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My Hero Academia Creator Reveals It Only Took Him One Try to Debut

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Most manga creators have to submit numerous times to a magazine before it gets accepted but My Hero Academia’s Kōhei Horikoshi only needed one try.

My Hero Academia‘s Deku underwent 10 months of rigorous training to prepare his body to inherit One for All, but it only took Kōhei Horikoshi, My Hero Academia‘s mangaka, one single try to debut.

Horikoshi sat down for an interview for “The Shonen Jump Guide to Making Manga,” where he revealed it hadn’t taken him very long to make his debut in a magazine. “Just one work, thirty-one pages long,” the mangaka said. “The first manga I created was picked up. From there until my first serialization, I guess I had another one and a half series.”

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Akamaru Jump Published Horikoshi’s First Manga

Horikoshi’s first work Tenko published in Akamaru Jump, now known as Jump Giga, in 2007. Although Tenko was initially 31 pages long, the current one-shot is close to 50 pages. The work revolves around the story of Hana, an aspiring warrior who is constantly told by other men she cannot be one due to her gender, and Tenko, known as the Battle Vandal due to his ability to destroy things with only his touch. During a samurai attack, Tenko tragically loses his family and harbors an intense hatred for the warriors. With Tenko’s long straggly hair, broad toothy smile and terrifying powers, it’s easy to see which character My Hero Academia‘s villain Tomura Shigaraki came from.

Horikoshi’s next one-shot, released a year later in Akamaru Jump, entitled My Hero, drew from his love for American superhero comic books. That one-shot became the basis for the mega-popular series My Hero Academia, with the protagonist retaining the same surname as the main character in My Hero. The one-shot follows Jack Midoriya, a salaryman working at a company selling hero items. However, Jack dreams of becoming a hero one day.

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After another one-shot Shinka Rhapsody, Horikoshi tried his hand at serialized manga, starting with his first Oumagadoki Zoo, which appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 2010 to April 2011. The series follows a clumsy girl named Hana Aoi who discovers the zoo she’s working at is cursed. Initially a one-shot, his second series Barrage started serializing in Weekly Shōnen Jump from May to September 2012. Set on the planet Industria during a time of conflict between the aliens and humans, the story follows a kind-hearted orphan named Astro who meets his Doppelgänger in the runaway Prince Barrage. The series only ran for 16 chapters, bundled into two tankōbon volumes.

It Wasn’t All Success for Horikoshi

Disheartened after Barrage‘s cancelation, Horikoshi went back to My Hero. The work underwent numerous changes and concepts until it finally turned into My Hero Academia. Now one of the most popular manga series ever with over 65 million copies as of January 2023 and several volumes ranking on The New York Times Graphic Novels and Manga bestsellers list. My Hero Academia centers around Izuku Midoriya, a young boy who wants to be a hero, but without a Quirk, a superpower, that dream is a near impossibility. After the nation’s number one hero, All Might passes on his Quirk One for All to Midoriya, he’s able to finally grasp his dream, but in passing down his Quirk, All Might has also passed down a decades-long conflict to the young hero.

My Hero Academia is available to read on VIZ Media and Manga Plus.

Source: The Shonen Jump Guide to Making Manga

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