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.
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.
There's a reason why the summary is so vague. And how it explicitly does not state it's a manga about zombies; what makes this manga exceptionally creepy is how it portrays a zombie outbreak. There's no big TV announcement that goes "MAN-EATING ZOMBIES ON THE LOOSE STAY HOME AND LOCK ALL YOUR DOORS" by some frantic news reporter. There are just little hints here and there, and in the beginning it wouldn't even cross your mind this is gonna be a manga about zombies. The true horror starts when this realisation suddenly hits you.
But oh well, since everybody is just dropping the zombie bomb in
their reviews.. HELL YEAH IT'S A MOTHERF***ING ZOMBIE OUTBREAK MANGA.
Ok now moving on ~
Read it if you're into:
A dystopian setting in an urban era/envrironment.
Realistic and detailed art.
Zombie or horror in general.
What I find distinctive about this manga's horror style is its "silence"
Let me try explaining this. Usually in horror manga, the scary visuals make you imagine some sort of noise to accompany it. Seeing a smiling ghost can create a creepy laughter in your head, or a man walking down the alleyway and being followed can create the sound of footsteps and heavy breathing.
In I Am A Hero, there's no sound to the visuals. (especially so in the beginning chapters) This is partly because of its abruptness of the scary scenes, there's usually no build-up to the creepiness, and that makes it even scarier.
Some of these drawings are serious nightmare material. I kid you not, do not even think of showing this to children or your 5 year old brother because this shit will ruin his childhood. And the fact that the plot is made even more believable because of its realism just creeps into your brain and makes you very uncomfortable: it COULD happen to you.
The title couldn't be more perfect as well. On the surface it is a zombie manga, but perhaps the title signifies it's truly Hideo Suzuki's (main character) story. The story of an ordinary guy suddenly pushed into a nightmare and forced to be a hero. Even amidst the incomprehensible terror, the helplessness, and the feeling of loneliness in a very scary world, you can still find the willpower and the bravery to say,
I was avoiding this manga because the summary looked stupid and really boring but I was wrong !!
Its a great horror manga , and a great zombie manga.Some people tell me its like HOTD but its wrong the manga is kind of slow but with that its more realistic.Don t give up the manga just because the zombies ( well i think they are zombies ) aren t appearing in the first chapters.
I give the manga a 8 for the story its slow but pretty interesting and the author first explains the life of the main character before the monsters get in.There are only
a few chapters ( 34 now ) so i can t tell anymore without telling spoilers.
Its a realistic manga with a realistic art its not everyone pair of shoes.Even if I m not such a great fan of realistic art i liked it.Note , don t read it late at night the monsters freaked me out they are really well made.
The main character is kind of freaky and strange in my opinion. Personally I don t think the main character is sane , he talks to himself.There aren t any side characters that make a impression on me.
I really enjoyed the manga and i recommend it to all horror and zombie lovers out there.
I Am a Hero is not your average zombie manga - it's best compared to other horror zombie books/movies that have become so popular recently.
I am a Hero focuses on your everyday character, no one special, as is common with most zombie stories. A zombie outbreak occurs in Japan, and he tries his best to survive.
What sets this apart from regular zombie manga is that:
1. This manga manages to terrify you even though it's still (it scared me more than some zombie movies) and
2. The emotions that the artist conveys are great.
The artist draws the zombies in a very gory fashion - if you don't
like that, then this is not for you. However, if you do like gore, it's everywhere in this. The zombie deaths are great, and while some may say that the story moves too slowly, (it isn't overly action-packed) every chapter is needed, either in developing the characters or developing the knowledge of the outbreak.
In summary, this is a great manga if you want to scare yourself and gain a full understanding of the outbreak. If you want more action/fan service, go read Highschool of the Dead.