Academia Volume Three. They will likely enjoy seeing the heroes and the heroes in training in action, and may also appreciate the U.A. High School sports festival.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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