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My Hero Academia Manga, Anime Removed from Chinese Digital Platforms

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The name of a My Hero Academia villain reopened wounds in China leading to the series' manga and video game to be pulled. 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.

Horikoshi and Shueisha both issued apologies on Monday and promised that the character's name would be changed in in future chapters and volume releases. Horikoshi wrote in his apology that he did not intend to reference the war crimes of Unit 731.

The outcry at the character's name choice began prior to the manga's official release on February 3, suggesting that unofficial scans of the pages were distributed. IT journalist Shuji Shinohara wrote that he was able to find scans in Korean uploaded as early as January 31. Chinese digital manga services bilibili manga and Tencent Comics have removed its webpages for the manga series and the anime is no longer streaming on bilibili's video service either. Prior to the anime's removal, its bilibili page received an influx of negative reviews dropping it down to a 3.7 out of 10 rating.

English-language news service Abacus reached out to bilibili and Tencent regarding the manga's removal from its services. bilibili stated that the removal was "“in accordance with China's policies” but declined to comment further. Tencent did not respond to Abacus' request for comment.

The upcoming action RPG mobile game My Hero Academia: Strongest Hero was currently in development by Chinese studio Xin Yuan but it has since been removed from its TapTap studio page. My Hero Academia: Strongest Hero would have been the studio's first game release and Tencent was set to publish the game. Xin Yuan has not officially announced the game's cancellation.

Source: Yahoo! News Japan (Shuji Shinohara), Abacus News (Josh Ye)

This article has a follow-up: Shueisha Issues Formal Apology for My Hero Academia Character's Name (2020-02-07 17:45)
follow-up of My Hero Academia Character Gets Name Change Following Controversy
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