A significant part of my hero academiaIts appeal stems from its similarities to Western comics. For many anime newcomers, the premise of superheroes enduring all odds to bring justice to their society is all too familiar. However, it also retains several anime tropes that guarantee its place among the best shonen stories. my hero academia mangaka Kohei Horikoshi has been candid about his admiration for Western comics, having divulged his fondness for Spider-Man in particular on several occasions.
Horikoshi’s love for Spider-Man is so great that the crawler was featured in the MHA the very first chapter of the manga. While explaining how Quirks required the hero profession, a collage of several different hero silhouettes was shown. He bore similarities to DC and Marvel characters, including one that was undoubtedly Spider-Man. These inspirations revealed themselves early and often.
my hero academiaThe main character of, Midoriya Izuku, is similar to Spider-Man in many ways. Both started out with very little power except for their keen intelligence. The best part of both of their journeys involves them figuring out how to use the great power they’ve suddenly stepped into to take on the responsibilities that come with it.
Interestingly, the similarities between Deku and Spider-Man don’t end there. Even though One For All’s super strength is too general to attribute to Spider-Man’s increased strength, his secondary Quirks are directly modeled after his other abilities. Blackwhip allows Deku to swing from buildings much like Spider-Man does, while Danger Sense serves the same purpose as Spidey-Sense.
MHASpider-Man’s inspiration doesn’t stop with Deku, either. From Class 1-A, Sero Hanta and Tsuyu Asui have abilities that are usually associated with Peter Parker. Sero’s web holds enemies and swings like Spider-Man, and Tsuyu’s Quirk gives her all the features of a frog. An animal’s proportional strength and ability to stick to walls is a rather tricky way to reference the Marvel hero.
Like some of his characters, my hero academiaThe art of often contains subtle and overt references to Spider-Man. For the cover of MHAof manga Volume 9, Horikoshi paid homage to the Ultimate Spider-Man series with a jaw-dropping poster featuring Tokoyami Fumikage, Muscular, and Deku. This cover was modeled after the Venom Premiere edition cover. The way Deku struggles with Muscular resembles Spider-Man’s struggle with Venom.
On a more subtle note, Horikoshi chose to celebrate Hitoshi Shinso’s recent return to history by drawing him in one of Spider-Man’s signature poses. When he was approached by his classmates in the General Studies class, they found him hanging upside down from a tree branch supported by his bookbinding cloth. It was a singular panel that hasn’t been subsequently referenced, but eagle-eyed fans will notice that Shinso was in Spider-Man’s favored position when lowering himself from a height.
Horikoshi seems to like the live-action Spider-Man movies as much as the comics. my hero academia manga fans remember when mangaka sprang Spider-Man: No Coming Home in a recent author’s note, calling it “all-time favorite movie”.
He also recently revealed the inspiration behind the design of fan-favorite character Monoma Neito. Apparently he was inspired by Dane Dehaan, the actor who played Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s a connection that was nearly impossible to make independently, but seemed as clear as day once Horikoshi mentioned it.
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