Living in a superhuman society, it's hard to feel special. Even more so when the spotlight only shines on professional heroes, those legally authorized to use their special powers known as "Quirks" in public for the greater good.
Kouichi Haimawari grew up aspiring to be a hero, but with a mediocre Quirk like "sliding" that ties him to the ground, he soon came to the conclusion that he could only ever admire them from below. Despite this, Kouichi finds contentment in using his Quirk to carry out day-to-day good deeds, such as returning lost items and helping the elderly cross the street.
However, Kouichi's tame life takes a swing into the turbulent when he is rescued from a back alley brawl by "Vigilante," or illegal hero, Knuckleduster. Seeing hero potential in Kouichi, Knuckleduster enlists his help in tracking down the source of a dangerous drug known as "Trigger" that boosts the user’s Quirk at the expense of their rationality.
Set in a time before the events of the original story, Vigilante: Boku no Hero Academia Illegals follows Kouichi as he chooses to don the reputation of a villain and become a Vigilante, operating in the shadow of the law to prevent crimes from taking to the surface.
Compared to its parent manga, Illegals has a much tighter focus.
The core cast is composed of a mere three members, as opposed to BnHA's massive cast herd. This is great for character development, with the main character and his teammates each getting significant character moments nearly every single chapter.
And even non-main-characters have it good-- The author doesn't treat them like setpieces to be moved around at his bidding, but respects their agency as individuals in a universe he's merely narrating.
Just like in BnHA, every superpower is unique and interesting, as are character designs.
Illegals' characters are perhaps the best part of the manga, and I rate
The monthly release schedule of Illegals lends itself to more episode chapters, with individually more compelling stories than any single BnHA chapter. Every month I'm excited to read the chapters because I know I'll get a self-contained experience that weekly manga can't quite match.
On the other hand, the monthly schedule detracts from Illegal's ability to significantly progress its story-wide arc, but luckily that's partially mitigated by how Illegals ties into BnHA, allowing information to be released in parallel.
I would rate Illegal's story as slightly worse than BnHA's story, but still very good on an objective level. 8/10.
I'll admit straight out that I'm not a good art critic-- I can say that the art looks good and that I personally enjoy it, but beyond that, not much.
If you liked the art in BnHA, the art here is basically identical. As a result of the smaller scale of Illegals (and presumably the smaller scale of its finances), it does lack a little of BnHA's "wow" factor. 7/10
Overall, I'm really enjoying Illegals, both as a sidestory to BnHA and on its own merits. In fact, I'd go so far as so say I enjoy it more than BnHA.
If you're a fan of street-level superhero stories, read it. If you're a fan of BnHA, read it. If you're willing to accept Pop*Step as your lord and savior, READ IT.
9/10 enjoyment, 9/10 overall.
edit: as of chapter 28, I've raised this to a 10/10. No spoilers as to why, it's just that good.
If you’re looking for something to read while waiting on MHA chapters, defiantly start this. It’s pretty freaking amazing, dare I say better or at least almost as good as the original? The MC is sooo adorable and I like his story a lot, so I get just excited when new chapters are released for this as I do when MHA chapters are released.
First of all, I love how the story doesn’t feel like it’s even a spinoff. I often find myself saying that I can’t wait until he has a run in with Deku and gets added to the main cast. It’s aligned
with the current arc MHA is on as of now, so they’re pretty much dealing with the same problem. It’s great to see how non-heroes are handling the situation.
I think the characters are the most lovable part of this manga. At first, I figured the MC would be annoying and repetitive because Deku already has the role of “underdog with a glow up”, but it somehow manages to make this MC kinda sorta the same without it being the same kind of situation if that makes sense.
My scores (2=max *story= 3 point max*/ 0=min )
Vigilante: Boku no Hero Academia Illegals is at 33 chapters at the time of writing and is exactly what it sells itself as. The world of Boku no Hero, except instead of through the rose-tinted glasses of the societal elites who followed their dreams of becoming heroes because of their exceptional talent and outstanding quirks, through the eyes of a less fortunate protagonist and his ragtag group of misfits who are trying to undermine the law that has neglected them so.
Despite what the genres say on the MAL page I consider Vigilante to be a seinen, mostly on the tighter focused cast and plot being
much more set in relative "reality" than shounens typically are. The main character gets his ass kicked often, the plot is about darker themes than one would expect from shounen, and the focus is much less on flashy quirks more on just the characters we follow. Which to a shounen demographic I would see getting bored really quickly of something like this. Now that's not to say there aren't flashy action scenes with fists flying, as everything in this manga while not by the original author of BNHA is drawn VERY well, I myself have fancied it better than BNHA's art at times. The action scenes are usually very detailed with a very clear sense of impact with everything that goes down, and in terms of being hype as FUCK, yeah, it does a pretty good job.
Koichi, Kazuho, Knuckleduster and Makoto are a great cast of **4** all with their own unique dynamic they add to the group of vigilantes. Which is easy to remember and a hell of a lot better than BNHA's cast of 25+, which I'm not sure where the anime is at the time of writing this but the manga only gets worse in terms of remembering characters. every arc in BNHA really feels like you have to just pretend you're reading another series just so you can re-jot down the character's names, as you know there's gonna be another 10 that are going to be introduced, and if you don't remember them then man are you gonna be confused when the new character "feather man" reveals himself to be all might's dad the whole time and gets added to the permanent cast! Whatever, this isn't a BNHA rant this is a Vigilante review. While it does include some of the pro heroes from BNHA it's mostly just them in their everyday lives, and you don't need to know them previously to get a grasp on what their deal is in this series as it pretty much re-establishes them. In fact, for some characters like Ingenium, it helps their character a lot more than BNHA thanks to BNHA giving them no screentime over whatever 2 characters they want to develop alongside deku this arc. Unlike BNHA, you can go *their* entire time not knowing any of the pro heroes' names and it won't really harm your experience of the story at all, as instead of developing their characters their role in the story is to develop our main characters more, which writing-wise is a lot more neat and focused. I know I've said focused like 3 times, but in comparison to BNHA that's really the only word I can use.
The only reason you shouldn't pick this up if you already tried BNHA is if you're a part of the subsection of BNHA that likes to ship people, as the small cast will definitely leave you wanting. Yet, at the same time, I won't miss you, whoever you are.
The story is pretty interesting since the beginning of the series have already foreshadow the current BNHA arc,noting more to say about the story right other then it being really decent and unexpected spin off since it foreshadows the current arc and some characters as well,so it will be really cool to the the cast of BNHA meet up with VBNHAI cast.
For a spin off based on a current on going series,the art style resembles the BNHA art style but also have it's own distinctive art style
The characters to be honest,are just as much if not not more
interesting and enjoyable then the BNHA cast,koichi,the main character is an underdog who have a almost useless quirk,but despite that he still become a vigilante known as gentle man(the crawler after he meet knuckleduster) and help people by doing basic stuff like giving directions and picking things up. after he meet pop star,a street idol who got into an accident with some punk,koichi try to save her but failed.Which then,knuckleduster appear and help them.After that he made Koichi his student and partner along side pop star who tag along to fight villains who uses a certain kind of drug which power up their quirk.AS you can see,i accidentally made a summary of the story,but the characters like knuckleduster,how does he know about the drug,is still a mystery but koichi and pop star did not ask him about it,this can be a shown of trust towards him.Plus,you can see cameo of original characters from BNHA in the manga,they even show stain before he became the herokiller as a vigilante