Yikes: My Hero Academia’s most hated character might be its first bisexual

Image: Studio Bones

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.

Here’s a deep cut: It’s a Supernatural meme that references an old ship between two of its characters, Dean Winchester and Castiel.

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.

Oh, and here’s a sad Wario.

This post jokes that the anime community is gay and homophobic at the same time.

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.

Comments

The fuck?

I’m disappointed that Polygon has joined Comicbook dot com in spoiling MHA manga storylines without regard for anime watchers. I understand the temptation to use images from the show (because color), but it does a disservice to those who may be behind by choice or otherwise.

My bandit, you can’t be cruising media sites that exist to announce and discuss media and expecting them to honor your personal unstated preferences. You did this to yourself.

There are ways to write articles that have spoilers in them without putting the spoiler in the headline. This is something Polygon could easily do better if they wanted to.

This is why I don’t get people like the above. Literally putting spoilers in the title makes it impossible to avoid, and Polygon is by far one of the worst when it comes to doing this. They don’t even address the people calling it out, or do anything to change that habit, they just do whatever they can to get that click.

That being said I’d be willing to bet that there’s a much larger "casual" My Hero audience that only watches the anime. Apparently the manga is leagues ahead and we won’t catch up for several more seasons, which means we’re always in danger of getting hit with massive spoilers because of stuff like this.

This isn’t a plot relevant spoiler really, I don’t know the context of Mineta being bi, but I’m not to bothered by finding out. I already spoiled it for myself by reading about it when I saw #mineta trending on twitter, I checked the tag honestly hoping to see a spoiler about Mineta dying or quitting hero work or something that would make him Not A Character Anymore

You would be correct. Most anime fans don’t even read manga. Especially the casual fans. There are exceptions, even a casual fan might want to know what happens next enough to track down the manga, but some people don’t want to read, even if it’s a comic. It’s more than fair to assume this article isn’t about common knowledge, especially considering the chapter isn’t even a week old yet and the anime is way behind this point.

Not to imply I mean anything bad by casual. I’m not trying to be elitist here.

I’m like this with HunterxHunter. I can see how they would have a hard time adapting the show for the chapters after the anime ended because there’s just so much exposition.

I agree, though in this instance I’d argue it is not a spoiler, as nothing is confirmed, it is all still pure conjecture (having read the article details) and so what they said in the headline might not actually be the case anyway. It says "might be" and no one knows for sure still either way, people reading the manga are making leaps that might not even be there.

It’s not even conjecture, it’s pretty much confirmed to not be true, and you can go off the only tweet they linked but didn’t embed, which is pretty telling on it’s own. But then there wouldn’t be a clickbait article to comment on so /shrug

My G, I’m not asking for complete silence on these topics. I’m asking for context instead of this clickbait title. CBR does bold and italicized spoilers ahead for (insert media here). It’s not too much to ask.

A throwaway line in a fight scene that might not even be translated properly is not a spoiler, jesus christ.

I wouldn’t really consider this a spoiler if only because the character’s sexuality is most likely not going to be a super relevant plot detail. It might even just be matter of translation or cultural interpretations.

I was so sure it was a misstransalation it cannot be for real, anyone but the weird pervert gremling

i read the chapter before seeing the memes and utterly brushed past this part without ever thinking mineta was confessing romantic feelings for deku. he’s very, very clearly just joining in on the "youre an inspiration" vibe the group is going with to try and help their buddy whose going through his dark arc at the moment

and frankly, the impossibility of mineta being bi and earnestly confessing his feelings to the object of his affection just makes the memes more fun than anything. he’s been admitted by the author to be a self-insert of sorts (yikes) with a lot of obvious hetero-normative hang-ups and tropes that are core to the shounen brand, there’s no way he’s going to be part of the already-established LGBTQ+ canon of the story (dont forget everyone that are no less than 2 trans people in this thing already)

Oh god, I didn’t know the creator had literally said Mineta was a self-insert. What the hell dude

he’s either a full-on self-insert or some dark expression of the author’s id (ive read conflicting stuff on this and i cant read japanese to confirm one way or the other)

either way he put a character in the book whose primary function is to allow the audience to slobber all over high school girls and somehow that character is an expression of himself

Mineta is a literary scapegoat. He allows the author an outlet to regularly objectify and harass his female characters while also playing dumb about it. So instead of hating My Hero Academia, the manga that regularly oggles female characters, you can instead hate Mineta, the character that regularly oggles female characters. Mineta is intentionally designed to be uncool so as to create a welcome vessel for any ill feelings you might have about such treatment. And with any negative feelings compartmentalized in Mineta, the viewer is then free to experience the fruits of Mineta’s exploitative labor.

Am I surprised that a manga that treats women so well would also suggest that their scapegoat character might be bi, and hence more worthy of ridicule from the presumably straight young boys who are being fed this content? It’s a leading question, your honor.

Idk if he’s there to allow the author to be a creepy perv. But Mineta allows the manga industry to continue their attempts to profit from objectification.
Idk if we can tell if it’s about the author or about the publisher. Idk if the distiction matters in how the end result is presented to the audience.
It’s bad. It’s also a staple of the whole industry (which is thus, bad in that aspect).

it’s both, manga-ka’s admitted he sees a bit of himself in the little creep

Gosh, if only toxic anime fans didn’t chase the translator off Twitter in defense of a wife beater and child abuser, so he could explain it in detail

Details please, especially about the domestic/child abuse.

Right-wing MHA fans got mad at the MHA translator for, amongst other things, supposedly making Endevour look bad.

Ah, so this is a cartoon character who is doing domestic/child abuse, not the creator of the manga. That’s a very important aspect to clarify, I’m glad I asked. Thanks for the clarification!

Why are they right-wing? I know nothing about the fan base, so not sure why politics plays a part?

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