Insecure 35-year-old Hideo Suzuki is forced to work as a mangaka's assistant when his own series fails due to low sales. As he struggles through a mundane life plagued by hallucinations, he comes to realize that his relationship with his girlfriend isn't that great, suspecting that she may be cheating on him with her ex-boyfriend. After confronting her about the possible affair, however, Hideo feels bad about his inquisition and decides to visit her house to apologize.
But the world as he knows is about to be overturned. At first, not much seems to have changed, but he soon realizes that society has become a living nightmare, as the horrifying reality of what is taking place around him finally begins to sink in.
I Am a Hero was nominated for the 3rd, 4th and 5th Manga Taisho Award (2010, 2011, and 2012) and is the winner of the 58th Shogakukan Manga Award (2013) in the general manga category. As of November 30, 2015, the series has sold 4 million copies.
The series has been published in English by Dark Horse in omnibus format since April 26, 2016; in Spanish by Norma Editorial since May 24, 2013; and will be published in Argentina by Editorial IVREA in the second semester of 2016. It has also been published in Italy, France, Mexico, Germany, and Indonesia by different companies.
WARNING TO ANYBODY WHO IS INTERESTED IN THIS MANGA, BE PREPARED FOR THE LAZIEST, MOST INSULTING COP-OUT OF AN ENDING POSSIBLE
This review is spoiler free. it is also my first review, as I just have to put this warning out here since all the top reviews are praising this manga.
When I started reading this manga, I had fairly high expectations going off what I'd heard from people and the other reviews here. Little did I know, the other reviews were written before the manga was completed. I didn't even realize that the manga was completed myself until I got to the end. if that last
chapter hadn't been uploaded and I was under the impression that the manga still had many more chapters to go, I would have easily given this a 9, or maybe even a 10. I loved this manga.
Unfortunately, it was just too good to be true.
This manga was exactly what I was looking for. It had very real characters who you could empathize with, a compelling story that always had you wondering what was around the corner, and the author even took a very interesting turn regarding the origin and motive of the zombie virus that I was eager to learn more about. I couldn't stop reading, and before I knew it, I had reached the 'end'. If you can even call that an 'ending'.
I'm just going to say first off that I don't know the circumstances behind this ending, whether the publisher decided to axe the manga, or they forced the writer to reach an ending as quickly as possible at the expense of a real conclusion. Perhaps the author decided that he did not care about his work anymore, and tried his hardest to sabotage all that he had built. Disregarding the reasoning, the truth is in the paper: THIS ENDING ANSWERS NOTHING, GOES NOWHERE, AND SATISFIES NO ONE.
Right after the final climax (i had no idea that it was the final climax, mind you), suddenly the threat is completely gone JUST BECAUSE, the hero decides "oh well!" and just goes off. All of the questions that you had, all of the big mysteries that were just starting to reach clarity, all the amazing events and concepts that the author was building up to reach some spectacular culmination... gets completely tossed out the window as if it never mattered in the first place. The ending reads like a slap in the face, as if the author is laughing at the foolish reader who wasted their time reading all 264 chapters just to get trolled.
You become attached to these characters and intrigued by the plot, all for nothing.
One of the most ironic parts of this manga is found in one character's lines. One of the characters introduced towards the end of the story is a fan of the MC's manga (the MC is an author of an obscure, unpopular manga before the zombie apocalypse). In reference to the MC, the aforementioned character comments on how "it's so sad for an author to be forced to end his manga in a way that he wouldn't have wanted".
Are you serious? it's almost as if the author knew that his manga was going to have a garbage ending. I CANNOT possibly believe that this author thought this was a good or even satisfactory ending.
To conclude, I want to remind you that this really was a great story before the sudden end. While I won't tell you not to read it, Just remember this warning and expect to have almost no questions answered.
I'm gonna let this would-be masterpiece pop my first review cherry.
TL;DR: Imagine yourself chewing a fresh piece of gum. First couple of chews were all hard and boring. But as its flavour starts to release, it motivates you to want more. This continues to build up and up. Until when you've finally chewed and moisturised it enough to have that pleasant squishy feel with its flavour at its prime. Absolute Bliss. But wait. Right now, you are getting told to stop and spit it out. A mix of disappointment, dissatisfaction and perhaps anger, right? That's my experience with I Am a Hero. Dissatisfaction and disappointment
with a dash of anger. End TL;DR.
Alright, I'm going to assume that I can let loose from here. I'll sync my thoughts as I type and try to keep this short.
After finishing a romance zombie manga, my interest with zombie manga rose a little. So, I ended up reading I Am a Hero's summary through recommendations. A little bit of blah blah here, I dislike reading or watching multiple stories at once because my memory will get mixed up and the feelings will jumble up annoyingly. I had already started reading another romance manga at this point but decided to start reading I Am a Hero anyway, especially since that shotgun on the cover picture probably means some good ol' F U zombie actions.
Art - 10/10:
I'm not a picker. The faces were drawn very differently comparing to the other manga/anime I've read/watched. I had a hard time getting used to it but the attention to the details of the many sceneries in this series more than make up for it. Plus, since we're getting a lot of gore here, it helps a lot for me to separate I Am a Hero from my other Happy, Feel Gooo..Great manga/anime. Actually, I'm just going to say it bluntly, the faces were drawn ugly but they are also very unique. Anyhow, it's not like everyone in real life are beautiful or handsome anyway. Take my 10 with no shame.
Character - 10/10:
Not a picker. I don't really pay attention as to whether the stories behind the characters contradict or make sense at all. They were all believable and it was interesting how their relationships progressed. No complaints, so no penalty from my default 10/10 score.
Story - 8/10:
Honestly, I think I could give this a 0 because I absolutely hate bad endings. Bad as in incomplete or illogical endings. As you may understand from my TL;DR, I Am a Hero felt incomplete to me. There were quite a few cues throughout the story that MAY have indicated that the author needed to cut this story short or worse. I'm going to be naive and believe that there is a FULL version of I Am a Hero and by judging the series' direction while mixing a bit of estima... imagination, I'm giving this an 8/10 for its high potential for a masterpiece ending. What's a masterpiece ending? It's any ending that leaves a gapping hole in my heart with a pint of satisfaction for finishing the series.
Enjoyment - 8/10:
Reading it was a bliss. Finishing it was a nut job. I'm going to imagine that I Am a Hero does not end where it ended.
Overall - 8/10:
Should be 9, right? No. I'm still salty from that sorry excuse of an ending. Actually, I should rate this at below 5/10. I seriously dislike it when a story terminates abruptly, especially when I'm so engaged to it. It's like a school excursion getting cancelled just as every arrived at the destination. "We're finally here. But we are leaving now."
Ol' me can't take this unbelievable turn of event. I'm going to believe I Am a Hero has not end. The next chapter will see the return of our gal, a more in-depth explanation of the final climax and a mention of one of our last heroes in the series - the quiet heroine.
PS. Sorry for screwing up the overall score that represents I Am a Hero. It doesn't really deserve an 8 and I truly am bad at rating. I still have hope for this and I gave my overall score based on what I hope. Sorry for that.
I hope we can find a manga/anime that can top this, and still have a befitting ending.
PS2. Sorry, I'm really out of time now. Please endure my grammar mistakes if applies.
What does it mean to be a hero? Heroes are Superman and Batman. Heroes are your dad and grandma. And many heroes start from small beginnings.
I Am a Hero revolves around an underdog mangaka known as Hideo Suzuki, who is trying to gain success through the publication of his manga. Consequently, Kengo Hanazawa manages to capture a thrilling yet meticulous account of how our hero, Hideo Suzuki, becomes a hero.
The beginning of the story is paced rather slowly. I would not be surprised if a few people dropped it within the first 10 chapters because they assumed that this manga was going nowhere. It merely
portrays Hideo’s day to day life as a mangaka, including some personal predicaments. However, the exposition portion of this story is what makes the latter portion all the more satisfying. And even the exposition itself is done rather well. The way Hanazawa steadily creeps in the true plot, panel by panel, leaves an atmosphere of mystery due to how bizarrely the story progresses. Once the story finally sets in, and the reader understands what is actually happening, it only gets better from there. The way that Hanazawa builds tension leaves me sitting on the edge of my seat. He utilizes a very slow and gradual advancement of each scene, as opposed to rushing the action, which keeps me reading page after page without realizing how deep into a chapter I am. The only qualms I have thus far is that the story can go overboard at times, and I have a tough time accepting some exaggerated events, but this is outshined by the overall stories and themes.
This is where I Am a Hero really shines. Our own protagonist, Hideo, begins as a less than likeable person. He is an underdog with many flaws. However, the theme of change can truly be seen in this character. The way Hideo develops, like the story, is very gradual and very fulfilling. By the time you catch up with the manga, you will have seen how much more different and likeable he is. As for the other main characters, they too are extremely likeable and because of the thorough character development, you begin to sympathize with them. The way Hanazawa handles his characters is incredible because they are so realistic and very relatable. The irony of the story seeps through the actions of these characters because it revolves around the NEET/hikikomori group of people and hilariously gives them the upper hand in this setting. The only qualms I have here is similar to story, some of the characters are portrayed very grotesquely (I’m not even talking about the art here) and it seems that their actions are at times exaggerated. But once again, this only happens every so often and the rest of the cast dims any bad characterizations.
The art of I Am a Hero is not suited for everyone. It is rarely beautiful and hardly easy on the eyes. As mentioned previously, the art style can be extremely grotesque. It’s clear here that Hanazawa tries to achieve a realistic approach to the human anatomy. One of the most prominent features of his art is the faces of the characters. They can look very ugly at times, but he does a fine job at emulating human facial features. It’s true, the art can make the reader very uncomfortable, but I believe this vibes well with the atmosphere of the story. I love his approach to the art style because it makes the experience feel that much more terrifying and sincere. There are also some “still shots” of the scenery which Hanazawa takes great care with. It is at these panels that the viewer is allowed to take a breath from the heaviness of the story and appreciate the solemnness and even serene feeling of this new dystopian world.
I absolutely love this manga and I hope it continues on the path of great writing that it has taken thus far. If you are looking for a great horror manga which deviates from cliché writing and unrealistic characters, I would wholeheartedly recommend that you read I Am a Hero.