The Hunters Guild: Red Hood’s Velou and Grimm are shaping up to have all of the best qualities of My Hero Academia’s Deku and All Might.
While Shonen Jump has only released two chapters of The Hunters Guild: Red Hood so far, there’s a high possibility that the relationship between a regular boy named Velou and Guild Hunter Grimm could turn out to be just like All Might and Deku’s from My Hero Academia, with good reason for fans of that breakout title to get in on the ground floor of this new series.
What originally made Deku’s situation so unique in My Hero Academia – and what made it appeal to so many fans – is that he was born without a superpower, also known as a quirk, in a world where most people have them. Despite this, he wanted to become a hero, setting up the perfect underdog narrative. Ultimately, Deku’s natural heroism and drive were enough to compel a powerful hero named All Might to bestow upon him the most celebrated quirk of all – One For All.
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The Hunters Guild: Red Hood has already introduced similar dynamics to its story. Velou is just a normal kid who wants nothing more than to defend his hamlet from werewolves, but because he’s ordinary, his hamlet’s mayor can’t rely on his drive alone and spends all of his money to purchase the services of Grimm, a powerful hunter from the highly renowned and respected Hunters Guild. Velou’s life soon becomes intertwined with the talented newcomer as extraneous circumstances force them into partnership when a werewolf strikes unexpectedly. Just as All Might felt about Deku, Grimm immediately sees potential in the young boy, even though he has no inherent power. All Might realized that Deku possessed the qualities of a hero regardless of his obvious setback, while Grimm is impressed by Velou’s attention to detail and quick problem-solving skills, asking him to join the Hunters Guild.
The Hunters Guild: Red Hood will become even more like My Hero Academia if Velou somehow acquires power through unnatural means, as the quirk that Deku obtains from All Might didn’t belong to him either. But what truly makes a compelling manga is if the series can stand on its own rather than just replaying the hits of another story. Luckily, that’s very much the case here, and not just because the manga takes place in a fantasy world that finds a great deal of inspiration in the tales of the Brothers Grimm, especially Little Red Riding Hood. It’s due to the fact that The Hunters Guild: Red Hood has already taken a major departure from its predecessor in a compelling way that could even surpass My Hero Academia if the story continues down this particular path.
Unlike Deku – who was obsessed with heroes and wanted nothing more than to become one himself – Velou doesn’t have a positive opinion of the Hunters Guild at the start of the series, and initially refuses Grimm’s offer to join her because his main priority is protecting his hamlet. While this creates an interesting dynamic that diverges from My Hero Academia, it’s the fact that Grimm tries even harder to recruit Velou upon his refusal that’s so exciting. Successful manga series usually star characters who are special even in a crowd of remarkable people, and Grimm’s continued interest in the boy is creating that feeling, even during the part of the story where he’s still very much the underdog.
Of course, all of this depends on whether or not The Hunters Guild: Red Hood continues down its current trajectory – the ostensible ordinariness of Velou, coupled with the growing interest of a mentor who seems poised to introduce readers to even more fascinating aspects of this world, sets up the series to be the next My Hero Academia without merely repeating what has made that manga so popular.
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