Oka-LargeMasi Oka has become a hero to geeks around the world. Once a mild-mannered effects guy at ILM now he’s starring in TV smash HEROES as Hiro, a nerd who gets superpowers. In an LA Times profile, Oka visits Kinokuniya Books and points out his favorite mange:

Playing a comic-book-obsessed character has left Heroes’ Masi Oka with less time for one of his hobbies: comic books.

“I don’t get to come here often,” Oka says, browsing aisles of manga, the Japanese comic-book form, in Kinokuniya, a store in Little Tokyo.

Oka, who plays geeky Japanese office worker Hiro Nakamura on Heroes (NBC, tonight, 9 ET/PT), gave a reporter a quick primer, pointing out romance and adventure stories in Japanese and English, with different comics aimed at children, teenage girls and boys, and adults. He prefers the Japanese-language imports and especially likes the work of Naoki Urasawa, whose comics include Monster.

“Hiro’s a fanboy. I’m a geek. I love my manga. But Hiro is more extreme,” says Oka, 31, whose character’s popularity is underscored by hundreds of fan comments on Hiro’s blog at nbc.com.

Added nerd tidbit: George Takei will show up as Hiro’s dad.


  1. It’s official – Masi Oka is the Fanboy’s ultimate fanboy!

    – He likes comics

    – Get’s to play a comic character with super-powers on TV

    – Worked at ILM for George Lucas

    – And will have George Takei play his Father

    Now, if he can hook up with a hot chick on the rebound like Carman Elektra, Jessica Simpson, or Jennifer Anniston, Masi Oka can rule the world!

  2. If Masi’s a manga fan, can he explain why he’s playing a Japanese guy living in Japan who only speaks Japanese, and yet apparently only reads American monthly comics? Can anyone in Japan quote individual issues of X-Men?

    Of course, only a huge nerd like myself would be bothered by that. :)

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