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This might come as a surprise to you, but Michael B. Jordan is a massive anime fan. He grew up watching it and, every now and again, those shows serve as inspirations for his acting choices for certain roles. Case in point, Jordan used the super popular Dragon Ball Z as inspiration for a moment in Creed II in which his character Adonis needs to get back up again. Here’s how Jordan explains it:
Last year, Michael B. Jordan reprised his role as Adonis Creed in the sequel Creed II. This time around, Adonis found himself facing Viktor Drago, the son of the man who killed Adonis’ father in the ring. This being a Rocky movie, there’s a training montage where Adonis falls down, but gets back up again. Getting back up again is a theme of Rocky, which it shares in common with Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball Z is an action anime about Goku, a gentle-hearted member of an extinct warrior race whose ultimate goal is to be the best fighter. Overcoming his limits is pretty much his whole thing. While Goku’s fights tend to be a bit more high-stakes than Adonis’ and involve laser beams, fast-paced fist fights, and destroyed planets, Jordan still found a way to connect the two franchises.
Michael B. Jordan finally gets to star in an anime of his very own. In a promotional interview for Rooster Teeth’s new series gen:LOCK, on which Jordan provides his voice, Jordan said that Dragon Ball Z was a favorite anime of his (and mine!). In fact, there’s a specific moment in the series that inspired him during a montage for Creed II.
Michael B. Jordan is referencing a pretty specific Dragon Ball Z moment and I’ll break it down as best I can. Goku’s son, Gohan, is fighting Cell, a powerful android hell-bent on the destroying the Earth. Goku is dead at this point, so only Gohan can stop Cell. The two of them enter a giant beam struggle (a series staple), but Gohan has a injured arm. Thanks to his will and support from his friends, Gohan overcomes his limits and kills Cell. That idea of never giving up is pretty relatable and one can see how that would apply to a boxing movie.
Creed II isn’t in theaters anymore but you are in luck! Dragon Ball has been going through a resurgence over the last few years, and it’s new movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is still in theaters. It’s really rad, so check it out if you’ve got a chance!