Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academy) by Kohei Horikoshi

Surely you have heard of famous anime? This is a franchise like Naruto, Dragon Ball, or even Attack on Titan that people know of even if they don’t read manga or watch anime. If you never heard of it, which is doubtful, you might be wondering why it’s famous among Americans. A good look at the source material shows us why.

My Hero Academia is set in a world where everyone is an X-man: they all have a power they were born with. And with these powers, everyone can become a superhero – or a villain – if they want to. Well, everyone except Izuku “Deku” Midoriya. Despite being born without a Quirk, he plans to live up to his hero, the strongest man All Might who always saves everyone with a smile. In fact, while trying to get his autograph, Deku finds out that All Might was born without powers too, but was given a special kind of power that could be transferred to others. Deku uses that skill to win a spot at the hero training academy high school. But his trials are not over as he faces old and new classmates, class battles, and tests of whether he can be a true hero.

Why do Americans like this manga? Superheroes. Like I have said earlier, the idea of powers makes it seem like X-Men, and All Might looks like the surfer version of Superman. Additionally, while some of these powers, called Quirks, are the familiar to comic readers, such as turning invisible, there are new and unique quirks that the author created, such as the power to use both fire and ice.

The characters are also very easy to distinguish, with fun character designs, such as a girl who is literally invisible all the time or a girl who has a frog like power, and thus looks like a very cute frog. Finally, a main point to be made are the villains. Not only do they make the characters think about themselves, but they are just as awesome as the heroes. They have amazing powers, and one of the villains has a hand on his face the whole time.

Even though I don’t care for superheroes all that much, I do love how the author writes the story, and if you are interested in superheroes this one is for you.

-Megan V, 12th grade

Boku no Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi is available for checkout from the Mission VIejo Library

Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

First of all, SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched the Avengers: Infinity War or every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War has just dropped late November and fans are already coming up with insane theories and new ideas based off of what transpired in this two minute clip. The trailer has become the most-watched trailer on YouTube within a single day of its release, with over 200 million views in just 24 hours. This film will come out on May 4, 2018 and is the culmination of the last ten years of the MCU. We will  witness everyone from all 17 Marvel movies come together to stop the mad titan Thanos from recovering the six Infinity Stones.

There are a couple of new things we see in the trailer that are new to the Avengers movies. Dr. Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy are new to the Avengers’ movies, while Dr. Strange did have a small part in Thor: Ragnarok. The trailer also gives us a glimpse of how our beloved heroes have gone through some changes since Captain America: Civil War almost two years ago. Vision has two scenes in the trailer, one where he looks human and another where he looks like himself. We also saw a rugged Cap with a beard and long hair, as well as a blonde Black Widow.

Some cool shots from the trailer included Spider-man’s spidey sense and his new suit, Thanos putting a couple Infinity Stones into his gauntlet, and a final scene of Captain America, The Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Black Panther, The Hulk, Falcon, War Machine, and Okoye running head on into battle against Thanos’ minions in what looks like the Wakandan jungles. This will really be the culmination of the past ten years of Marvel movies and will be, as the executive producer Kevin Feige reports, “the beginning of the end” for the MCU as we know it. Next year is going to be full of Marvel movies with Black Panther on Februrary 16th, New Mutants on April 13th, Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Deadpool 2 on June 8th, and Ant Man 2 on July 6th. Get ready Marvel fans, we’re all in for one wild ride in the cinema.

-Kyle H.

Monster

What if the world suddenly obtained impossible abilities? Would you use your power for good? Bad? All of the above?

In Michael Grant’s Monster, this choice becomes a reality. If you enjoyed his Gone series, this follow-up will definitely not disappoint you. Instead of just some kids inside a small dome getting powers, people around the world are starting to change, morphing into amazing creatures with seemingly limitless power.

From napalm breath to creating “meat puppets”, Grant’s genius really shines in these vivid, fabulous characters. Each line makes you feel closer and more relatable to each one. But for fans of this trilogy’s predecessor, Gone, you will be pleasantly surprised by the characters brought back for one more round.

– Luke D.

Monster by Michael Grant is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Super Human by Michael Carroll

superhuman_michaelcarrollSuper Human by Michael Carroll is about four kids teaming up to help save the world. Unlike other teenagers their age, three of them have super powers, making them superhumans. With strength and speed, Abby de Luyando has power over metal items. Rox Dalton has the ability of telekinesis, while James Klause can control and manipulate sound. The last member of this group, Lance McKendrick, may not have any superpowers, but his talking skills can get him out of sticky situations. In this adventure, these four, with the help of other established superhumans, work together in order to defeat the group named Hellotry. Intending to bring back the fifth King from four thousand years ago, the Hellotry want him to rule the world because he was the first superhuman in existence. In order to make taking over the world easier, the Hellotry release a plague in order to kill off all the adults, and only leave the kids behind. The four teenagers have to not only defeat the fifth King, after he is summoned to the real world, but also need to find a cure to the plague.

Starting off with action, this book wasted no time in getting the characters introduced and building an exposition. The first couple of chapters jumped around, and introduced each character in a relatable way because of the everyday situations he/she was in. Also, the transition in the kids joining forces was seamless. One thing that lacked a little bit in this story was character building; the story was a bit too focused on the plot, which hindered the characters to develop. Also, the plot was a bit predictable, but there were still a couple of unexpected twists. Overall, a great read for anyone looking for some superhuman adventure!

-Anmol K.

The Super Human series by Michael Carroll is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Film Review: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

batmanvsupermanBatman Versus Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film directed by Zack Snyder and produced largely by Warner Bros and DC Entertainment. It stars Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. This has been a hugely anticipated movie for people of all ages, breaking box office records in its opening weekend and garnering the attention of nearly every comic fan.

If you couldn’t tell by the title of the movie, Batman V Superman pits two of the most iconic superheroes of all time against each other, but it’s not nearly as simple as that. Various characters such as Superman’s rival Lex Luthor and girlfriend Lois Lane impact and shape the story.

Unfortunately, I felt that the pacing of the movie was very poor. I was very uninterested for the first 45 minutes of the film, and if it weren’t for the fact that it was Superman and Batman, I might have fallen asleep. The movie constantly jumps between different characters and rarely stayed in one setting for longer than 10 minutes, which made the story feel broken instead of a seamless narrative. However, this also built each character a bit more as it revealed how each of them had their own motivations. Despite previous doubts, I felt that all of the actors delivered solid performances, especially Henry Cavill as Superman and Jesse Eisenberg who made a very entertaining Lex Luthor.

The action and special effects in the film are top notch, with all the explosions and brawling you could ever ask for, especially between some of the famous superheroes. The only time the CGI felt a little rough around the edges was in the beginning of the film.

Even so, I really felt this movie fell flat of its expectations. They put far too much plot and backstory into one movie, trying to introduce and establish multiple pivotal characters at the same time in the same movie. They wasted too much time on build up and seemingly rushed the actual fighting between Batman and Superman, which is not even close to the end of the movie. Whenever I thought they would stop adding more side stories and complicating the plot more, they kept pushing and pushing then seemingly threw it all away in the last 45 minutes. Without giving anything away, there were multiple events where I was just shaking my head, thinking “Why would you do that?”

Overall, I felt that Batman Versus Superman: Dawn of Justice was very average as a movie and somewhat above average as a superhero movie. I’d recommend for anyone who is interested in action packed movies or is a superhero fan to go watch it. However, just appreciate it as a loud dumb popcorn movie and don’t think too hard about the story.

-Ahmed H.

 

The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

restofusjustlivehere_patrickness

Percy Jackson and the Olympians was told in the view of Percy Jackson. The Harry Potter series was written as a narration following Harry Potter. But does one really have to be the hero in order to tell the story? What if the hero’s story, set in a small town that occasionally gets hit by the zombies, vampires, and whatnot of apocalypses, causing the town to explode and get saved by a hero/heroine.

But what if the story is not told by the heroine herself, one of her friends, or even the villain? What if the story is from the point of view of Mickey, a boy who just wants to graduate high school, have fun with his twin and their friends, and even try to ask a girl to prom? So what if there are zombie deer and cops with glowing blue eyes; he just wants to survive his daily life.

Even if his best friend’s a quarter god, his twin has an eating disorder, and he has OCD.

I love how Ness wrote this book. At first I didn’t get what was going on, but that’s the author’s point here. He wants to show that ordinary kids can be the heroes of the books that we read while we were kids, no matter who we are or what we consider ourselves. We’re all special, making us the heroes of our own lives. It really gave me food for thought.

Although the book isn’t written like a typical heroic story, Ness does provide a short summary of the plot of the supposed “heroes” at the start of every chapter, which is very confusing until you realize that is from a different plotline. This book is definitely a huge recommend who like fantasy and school life.

-Megan V.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library.