This article discusses sensitive topics, such as war and violence.
Aespa's Karina has apologized for speaking about My Hero Academia in a positive light.
Karina, who hails from the four-member K-Pop group Aespa, was recently subjected to backlash from fans after she spoke about watching My Hero Academia. Her social media platforms were instantly flooded with fans, particularly those of Chinese descent, for mentioning My Hero Academia, as one of the characters from the anime is named after one of the worst war crimes in World War II. Karina has since apologized.
In her apology, as translated by Koreaboo, Karina explained she had not been aware of the history behind the name as the character's name had been changed. "I did not recommend it with any intentions, so I hope there [are] no misunderstandings," she said. "In the future, I'll become a more careful Karina such that I can share more good information with MYs [Aespa's fandom name]."
The character in question is Dr. Kyudai Garaki, the evil scientist from the League of Villains who experimented on humans and turned them into Nomus. His original alias was Maruta Shiga, which translates to "log" backwards. This term was a code name associated with the victims who were routinely dehumanized and experimented upon in Unit 371, a biological and chemical warfare unit of the Japanese armies during World War II. It has been denoted to be one of the most heinous and horrific war crimes committed by Japanese armies. Unit 371 and its related programs killed approximately half a million people and left no survivors, the majority of which were Chinese victims with a lesser minority consisting of Russian, Mongolian and Korean victims. As a result, China has banned the My Hero Academia manga and anime.
Shōnen Jump, which publishes the My Hero Academia manga, issued an apology on Feb. 3, 2020, stating they would change the character's name. Since then, the series has renamed the doctor to Daruma Ujiko and his name has been updated in the digital and physical releases. Mangaka Kōhei Horikoshi also issued his own apology on his social media account.
"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," Horikoshi's statement reads, via a translation by Audrey (@/aitaikimochi). "I did not intend for that name to be associated as such. I take this matter very seriously and will change the name."