The popular manga series My Hero Academia just got an unwelcome twist: its creepiest character might have come out as bisexual.
Written by Kohei Horikoshi, My Hero Academia is an ongoing action anime and manga series where everyday people have superpowers called quirks, enabling a thriving culture of formally trained superheroes. The story follows Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, an earnest boy who goes to an ultra-elite academy for the city’s most promising young heroes called U.A. High School.
One of his classmates there is Minoru Mineta, a short boy with purple hair styled into four round buns. On the battlefield, Mineta is a crybaby. In the classroom, he’s a terror. He’s constantly drooling over his female counterparts, staring at their boobs, and trying to see them naked. For this reason, Mineta is a largely unpopular character in the fandom — it’s so normal to hate him that fans even made a trend out of removing him from their posters.
Fans were all but okay with tolerating his presence, until the latest chapter of the manga. In chapter 321, a giant battle roars up and Mineta flails around during a fight. In the throes of battle, he remembers Deku and says, “I fell for you...When you were scared and sweating buckets...” To many, it appeared that Mineta was confessing his love to Deku, making him the first canonically LGBTQ+ character in the series.
While the meaning of the line of dialogue is still up for debate — one person pointed out that it’s possible there isn’t romantic intent there — even the possibility for Mineta to be the series’ first canonical LBGTQ+ representation was enough to spark an absolute tidal wave of commentary online. It’s not that fans don’t want LGBTQ+ representation, it’s that they don’t want this character to be it.
Since so many fans feel really upset, they’re dealing with it in the way they know best: making memes.
mineta cant be bi pls I cant handle this pic.twitter.com/TRpGl4gwte— axel | nobara birth month (@zeninapologist) August 1, 2021
Here’s a deep cut: It’s a Supernatural meme that references an old ship between two of its characters, Dean Winchester and Castiel.
I’m losing my goddamn mind I can’t believe they made Mineta bi pic.twitter.com/POkEWKHbyz— turkey (@j27turkey) August 2, 2021
This poster jokes that Mineta being bisexual has divided them between their “gay” and “homophobic” sides.
Another string of memes joke about bi people no longer being bi.
bisexuals after seeing mineta being confirmed bi pic.twitter.com/swp91jxcJd— homosexuality exploited by tsurumi (@jobincore) August 1, 2021
bisexuality leaving my body after finding out that Mineta pic.twitter.com/aV8RWylr48— june (@antagonique) August 2, 2021
bisexuals going back in the closet bc of mineta pic.twitter.com/pyNaSiupWN— zi ! ♡︎'artem (@iheartthomaa) August 2, 2021
Oh, and here’s a sad Wario.
bi ppl when they get representation but it's with mineta pic.twitter.com/Kdhfh0q1lo— mamas (@runxce) August 1, 2021
Gays praying that Mineta being bisexual was a mistranslation pic.twitter.com/bKlPjpsrgW— joshua david king (@joshuadavdking) August 2, 2021
This post jokes that the anime community is gay and homophobic at the same time.
anitwt after finding out mineta's bi pic.twitter.com/Z5RG5VdJ2X— nino ♡s nini || cw: jjba (@zoldycksDNI) August 1, 2021
Regardless of the official verdict on whether or not Mineta is canonically bi, the entire fiasco almost feels like a giant troll from Horikoshi. Many fans enjoy shipping LGBTQ+ pairings in anime and manga series, and members of the My Hero Academia fandom have long clamored for same-gender pairings to be included. Oh, well.