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My Hero Academia's Creator Really Thought Fans Were Going To Hate This Character

Japanese artist Kōhei Horikoshi made a name for himself with "My Hero Academia," by far his most popular manga series and the only one to have gotten a TV adaptation. There's a whole slew of reasons one could come up with as to why the mangaka achieved recognition with his 2014 manga. One of them has to do with his characters and how they make us fall in love with them over and over again as they undergo numerous trials and tribulations.

Characters have the potential to live beyond the author's imagination and acquire a life of their own. In other words, the author cannot always control or accurately predict the kind of reception a character will get from the public. An author may have intended for a character to be loved but nevertheless, they can fail to inspire such emotion in the readers, and vice-versa. 

In "My Hero Academia," there's one such character that stunned Horikoshi with the fan reaction they received.

Horikoshi didn't expect Bakugo to be so popular

Of course, the character in question is none other than our Lord Explosion Murder Katsuki Bakugo, also affectionately known as Kacchan. Some fans may not know but Bakugo was almost completely different, imagined as gentle instead of rude. Although endowed with brutal honesty, Horikoshi decided that his initial draft was too dull, so he made the spiky-haired teen a brash jerk instead.

However, he didn't expect this jerk to become so well-loved by the fans. In an interview with Anime News Network, the mangaka said, "Bakugo has been a bit of a surprise. I assumed everyone would hate him, but it's been the opposite. In the character questionnaires we do, Bakugo comes in #1 most popular." Indeed, the hot-tempered high schooler has ranked first in most popularity polls both in Japan and the US

The thing about Bakugo is that he's more than a loudmouth 16-year-old. If there were no nuance to his character, he'd certainly be less popular. But as he explains in an older recorded interview, Horikoshi was mindful to give Bakugo the necessary "difficulties and setbacks" to fully reveal his depth, that there's more to him than the insolence and aggressiveness with which he presents himself. Bakugo is not evil or mean for the sake of being mean; according to Horikoshi, the character is simply quick to anger.

Despite the nasty temper, there is something endearing about a character who works so hard to make his childhood dreams come true — not to mention that Bakugo's combativeness is often accompanied by an equal dose of comedy.

Bakugo and the rest of class 1-A will be back in full force on October 1 when Season 6 premieres.