For a moment now, Creed III Director and star Michael B. Jordan has been quite open about his love of anime. The star spoke how he infused that love of anime into creed sequel style, and now that it’s playing in theaters, fans can see how much influence the anime has had on the film.
For starters, designer and concept artist Raphael Phillips took to Twitter to reveal that Adonis Creed’s shorts in the sequel drew inspiration from Akira the protagonist Shōtarō Kaneda in a red jacket.
The big gut-punch that Creed takes from Dame in the final battle is reminiscent of similar strikes from many anime that knock out the recipient – especially given the specific camera angle – but one in particular stands out that use of this attack comes in the form of Goku’s Meteor Smash against Frieza.
One of the most memorable moments from the last fight was the symmetrical punch that Dame and Creed exchanged – a moment seen in some anime, but Jordan specifically confirmed in reference to Naruto and Sasuke’s own exchange of punches. That said, it is also can be seen in Dragon Ball Super and in series like Fairy Tail and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5d.
The star and director is also mentioned that “the void,” the final fight scene where Creed and Dame suddenly find themselves in an empty stadium classroom, was “the biggest anime swing” he took. Jordan specifically compared the moment to the scene of Naruto: Shippuden where Naruto’s rival, Sasuke Uchiha, first encountered the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon Kurama within Naruto. Jordan said that scene in particular made him think, “Oh man, that’s dope, if I can think of a way to get these two guys out, and that’s where they’re going to have their final showdown.”
Even outside of these larger thematic references, Adonis’ childhood room at the start of the film is filled with anime merchandise. from Lupine the Third, Narutoand Robotech posters of Gundam models, the clear Jordan is the fond of all kinds of different anime in different times and genres.
Taking anime themes and visuals and adapting them into a major movie in a way that is accessible to non-anime fans is no easy task, but Michael B. Jordan has gone the extra mile. and made a film that uses the best and most recognizable anime tropes to great effect. Now we just have to wait and see if Adonis gets a JoJo Stand up to Creed IV.