My Hero Academia's latest few arcs have been putting the final pieces together for a huge confrontation between the heroes and villains, and the latest chapter filled in a key piece of information about the true identity of All For One's mysterious doctor. But soon after Chapter 259 of the series revealed this information, fans and those in the manga and anime industry alike were taken by surprise with the controversial meaning behind the name. In fact, the series has now been banned in China entirely as a result.
Series creator Kohei Horikoshi released a statement about the controversy soon after, and announced that he would be changing the name quickly. But now Shueisha (publisher behind Weekly Shonen Jump magazine) has issued a formal apology statement to fans about the situation, and Horikoshi has offered a new statement of apology as well.
My Hero Academia series creator Kohei Horikoshi's statement opens as such, "By using the name 'Maruta Shiga' in chapter 259 of My Hero Academia, I deeply offended a great number of readers. I am truly sorry about this. The character--with deep reverence and wanting to feel closer to the League of Villain's former boss, All For One--decided to take part of All For One's last name (Shigaraki) and make it his own (Shiga)."
Elaborating further, Horikoshi states, "I gave him the first name 'Maruta' because he's round and plump. Any other meaning is coincidental, and I had absolutely no intention of hurting so many readers, which I now know that I did. I apologize from the bottom of my heart. Going forward, I will do my utmost to make sure that this sort of thing never happens again."
Horikoshi's explanation of Dr. Ujiko's real name offers a new layer to the character that we have yet to explore in the manga, but now it's a matter of seeing when a new name will be officially given to the doctor. After such a controversy, Shueisha and Horikoshi will most likely be giving new character names, ideas, and settings a second thought to the worldwide audience and reception.
What do you think of this controversy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter! My Hero Academia was created by Kohei Horikoshi for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 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.