My Hero Academia Vol. 12 covers Class 1-A’s development of their ultimate moves as well as the start of the Provisional License Exam. Creator Kohei Horikoshi introduces new characters, Quirks, and challenges, but does the volume keep up the Plus Ultra pace of the series?
The start of this volume is a lot calmer than the dramatic events of Vol. 11. Class 1-A gets some time to develop their individual ultimate moves, which leads to some great moments where their personalities get to shine. My Hero Academia is best when its charming characters get to show off their personalities and prove that even the “supporting” characters feel important, and these chapters are great for letting the students shine. I particularly loved the moment where best boy and precious child Fumikage Tokoyami tries out an ultimate move name injected with drama and panache, even if he goes a little overboard.
This volume also contains one of my favorite hilarious panels involving Deku and the door to the Support Class’s lab. This then leads to some great moments with Hatsume Mei, the star student of the Support Class and one of the funniest characters in the series. Unfortunately, there’s a brief moment that focuses on her boobs, but once that grossness is over with it’s all laughs with Hatsume’s fanatic dedication to upgrading students’ costumes.
Though seeing the students train is exciting in its own way, the pace picks up even more as they get into the Provisional License Exam. Having the students of various schools all meet in one area for the exam means Horikoshi gets to introduce more characters from other schools, which is super exciting as we get to see more crazy Quirks used in unique and interesting ways. The class from Shiketsu Academy is full of charming, weird characters and throwing all the students into a Battle Royale-style challenge lets them show off their powers in exciting ways as they compete to be among the last standing.
Horikoshi and his art team never disappoint with the artwork in this series. Some characters have their costumes slightly altered and with the new characters from the other schools showing up, there’s a lot of new character designs revealed, all of which delight. One new character in particular whose Quirk lets him manipulate wind has a super detailed costume straight out of a steampunk (windpunk?) dream. Horikoshi packs the character designs with just enough detail to let them stand out without overwhelming the characters with unnecessary lines. His background work is as impressive as usual, and the art team renders yet another huge environment that blends mountains and manufactured structures for the license exam, showing a ton of effort put into bringing the spaces of My Hero Academia to life.
Overall, My Hero Academia Vol. 12 begins a fun new arc and lets the varied cast of characters shine. The pace slows down a hair during the training sessions but picks right back up again for the license exam, showing that My Hero Academia never plans to slow down for long.