NBA Player Grew Up Watching Toonami, Now Runs His Own Anime Company

Johnny O’Bryant is proving himself to be a multi-talented young man. Not only is he a success on the basketball court, he is now making a name for himself by establishing his own anime company. At 6 feet 9 inches, O’Bryant is known as a center and power forward who plays for the Charlotte Hornets. He is particularly well-known for having a strong outside shot, namely his impressive three-point range for a big man. Off the court, he has always had an interest in anime and two of his all-time favorite shows are ‘Erased’ and ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’.

Now he is having to split his time between his two passions. Although he is contracted into a two-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets, he is only a backup player right now as there is a lot of talent available who can play in center and forward positions. Therefore, the amount of time he actually spends playing on the court is dependent on both how he plays and the health of other players. As a backup player, it has also increased the amount of time he has available to focus on his other passions.

One of his main focuses is establishing his anime company. He is currently studying his print competition and planning how he can get his manga series stacked on the shelves of major retailers. He wants to see his own ideas on shelves between the translated classics and newer comics that are arriving in stores.

It was while he was in his second year at the NBA that he started to get the idea of starting up his own business. He says that he was sitting on a plane and was watching some old episodes of ‘Hunter x Hunter’ as a means of passing the time. It got him thinking that there are very few Black characters in anime. This sparked the idea of creating his own series of anime or manga. A few years later and he is well on the way to making this dream become a reality.

It is worth noting that both anime and manga are terms that refer only to Japanese products and cannot strictly be used to describe any products produced outside of this country. However, the terms are both now used more commonly to describe a specific style of cartoon.

Switching from a career in sport to working in a creative industry is an unusual and potentially difficult transition. However, this is not the first time there have been links between cartoons and sports stars. ‘Space Jam’ paired up Bugs Bunny and some other Looney Tunes characters and has them alongside Michael Jordan and other members of the Dream Team. Together, they created a feature-length commercial in a marketing move that was smart, to say the least.

This cartoon also led to a resurgence in the interest of cartoons, especially amongst future NBA Stars. Both Robin and Brook Lopez, also known as the Lopez Twins, are both known for their love of comic books. Other stars who enjoy watching anime include Miles Plumlee, Jabari Parker, Wilson Chandler, and Channing Frye.

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