fun fact: i originally read Oumagadoki Zoo around the time when it first came out, about 6-7 years ago (around 2010-11)
i was still in highschool.
that was also Horikoshi’s first official weekly debut. sadly, it was canceled not long after along with his second series (Oumagadoki at 38 chapters, and Barrage at 12), but i’m so glad he’s continued on even past these failures and went on to create MHA
i always knew that dude had a lot of potential, and i’m so glad he kept going until now
the only reason it took me so long to touch MHA was because Oumagadoki and Barrage were canceled soon after they started, and i didn’t want to get my hopes up only to have them crushed again. (also, because while Oumagadoki had a lot of heart in it, Barrage felt very forced and uninteresting to me. i was worried the new series might have that same feel in it’s writing style; Horikoshi even went on to say that he didn’t enjoy writing Barrage.
thankfully, MHA has never had that feeling to it. you can tell how much Horikoshi enjoys writing it, and he puts so much heart and care in the story and the characters. you can just tell how much he loves writing MHA.)
also, as sad as i am that Oumagadoki got cancelled after only 38 chapters, i think it really helped Horikoshi hone his writing skills, because a lot of what he put into Oumagadoki has been reused in MHA. things like character designs, traits, development, and plot points that originally appeared in Oumagadoki have all been reused and reinterpreted in MHA in new and interesting ways.
the biggest i can think of are Shiina’s childlike mentality vs. Shigaraki’s (and the circumstances that lead to it), and how Shishidou started out as an aggressive character obsessed with being Number One who eventually mellowed and became more of a friend to the cast vs. Bakugou’s own similar character development.
but that’s hardly the end of it
not to mention, look at his art development.
the top pic is his first published colorspread for Oumagadoki (and his first published colorspread EVER). the bottom is for MHA that was published about a year ago. that’s only a few years difference, about maybe 4-5? maybe??
he originally started out using traditional art like most of his fellow mangaka, but he obviously had a hard time using copics and markers. but somewhere along the way, he switched to digital; he still draws the outline traditionally with an ink pen, but all the coloring is done digitally, and it has done WONDERS for his art
a comparison between Oumagadoki’s first colored chapter cover vs. one of My Hero Academia’s.
the dude has improved A LOT.
idk where this post is going, haha. Horikoshi is just a dude i’ve been following since i was about… 15-16? i’m an adult now, and i’m following his current series, which is getting so much attention and it’s so well written and it just passed it’s 100th chapter and it’s actually popular
i followed Oumagadoki Zoo week by week, hoping that it would raise a little in the rankings so it wouldn’t get canceled, only for it to end prematurely
My Hero Academia has just hit it’s 120th chapter, is about to air the second season of it’s anime, and already has a dub for the first.
i’m just really proud of Horikoshi and how far he’s come. despite failing twice, he continued on, and now he’s onto his third series and he’s doing such a good job with writing his characters and his story. people are finally appreciating his work.
and his story is unique; yes, it’s similar to what we’ve seen before, but he’s so good at manipulating and subverting common shonen tropes, and he’s telling this Hero’s Journey in a way that we’ve never seen in this genre before. the mentor doesn’t die, the mother actually has a say in her son’s life, the characters are actually punished and rewarded for their actions instead of having them brushed over, etc. the young character’s mental health is actually a THING and treated seriously.
so yeah, i’m just… really proud of Horikoshi. he’s come so far and improved so much. i wanted for so long for him to have a series that became popular, and he did. i kinda grew up with this guy and saw the potential he had, even as he failed and failed, but i had hoped, dearly hoped, that he would finally break through and get his day
and he has.
i’m just…. so proud of Horikoshi, you guys. so proud