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What anime should the Celtics Watch Part II

A Second Very Serious and Important Post

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It’s off-topic time on CelticsBlog and writers are being given free reign to discuss things that are important to them. In today’s post, Andrew Doxy and Sam Sheehan will finish making the recommendations they started in Part I, which can be found here.

”You can have our anime recommendations if you can find them. Doxy and I left them all in this One Piece.”

Recommendation for Jayson Tatum

Sam Sheehan: For the youngest member of the Boston Celtics, I’m going to be recommending something that might seem wildly incorrect at first blush. Tokyo Ghoul is an anime that centers around Ken Kaneki, a young, introverted boy whose life is inverted when a surgery results in him becoming a superhuman creature called a ghoul. Kaneki can no longer eat regular food and instead must become a flesh eating monster in order to survive. While the premise may sound campy and silly, the show evolves into an interesting examination on personal change and deciding what kind of person you want to be.

Jayson Tatum has always fascinated me as a player, and one of the biggest factors of that is the seeming personality dichotomy that he has. One the one hand, there’s the Jayson Tatum in the public eye, the Tatum who carries himself with a humble “aww gee shucks” demeanor and takes cute photos with his son and is always carrying a winning smile. This is the predominant Jayson and the one we see the most often. However, every once in a while the “second Jayson” shines through on the court, the swagger filled persona who told Joel Embiid he was lucky after nearly getting posterized and eventually postered LeBron James in Game 7 of the ECF.

I think Jayson would really enjoy Tokyo Ghoul, because I think he could empathize with the plight of Kaneki. Both young men present as mild-mannered and are beloved by everyone around them. However, both have a dangerous, nasty side that is fueled by killer instinct. It’s going to be a journey for Jayson to discover just how much he’s going to change between his rookie year and what’s to come, but I think watching Kaneki’s journey might allow for some similarities. Counterpoints?

Andrew Doxy: I’ve never seen Tokyo Ghoul, so I can’t really vouch for whether or not your opinion is off-base. My “counterpoint” of sorts is a nod to the close relationship that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum share both on and off the court. I think Tatum should take a look at HunterXHunter (2011), which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest anime of this century. From a technical standpoint, everything in its production from animation to art to soundtrack to pacing is phenomenal, especially for a show that lasted beyond one or two anime seasons.

The story of HXH follows a boy named Gon Freecs who was abandoned by his father to become a professional hunter. In this world, hunters are experts who dedicate their lives to all sorts of dangerous tasks ranging from assassination to procuring rare food ingredients. Gon’s reasoning is that being a hunter is so great that it drew his father away, and while being an absentee father is super not great, being a hunter actually is pretty cool.

Gon gets a best friend in Killua who comes from a family of accomplished assassins. Together, they form the most pure and lighthearted friendship in all of anime (an exaggeration). The boyish wonder and delight that stems from their interaction reminds me of how nice it is to see Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown share the responsibility of being the future of the franchise. Seeing them be such good friends makes me think of how great of friends Gon and Killua are.

Also, HunterXHunter is insanely cool. But speaking of Jaylen Brown, what would you recommend for our intelligent and strong basketball son, Sam?

Recommendations for Jaylen Brown

SS: I had this one locked in from the start, and this was the easiest recommendation for me. Jaylen is a renaissance man and one of the rare people on this planet who is testing the superlatives we have for intelligence and coolness at the same time. A lot is made of Jaylen’s intellect and how engaged he is, and for good reason, but it’s almost bizarre how that seems to overshadow just how charismatic he is. Jaylen Brown is a leader, through and through, and it’s tough to think of someone who has a better combination of skills, talents and traits to entrust with your faith.

For that reason, I’m recommending Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion as my pick for Jaylen Brown. The show centers around Lelouch Lamperouge, hyper-intelligent young man who receives the power to make anyone he has eye contact with to obey him one time. He uses this power, and his own expert tactical knowledge, to lead a revolution against the ruling empire. However, along the way, his ideals and resolve come into conflict as he is forced to make decisions that have dire consequences. It’s a really nuanced examination (and I would say critique) of power that I think would appeal to Jaylen as someone who is pensive and thoughtful.

I couldn’t be more certain I knocked this one out of the park, so I’m sorry to make you follow my flawless recommendation like this.

AD: Well, Sam, clearly we agree that Jaylen Brown is a high-level intellectual who needs an anime that will stimulate his intellect. After all, this is the man who has already demonstrated his cultural IQ by showing the world during his trip to Indonesia that he indulges in top-notch content such as Blend S and Nisekoi. For this reason, I offer one suggestion that might puzzle some at first (including myself) but actually makes sense. Buckle up, folks. This is a long title.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru, also known by its equally complicated English title, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, is surprisingly deep. For ease of reference, I will refer to it as its common designation, Oregairu. On its surface, it appears to be “high school anime romantic comedy” part 923471e15, but this show offers plenty of content and dynamics that add a layer of freshness to what should be a dull and overused setting.

Oregairu follows Hachiman Hikigaya, a high school student who has been scorned too many times, and as a result, he turns to cynicism and Kyrie Irving-esque monologues to internalize and process the joyful youth of those surrounding him. He’s forced to join the Volunteer Service Club at his school, a club that basically renders services for students needing help. He does this alongside Yukino Yukinoshita (the president of said club) and Yui Yuigahama (the names are just as complicated as the series title), and their interpersonal relationships along with Hachiman’s personal growth by way of helping others is the focus of the series.

Jaylen Brown seems to be a man who is deeply interested in the human condition. While having the appearance of a simple romantic comedy anime, Oregairu approaches that topic with care on numerous occasion, and its charming characters all have layers of depth that make you care. Even though there are very few overarching plots over the show’s two seasons, the relationships between the characters are more than enough to be compelling for the show’s run. Since Brown has shown himself to be interested in anime of this nature, it’s a logical step for him to use this last month of the offseason to really engage in some intercultural anime viewing.

We can’t finish this off without talking about the man who is literally dripping with sauce himself, Terry Rozier. Sammy Shee, say you’re locked in a room with one television, access to every anime streaming service known to man and Scary Terry. What are you watching and why?

Recommendations for Terry Rozier

SS: Terry will always be one of my favorite athletes of all time for the simple reason that he is a poster. In this context, I don’t mean ‘poster’ to refer to a particularly vicious dunk or someone that is proficient on the low block. When I say ‘poster,’ I’m referring to someone who loves to post things on the internet. The art of posting is much maligned due to people who put things online simply to be mean. Terry demonstrates a rare posting ability that is rare among people as famous as he is. Terry’s ascendance to the NBA has been a tough road, and he overcame a lot of tough things to get where he is today. To come out the other side of that the joyful and happy Scary Terry we know is really something wonderful. It’s a testament to this that he understands a cardinal rule that most people have lost sight of: social media on the internet should be, first and foremost, fun.

I’m a little jealous that you beat me to the Oregairu punch because I think Terry would have also enjoyed watching someone figure out the human interactions that he has already mastered. I’m going to stick in the same vein, and recommend Clannad and Clannad: After Story which also takes place in a high school and is built around interpersonal relationships. The story follows Tomoya Okazaki, a former basketball star who finds himself disillusioned with his path in life after sustaining an injury in a fight with his drunken father. Tomoya meets a sickly girl, Nagisa Furukawa, who is also struggling to find a path for herself after she is held back for missing too much school due to illness, and the story centers around their relationship.

Where Oregairu is more about self-examination (or a lack thereof) Clannad is organized more around the idea of change and the different ways that the march of time can take its toll on us and the people around us. While it might not be immediately apparent why I recommend something like that to Terry, an examination of the show will reveal a balance of silliness, perseverance, and happiness that can’t help but remind me of Rozier. What are your thoughts, Doxy?

AD: Before we wrap things up, I wanna give a quick shout out to the comments section from the last piece. Although we had some grouches, I was pleased to see some really great suggestions and great responses to Part I. I think Sam and I have tried to stay away from the super obvious and extremely mainstream suggestion (even though a few of them have been like Attack on Titan), but a few of you really had some great ideas, and I hope that continues in the comments section of this article as well.

For the man who is easily one of the coolest individuals in the league, I’m going to have to go with an anime that’s equally as cool. A lot of commenters noted that we were missing Slam Dunk in our last piece, and that’s a fair criticism, but I think I’d have hard time convincing Rozier to watch something so old. For that reason, I’m going with Kuroko no Basket, a modern take on basketball in anime. If you think basketball is cool, imagine it on steroids with the gentleness and subtlety of, well, Dragon Ball Z. You have in-game power-ups, fully realized states of consciousness called “The Zone,” a player whose biggest strength is being so unassuming that opposing players lose track of him on the court and more.

It’s a true power fantasy anime. A hooper’s dream. On top of all of that, it’s undeniably, irrevocably and unabashedly cool. Terry Rozier would surely appreciate the well-animated duels between Taiga Kagami and Daiki Aomine. As a shooter himself, no doubt he’d appreciate the literally unlimited range of Shintarou Midorima. There’s so much there for everyone who appreciates the game. It won’t set the world on fire with unpredictable storytelling or multilayered characterization, but it is a realcooltime and it’s a fun one to watch and enjoy. I think Terry Rozier would really enjoy watching it.

SS: I’d also like to thank everyone who read this silly piece. As we claw our way towards the opening of training camp and we hungrily await the return of basketball, I appreciate all the feedback we get when we try something weird. Both good and bad.

Let’s all keep posting, after all, we are less than a month away...