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Home > My Hero Academia Vol. 34: A Review

My Hero Academia Vol. 34: A Review

My Hero Academia

Can U.S.A.’s Number-one Hero Take On The World’s Greatest Threat?

Series creator Kohei Horikoshi brings his storyline one step closer to its ultimate conclusion in the latest manga volume. Deku has now returned to safety behind the U.A. barrier, but class 1-A’s much-needed respite is interrupted by a red, white, and blue battle above the Pacific Ocean. American hero Star and Stripe takes the offensive against the deranged Shigaraki, but is her quirk powerful enough to contend with All For One? As the students of U.A. prepare to deal with the nearing conclusion of this duel, Deku uncovers a new threat hidden in plain sight. 

A Messy History at U.A.

My Hero Academia is a series standing on shaky ground. The first half of the series—leading from Deku’s meeting with All Might to All Might’s final battle with All For One—was spectacular. Each arc built upon the previous in legitimately entertaining ways, and Horikoshi’s art style made every bombastic battle worth the read. However, the following arcs that featured Overhaul, Gentle Criminal, and a heavier focus on the League of Villains were an utter slog to get through. The main protagonist was essentially left in the dust in order to set up plot devices that were largely unnecessary. While it had become increasingly obvious that Horikoshi was making up the story as he went along, he managed to win back some of the fandom with the two most recent arcs in the series. My Hero Academia has instilled hope into a large portion of its audience, but many wondered if Horikoshi could continue his redemption streak past volume 33.

My Hero Academia

U.A. + U.S.A. = Success?

Despite boasting a brand new hero, a showdown with Shigaraki, and an answer to a mystery from much earlier in the manga, volume 34 largely felt like filler. Deku and One For All are sidelined yet again as the volume continues to focus on side characters. While U.A. students like Hagakure and Aoyama are finally given more to do, it halts the pacing and adds even more detours to an already complicated story. Similarly, Star and Stripe was a likable new hero with an interesting quirk, but it felt forced to introduce such an extreme deus ex machina of a character this late in the series.  

Volume 34 feels like it’s taking one step forward and three steps back. The art and action are great, as always, and a bit of nuance was given to characters in dire need. But another character that is also in need of nuance? The protagonist and Horikoshi again dropped the ball after finally giving Deku attention in the previous arc. Deku has little to do but inspire other characters in this volume. The development of his powers is put on pause, and the destructive battle between Star and Stripe and Shigaraki makes Deku’s skillset seem laughable by comparison. While this volume does drag the series slightly closer to the finish line, it ultimately feels like Horikoshi is stalling for time. 

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia: Anime 6/Manga Volume 34 (2022). 

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Ethan Mallory joined the Dead Talk News team in 2023. Aside from writing for Dead Talk News, he has also worked as a student editor for the Short Vine Literary Journal. Ethan is currently pursuing a film major and an English minor at the University of Cincinnati. While working for Dead Talk News, he has covered trending horror and action film news and written comic reviews.