Controversy arises over aespa’s Carina recommending ‘My Hero Academia’ to a fan

Carina from aespa Group Faces Controversy Over Anime Recommendation

By Jeon Jeon, Money Today Reporter | June 27, 2023, 6:11 PM

Carina, a member of the popular K-pop group aespa, recently found herself embroiled in controversy after recommending the anime series ‘My Hero Academia’ to a fan. The anime, commonly referred to as ‘Nahia,’ had previously faced backlash for its portrayal, reminiscent of the Japanese military’s human experiments during World War II.

In a post on the fandom platform Bubble, Karina addressed the issue, expressing her unawareness of the controversy surrounding the anime. She stated, “I recently discovered that there were issues with the anime I recommended. The character’s name was different, so I was unaware of the problems beforehand. I sincerely apologize for any unintended offense caused.”

The controversy surrounding ‘My Hero Academia’ began in February 2020 when it was revealed that one character’s name, ‘Shiga Maruta,’ had connections to the Japanese Army Unit 731’s human experiments. The term “Maruta” was used to describe the victims of these experiments, which resulted in the sacrifice of thousands of individuals from various nationalities.

In ‘My Hero Academia,’ the character ‘Shiga Maruta’ appears as a villain who kidnaps children and conducts destructive experiments on them. This depiction led to speculation among some viewers that the writer may have intended to reference the Unit 731 experiments. Social media platforms, including Twitter, saw hashtag campaigns demanding an apology from the series author, Horikoshi.

The editorial department of the Japanese manga magazine ‘Weekly Shonen Jump,’ which serializes ‘My Hero Academia,’ responded to the controversy by explaining that ‘Shiga’ was also part of other character names, and ‘Maruta’ referred to the character’s chubby appearance, having no connection to the historical reference. However, they acknowledged that the naming choice had inadvertently caused discomfort among foreign readers in China and Korea.

The magazine’s editorial department expressed deep regret and committed to revising the character’s name to prevent similar issues in the future. They also vowed to make an effort to better understand diverse histories and cultures.

‘My Hero Academia’ has been a popular manga series since its serialization in ‘Shonen Jump’ in 2014. With over 85 million copies sold, it has become a global phenomenon, spawning television adaptations and garnering a large fanbase in Korea under the name ‘Hiroaka’.

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Reporter Jeon Jeon, Money Today | 2023.06.27 18:11

Carina from the aespa group departs from Incheon International Airport on the morning of the 7th for New York, USA on an overseas schedule. 2023.06.07 / Photo = Reporter Lim Seong-gyun tjdrbs23@ Group Espa Carina recommended the animation ‘My Hero Academia’ (hereafter referred to as ‘Nahia’) to a fan, but it was the subject of controversy. This is because ‘Nahia’ has been controversial for its portrayal which is reminiscent of the Japanese military’s human experiments during the Second World War in the past.

In an article posted on the fandom platform bubble on the 27th, Karina explained that she recently recommended ‘Nahia’ to a fan.

Karina said, “I found out late that there was a problem with the anime I recommended. The character’s name was different, so I don’t think I know what the issues were before. I wish,” he said.

‘Nahia’ became controversial in February 2020 when it was revealed that one character’s name was ‘Shiga Maruta’ (志賀丸太). Maruta means ‘log’, and is the name given to human experiments by the Japanese Army Unit 731 during the Second World War.

Unit 731 is known to have been experimenting on around 600 people every year since 1940. At least 3,000 victims are said to have been sacrificed in the live experiment, including Koreans, Chinese, Russians, and Mongolians.

In ‘Nahia’, ‘Shiga Maruta’ appeared as a villain who kidnaps children and remodels their bodies to create a monster called Brain, and some speculated that this was the writer’s intention. Accordingly, on social media such as Twitter, hashtag campaigns such as ‘Horikoshi (author) Maruta apologize’ and ‘#APOLOGIZE_HORIKOSHI’ were carried out.

Regarding this, the Japanese manga magazine ‘Weekly Shonen Jump’, which serializes ‘Nahia’, said, “Shiga is part of the names of other characters, and ‘Maruta’ is a name given because of his fat appearance. There was nothing at all. ,” he explained.

However, “The setting of the character ‘Doctor from a bad institution’ matched the name, causing many foreign readers in China and Korea to feel unpleasant. The editorial department had to revise the expression in thoroughly. I am very sorry,” he said “I will change my name. I will make an effort to deeply understand various histories and cultures to prevent this from happening in the future.”

‘My Hero Academia’ has been serialized in ‘Shonen Jump’ since 2014. So far, 38 books have been published, which sell more than 85 million copies, and are popular, such as being produced as television animations. It is also known as ‘Hiroaka’ in Korea and enjoys great popularity.

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