Mike Daniels, the Green Bay Packers’ 6’1″, 310lb Pro Bowl Defensive End, is probably the last person you’d think of as a victim of bullying. But as the brand new, original Crunchyroll documentary He Was Anime reveals, even the biggest and the strongest have been pushed around at some point in their lives. Now, the tables have been turned because it’s Daniels who does the pushing on the football field, driving linemen back into their quarterbacks and thumping opposing ball-carriers into the ground. So what does Daniels look to for inspiration both on and off the field? What is it that got him through bullying in his youth and through grueling workout routines year-round? Anime.
With He Was Anime, Crunchyroll is diving deeper into creating content, and this 11-minute spotlight is the first documentary to feature prominent members of the anime community who have been inspired by the medium. This unique snapshot of Daniels’ childhood, adult life, and pro-football career is as endearing and uplifting as it is enlightening. It’s a case study in not judging a book by its cover, but it also delivers an incredibly positive message to those viewers out there who are struggling with just being themselves, whatever that happens to look like for them. For Daniels, he was a kid who found strength, inspiration, and ultimately an accepting community thanks in part to his parents, and thanks in a big way to anime, a medium he continues to be a massive fan of to this very day.
Watch the documentary below (and prepare to want to hang out with Daniels and watch anime with him in the off-season):
“He Was Anime” – A Crunchyroll Documentary: NFL star, Mike Daniels, has been elected to the Pro Bowl two years in a row and leads the Green Bay Packers as a Defensive End. Still, Daniels ranks his identity as an anime fan above his storied accomplishments as a professional athlete. He Was Anime is an incredible story of how the world of anime propelled Daniels from his childhood as a bullied, skinny kid to one of the most formidable players in the NFL.