How Michael B. Jordan Used Anime To Make Creed 3

Michael B. Jordan loves anime, and with his directorial debut in Creed 3, he used famous tropes and scenes from Naruto and My Hero Academia while making trilogy closer.

By Douglas Helm | Published

jonathan majors creed 3

Michael B. Jordan often references his love for anime in interviews, but Creed III allowed him to finally take that love and put it on screen. Jordan makes his directorial debut with the Creed threequel, allowing him to incorporate anime inspiration in everything from fight scenes to character relationships. In an in-depth interview with Polygon, Jordan revealed how anime influenced his movie.

One of the strongest anime influences that Michael B. Jordan utilizes in Creed III is the relationship between Jordan’s Adonis Creed and Jonathan Majors‘ Damian “Diamond Dame” Anderson. The two were childhood friends who eventually became rivals, a trope often seen in shounen anime. Jordan mentions series like Naruto and My Hero Academia when discussing their relationship.

Naruto follows the titular ninja as he works toward his goal of becoming the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. By the end of the series, he becomes rivals with his friend and Team 7 team member Sasuke Uchiha, and that rivalry extends into the follow-up series Naruto: Shippuden. Michael B. Jordan often references his love for Naruto, so it’s no surprise he pulled from that series specifically.

The relationship between Deku and Bakugo in My Hero Academia also serves as inspiration for Michael B. Jordan. The two start as rivals, with the more hot-headed Bakugo eventually developing a mutual respect for his fellow hero course classmate. Another brotherly relationship Jordan references is Ed and Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, though that is a more protective (and literal) brotherly relationship rather than an antagonistic one.

michael b jordan
Michael B. Jordan in Creed III

Of course, a fighting movie like Creed III can also turn to anime for fight inspiration, which is one of the things the medium is best known for excelling in. Michael B. Jordan dove into details about how he mirrored the dynamic fight scenes from anime, using parallax cameras to give the fights a greater sense of motion and using special camera equipment to capture ramped slo-mo shots. There are even direct references to famous anime fights, such as a punch between Naruto and Sasuke in Shippuden (though fans initially thought the punch was referencing a battle from Dragonball Z).

There are some more overt anime references too, such as anime posters and figures in Adonis’ childhood bedroom. However, Michael B. Jordan said his “biggest anime swing” was when he showed Creed and Damian talking in an empty stadium while they battled in real life, mimicking the anime trope of the fighters having an implied emotional conversation while physically fighting. It definitely seems like Jordan went all-in with his attempt to bring anime into his directorial debut.

The next time a studio decides to make a live-action anime adaptation, it sounds like Michael B. Jordan will be the right guy for the job. In the meantime, you can check out his directing style in Creed III, which is now showing in theaters. The film stars Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Mila Davis-Kent, Selenis Leyva, and Florian Munteanu, along with Jordan and Majors.