The creator of My Hero Academia, Kohei Horikoshi, shared a very interesting detail regarding one of his most appreciated characters, the American No. 1 hero Star and Stripes, which creates a connection between the hit superhero manga and the most famous shonen, Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball.
Star and Stripe, whose real name is Cathleen Bate, was introduced as the first prominent non-Japanese hero in My Hero Academia. With Shigaraki Tomura’s body nearly complete, All Might requests immediate aid from the foreign heroes. America’s No. 1 Pro Hero, Star and Stripe, immediately goes to Japan to defeat the villain and help her friend and role model, All Might. Tomura, however, is prepared to fight Star and steal her powerful Quirk, New Order, for the sake of his master All for One. New Order allowed its users to set a rule onto themselves or their surroundings, allowing them to manipulate and bestow new properties onto people or objects. For example, Star used her powers to manipulate the air in her surroundings, creating giant constructs or depriving Tomura of oxygen.
In the recently published volume 34 of the manga, Horikoshi included some extra sketches and drawings, including character design studies and comments on their origins. These were all shared by Twitter user Atsu (@Atsushi101X), who is a loyal My Hero Academia fan. In Star’s case, the author shared a concept sheet accompanied by some very interesting bits of information. Star and Stripe styles her hair on the example of All Might’s, who she idolizes, and her hairstyle changes depending on what rule she is imposing on herself through her quirk. More interesting, Horikoshi revealed that he created Star and Stripe’s powers specifically to have in his manga a grand-scale battle similar to those appearing in Dragon Ball.
Dragon Ball is the grandfather of modern shonen manga. It popularized many of the genre tropes, such as the characters growing stronger through training and battling increasingly powerful enemies. It is only natural that Horikoshi, just like many of his peers, draws inspiration from Akira Toriyama’s masterpiece, but his focus on the creative use of the heroes’ unique abilities makes My Hero Academia‘s battles look very different from Dragon Ball‘s famous all-out smash fests. The clash between Star and Shigaraki, in fact, felt quite different from the other fights in the manga: it takes place in the sky, with the fighters riding jetplanes, and giant constructs throwing lasers around. This difference now makes sense, as the author wanted to try his hand at a Dragon Ball-scale battle, and Star and Stripe’s almost limitless power made this possible.
In the past, Horikoshi shared a sketch with the heroes from class 1-A relaxing while reading Akira Toriyama’s manga, so he is obviously a great Dragon Ball fan. Perhaps this will open up, in the future, to a cooperation of the two franchises in an official crossover, so fans of Dragon Ball and My Hero Academia should keep their hopes up.
Look for the latest chapter of My Hero Academia now available in English on Viz’s Shonen Jump app.
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