Weekly Shonen Jump has officially updated the name of a My Hero Academia villain as promised after some readers perceived his original name as a reference to Japanese war crimes committed during World War 2.
Previously, the evil doctor supporting the League of Villains from the shadows was named Maruta Shiga, a name composed of the Japanese kanji character for ‘round’ and ‘fat’ and a reference to his former leader Shigaraki, better known as the villain All for One.
However, this name caused offense to some Korean and Chinese readers, as the word ‘maruta’ translates literally to “log” or “wood,” who believed that the name was an intentional reference to the human experimentation performed on captives by the Japanese Imperial Army at Unit 731.
As these readers grew outraged, My Hero Academia mangaka Kohei Horikoshi and Weekly Shonen Jump publisher Shueisha offered apologies and informed fans that they would be updating the name in the digital version of the chapter and in all media going forward.
As of February 10th, the change has been completed, and the evil scientist now bears the name ‘Kyudai Garaki’:
This new name still keeps the naming convention originally intended by Horikoshi. ‘Kyudai’ uses the kanji for ‘big’ and ‘ball,’ while ‘Garaki’ references the other half of Shigaraki’s name and uses the kanji for ‘tree.’
What do you make of his new name?