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My Hero Academia writer apologizes for referencing Japanese war crimes in manga

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The name will be changed when the manga is compiled into paperbacks

Left to right: Shoto Todoroki, Izuku Midoriya, Eijiro Kirishima and Katsuki Bakugo in the first season of My Hero Academia. Image: Bones Inc./Funimation

My Hero Academia creator Kohei Horikoshi is changing the name of a recently revealed character in response to fan backlash.

Dr. Daruma Ujiko’s full name was revealed as Maruta Shiga in Chapter 259 of My Hero Academia, with “maruta” being the Japanese name for victims of human experimentation during World War II. Seeing as the character is a follower of series villain All For One and a scientist who actually does experiment on humans, this left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths.

“Many have pointed out that the character name ‘Shiga Maruta’ in this week’s Jump chapter has brought up recollections of acts done in the past. I did not intend for that name to be associated as such. I take this matter very seriously and will change the name,” Horikoshi said in a Twitter statement, according to a translation by aitaikimochi. Aitaikimochi also noted that Horikoshi’s statement uses Japanese language to express an apology, though it gets lost in translation.

Shonen Jump, the weekly magazine where My Hero Academia is published, also posted a statement, saying readers “pointed out in the latest My Hero Academia chapter that the character ‘Maruta’ had a name that recalled ‘past historical facts’. There was no intention behind the naming from the author or editorial department. However, since it’s not our intention to overlap work with unrelated historical facts, after consulting with the author, we have decided to change the name when chapters are compiled in future volumes,” according to a translation by an unofficial Shonen Jump account.

The latest arc in the My Hero Academia manga features the characters honing in on the villians, while much more seems to be cooking behind the scenes from various parties. Ujiko, the creator of the monstrous Nomu, has finally been exposed and the heroes are ready to nab him for his crimes.