Did You Catch The Akira Easter Egg In Creed 3?

Michael B. Jordan made his directorial debut with "Creed III," getting the chance to have the ultimate creative input to the trilogy he's been starring in since 2015. The "Rocky" films developed the blueprint for the ultimate underdog sports movie, and while the "Creed" trilogy obviously owes a great debt to the Sylvester Stallone-starring series that came before, it's clear that directors Ryan Coogler, Steven Caple Jr., and now Jordan have found their own ways to allow these new films to stand on their own. One of the biggest ways "Creed III" found its individuality was by incorporating elements of anime into the blocking, framing, and editing of the fight choreography. Jordan is a longtime fan of anime, frequently citing shows like "Dragon Ball Z" and "Naruto" as massive influences on his approach to directing the film, and even showing co-star Jonathan Majors some of his favorite anime before filming began.

But the love of anime doesn't stop there, as even the costume design for "Creed III" pays homage to one of the greatest and most beloved anime films of all time. Character sculptor and costume illustrator Raphael Imhotep took to Twitter earlier this week to talk about his contribution to the film, noting that costume designer Lizz Wolf reached out about possibly incorporating stylistic elements from Katsuhiro Otomo's "Akira" into Adonis Creed's boxing shorts:

"We took inspo from the design lines of Kaneda's classic fit, and [Michael B. Jordan] loved it," wrote Imhotep. By looking at the photos shared on Twitter, the inspiration is uncanny. It's also an absolute delight to see Jordan's fandom incorporated into his costuming, which has become somewhat of a trend in the world of professional wrestling.

Akira keeps inspiring

"Akira" is a seminal work of anime for a multitude of reasons, including its record-breaking use of color and the fact that live-action directors can't stop referencing the film in their work. Last year, Jordan Peele's "Nope" featured a shot-for-shot reimagining of one of the most memorable scenes in the anime, a motorcycle slide performed by Keke Palmer's Emerald Haywood that has been universally dubbed "the Kaneda slide," named after the character that also influenced Michael B. Jordan's trunks in "Creed III."

Kaneda is a perfect reference for both Adonis Creed and Em Haywood, as the character is utilized in "Akira" as a symbol of defiance against traditional authority. He's a bit impulsive, which often gets him in hot water, but despite his tough attitude, he's actually brave and incredibly empathetic ... especially toward those he cares about. By wearing those shorts or pulling off the bike slide, the message and power of Kaneda are lovingly remembered as an inspiration to us all.

"Creed III" is currently playing in theaters.