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My Hero Academia Character Gets Name Change Following Controversy

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Dr. Daruma Ujiko's full name references real WWII victims

My Hero Academia creator Kōhei Horikoshi will change the name of villain Daruma Ujiko after the character's real name was revealed as a reference to victims of human experimentation during World War II. The manga villain, who is shown to engage in human experimentation himself, had his full name revealed in chapter 259 as "Maruta Shiga."

"Maruta" refers to the code-name for human experimentation undertaken by the Imperial Japanese Army's Unit 731 during the Second Sino-Japanese War of World War II. The Chinese victims of the experiments were called "maruta," the Japanese word for "logs" as a reference to the facilities cover story that it was a lumber mill. Victims, including children, the elderly, pregnant women, and the mentally handicapped, were purposefully infected with diseases, dissected, lobotomized, and amputated while still alive.

Readers shared their shock at the reference. Horikoshi made an apologetic statement on social media on Monday and stated he will change the character's name.

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.

Weekly Shonen Jump issued a separate statement on Monday. The editorial staff wrote that the name was chosen with "no ill-intention" but after consulting with Horikoshi the character's name will be changed in future chapters and volume releases.

Dr. Ujiko made his first appearance as the creator of the Nomu in episode 33 of the My Hero Academia anime and chapter 59 of the manga.

Source: Polygon (Julia Lee), Horikoshi Twitter translation by @aitaikimochi

This article has a follow-up: My Hero Academia Manga, Anime Removed from Chinese Digital Platforms (2020-02-05 14:15)
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