USC middle-distance runner Isaiah Jewett is known for his love for anime films, which he’s credited for inspiration in his running. After placing second in the 800m last night and making the Olympic team, he was asked if there was a particular anime scene that inspired his gutsy performance.
Jewett had a quick and enthusiastic response:
“Oh man, yes. Naruto movie, Clash in the Land of Snow. Skip to the train scene.”
In the scene, the hero Naruto, a young ninja, is carrying a woman on his back while a train is bearing down them in a tunnel.
As Jewett described it, “She’s in his ear saying ‘You can’t do this, you’re not fast enough.’ And he says, ‘It doesn’t matter, I’m going to give everything I have. I’m going to die before I give up. And I’m not going to give up ever.’ — And that’s where he started to push.”
Jewett channeled the scene as he pushed himself down the final stretch. “As soon as I got to that 2:50,” he said, “That scene re-played in my head and I was just like, ‘come on, come on, come on…’ just like he did.”
Here’s the scene to inspire your next PR.
While he finds inspiration in anime about ninjas and other sports, Jewett thinks the sport of track and field deserves its own animated series.
“Track and field needs its own anime,” he said. “If anybody doesn’t make it already, in the future when I’m get into animation more, I’m definitely going to make a track anime. It’s going to be about all the runners I’ve encountered, about how nothing’s guaranteed in a race except giving your all. That’s the type of anime I want to make.”
That’s the type of anime we’d all like to watch.