We all know her because of her iconic verses on “WAP” and “Body,” but only the real g’s know where Megan Thee Stallion gets her inspo: anime.
It’s no secret how Megan is a pretty big weeb herself. She’s open about it on social media and drops visual Easter eggs in her music videos. This Paper magazine photoshoot of her as Shoto Todoroki from “My Hero Academia” still lives in our minds rent-free, but Icy Hot isn’t actually her fave.
I’d probably have expected Todoroki since she did that photoshoot. I took a guess that maybe it’s one of the strong female characters, like the bunny hero Miruko. But no―it’s actually Midoriya Izuku, the formerly quirkless main character.
In a recent interview with Amazon Music, Megan talked about the creative process behind her new album “Good News,” including a bit about her own struggles in life, which she likened to Midoriya’s hero journey.
“In ‘My Hero Academia,’ you get to see Midoriya go from a bunch of ‘no no no’s,’ ‘you’ll never be able to do this,’ ‘you’ll never have a quirk to be the baddest b.’ I feel like that applies to my life,” Megan said. “You know, sometimes you gotta hear a lot of ‘no no no’s’ and it only makes you go harder to be the best.”
In case you’re not that into anime, “My Hero Academia” is set in a world where everyone has a unique power called a quirk, but the main character Midoriya Izuku doesn’t have one, which earned him the nickname “Deku” or “useless person.”
But you know the story never stops there for an underdog; he eventually finds a way to gain a quirk and is now part of a class of high school kids training to be professional heroes someday.
A lot of people dislike Deku for a shonen main character. Perhaps it’s because he’s too pure-hearted, persistent and not as easy to relate to. But Megan isn’t wrong for calling Deku the “baddest b” either, because he really is: Imagine getting bullied all your life for something you have no control over only for your eventual growth to be your best revenge?
The thing is, it’s different for every shonen protagonist. They’re not all justice-seeking heroes or hot messes who always seem to conveniently save the day at the end: Naruto lacks common sense a lot of the time, Eren from “Attack on Titan” can be a little too angsty, and Ichigo from “Bleach” didn’t even have a goal at the beginning.
There’s no one-size-fits-all mold for the perfect shonen hero, but there are qualities in each of them just as valid that a lot of people can still identify with.
Stills from “Body” MV and “My Hero Academia”