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Manga Review - I am a Hero

I wanted to talk about one of my very favorite mangas of all time, and that is I am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa.

I am a Hero cover page

Why you must absolutely read it

Stop, before you run into the first chapter, I must warn you: this is a horror manga. There are some drawings that might not be suited for all audiences. Ok, now that you are warned, let's continue on to why this manga is so amazing.

I don't really like horror in general and I'm quite disgusted when I see blood and stuff. So when I see things like a pregnant zombie I don't feel really good and go to the next page asap. However the horror part of the manga didn't stop me from totally falling in love with it.

1. The drawings are awesome. Really, there are a lot of background scenes and the amount of details is amazing. It's hard to believe it's drawn by hand, it looks so realistic! We will see when I will start studying backgrounds, but this is what can be done when you get inspired by your city, in this case, Tokyo. And I must say, it helps a lot getting into the story.

2. A Masterpiece. Definition of Masterpiece, and we should remember it when writing a manga: a Masterpiece is any kind of work that resists over time. That means I am a Hero is and will still be read in a hundred years and more. Why? Because the topic concerned is timeless, eternal. And that is: the downfall of humanity. Indeed, in history, there will always be modernisations and collapses or societies.

3. Post-Apocalyptic works are rare. Most catastrophic shows only picture the catastrophe and it is scarce to find works displaying what actually happens after the tragedy. I don't want to spoil, but the downfall takes place quickly enough in the first chapters and it gets even more interesting after.

4. If you like psychology, you will like I am a Hero. If not, you will get bored by the amount of text addressing deep topics about our society and human behavior in general.


An anti-hero

Hideo Susuki, the main character, is what we can call an anti-hero. At least in the beginning of the story, since before the collapse of society, he is a poor mangaka, works a lot and keep failing at being published.

However, he is not living in an illusion like the others "successful" characters are. He keeps a solid foot in reality, and thus can quickly realise when the plague begins to spread, while others have their nose to the grindstone. He is more aware and thus is able to anticipate the situation and save his life.

We can slowly see our anti-hero become a hero as the situation reverses. Social classes disappear as the government loses control over the situation. People who have been living in the shadows, but are more resilient become leaders. I don't know if that was by anticipation, but Hideo owns a gun and that gives him a huge advantage in the story.

I know there is a movie and I watched it, but I really recommend the manga. I shall do more Manga Reviews in the future. Did you read I am a Hero? What did you think of it? What are your favorite mangas?

Ryo Sensei


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