Aespa’s Karina has apologized after receiving backlash for recommending “My Hero Academia” to her fans on a social media app last week without knowing the controversy surrounding the original name of one of its villains.
Latest development: The 23-year-old girl group member issued her apology on the social media app Bubble on Tuesday, in which she explained that she only learned about the controversy after making the recommendation.
“I don’t think I knew what kind of issue there was before because the character’s name was different,” Karina wrote.
What happened: Karina took to Bubble last week to recommend “My Hero Academia” (“Boku no Hero Academia”), an anime about a group of students who are studying and training to become heroes in a world where superpowers known as “quirks” are common.
Soon after, the K-pop star found herself in the middle of a backlash as many Chinese social media users reportedly called her out for the controversial anime that is also banned in China.
The controversy: The controversy started after Chapter 259 of the “My Hero Academia” manga revealed that the villainous Dr. Daruma Ujiko’s full name was “Maruta Shiga.”
The character’s name, “Maruta,” is reportedly the code name used for the test subjects under the Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731. The unit was responsible for several horrific experiments on human subjects between 1935 and 1945 during World War II.
Initial backlash: After the introduction, many manga readers immediately expressed outrage at the name, forcing the author Kohei Horikoshi to issue an apology and change the villain’s real name to Kyudai Garaki.
Other details: Since “My Hero Academia” has been banned in China due to the controversy, Karina also took to her official Weibo account to apologize to some of her Chinese fans.