Kouhei Horikoshi was very young when in 2006 he attracted attention by gaining an “Honorable Mention” for Shueisha's 72th Tezuka Award for Newcomers. He made it to the final six with his one shot “Nukegara”, and from that moment onward he published other short stories, until he made ends meet with “Oumagadoki Doubutsuen”, born as a one shot first.
When Horikoshi created Boku no Hero Academia, he suddenly gained a huge popularity, and was defined as the heir of the One Piece/Naruto/Bleach generation. His art style is very peculiar, as it's not realistic, but it sticks to a cartoony trait which blends perfectly with Horikoshi's stories. It's full of detail from the backgrounds to the facial expressions. Among other things, Horikoshi's characters are always deeply analyzed, and they grow up and develop chapter after chapter.
We believe Kouhei Horikoshi will keep giving us amazing stories in the future, as he is a young rising star, with a big talent and huge potential. In this ranking, we'll present those three manga that made him the heir of the “BIG 3” generation, so stick with us until the end, as Horikoshi really deserves your attention!
3. Sensei no Bulge (Barrage)
- Authors: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Shounen
- Genres: 2
- Volumes: May 2012 – September 2012
Let's begin with Sensei no Bulge! Astro is your simple-minded boy, who works hard in order to bring food to his family, which is made up of a group of orphaned children. When he gets fired from his job, Bulge, the prince of Industria – which was once a peaceful planet – appears before Astro's eyes. He is identical to Astro, and some circumstances lead Astro to take Bulge's place as the heir of Industria. Here's when Astro's life is turned upside down, and he will have to bring peace back to his planet!
With Sensei no Bulge, Kouhei Horikoshi shows a typical shounen pattern, with a protagonist who looks stupid, but becomes smart in time of need. As this is a two-volume manga, it's no wonder that the plot results a bit fast-paced by an escalation of events. All in all, it's still good and the characters are very easy to understand, well-written, even though some of them would have needed more space. For a short story like Sensei no Bulge, Horikoshi's artwork fits just perfectly: there's a lacking of backgrounds or useless details, but it's still very enjoyable. Kouhei Horikoshi gave us this little rare gem that we highly recommend!
2. Oumagadoki Doubutsuen (Twilight Zoo)
- Authors: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
- Genres: 5
- Volumes: July 2010 – April 2011
Hana Aoi is your typical high school girl. She's a bit clumsy, and she's known as a good-for-nothing. Hana is strong-willed, though, and she wishes to change her condition, so she decides to get a part-time job. As an animal lover, she is overly happy when she reads a job offer from a local animal park. The appointed day for the interview is settled, and when Hana arrives to the zoo everything looks just fine. There's just one problem: the zoo director is a very tall rabbit! What is actually going on in Oumagadoki Zoo?
Plot-wise, Oumagadoki Doubutsuen is not your common shounen manga, so don't expect battles, nor a school setting. Kouhei Horikoshi created a story about personified animals of the zoo, and about what happens when they have to break a curse by showing love to animals. The artwork, too, is not typically shounen, but still very fitting to the story. If you're looking for a lighthearted manga, with a soft atmosphere and funny moments, and well-depicted characters, then you should give Oumagadoki Doubutsuen a try!
1. Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 17
- Published Date: July 2014 – ongoing
Here we are with the manga Boku no Hero Academia, which defined Kouhei Horikoshi as the heir of the three big: One Piece, Naruto and Bleach! Quirks are newly-discovered super powers giving to 80% of humanity various abilities. In an awful twist of fate, Izuku Midoriya, whose dream has always been to be a hero, is part of the 20% of humanity lacking quirks. Without the possibility to actually become a hero, all what's left to Izuku Midoriya is to take notes of the heroes now and then.
One day, Izuku finally meets his favorite hero: All Might. All Might's quirk can be inherited, and fate eventually smiles on Izuku, as All Might choose him as his successor. And so Izuku's training begins, and he enrolls to the UA High School, famous for its training program for heroes. Izuku's journey has just began; he will understand firsthand what it really means to be a hero!
In Boku no Hero Academia is a crystal clear example of all the good points of Kouhei Horikoshi. The premise may look simple and have nothing too original, but what makes Boku no Hero Academia a very good shounen manga is the way plot, characters, and artwork connect perfectly with each other. All the characters are deeply analyzed, well-depicted and unique. The art style is exceptionally well-done, consistent, detailed, and absolutely fitting for a superpower manga. If you really enjoy shounen manga, you'll love Horikoshi's Boku no Hero Academia; it features determination, fights, tears and good vibes. Really, give it a try!
This was our ranking made in order to highlight a young manga artist who can be described as a rising star in the shounen universe! Kouhei Horikoshi is proving to be a talented artist, and a good storyteller, and we really thought he deserved a mention. His masterpiece – Boku no Hero Academia – was nominated for the 8th Manga Taisho Award, and it's still ongoing. We pin our high hopes in Horikoshi, trusting he will keep the good work up! Well, how did you like this ranking? Horikoshi's fans, please, let us hear your opinions in the comments below! See you next time!