“They’ll feel right personally”: Kohei Horikoshi Had a Very Specific Goal in Mind When Creating My Hero Academia Characters That He Refused to Compromise On

Kohei Horikoshi's unique character designs are the reason why My Hero Academia is so successful.

my hero academia


  • The individuality of Kohei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia is seen in the characters' unusual designs.
  • Horikoshi is well-known for his interesting character designs, and in an interview with Jujutsu Kaisen's Gege Akutami, he revealed the secret of his distinctive designs.
  • Horikoshi has been clear about his rule over character designs, and in some ways, their designs contribute to the overall progression of My Hero Academia.
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The uniqueness of Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia is reflected in the distinctive designs of the characters in the series. Every character, irrespective of their role in the series, has a certain character design that establishes an image about either their quirk or their personality, depending on which side they are on.

My Hero Academia.
My Hero Academia

Horikoshi is known for his intriguing character designs, and during an interview with Jujutsu Kaisen’s Gege Akutami, Horikoshi revealed the secret behind the unique character designs and how they reflect the quirk that they possess. The mangaka not only shared his process of creating the characters but also reflected on how they were relevant to the story.

Horikoshi has been quite adamant about his rule over the character designs, and in a way, these character designs help in the overall growth of My Hero Academia as one of the best anime and manga series of all time.


Kohei Horikoshi’s Idea of Creating a Character in My Hero Academia

Horikoshi gave an interview for Jump Giga 2022 Spring along with Gege Akutami which was translated and shared on Tumblr. Horikoshi was asked about his process of creating such great character designs, which in a way indicate what kind of quirk the characters possess, be they heroes or villains.

Horikoshi stated:

“I think designs become good when they have a motif that leaves a first impression. If you can incorporate things around you they’ll feel right personally, like Toga’s hair is a red spider lily. Even without that, I keep in mind things that, when talking with friends, can be understood even without saying a name, like “the one with the patchwork skin.” 

Dabi - My Hero Academia
Dabi – My Hero Academia

Seems he likes to create character designs that can easily define the character or their quirk. He even shared the example of Toga and her hairstyle and Dabi and the burn marks all over his body. These unique traits help develop an image of the character in the minds of fans, making it easy for them to remember the characters.


Kohei Horikoshi Has The Most Unique Character Designs in the Manga Industry

The ongoing story of My Hero Academia is spread over 400 chapters, and these chapters have introduced many unique character designs that make it easy for the fans to remember them and their quirks. Characters like Hawks and Tokoyami Fumikage have visible traits like wings or a crow-like face to establish that they have flight quirks.

Tokoyami - My Hero Academia
Tokoyami – My Hero Academia

Endeavor, Kirishima, and Todoroki have certain features that represent the elements that they use as quirks. Endeavor and Todoroki have fire coming out of their bodies, and Kirishima has hard skin that reflects his hardening quirk. But the main feature that reflects these quirks is their unique hairstyles, which make it easy to remember their quirk.

For any story that focuses on a world filled with superheroes, the most difficult task is to establish their identity, but Horikoshi managed to do that with his character designs. Kohei Horikoshi’s character design may not feel very realistic compared to other mangas, but it certainly helps in making the story better and easier to understand for My Hero Academia fans.


You can watch My Hero Academia on Netflix and Hulu.


Written by Tarun Kohli

Articles Published: 1275

Konichiwa! With a Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a 2-year experience in Digital media writing, I am on my way to becoming one of the biggest anime content writers in my country. My passion for writing and Anime has helped me connect with Fandomwire, and share my love and experience with the world.