My Hero Academia Makes Clever Akira Reference in New Chapter

Kohei Horikoshi has not been shy about incorporating references and shout outs from other big pop cultures pieces into My Hero Academia, and part of the fun from the big series has been discovering many of the Easter Eggs Horikoshi sneaks into each chapter of the series. With its current big villain focused arc, there's still been a surprising amount of outside jokes and cool references.

The latest chapter of the series, in fact, makes a clever reference to Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira in a pretty slick fashion as a recent Shigaraki injury gave fans flashback to a famous Tetsuo injury.

Akira reference in chapter 233 from r/BokuNoHeroAcademia

In Chapter 233 of the series, Shigaraki begins fighting against the Meta Liberation Army's leader Re-Destro and is in way over his head. Re-Destro's quirk turned him into a literal Hulk, which is another slick reference to outside pop culture, and he manages to deal a terrible blow on Shigaraki that wrecks one of his hands. The pose Shigaraki takes here is reminiscent of Tetsuo getting his arm blown off in Akira in very much the same way.

As fans have noted, this is a great callout to Otomo's series as it parallels the same pose and expression, but it's unique to itself. Horikoshi's taken some influence, but has crafted his very own violent image. So for fans who may not particularly know Akira, this is a strong image. But it goes the extra mile for the fans who made the connection.

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Akira's about to get a lot more recognition pretty soon as Taika Waititi has been signed on to direct a Western live-action version of the film, and it's currently slated to begin production this Summer. It's made waves for making some changes from the original material, so this My Hero Academia panel just might end up being more faithful of a tribute at the end of the day.

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 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. My Hero Academia is gearing up for an even bigger end of 2019 with a new film in theaters later this year too.