From the Back Cover: The League of Villains has kidnapped Bakugo, and the resulting negative publicity has thrown U.A. into a huge uproar. With the public’s trust in heroes threatened, the faculty convenes to figure out what to do. But Midoriya and the students of Class 1-A have plans of their own — an operation to rescue Bakugo that could them thrown out of school!
This volume opens with the conclusion of the villains’ attack on the Training Camp. With Bakugo, and also Tokoyami, captured, the villains make their escape. But they aren’t able to get away before Aoyama and Shoji rescue Tokoyami and Yaoyorozu and Awase place a sort of tracker on the Nomu Dabi is controlling. After the dust has settled, it is apparent that many students have suffered major injuries, with some, such as Hagakure and Jiro, still unconscious after multiple days.
After yet another security crisis, the media jumps on U.A., blaming them for their inability to protect their students, especially citing Bakugo’s kidnapping as a huge failure. To their credit, the teachers respond well enough to the accusations, informing the media that they are working on a plan to rescue Bakugo. Which is mostly a lie to drop the villains’ guard, because at that point a plan is already set in motion. Thanks to the efforts of Tsukauchi and Yaoyorozu, two locations have been pinpointed as potential hideouts for the League of Villains. All Might leads a squad to one location, where Bakugo has been confirmed, while Best Jeanist leads another to the second location. And unknown to them, they are not the only ones taking action. Racked with guilt at being unable to save Bakugo, Midoriya, Kirishima, and Todoroki set in motion their own rescue operation. They’re joined by Watchmen Yaoyorozu and Ida, who intend to stop the mission if it looks like a fight will break out. Ida’s learned his lesson about acting rashly, and he will not allow his friends to follow his mistakes. Donning hilarious disguises, they rush to the location pinpointed by the tracker, but they end up discovering something else entirely. And just when it seems like each squad is successful, the holder of All For One finally makes his move.
What can I say about this volume except that everything works? There are amazing character moments, gripping action, incredible panels, and hilarious humor (if one ignores Ida’s weird disguised voice). This volume also noticeably lacked the usual translation issues I’ve noticed in several other installments of this series, which makes it that much more polished overall. I do wish we’d see a little more variation in Midoriya’s squad, like we’ve seen before, as the inclusion of both Ida and Todoroki yet again makes it feel slightly repetitive, but both fit in naturally so it’s not a big deal, especially when there’s such a big ensemble to juggle and the series is already fitting in almost every character it’s ever introduced into this arc in one way or another.
To me, the most impressive thing relates back to my biggest gripe with the last volume. There, Midoriya unleashed a seemingly infinite amount of power to crush his foe, and I believed that to be the start of a pattern of deus ex machina for Midoriya, a sort of plot armor. Well, right now I’m eating crow, because the author is actually addressing that and giving that power real consequences. I still don’t doubt that Midoriya will continue to unleash those huge bursts of energy in the future, but it’s good to know that there are repercussions for such displays. I just hope the series manages to follow through with that plot point.
I was so close to giving this volume a perfect score, despite the minor inconsistencies in the art (notably Kirishima’s hair and a missing section of Shoji’s arm). However, the one thing keeping me from it is that I’m not entirely sure why the students would attempt a rescue mission when they know All Might and the police are also planning to take action. I get that they feel helpless, as Kirishima says, but if they know an elite team is on the way, I’m not sure I buy them still deciding to act. But, well, for the results we end up with, I can absolutely overlook that in the grand scheme of things. This is an A+ volume, and I can’t wait to read the next.
My Hero Academia Vol. 10
- Continues to utilize its enormous ensemble
- Excellent character moments for Ida, Bakugo, and Kirishima
- Averts the deus ex machina issue from last volume
- The students' disguises
- The appearance of the Big Bad at long last
- Minor artistic inconsistencies
- Students' rescue mission is a little forced