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I Am a Hero   
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Hideo Suzuki is a thirty-five-year-old mangaka assistant struggling to be the hero in his own life by breaking back into the limelight with a new serial all the while juggling his relationship with his girlfriend and his own delusions. However, as hard as Hideo may try, the world seems to have a different set of plans for him; sinister and dark machinations that completely overturn his reality as he knows it.

Note: Was nominated for the 3rd, 4th and 5th Manga Taishō and won the 58th Shogakukan Manga Award in the General category in 2013.


Related Series

Associated Names
Ai emu a Hiiroo
Ben Bir Kahramanım
Я — герой
ข้าคือฮีโร่ I am a HERO

Groups Scanlating
Mango Scans

Latest Release(s)
v.22 c.265 (end) by Death Toll over 2 years ago
v.22 c.264 by Todome! over 7 years ago
v.22 c.263 by Todome! over 7 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
22 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 7.9 / 10.0 (679 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.83 / 10.0

Last Updated
September 23rd 2023, 1:05am



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Spirits (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Dark Horse (11 Omnibus Volumes - Complete | Print)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #473 increased(+106)
Monthly Pos #903 increased(+244)
3 Month Pos #1566 increased(+507)
6 Month Pos #1945 increased(+366)
Year Pos #2877 increased(+483)

List Stats
On 2371 reading lists
On 1503 wish lists
On 961 completed lists
On 118 unfinished lists
On 510 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Having read it all, I still don't understand the appeal  
by tigerstar186
October 17th, 2023, 6:04pm
Rating: 3.0  / 10.0
I've read the whole series over the past couple of days, and I just don't get it. People talk about this like it's a masterpiece and I can't see why. The only real positives I can give it are the reasoning behind the zombies, as it is a rather original take which makes the horror elements and worldbuilding a bit more interesting, and the art being utterly horrifying for the zombies at times making them feel like a genuine threat. I would compare it to the titans in Attack on Titan, another horror series from the same time. Generally humanoid but they're always just a bit... wrong. Odd anatomy, proportions, and moving in generally inhuman ways. Concept and scares can't carry you for 265 chapters though, you need some actual meat.

The characters are utterly abysmal. No one feels believable, despite supposedly having a diverse cast of people everyone is pervaded by a general 2ch feel. Incels abound and literally everyone calls zombies a ZQN (wordplay on DQN, 2ch-speak for a dumbass) even those who show no signs of interaction with the site and have only been a couple days into the apocalypse. The incel aura really does exist throughout every facet of this manga, with people constantly bringing up how it shouldn't be mens job to go into dangerous situations just because they're men (even when they're literally the only choice) and women are treated as either objects to be won over or complete trash. This mentality is also rewarded with women basically throwing themselves at the protagonist once he has done a few things for them. (Oda Tsugumi had so much potential and then was relegated to "love interest" and "plot forwarding device" )

The worst of all is the main character. It starts out very strong -- he is socially maladjusted, frequently talking to himself and generally having unhealthy attitudes to interacting with other people, even those close to him. He is also schizophrenic or similar as he has multi-faceted hallucinations which frequently play into his struggles to socialize. Great! Genuinely appealing for a start, you have a guy who is not a good person and is in a bad place mentally, and the series has you set up to watch him learn through the apocalypse and become a better person with a better grip on himself. To become the titular hero, go from simply saying it to ground himself to actually embodying it. Except... he just doesn't. He never really becomes a hero. He only helps people when he sees benefit in it for himself or sees something he likes in them (boobs). His hallucinations also just kinda... stop existing? Yajima never appears again and they're never addressed in the plot. They just stop once the apocalypse kicks off, barring a single scene partway through that never explains why. His mentality never really gets better out of trying to adjust himself, he just has less reasons to hate people once the only people around him are women who wish to have sex with him. The only place he really improves is in his self-confidence, but being confident alone doesn't make you a good person.

... Last updated on October 17th, 2023, 10:04pm
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Great Read  
by DrManga
September 16th, 2018, 3:11am
Rating: 9.4  / 10.0
WARNING: A number of the comments below this one should be in SPOILER tag, as they spoil the ending for you. This comment does not contain spoilers.

This is a mixture of NHK and Kiseijuu. It's truly an epic read. The manga starts really slow and picks up I around volume 5-6. Towards the end it becomes hard to put down. This is nothing like the movie, which is purely a Zombie flick.

The manga is about the journey of Heido as the world around him collapses due to unknown viral infection that is transmitted through the blood/saliva of the infected. In other words, usual Zombie like infection. We follow the main protagonist, an Otaku; though intelligent in some ways, when it comes to social skills and common sense he seems to be somewhat lacking. As well as being socially inept, shy, emotionally detached, he suffers from episodes of visual delusions. He also has strong desire to abide to the written law rather than the spirit of it, no matter how impractical it is in the current world. We follow him as he and his companion(s) try and survive in this zombie infected world.

Positive aspects:
The best aspects of the Manga are the internal emotions, lack of emotions, social interaction, relationships between humans and recalling of past events (flashbacks). I may have attacked the way the author deals with early reactions of government (below), but the way he portrays Heido, is fantastic. Heido suffers from emotional disconnection, which is truly captured in the last few volumes. He tends to run away from real world and his own emotions when things get to hard. But he tries to change himself and he does succeed sometimes.

Heido has an unhealthy obsession with being a hero as though it is a profession. Outside the DC/Marvel world "heroes" do not exits. People can be heroic and there is plenty of that in the manga. There were so many heroic acts by many (forgotten) individuals.

Other "side" characters also have a childish obsession with "heroes", either wanting to be one or seeing another as one. The biggest contrast is between Korori, who does not see himself as one but has a person whom he idolises as a "hero", and Hedio which wants to be become one. While both men are seen as "heroes" by others; the way they see themselves is not similar and by extension their emotional maturity, and the acceptance of one's fault and personality is also different. This in a black humour sort of way, is shown in the last few volumes. I cannot find the right words for it, but as you read the manga you may understand.

One thing I have to say but you will not understand unless you read it,I am glad Korori
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
never turned around.
Had he, I believe the manga would have ended differently.

Negative aspects:
Though I said the Manga's Hideo is less stupid in some ways, he is still a total retard. In fact most of the Japanese population seem to be retarded. Even after several days the people still seem to behave in a blissful unaware fashion. And why in God's name do they not notice infected people, with veins all over their face and stuff. They just continue as normal and only react when several people get taken out and the SHTF. The first guy having his face bit does not garner reaction, it has to be a few before people react. Even the police, who one would think would be the most informed and react the fastest are absolutely useless. Slow is an understatement for their inability to respond in a timely fashion. Also no one seem to convey what is going on to others, they just shout in pain and talk about random daily stuff. Why didn't anyone try explain to those around him their ideas of what is going on, instead of vague statements like I was attacked by crazy people. Even after 3 days and city after city falling, the media pretend nothing much is happening. This much worse than being an incompetent government, they are in cahoot with the virus. A totally unrealistic reaction from the government and the SDF.

Another gripe I have is when Hideo's group are stocking up for food, they only get enough for one or two days, when one would think they should get as much as they can. They leave cash if they have any for the stuff they take, and avoided breaking into vending machines because its against the law in zombie apocalypse. On top of that they are afraid of the law catching up with them because they killed infected people in self-defence. It's OK to kill someone who is trying to kill you, that is the case in every nation on earth. If it was just him, I can say it is a quirk, but he is with a group seem to have the same follies. So there are lot of small things like this, that rub me the wrong way.

The story line has a tendency to time jump and we seem to miss highly interesting sections, like what happened in Chapter 54 in the car. Can't say much without spoilers. These parts skipped were heading in a great direction and would have been interesting to see how things went down. It kinda leaves you guessing.

Final note; some people have complained about the ending, I disagree. The ending is masterful. It's bitter, but also very sweet. Heido truly changed, and all shown in just the latter half of the last chapter. It is satisfying.

... Last updated on September 20th, 2018, 9:25am
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Close to perfect as a whole.  
by book_junkie
June 3rd, 2018, 9:07pm
Rating: 9.0  / 10.0
The manga ended in a deeply moving and intelligent way. From the beginning to end, the main character represents cultural HERO of the enlightened age, Robinson Crusoe on his (mental) island. The main character's end and beginning are the same, but with a very meaningful difference emerged in between: all the other people from the city are gone to the collective world of ZQN. In a way, all the other people already were like zombies to him. The collective mind will keep on as one, without sacrificing two-for-the-sake-of-one, in contrary to what the main character keeps on doing. The manga sets the deep question about the meaning of civilization and culture, of individual and collective mind. The return-to-nature ending is a way of ending civilization and culture, in the collective consciousness which could be seen as the perfection of collective life. In the end the civilized-cultural technical individual keeps on doing his mechanical tasks: farming land, making weapons and killing animals to please his hunger: to sacrifice nature to himself. He only communicates with lifeless monuments and treats them like living beings, as does the civilized man of letters who keeps to himself and his books. Mechanical person is a schitzophreniac, who has lost his touch with other people and nature, and keeps on sacrificing it. In the end he is a punished by ZQN by abandoning him to survive on his own, because he's not worth rescuing from himself. The main character represents pessimism against mechanico-individual human culture, while the ZQN-collective represents optimism for the collectivo-natural animalism. This doesn't mean the manga is purely opting for the ZQN, since there is also the third medial option of the islanders: close-to-nature small community living, rising children, creating art and fishing with simple tools. This represents another kind of island-living, as opposed to the robinsonal city-heroism. The Robinson-Hero of mechanico-technical enlightenment is shown to be cut off from nature and communal ties to his fellow humans: he pointedly keeps on living in his city-wasteland, because his city originally already was a wasteland in his schitzophrenical individualism. The real being of this robinsonal hero is and always will be city-wasteland, not an island: he is an island in himself, and so his city already always was wasteland as the place void of other people, a deserted city-man in his habitat with his fields, guns, lifeless monuments and technical ego.

... Last updated on June 3rd, 2018, 9:30pm
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Good story ruined by filler and a bad ending  
by NazarethSTG
April 22nd, 2017, 2:44pm
Rating: 5.0  / 10.0
I am a Hero started as one of the best modern manga, managing to carve its own personality in an overcrowded genre with great characters, an interesting twist on the zombie formula and a well written story. It was so good that it became a huge commercial success, and with it came one of the downfalls of such manga: filler. It made so much money that the author was forced to stretch the story way beyond his possibilities, first opening way too many sidestories and then just plainly releasing entire volumes with nothing happening at all. Some of the later volumes have several pages of copy-pasted close-ups of character faces and meaningless text dumps.

The pace picks up towards the end with the author finally moving the story forward and interesting events unfold, with an original take on the origin of the zombies. But then the manga is abruptly brought to a terrible "end", if it can even be called that way. Nothing is resolved, the multiple sidestories are ignored; we don't even get to see what happens to one of the main characters!. It's the worst and most rushed ending I've had the displeasure to read.

The only possible explanation for this non-ending is that Hanazawa simply got burnt out and just wanted to be done with I am a Hero, completely destroying what once was a great story in the process. A real shame, but probably the Japanese manga industry is partly to blame.

Avoid this if you don't want to feel terribly disapointed after a very promising start.

... Last updated on May 5th, 2019, 5:52pm
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by pierzing
April 3rd, 2017, 6:19pm
Rating: 7.0  / 10.0
The premise and progression of the manga is interesting. Despite unsteady progresses, the manga develops multiple perspectives of characters and sometimes unifies these characters' meaning into a whole (whether the manga does it sufficiently coherent is to be debated, I feel). There are some unique character traits in these characters. Unpredictability is really a factor you can count on in this manga. Although I did somewhat enjoy this manga for the most part, the exploration of the manga's world wasn't really thorough. I'd recommend this manga if you like slice of life or unpredictability.
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Best zombi manga ever. Sadly with no real ending.  
by mamertomamerto
March 11th, 2017, 8:48am
Rating: 9.0  / 10.0
This is a great manga, to say the least. Characters have depth and the story is very convincing. Rhythm is the major problem of the manga. The first volume is just a prolog, which is ok considering we are talking a long 22 volume manga. During the next 21 volumes the plot will grow slowly and more and more intriguing mysteries will appear, everything is action packed for the most part. But then the final volume comes up, and everything is rushed and most, if not all, of the mysteries will remain a mystery. If you can deal with a manga without a real ending, this is for you. In fact, this is the the best undead or zombi manga you will ever find.
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Awesome series but once again the ending butchers it...  
by Xiximaro
March 4th, 2017, 7:45pm
Rating: 7.0  / 10.0
This is happening a lot, a bad ending ruining the whole series to the ground... Frankly I'm so frustrated and tired of reading endings like this one, that I'm gonna be quick with this.
Every story as a whole has to have a introduction, development and a conclusion/ending. Each as to be near the same level as the others for the sake consistency, but here we have = 9 - 10 - 4(don't even know how to rate the shitty ending). Without spoiling the ending is pretty much a disappointment along this lines: You are enjoying the story and when it gets awesome Hideo(main character) trips while walking, falls to the ground, breaks his neck and dies, end of story. Now imagine reading 22 volumes and meet a conclusion along something like that. Apocalypse no Toride was the same damn thing...

... Last updated on March 4th, 2017, 7:50pm
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What a lame ending  
by HSuke
February 28th, 2017, 8:16pm
Rating: 7.0  / 10.0
I don't understand. Why did the author end the manga where it was? There was basically no conclusion and very little explanation for what went on. It was an incredibly random and disappointing ending. I wish I never read the last volume. This was such a depressing manga to read in the sense that first several volumes were so good, but everything went downhill afterwards.
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What a ride, but....  
by SangMo
February 27th, 2017, 5:41pm
Rating: 9.0  / 10.0
The ending is not very good... For the manga to be such a rollercoaster, the last chapter doesn't do it justice. I am disappointed. It would be a perfect 10/10 if not for the ending.
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To put it bluntly  
by Fundefined
May 19th, 2016, 9:43am
Rating: 6.0  / 10.0
This is a zombie apocalypse story with an autistic protagonist. Its incredibly frustrating following a mentally ill person as he lucks his way through massacres. It's meant to be frustrating but that doesn't make it enjoyable.There is a lot of meta commentary on manga and it pokes fun at itself and how meandering and wasteful this manga's panel usage is. The main character is a reflection some of the author's worst traits; mentally slow, a bloated sense of ego, naive, and pathetic. I get what the author is going for, but this story fundamentally fails to be entertaining. I found the author's other work, Ressentiment, to have the same problems of being capable of addressing interesting ideas but absolutely a chore to read through. Maybe I just don't enjoy this "loser" sub genre that this author specializes in.

Edit: After giving it another several volumes, the story finally picks up and becomes interesting. There's a lot of small details that the mangaka throws in without explaining them which are fun to figure out. There's still plenty of zombie story tropes used but there's aspects that are really unique to this manga. I think I've changed my mind on this manga. The beginning is still painful to read through but the world building done there does somewhat pay off later.

... Last updated on May 20th, 2016, 11:34pm
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