Trivia: Strange Origins

This is gonna be a bit of a short one since I’m working a bit on taxes, but sometimes in life we run into some strange connections and origins. Something you think is completely original actually has some fascinating inspiration behind it. One series I greatly enjoy is Boku No Hero Academia and I just found something really cool.

For those of you not in the know, Boku No Hero Academia is a manga/anime series drawn and written by Kohei Horikoshi. It takes place in a world where 80% of the world’s population has some form of superpower, referred to as a Quirk. In a world like this, superheroes are trained in hero school, the most prestigious of which is UA, based in Japan. The motto of the school is “Plus Ultra,” meaning to go beyond.

Now I imagine that most fans, like myself, assumed that this was merely a misuse/misunderstanding of English words. Its a thing that sometimes happens in anime and manga, especially in special attacks. Most fans probably don’t give the school motto a second thought, and neither did I…at least until I picked up Dan Brown’s Origin.

Origin is the latest novel of the Robert Langdon series, best known for The Da Vinci Code. At one point in the book, a character looks up at and ponders the Coat of Arms of Spain. To my great shock, this coat of arms has the exact same motto as UA, “Plus Ultra.”

After recovering from my astonishment, I dug a little deeper into the phrase “Plus Ultra.” Turns out, its not English, it’s Latin and literally translates to “Further Beyond.” It also appears to be a surprisingly common motto. Though its use in Spain’s coat of arms is the most prominent one, and probably where Horikoshi got his inspiration from, it also appears as the personal motto of philosopher Francis Bacon and the name of a special brigade composed of troops from five Spanish speaking countries. I definitely suggest you all do some further research, as the phrase dates back all the way to 1516.

Anyway, hope you all were just as pleasantly surprised as I was. Hopefully I’ll have something a bit more substantial next week.

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