Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the My Hero Academia manga, so be careful when reading further.
My Hero Academia has been no stranger to various controversies over the years.
It goes without saying that the franchise has been a smash hit since the mid-2010s. Its massive popularity can be attributed to Kohei Horikoshi's character designs and unique superpowers.
However, when a series gets this much attention, certain problems will almost always arise. Not everybody will agree with the particular direction that Horikoshi takes.
My Hero Academia has attracted a very passionate fanbase that loves to argue about incidences in the series in the slightest provocation.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the writer's personal views.
The biggest controversies in My Hero Academia history include the series' portrayal of female characters and the New Order Quirk
1) Shipping wars in general
Shipping is a term referring to a specific desire for two characters to end up with each other. Like most popular anime communities, My Hero Academia attracts several of them in one place.
Predictably, many shippers get into heated arguments about their favorite pairings, such as the highly controversial Deku x Bakugo ship. It's extremely popular but also very problematic since it promotes unhealthy relationships.
Understandably, some fans just want to avoid discussing ships altogether. For them, it's not worth getting heated over this subject matter.
2) The way Horikoshi writes female characters
My Hero Academia doesn't have the best track record with female characters. Here are some examples of the issues regarding their portrayals:
- Ochako Uraraka is mainly a satellite love interest for Izuku Midoriya.
- Nejire Hado didn't get any focus in the Shie Hassaikai Raid, while her classmates Mirio Togata and Tamaki Amajiki had extended fight scenes.
- Midnight's death in the Paranormal Liberation War is largely glossed over, while Sir Nighteye gets a dramatic send-off in the Shie Hassaikai arc.
- Lady Nagant and Cathleen Bate are introduced after the Paranormal Liberation War, only to be quickly dealt with.
It's very common to see accusations of misogyny in the My Hero Academia fandom. With that said, while some fans agree that more can be done, they argue that Horikoshi is better than most of his peers. It's not exactly fair to ignore some of his more notable accomplishments.
For instance, My Hero Academia allows female characters to have different body types, such as Inko Midoriya. Certain heroines also get a chance to shine brighter than certain male counterparts, like Mirko in the Paranormal Liberation War.
3) All For One returns
A good number of My Hero Academia fans believed that All For One had the perfect send-off. His arch-nemesis All Might beat him one final time in the Hideout Raid arc. With All For One incarcerated and All Might stripped of his powers, the story could move on to Tomura Shigaraki and Izuku Midoriya.
Instead, All For One came back during the Paranormal Liberation War and took over Shigaraki's body. A good number of fans despised this creative decision since it took away from Shigaraki's leadership.
Some would argue this makes sense, given that All For One is highly manipulative and only thinks about himself. Meanwhile, others wanted Shigaraki to follow his own path in My Hero Academia. They believe that All For One is a boring villain that should've retired from the story.
4) Hawks is forced to kill Twice
My Hero Academia fans were divided over what happened in the Paranormal Liberation War. Hawks was tragically forced to kill Twice simply because he was too dangerous to live.
Whether or not Hawks was justified is left open to interpretation. Twice fans believe that he manipulated a mentally ill man, not to mention that he used lethal force. He simply could've found another way to subdue the villain.
Meanwhile, Hawks fans pointed out how Twice could've made copies of dangerous villains with his Quirk. His death was a complete necessity in My Hero Academia. Otherwise, the heroes would have to fight multiple Shigarakis.
5) Bakugo telling Deku to jump off a roof
During his childhood, Izuku Midoriya grew up without a Quirk. Katsuki Bakugo would relentlessly bully him for his lack of power. At one point, he told Midoriya to jump off a building, which is a low point in My Hero Academia.
Many fans seem to have overlooked this entirely since Bakugo regularly tops popularity contests for My Hero Academia. However, there are still a good number of fans who will never forgive Bakugo for what he did. It doesn't matter that he finally apologized in Chapter 322.
In a 2015 interview, Horikoshi did admit that he went too far with Bakugo in the early days. Some fans did appreciate the character's development in My Hero Academia. However, others refused to look past it, saying that it took several years for Bakugo to get called out for his actions.
6) Deku gets multiple Quirks
The fandom reached a breaking point with the Joint Training arc. In the final round, Izuku Midoriya unlocked the full potential of the OFA Quirk. Namely, he could use the previous Quirks of the other users.
Supporters didn't mind this decision since Midoriya could expand his moveset with support Quirks. They felt that it would make his fighting style more exciting than just simple punches and kicks. For instance, Blackwhip can be used for multiple purposes, such as air mobility and capturing targets.
Detractors felt multiple Quirks would hurt the story of My Hero Academia. The power creep would eventually settle into the series, leaving behind Midoriya's classmates in the process. They also believed that Midoriya had gotten way too strong in such a short amount of time.
7) The introduction of the New Order Quirk
Cathleen Bate might just be the most powerful hero in the world. She completely broke the power scale with the New Order Quirk, which allowed her to rewrite the laws of reality just by touching her targets. Her ridiculous ability seems more suitable for Hunter x Hunter, not My Hero Academia.
In regards to her powers, there were a lot of mixed reactions in the community. Supporters were amazed by her awesome super moves, while detractors thought she ruined the power system.
Many readers were also unsatisfied when she went down to Shigaraki in the Star and Stripe arc, arguing it was simply plot convenience.
8) Axis powers' birthday conspiracy
Believe it or not, there was a time when this was trending on social media. Twitter user @Object501 brought this up with the above tweet.
Basically, some of the main characters shared their birthdays with controversial historical figures and party formations:
- Izuku Midoriya was born on July 15th, the same day the Japanese Communist Party formed.
- Tomura Shigaraki was born on April 4th, the same day as Isoroku Yamamoto.
- Katsuki Bakugo was born on April 20th, the same day as Adolf Hitler.
- Enji Todoroki was born on August 8th, the same day as Kenji Doihara.
For context, this controversy happened right after Horikoshi apologized for the Ujiko incident. More than a few readers found this very questionable. However, there is also a possibility that some of them were simply trolls.
Meanwhile, other readers believe it's just a bizarre conspiracy theory based on nothing more than ridiculous coincidences. Keep in mind that within 365 days a year, somebody is bound to share a birthday with evil dictators.
9) Doctor Ujiko gets his name changed
Back in 2020, China banned My Hero Academia from its digital platforms. Chapter 259 revealed that Daruma Ujiko's real name was Maruta Shiga. This particular name struck a chord with Chinese readers.
Long story short, Unit 731 led a series of unethical experiments dating back to World War II. Test subjects also went by the name "Maruta," which translates to "logs" in the Japanese language. The death toll for Chinese prisoners ranged from 200,000 to 400,000.
Keep in mind that Ujiko also performs similar experiments in My Hero Academia, so the parallels were there. Horikoshi ended up apologizing for the incident, stating it wasn't his intention to reference Unit 731. Ujiko's name was changed to Kyudai Garaki shortly afterwards.
10) Endeavor’s redemption arc
To put this into perspective, Horikoshi ended up getting a few death threats over the Pro Hero arc. Without a doubt, this is the most controversial topic in My Hero Academia.
Fans will continue to argue whether or not Endeavor deserves a second chance in life. Remember, he was a physically and emotionally abusive monster to his family. For some people, this can never be forgiven, no matter what he does. It's a very touchy subject to even bring up on social media. Arguments typically devolve into a volley of insults very quickly.
My Hero Academia is approaching a very dark subject matter here, but it also resonates with a lot of people. It's no wonder so many fans get passionate when talking about it. Endeavor is a very polarizing figure in the community.
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