My Hero Academia Volume Four focuses on U.A. High School’s annual sports festival.

My Hero Academia Volume Four
Written by: Kohei Horikoshi
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 3, 2016

Volume Four opens with a match where teams will be trying to grab headbands and steal points from the other teams to increase their point total. And with Deku’s team in the lead with the most points, let’s just say that they’re a major target of the match. Poor Deku gets a shock when Ida refuses to team up with him because when it comes to being a hero, Ida sees him as a rival.

This development leads to the introduction of a new character named Mei Hatsume. She’s in the support course, and she develops equipment to make heroes’ quirks easier to use. We see that Mei is very confident and doesn’t hesitate to use any opportunity she can to promote the equipment she’s developed. She’s an interesting addition for the sports festival, but it’ll be interesting to see if her potential is utilized later in the series.

Another character named Neito Monoma becomes important in this match as well. He’s a student in Class 1-B, and he likes to mock Class 1-A because he’s envious of the attention the other class received during the U.S.J. Incident. It turns out that he and the others in Class 1-B purposefully didn’t do as well in the preliminaries so they could stand out more in the actual matches. Bakugo and Todoroki are also focused on.

After all is said and done, Deku’s team doesn’t stay on top, but they manage to scrape up just enough points to not be eliminated and progress to the one-on-one tournaments. Before the tournaments can begin, though, Todoroki pulls Deku aside and starts asking him about his connection to All Might. Deku dances around it, obviously, and Todoroki can easily tell that Deku is hiding something. But this conversation gives Todoroki a chance to provide exposition for his backstory, and it helps the reader start to better understand him as a character.

When the one-on-one tournaments get underway, Deku is the first one up. His opponent is Hitoshi Shinso from General Studies. It turns out Shinso has a Quirk that seems to be giving him the advantage in the tournament. But Deku does something to turn things around.

The reader gets to see three more of the one-on-one tournaments, and the volume ends just as Uraraka is just about to go up against Bakugo. I thought this was the perfect place to end Volume Four.

I have to admit that it’s been a little over six years since I read the third volume of My Hero Academia, but the section that Volume Four covers includes chapters of the series that I read when I still had a subscription to VIZ Media’s digital Weekly Shonen Jump publication. I recognized a lot of what I read here, and I was quickly able to piece together where I was in the story when I started reading Volume Four.

To me, it makes sense that U.A. High would have an annual sports festival, like a regular high school would. The only difference is that this school’s sports festival is more like the Chunin Exams in Naruto than what you see at a sports festival at a traditional high school. And like the Chunin Exams, this sports festival is giving an opportunity to introduce and highlight characters who had been more in the background prior to this story arc.

It was kind of strange for me to jump back into My Hero Academia after being away from it for six years, but I found that by the end of Volume Four, I legitimately wanted to read the next volume in order to either learn or remind myself of what happened after this point. I feel confident that I read the chapter(s) featuring Uraraka and Bakugo’s match back in the day, but I don’t really remember how much more of the manga I’ve already read past the sports festival arc. Hopefully it won’t take me another six years to read the next volume of this series.

But if you’ve read the previous three volumes of the My Hero Academia manga and enjoyed them, I suspect you’ll also find appreciation for Volume Four.

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