This isn’t what I usually aim for, but sport is an art when the best players play and anime is Manga in motion and Manga is drawn so technically this fits the blog.
A lot has been written about Michael Jordan, both from an athletic and psychological perspective, but non of those I find satisfactory. In my view he’s best understood as – archetypal Shonen anime protagonist. In the proceeding text, I will show just how similar Jordan is to one of the most popular Shonen heros, the star of Dragon ball – Goku.
Michael Jordan is the tallest person in his family, by almost half a foot. His grandfather was barely five foot and couldn’t walk well with one of his legs. During high school Jordan was cut from the basketball team. Yes, there was a time when someone said, these twelve guys are better than Michael Jordan. When you look at Jordan’s genetics, never in a million years would one conclude that his family would give rise to the greatest basketball player who ever played the game.
Goku is a saiyan. The saiyan society is one where power reigns supreme. Nothing matters more . It’s sole focus is creating more powerful soldier with each generation. Their classes seem to be divided into groups based on their power, usually tested at birth. Goku was a average, low level saiyan baby. And they sent him to earth, in hope his Ozaru Form would bring enough destruction to wipe the Earth clean out of any sign of life. Nobody would have guessed that he would one day be the strongest saiyan ever.
Both of them, Jordan and Goku, shouldn’t have ended up being who they became. What made the difference for the both of them? The mentality. Both of them were absolutely dedicated to their craft all day, every day. They were not afraid of challenges, especially in casinos (just kidding). Nobody worked as hard as they did, nor as much as they did.
Both had a nemesis that forged their career /lives the most. Vegeta at the beginning for Goku and Isaiah Thomas for Jordan.
Clashes with those two lead them to their own destiny. It is only after the defeat at the hands of the Saiyans /Pistons that they really begin to train to their limits. Jordan hires Glover and spends an off season destroying himself in the gym. Goku with the help of Bulmas dad builds a gravity weight room, where he spends most of his time during his trip to Namek . After the off-season, Jordan can trash the Pistons and Goku is so beyond Vegeta that Vegeta can’t even fathom what’s happening.
In a way, they both died. Goku for real and Jordan in a sport way, he retired. But they couldn’t find peace without facing the challenge in what they do best. So Goku gets back from the dead and enters the martial arts tournament. Jordan starts playing again. Goku saves the world by reaching a new level, Super saiyan three. Jordan improves both as a player and especially as a team mate to lead his team to three more consecutive titles.