Michael B. Jordan is riding a winning streak. He both directed and acted in Creed 3, and he’s showing off some of his anime influences in the big fight scenes between his character—Adonis Creed—and Jonathan Majors’ Damian Anderson. Jordan revealed to Polygon that he took a lot of inspiration from Episode 450 of Naruto Shippuden.
Jordan’s such a big fan of anime that he spoke at length with his co-star about the “complexities of the friendships” between the characters. In an interview with entertainment.ie in which he spoke about Jordan’s love of anime, Majors beautifully described not only the moment in between Naruto and Sasuke in that episode, but also explained the three-tier framework for watching over-the-top anime battles—as a fight between friends, between allegiances, and also between two greater, warring narratives that have taken hold across the story.
Jordan also told Polygon that he watches anime “every day” and he has a library of inspiration to draw from. “I just have a highlight reel of moments from my favorite anime constantly running through my head that, you know, if it makes sense and it fits with the movie, I just pull from that for inspiration.” He also listed examples of friendships and rivalries that helped inform the dynamic between Creed 3‘s two main characters, including Ed and Alphonse (Full Metal Alchemist), Goku and Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z), and Bakugo and Midoriya (My Hero Academia).
When the interviewer cites a parallel between Creed 3 and another anime—Jujutsu Kaisen—that was totally unintentional, Jordan becomes affusive again, “Anime is… not broad, but it’s so layered that people will naturally make those connections that make the most sense to them.”
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.