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The Two Female My Hero Academia Characters Who Were Originally Going To Be Male

If you're an artist or are well acquainted with someone who is, you will surely know that certain creative processes like world-building and character creation do not happen in isolation and are subject to numerous changes until the creator is satisfied. Like all artists, Kōhei Horikoshi, the mind behind the immensely popular manga and anime series "My Hero Academia," is not immune to the trials and errors of coming up with a story worth telling. But unlike some creative minds who do not like to peel back the veil on their art and expose the steps that led up to the final product, Horikoshi has never been standoffish with his fans. Instead, the mangaka has seemed intent on maintaining a dialogue with his readers by often adding original sketches and interesting conversational tidbits at the end of his manga volumes.

As if being rewarded for making it to the end of a volume, Horikoshi's readers are presented with juicy facts about the world of "My Hero Academia," its quirky inhabitants, and the steps that led to its creation. At the end of volume 2, "Rage, You Damned Nerd", the author shares some thoughts on how he came up with certain characters from UA's Class 1-A, including that two of them were originally conceived as the opposite gender.

Stealth Hero and Rainy Season Hero

That's right, the two females in the hero course class 1-A who were originally supposed to be male are Tsuyu Asui, aka Froppy (Aoi Yūki), and Toru Hagakure, aka Invisible Girl (Kaori Nazuka). In Volume 2's Omake, the equivalent of chapter 17.5, Horikoshi provided the character profiles for nine characters: Yuuga Aoyama, Toru Hagakure, Tsuyu Asui, Minoru Mineta, Nº 13, Mashirao Ojiro, Present Mic, Shoto Todoroki, and Momo Yaoyorozu.

Horikoshi writes: "Originally, she was conceived as male, but then I thought 'wouldn't it be interesting if she were a girl!'" On the other hand and right on the following page, Asui is drawn in a comfy-looking winter outfit as "she's sensitive to the cold," something which is fully shown during the Provisional Hero License Exam Arc. On this page, Horikoshi shares how he felt psyched that he had finally managed to come up with a "frog person" and that "once again... was originally conceived as a guy."

For representation's sake

Horikoshi explained that Asui was made female due to the lack of women in the class. Indeed, even with these changes, the girls in class 1-A are still less than half the boys — six compared to 14 guys.

Although Horikoshi undeniably writes interesting and compelling characters, one fair criticism that can be raised of his most popular series is that, compared to the male characters, the female characters are not only fewer but they often take secondary or backseat roles. For example, none of them made it to the podium at the end of the Sports Festival Arc and none of the top three heroes in Japan is a woman — the highest ranking female is the unquestionably fierce Mirko. Therefore, for the sake of representation in "My Hero Academia," Horikoshi's decision to change these two characters' genders was not only reasonable, but may very well have contributed to expanding the demographic appeal of this beloved story of heroes and villains.