My Hero Academia has made its name in the world of superhero titles, and it has no plans to back down. The manga pulled itself up from humble origins to become one of Japan’s most popular shonen titles, but its creator did have some help in crafting the work.
In fact, it seems another superhero had particular influence on the aesthetic artist Kohei Horikoshi used to kick off My Hero Academia a few years back.
Recently, an interview with Horikoshi went live which he did with animator Yoshihiko Umakoshi. The pair opened up about their work on My Hero Academia, and it was there the pair segued into a talk about the one and only Hellboy.
“There’s that American comic book series, Hellboy, right? I can see a little of that in your work,” Umakoshi asks Horikoshi at one point, opening the floodgate for the manga creator.
“Yeah, the way Mike Mignola draws hands was a big influence on me. Vol. 1 All Might’s art style was particularly bad about it. The influence was blatant; His fingers were square. Square, flat, angular,” Horikoshi said.
Continuing, the artist went on to praise Hellboy creator Mike Mignola for his ability to draw stunning scenes and keep them minimally lined.
“It really goes to show you how good he is. How much pop can you give an illustration with only a few lines? I think he’s on that point of being so perfect he can do things like that,” Horikoshi gushed.
“The way he applies solid black is amazing,” the artist carried on. “You get the same sense of realness if you look at his work from a distance too. The way it feels 3-dimensional is incredible. When I try to imitate his style in an attempt to figure out the trick behind it, I just can’t manage to pull it off. My shadows are copied from his, too.”
For fans, Horikoshi's conversation proves how involved he is with the comic book community. The artist is an open fan of both the Marvel and DC Universes with heroes like Spider-Man being his favorite. Still, it seems Hellboy holds a special place in Horikoshi's heart, and fans wouldn't be mad at an actual Mignola x My Hero Academia piece if it were to come around.
So, can you see the connection between All Might and Hellboy? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
My Hero Academia was created by Kohei Horikoshi and has been running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump since July 2014. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, who lives in a world where everyone has super powers, even though he was born without them. Dreaming to become a superhero anyway, he's eventually scouted by the world's best hero All Might and enrolls in a school for professional heroes. The series has been licensed by Viz Media for an English language release since 2015.