My Hero Academia is the 'it' item in the vast world of superheroes. Marvel and DC Comics are going head-to-head in theaters, but few titles can touch the explosive growth of Kohei Horikoshi’s title. My Hero Academia has grown a worldwide fanbase in its four years, and fans are eager to show their love for Izuku Midoriya at every turn.
Luckily, some very lucky fans did get a chance to showcase their love for the series a couple weeks back. Kohei made his North American debut at Comic-Con International in July, and the humble artist made time to meet his legion of fans.
With a booked schedule, Kohei took time to talk with ComicBook.com about all things My Hero Academia. The artist talked about the creation of fan-favorite mama Inko Midoriya before delving into his love for western comic books. You can check out the full interview in the slides below!
Want to know more about the interview? Let me know in the comments or hit up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
So, welcome to San Diego Comic-Con! The reception of My Hero Academia at the panel that I went on earlier today was insane. Everyone was so excited!
The series is extremely popular. A lot of people are saying that it could be as big as Naruto and One Piece and even become the next shonen masterpiece. Does that put a lot of burden on you?
KH: I only feel pressure. [It’s a] little scary.
With comic books in general, superheroes are the definition of entertainment right now. Even outside of manga, My Hero Academia has become one of the preeminent superhero stories. What does that feel like knowing the series is crossing boundaries from manga to comics?
KH: Like, “Oh, is that okay to be happening?”
You can’t pick a favorite character in My Hero Academia because everyone loves them all. However, everyone loves Inko Midoriya. What was the inspiration behind her character?
KH: Well, first and foremost, I wanted Deku to be like any other kid. Not like every man, but every kid. So, I wanted him to have a kind of worry wart mom. And my own mother is a bit of a worry wart.
My Hero Academia is such a love letter to superheroes. Did you receive any specific inspiration from Western comic books?
KH: Yeah, I literally have a Japanese translated version of a U.S. superhero title in my left hand, and I'm drawing with my right.
Earlier at the panel, I know you said you love Spider-Man. Is there a particular comic series that you really love?
Interviewer Note: During the interview, KH couldn’t remember the exact series’ name, but he could give a short description. As it turns out, Dan Slott’s The Superior Spider-Man run is one of KH’s recent favorites.
With My Hero Academia, a lot of its characters have comic book tie-ins. Are there any comic book Easter eggs in the series you’re really proud of?
KH: So, rather than American comics, it would be Star Wars. Gran Torino in the manga kind of loosely alludes to Yoda. You know, since he’s like this tiny, old man teacher.
Here in America, there are a lot of comic creators who love My Hero Academia. Jim Lee drew All Might, and Deadpool creator Robert Liefeld is also a fan. If you could pick any Western comic book superhero to put into My Hero Academia for a special, who would you pick?
KH: Maybe Deadpool?
So, this question has become a favorite for fans to debate. I know they probably wouldn’t fight if it came down to it, but if Superman and All Might had to fight one another, who would win?
KH: Superman! His laser eyes, they are Superman’s biggest Quirks. The difference between them, the battle of their Quirks — laser eyes would win. If All Might had that Quirk though...
The popularity of My Hero Academia in the U.S. has become impossible to ignore. All of its adaptations from the manga to the anime and now the movie are amazing. In the same vein as Marvel and DC, do you think My Hero Academia could translate into live-action?
KH: The film would have to make sure the existence of All Might is very absolute. Also, Deku’s relationship with All Might. Deku is always looking up to All Might. So, as long as that relationship is solid, I think that should be at the core for a screenwriter for a live-action movie.
As a final question, just how do you come up with all the Quirks found in My Hero Academia?
KH: Back when the series first started, sometimes in order to move the story forward or make sure characters fought, that is how Quirks were sometimes inspired. But, since then, it has been more of a "light bulb’ or "Ah Ha" moment — by being inspired by the things around me.
For example, with Gran Torino, I came up with his Quirk when I was taking a shower. I looked at the shower head and was like, “Oh, that would be cool… for something to come out of his feet.” Like have propellant coming out of them. So, that is how his Quirk was inspired.