The world of Naruto, the popular anime franchise that follows the ninja protagonist through the Hidden Leaf Village of Konoha, has made a number of appearances in the world of sports, and now a National Football League Star, LJ Collier of the Seattle Seahawks, has gone on record how the seventh hokage inspires him to overcome hardships! With three anime series under its belt, the franchise has appeared on merchandise through players wearing Konoha inspired sneakers within the NBA, visors that have appeared within the NFL, and more instance than we can count in all sporting events!
LJ Collier first joined the Seattle Seahawks last year, playing as a defensive end for the team and in being interviewed by Crunchyroll revealed his love of the Hidden Leaf Village of Konoha alongside the medium of anime in general. Noting series such as Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia, Attack On Titan, One Piece, Death Note, and Fairy Tail to name a few. In detailing his favorite characters from the medium of anime, he discusses the likes of Midoriya, Luffy, and Goku but takes a special note for the seventh hokage and how the jinchuuriki helps to inspire him to overcome:
"Honestly, Naruto is a favorite too. He was so hated. He was alone and had no one and overcame everything. He’s the definition of speaking things into existence. Still became the greatest. Becoming hokage? It was beautiful."
Though Naruto is no longer the main protagonist of the anime franchise, handing off the baton to his son Boruto, it's clear that the young ninja of Konoha has continued to influence anime fans around the world, with some even being professional athletes and celebrities. Michael B. Jordan, the actor who brought to life the films of Creed and Just Mercy, released a clothing line that was inspired by the ninjas of Konoha.
John Boyega, of Star Wars and Attack The Block fame, has expressed his love of Naruto throughout his career, even recently taking to social media letting his followers know that he had recently attempted to get into the sequel series of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, but found that the new adventures of the next generation of ninja simply wasn't for him.
What do you think of this heart warming interview with LJ Collier? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the Hidden Leaf Village of Konoha!