Anime

My Hero Academia creator honors Kobe Bryant with heartwarming tribute

by Brent Koepp

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My Hero Academia's creator Kohei Horikoshi paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, who passed away on January 26. The Japanese artist honored the Lakers star with a sketch that is truly fitting for an NBA legend.

Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter accident along with his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers. The legendary basketball player has had tributes pouring out from fans across the world.

Now one of anime's biggest artists, Kohei Horikoshi, has honored the Lakers star with a touching My Hero Academia sketch, showing just how inspirational Kobe really was.

Instagram: @kobebryant
The basketball star and his daughter passed away on January 26.

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My Hero Academia tribute to Kobe Bryant

On January 28, the Japanese artist uploaded a drawing to Twitter of My Hero Academia protagonist Izuku Midoriya. The artwork shows the hero flying through the air while carrying two children.

While at a glance it might look like a regular sketch, Horikoshi made a change to the character's shoes. Instead of his usual sneakers, the anime hero was wearing Nike footwear inspired by Bryant.

The talented artist didn't mention the Laker star in his tweet, but fans quickly picked up on the change in the main protagonist's foot apparel.

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The first Twitter user to notice the tribute, Connor Mitchell, exclaimed, "Did anyone notice Hori drew a Nike shoes for Izuku? Paying a respect for Kobe Bryant's passing."

Twitter: @ConnorHawks12
A fan picked up on the My Hero Academia drawing featuring Kobe's shoes.

As more fans began to recognize the heartwarming tribute, 'rexsvns' found a photo of Bryant wearing the inspired shoes, and made a comparison to the sketch side by side.

Twitter: @rexsvns
A MHA fan compared Kobe Bryant's shoe side by side with the sketch.

The tweet went viral, and saw over 6.2 likes and 1.2k retweet as My Hero Academia fans poured in to praise the nod to Bryant.

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The Lakers return to the Staples Center on January 31 for their first game since his passing, and will be celebrating the basketball player's life with a tribute.

Horikoshi's heartfelt drawing proves just how influential the NBA legend truly was, even touching the talented artist in all the way in Japan.