My thoughts on BnHA are the exact same as yours. There is such a set up for something different and then it IMMEDIATELY plunges into generic shonen the first chance it gets. Sure, it deals well with character development, but that is only new TO SHONENS and people who mostly watch/read shonen. I REALLY tried to give it more chances though, but it just kept solving stuff without foreshadowing and there IS one “people who believe me give me power”-win that REALLY pisses me the fuck off. Dropped.
I don’t really want to come across as too harsh on the series. It’s decent for what it is, kept me binging for a little over a season, but it’s a bit disappointing after what the opening episodes seemed to be building up.
Apparently the original plan was to have Deku remain powerless and become a gadget hero, but the author couldn’t get it sold like that. A shame, honestly, I think the author would’ve been able to execute that very well.
“If you want a similar story about a powerless hero who stays powerless” you might also try Iris Zero, as long as we’re still talking about manga.
I’m pretty sure there are already tons of stories with powerless heroes in a world where superpowers are a thing, or just heroes with very shitty powers who find ways to use them creatively (I recommend the book “Playing for Keeps” by Mur Lafferty if you like stories about shitty powers being used creatively). I’m not saying MHA is super original (though Loreweaver makes good points and I’ll be keeping an eye out for those themes) but “becoming a hero even though you’re powerless” isn’t either.
That is fair. I do think it’s a little more interesting, though.
And hey, guess what? Worm is arguably one of those stories about “heroes with very shitty powers who find ways to use them creatively”, at least borderline. In terms of raw power, bug control isn’t very strong (though it’s getting stronger) against most of Taylor’s enemies, but combining it with Taylor’s ingenuity and tactical skills (I’ve compared her to the leader of an army with good reason) makes it capable of taking down enemies like half-dragon Lung and Mannequin nonetheless.
She’s not the only one doing it, either. Skidmark, for instance, was fairly clever about how he applied his boost pads – a highlight being when he put it on his cape and used it defensively.