Japanese anime are some of the most influential pop culture icons in the world today.
Many of ONE Championship’s athletes were either introduced to anime as part of their youth or continue to watch it for leisure in adulthood.
With their intriguing style and interesting plots, here are three anime series that have entertained and inspired ONE superstars.
One of the most beloved series by fans, Dragon Ball has set an unrivaled benchmark for anime’s global success.
It has spawned four major television series, a web show, and 18 stand-alone films. Led by the eternal Goku, Dragon Ball follows his adventures in becoming one of the strongest Saiyans ever and protecting the universe from different threats.
Singaporean Featherweight Champion Benedict Ang is a huge Dragon Ball fan and draws inspiration from the main character’s journey.
“The theme is all about constant self-improvement and accepting all challenges openly, which is very important in martial arts,” Ang said.
“While Goku is everyone’s favorite because he’s the strongest hero, a more relatable character would be Vegeta because he keeps trying to better himself.
“If you remember when I was competing, and I had changed my hair color – that was also because of Dragon Ball!”
Many fans around the world are familiar with Hanamichi Sakuragi and his Shōhoku High School basketball team’s quest to become the best in their district.
Sakuragi had to battle hard against youthful indiscretions and delinquencies to lead the team to victory. Through perseverance and commitment to basketball, he was able to turn his life around.
The series has garnered broad appeal among Philippine youth who treat basketball like a religion.
“I love Slam Dunk,” he said. “I love its storytelling, and the characters are all lovable and funny. Then, of course, you have Sakuragi, their lead character.”
Attack On Titan
Attack On Titan re-envisions a bleak future, a world where humans are under siege by giants called “Titans,” and the remaining survivors seek refuge behind a series of walls as they struggle to rebuild their lives and fend off attacks.
Their only hope is protagonist Eren Yeager, a boy who discovers the hidden ability to transform into a Titan, and with it, a chance to rewrite humanity’s fate.
“The hero of the anime named ‘Eren’ turns into a Titan, and I heard that my body is the model of the shape of the Titan. I am so honored by it!” he said.
The welterweight athlete also appreciates how anime inspires him to be creative in his own martial arts training.
“Anime allows us to imagine freely,” he said. “I think mixed martial arts is also the type of art with no limits. Receiving the stimulation from its freewheeling thinking and storyline, I would like to continue trying to develop my one and only style of martial arts.”
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