Theory Thursday: ‘My Hero Academia’s’ Final Arc May Not Be The End After All
My Hero Academia‘s 306th chapter indicated that the story of Izuku Midoriya and Class 1A could be coming to an end. As the manga enters its final arc after a 300+ chapter-long story, fans have been pretty vocal regarding the possibility of the series’ ending. Of course, rumors came to a cusp when the author and creator, Kōhei Horikoshi, commented on the series possibly heading towards its conclusion during an interview in Jump Festa 2021. It looks like a recent statement may hint at a future beyond the final arc. The release of the manga’s 30th volume in Japan included an afterword by the author. He addresses his original plans for the series and what is in store for the future. Check out the original Japanese afterword below, posted by Twitter user @kylescouter.
"MHA was originally supposed to end in around vol.30"
Kohei Horikoshi says in the afterword of vol.30.
— Kyle Anime Scouter (@kylescouter) April 2, 2021
One of our Knowhere Discord members, Randy, was kind enough to translate the original afterword to the best of his ability and this is what his translation stated:
And so we come to issue 30. Before I had felt like just writing, and initially I was planning on writing 30 issues and ending the series, yet as I have written and drawn these last few issues I have surprised even myself. For the first volume/issue for the time I have worked on this, I have been enjoying fighting the good fight and the main story will continue! I wish you continued peace and blessings and thank you for this opportunity.”
Translations can be a fickle thing. They can easily get misinterpreted, or parts of the text end up lost in translation. As such, I also contacted a friend who works as a translator. They were able to transcribe the afterword to offer an additional comparison point. This way, we have another translation to make sure.
A portion of the translation varies a bit, but much of the context remains the same. Horikoshi first addresses the statements he made in 2018 about his original plans for the My Hero Academia story to end around the 30th manga volume. He talks about how he’s surprised that the manga has gone on for this long. Now the 4th line is where the two translations start to get a little bit mixed up, as they both talk about a battle or a fight. I am going to lean heavily on the second translation, as it does refer to a specific line in the afterword of the previous volume where Horikoshi thanked those who have “read the manga and hope they can enjoy its end.” The final line reads that the main story will continue, and he thanks everyone for supporting the series.
This afterword can get interpreted in multiple ways. I believe that the manga has entered into the final arc of its story, but it could easily take more than a year until it ends. We’ve learned that lesson from Shie Hassaikai Arc and the Paranormal Liberation War Arc. Also, this doesn’t mean that Izuku Midoriya’s story will end right there and then. Writers are often vague with what they say, and more often than not, plans tend to change when one writes. The My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising film is a perfect example. Director Kenji Nagasaki talked about how the film used the original ending written by Horikoshi.
Not only that, but there are far too many plot threads left hanging from the main story that is worth exploring, and most might not get the attention they deserve in this final arc. If you want to read up on how I think the series may end, check out the Theory Thursday article we posted earlier today regarding Izuku’s Vigilante Arc. So we can assume that My Hero Academia is still set to continue for the time being. However, whether Izuku Midoriya continues his story under the My Hero Academia brand or through a new title, that’s up to Kōhei Horikoshi.