In 2016, major changes to the manga universe were felt as Shounen Jump giants Bleach and Naruto reached their conclusion. However, their end turned the world’s attention to the future, other manga series which could turn out to be of similar stature, of a similar feel. Those who keep up with the world of manga would have already been familiar with this title; however, the Spring season of 2016 saw the anime adaptation gain much popularity, bringing much deserved attention to Boku no Hero Academia. The story follows Midoriya Izuku, a regular teenage boy living in a world where superpowers are normal who dreams of one day defying the odds and becoming a superhero. With the hype surrounding the series picking up again as 2017 ushers in the second season of the Boku no Hero Academia anime, we thought it would be good to take a step back and find something similar to the source material. Indeed, we’ve found 6 other manga which will feed into your imagination as Boku no Hero Academia has – so let’s get to it!
Similar Manga to Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
1. Black Clover
- Mangaka: Tabata Yuuki
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen
- Volumes: TBC
- Published: February 2015 –
Asta and Yuno are two orphans abandoned at a church on the same day. As a result, they are inseparable, becoming the best of friends. Both of them wish to become the Sorcerer King, the strongest sorcerer in the land. The potential of a sorcerer is in the grimoire they receive at a certain age. When Yuno receives a 4-leaf clover grimoire, one only ever heard of in legend, he becomes the talk of the town. Asta, unfortunately, born with no real magical potential to speak of, receives no grimoire whatsoever and, with his dreams of becoming the Sorcerer King being public knowledge, he very quickly becomes the town’s laughing stock. When Yuno is attacked by a bandit trying to steal his grimoire, Asta intervenes. Unable to use magic, he is easily overpowered; however, when the bandit prepares to deal the final blow, a strange thing happens: a grimoire, with a 5-leaved black clover and a great sword appear. The grimoire, known as the Anti-Magic is the culmination of Asta’s latent potential. Now bearing a grimoire, Asta’s dream of becoming the Sorcerer King is no longer a pipe dream.
General consensus is that Black Clover is Naruto, but different, but, we’re not talking about Naruto today. Black Clover’s greatest similarity to Boku no Hero Academia is in the presentation of a seemingly hopeless protagonist who dreams of becoming something that everyone tells him he couldn’t possibly do. Despite evidence of the literal impossibility of their ambitions, both Asta and Izuku still cling to hope of the person they hope to become. Both protagonists live in worlds where it is natural for people to develop powers of some sort, be they magical or otherwise and both characters are seen as the normal outliers to this natural order.
2. Iris Zero
- Mangaka: Shiki Piro (Story), Takana Hotaru (Art)
- Genres: Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, School, Supernatural, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: TBC
- Published: April 2009 –
In a world where the youth have developed strange powers called “Iris”, Mizushima Touru has the misfortune of being an individual without such powers. Dubbed an “Iris-Zero” by his peers, his life has been wrought with the misery brought on by the elitism he experienced at the hands of those with Irises. Skip to present day, Touru is a second year high school student and he has completely mastered his life’s work: the ability to keep attention away from himself, something he calls “Low Exposure”. However, when one of the most popular girls in school gets him into an easily misunderstood situation, his life of Low Exposure is quickly jolted back into the one of alienation and aggression he’d experienced while growing up.
With Iris Zero, we’re thrown into a world not unlike our own, but with a minor twist: it is normal to have powers of vision akin to clairvoyance. And, unfortunately, much like in our own world, that which is “abnormal” is quickly demonized, much like with the situation experienced by Midoriya Izuku of Boku no Hero Academia. However, being the protagonist of the manga, the audience is promptly made aware of a very different power which sets them apart from the rest. For Izuku, it was his innate heroism despite the odds constantly being stacked against him and for Touru, it is his unique way of seeing the world due to the very fact that he bears no “Iris”. The major similarity with both titles is therefore the focus on the true power that comes with being different and the value, be it positive or negative, that people place on such differences.
- Mangaka: Kano Yasuhiro
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Magic, School, Shounen
- Volumes: 10
- Published: May 2006 – May 2008
Having passed the written exam to gain entry to Seinagi Private School, Kuzumi Taiga had only the interview to get through before he could become a student at the prestigious school. When asked what he’d do had he had magic powers, his answer, “Take over the world”, tickled the humour of another prospective student, a girl who laughed out loud at his answer. Today, Taiga remembers nothing after the interview, but he can’t shake his anger at the girl for undermining his answer and, at least in his mind, being the reason why he couldn’t become a student at the school. One day, he decides to pay the school a visit, with hopes of seeing the girl and giving her a piece of his mind, but the barrier put up at the school keeps him out… at least until Mr. Hiiragi, a teacher at the school, confuses him for a bunking student and drags him in in order to sort him out. Chaos ensues as Taiga realises that Seinagi is a magic school and all of its students are capable of magic, and he is a teen with no magical aptitude to speak of.
With Mx0 (pronounced “em-zero”), we are presented with the same general themes found in Boku no Hero Academia – the setup of a school specialised in some form of extraordinary ability or occupation, a protagonist who aims to enter into said school and of course, the protagonist bearing no compatibility with the school whatsoever. In Izuku’s case, he had no superpowers and in Taiga’s case, he has no magical ability. However, in both cases, certain circumstances see the both of them eventually enrolling into their choice schools and their lives changing forever.
Any Manga Like Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)?
- Mangaka: Ikezawa Haruto
- Genres: Action, Martial Arts, School, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 8
- Published: September 2011 – January 2013
Ever since he was a child, Kurogane Hiroto has never been great at anything physical. His memories are littered with painful memories of failure at every single sport he tried and as a result, he has completely withdrawn from all sport. Despite this, Hiroto dreams of one day being a hero in any capacity. When his friend and kendo club member Shiratori tells him the story of Tojo Sayuri, a katana-wielding ghost who haunts the city’s alleyways, Hiroto’s curiosity takes him into a dark alley one night. There he comes face to face with Tojo Sayuri’s blade, but with a stroke of luck, he is able to parry the blow and escape. It turns out that Tojo Sayuri had been searching for a worthy successor for her Sakura One-Strike Sword Style for the past 150 years and she believes it is Hiroto. Keen to become the hero he has always idolised, Hiroto begins his tutelage under the ghost of Tojo Sayuri, ready to be moulded into a legend.
Kurogane is the story of a seemingly useless individual’s rise to legend status under the watchful eye of an experienced mentor. Despite this individual’s lack of confidence in his own ability, he bears a certain X-factor which sets him apart from everyone else, much like the story of Midoriya Izuku in Boku no Hero Academia. In both manga, the protagonists are physically weak and lack the basic capacity to wield the power or ability which they are to learn from their mentors, setting up both stories for potentially inspiring stories which show the true worth of a little faith from a certain someone.
- Mangaka: Nakamaru Yousuke
- Genres: Action, Historical, Martial Arts, Shounen
- Volumes: 22
- Published: May 2009 – June 2013
In Japan’s Edo Period, a mysterious swordsman with over a thousand kills under his belt is the subject of folklore: the legendary Kurogane Jinsuke of the Daigame Ryuu Style. Young Washitzu Naoshi is the son of the ruler of the powerful state of Unabara, Washitzu Naosata, who seeks to find a successor amongst his 31 sons. He tells them to search for powerful martial artists who will then compete against each other and the winner will then have won his employer the position of ruler of Unabara. Naoshi wishes to find and employ Kurogane Jinsuke; however, upon arriving at the Daigame Ryuu dojo, Naoshi is met by a youngster named Gama and no sign of Kurogane Jinsuke. It is brought to his attention that Jinsuke has gone missing, and Gama is the only student of the Daigame Ryuu style. Upon seeing Gama’s strength, Naoshi decides to take Gama as his candidate for the tournament his father will host.
While it isn’t too obvious where the similarities between Gamaran and Boku no Hero Academia, the two manga share a common concept: protagonists who aim to become stronger. Gama, being the son of Kurogane Jinsuke, wishes to become stronger in order to one day defeat his father and Izuku aims to attain strength in order to become the hero he so greatly admires.
6. Monster x Monster
- Mangaka: Tobita Nikiichi
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 3
- Published: April 2014 – July 2015
In a world that was once dominated by monsters, humanity has found a way to survive and flourish. With knowledge passed down from generation to generation, humans have found a way to not only defeat the monsters, but to commodify them and use them for great economic benefit. This ushered in an age where becoming a monster hunter was seen as a lucrative business and possible occupation. A 29-year-old man who once had dreams of becoming a monster hunter now spends his time lounging around his mother’s house, but when he meets 18-year-old Wenz Courage, a man who dreams of becoming the greatest monster hunter ever, it stirs something within him.
Dreams. Dreams are what we have in order to give our lives meaning, long-term goals that many of us want to achieve but do very little leg work in getting them done. Dreams are also what link Monster x Monster to Boku no Hero Academia, as the main characters in both titles have lofty ambitions that cause people around them to ridicule them or admire them. Both titles have supernatural, or fantasy elements that work together in order to give a fairly traditional shounen experience, but with unique flavours that make them similar, but different.
With everything changing all the time, series ending and new series beginning, it is always awesome to find something that is similar to something you have enjoyed before. Finding your niche within a medium is always great – it’s almost a complete guarantee that you will always enjoy that medium. Have we missed any manga you think are similar to Boku no Hero Academia? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them – maybe we’ll have another one of these articles for the manga you suggest!