The 5 Most Bizarre Character Designs in ‘My Hero Academia’

Lucas DeRuyter
TV Anime
TV Anime

My Hero Academia is a monumentally popular anime and manga series that manages to combine the creativity of Hunter X Hunter, the charm of Naruto, and the pacing of One Punch Man. The series also takes full advantage of its drawn and animated medium, giving us some of the best and most bizarre character designs in animation right now. These wacky appearances are the result of “quirks,” superhuman abilities that can alter a person’s physiology or appearance.

Here are the top five designs that help make My Hero Academia such an exceptional and memorable series.

Fumikage Tokoyami

Fumikage Tokoyami, the bird man.
Not the first bird man, but one of the best.

This bird-headed, edge-lord, 15-year-old boy is perhaps the best example of the bizarre character designs that appear in MHA. Tokoyami appears regularly in the show and will even get a few cool scenes in the upcoming third season if the show sticks closely to the plot of the manga.

It’s never really made clear why he has a bird-shaped head, but it probably has to do with his quirk Dark Shadow. This power allows Tokoyami to control the vaguely bird-shaped shadow monster that lives inside him. His passion for all things dark and gloomy might also be a result of Dark Shadow being more powerful outside of direct light. Tokoyami’s design and goth/emo attitude — a phase that afflicted us all in high school — make him an entertaining character to follow.

Tsuyu Asui

Frog girl hitting her classmate with her tongue.
Frog girl = best girl.

Asui is the frog girl taking over your Twitter and Tumblr feeds. Many fans claim that she is the best girl in the series, and there are a couple of legitimate points to that argument. Asui is responsible, smart, and her overall design is one of the most notable in the series.

Asui owes her amphibious appearance to her quirk Frog-Form. This quirk gives her the ability to stick to walls, extend her tongue, and hop long distances. Despite her appearance, her mannerisms are considered to be “cat-like’ by the author, Kohei Horikoshi. While she may not have many critical moments coming up on the show, she has already made a tremendous impact on the internet and fans of the series.

Manga Fukidashi

Speech-bubble guy having a conversation with schoolmates.
I have a lot of questions about this speech-bubble guy.

Fukidashi has not been featured too prominently on the show or in the manga. This makes sense, though, as it’s a bit difficult to characterize or add depth to a character with a speech bubble for a head. Even if he is meant to be a one-off joke character, his absurd design inspires so many questions.

Can he see? How does he eat? We know that his quirk is called “Comic,” but what exactly is his power and why does it make him look like that? These questions will probably go unanswered, but the mere fact that this character exists makes My Hero Academia’s world all the more intriguing and baffling.

Mina Ashido

Mina using her quirk Acid to attack.
Mina's design is kind of trippy.

Mina is another character who regularly appears in the series. Her pink skin and hair, black eyes, and yellow horns make her easy to spot. Apparently, her appearance is somewhat due to her quirk Acid, which allows her to secrete the corrosive substance from her skin.

While her current hero name is Pinky, she originally envisioned her moniker to be Alien Queen. This is a direct reference to the Xenomorphs from Ridley Scott’s Alien films. It’s easy to see how these films might have influenced Mina’s design, as she has a distinctly alien appearance and can produce deadly acid. Mina, of course, is far more adorable and lovable than even the cutest re-imaging of a Xenomorph, though.

Kenji Tsuragamae

Kenji Tsuragamae giving a thumbs up.
He takes a bite out of crime.

That’s right, McGruff the Crime Dog is in My Hero Academia! Or at least a character very clearly inspired by him. Kenji, only seen once so far in the series publication, is the chief of police in MHA. However, his quirky appearance and habits easily earn him a place on this list.

Kenji is a tall, imposing man with the face of a beagle. When you consider his authoritative position, appearance, and habit of saying “woof” every few sentences, it is no wonder many characters in the show don’t quite know how to interact with him. This makes his brief appearance all the more significant and entertaining.

My Hero Academia is an amazing anime and manga for a lot of reasons. However, its willingness to have bizarre and wacky-looking characters is one of its greatest charms. Rather than make the majority of characters aesthetically pleasing, the series instead tries to make them look as original and distinct as possible. This decision spotlights Horikoshi’s artistic ability and makes the series stylistically different from others in the genre.

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Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.