Is the My Hero Academia manga ending any time soon? That question is on the minds of fans since we’re up to the fourth season of the anime adaptation. Recently, comments by the series creator about the upcoming My Hero Hero Academia the Movie -Heroes Rising- seems to indicate the manga’s ending may have been pushed out further in time.
Boku no Hero Academia manga creator Kohei Horikoshi has promised fans that the entire manga series will last for years to come, claiming in 2016 that he released only about 20 percent of the planned plot thus far. By late 2017, Horikoshi mapped out ideas for the final fight but stopped short of naming which heroes and villains will battle in the last story arc of the series.
Horikoshi did not reveal how many story arcs he has planned. In mid-2018, he said that “the current arc [the hero internship arc featured in My Hero Academia S4] that is going on all has [a] purpose that will be relevant in the last arc.”
Horikoshi also mentioned that the Internship story arc had a very important character that he wanted to draw for the ending. In the end, he wants all the MHA characters “to come together and go forward into the last arc.”
And it turns that the Heroes Rising movie is using concepts that he initially conceived back in 2017/2018 for the final battle. Caleb Cook (manga translator for Viz Media) released a statement by Horikoshi that discussed these plans.
“In a certain sense, one could say that this movie will be finale-ish for MHA. Let me clarify: the movie is going to feature one element that I wanted to use in the final battle of the manga. If you’re thinking, ‘If that’s true, then what’s gonna happen with the manga?!’ please rest assured. I’m worried too. The first movie showcased All Might and Deku fighting side-by-side as master and pupil (which is just about the most ultimately awesome thing I could think of), and now this movie somehow has to top that battle. Which puts me in a tough spot. I can’t imagine anything is going to top this one, so there won’t be a third movie. Probably. In short, movie #2 is going to blow the last one out of the water in a PLUS ULTRA way, so look forward to it!”
Cook also clarified that Horikoshi is “not saying movie #2 is literally the final episode/chapter/instance of the series.” What was never specified is what story changes mean for the My Hero Academia manga’s ending.
Warning: The following two paragraphs contain spoilers for the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising movie.
Heroes Rising will feature the new character Nine as the villain. Similar to All For One, he can steal other people’s quirks. Nine has already taken eight quirks, making him the heir apparent to All For One.
It’s possible Nine (or a villain similar to Nine) was initially planned to be the final villain of the manga’s story. The finale would have pitted all of the new UA Academy heroes against the League of Villains in a battle of the entire next generation. Now that at least one element is in the Heroes Rising film, where does that leave the manga?
In the summer of 2018, Horikoshi revealed that he’d considered ending the story with Volume 30, but then he realized that “ending the series at Volume 30 will be impossible.” In August 2018, an interview with Horikoshi and One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda arrived, and Horikoshi was still talking about Volume 30 as the goal.
“How many volumes do you estimate the series will be?” Oda asked, and Horikoshi replied, “Honestly, I thought about 30 or so would be about right, but I hadn’t really been counting at all.”
Oda also suggested that Horikoshi “shoot for about 50” volumes, but Horikoshi laughed and replied, “Can I really do ten years though…?”
What did Horikoshi mean by that comment? By Volume 30, the manga series should be up to around Chapter 287 since each manga volume usually comes with around 10 chapters. Assuming no delays or hiatus for the manga, Volume 30 will come out in December 2020. By making that comment, Horikoshi is pointing out that adding an extra 20 volumes to the plan would mean the ending would come out in 2024, which is 10 years after the manga first started in July 2014.
Horikoshi may be seriously considering taking Oda’s advice. Without getting into spoilers, the manga’s story seems no closer to ending since Izuku Midoriya is still learning how to be a hero. Nor has Weekly Shonen Jump announced anything about a final arc coming up any time soon.
With 2020 approaching quickly, Horikoshi still hasn’t clarified whether he is sticking to his original target of 30 volumes or extending the plot. Nor has he discussed in recent interviews his progress toward creating a new ending for the manga now that Heroes Rising is using one plot element.
Let’s just hope that the My Hero Academia manga’ ending goes PLUS ULTRA beyond our expectations. Stay tuned!