With only 3 months to qualify for the Megalonia tournament, will Joe make it? Nanbu sheepishly heads into the official Megalonia headquarters to register Joe. He succeeds in this registering Joe, who’s ranked 257th among the fighters. Fujimaki reminds Joe and Nanbu of the stakes if they fail to win (death). Joe’s gear begins to get a upgrade. Nanbu tells Joe that in 3 months Joe will need to win 5 matches.
Getting integrated Gear is expensive, so Nanbu and Joe head to a seedy part of town to buy some gear. We encounter some street kids who steal some camera for “red candy” narcotics. The owner says that the “kids gladly eat the candy, the shop owner commenting that they’re happy to be distracted from their miserable existence.” Still they’re stiffed, as the owner of the shop only gives them 3 candies instead of 4. The head boy Sachio, gets into a altercation with the owner and smashes a globe on his arm drawing blood. He pulls a knife on him but Joe steps in. He quickly deescalates the situation and he and Nanbu leave.
While training in a old boxing ring, Sachio insists that the upgraded gear will not work. He and Nanbu agree that his assessment is correct but they have no choice. Sachio asks to go with Nanbu and Joe, but he’s dismissed as being useless. To prove that he’s not however, he steals the prototype from the seedy owner and gets caught. Sachio is getting beaten up by Potemkin, Joe drives a motorcycle through the front window and Potemkin face. The new gear proves useless, but Joe plans on fighting him without it.
Megalo Box continues to be impressive. In this episode the world is expanded on and we’re introduced to more characters. We get a more detail look at the seedy slums of the Megalo Box universe. Nanbu’s character is expanded on, we get to see him with other promoters and sponsors. He comes across as more of a opportunists in the earlier episodes but turns out that he actually is a good mechanic and trainer. Hopefully, this series will expand on other characters in this series.
Junk Dog faces off against Yuri, he’s clear outmatched and Yuri decides to give him a handicap, he won’t use his right hand. Junk Dog says that “he hopes that he doesn’t regret it.” Yuri continues to dominate him, but Junk Dog attempts to adjust and his hit from the an angle from the top, knocking Junk Dog to the ground and his mouth guard out. Junk Dog gets back up, claiming that he’s “having too much fun.”
Junk Dog challenges Yuri to fight with both his arms and Yuri agrees to show him “real Megalo Boxing.” JD charges in but Yuri see’s an opening and quickly knocks him out. Yuri leaves as the crowd chants his name, Junk Dog tells him he’s “not done yet.” Yuri tells him that if he wants to fight him again it has to be in “his” ring. Junk Dog’s battle with Yuri doubled JD’s audience and double their’s fees.
Junk Dog wants to go to fight in the Megalo box, however, he doesn’t have a citizen ID. Furthermore, only the top four fighters can fight and it’s unlikely that Junk Dog can get to the top four in three months. While in the ring JD, KO’s his opponent in the first round causing trouble for Mr. Nanbu. He’s taken to Mr. Fujimaki and begs for another chance and more time to pay him back.
Mr. Fujimaki agrees, handing Mr. Nanbu a knife to take out his other eye. Mr. Nanbu counters by telling Mr. Fujimaki that JD is going to enter and win the Megalo Box tournament. Junk Dog is given the identity of someone that Mr. Fujimaki appears to have killed, Junk Dog give himself a new name Joe. Another good episode, the name Joe not only seems to be homage to Ashita no Joe and also one of the themes about class.
JD seems to be inspired to name himself Joe after a billboard that reads, “It’s a wonderful District life. Not your average Joe.” Finally, the theme of around “dog” seem to be more obvious in the episode. JD is often compared to a “stray” dog and Yuri feels like he’s a more pampered domesticated dog, obedient to Yukiko. It will be interesting to see how JD will manage to defeat a lot of boxers in only 3 months.
Megalo Box is a spin off of the classic anime boxing series, Ashita no Joe, accommodating it’s 50 year anniversary. There has been a number of boxing anime and manga, Hajime no Ippo being the most prominent. Ippo is an manga series created by George Morikawa, it focuses on ” the story of high school student Makunouchi Ippo, as he begins his career in boxing and over time obtains many titles and defeats various opponents. ” Hajime no Ippo to date has sold over 95 million copies and has well over 120 volumes.
Ashita no Joe’s success was more moderate with 20 volumes and 20 million copies, but has developed a cult following. The manga series was created by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated Tetsuya Chiba it was adapted into a movie and an anime series. The series focuses on Joe Yabuki as he goes through the professional boxing ranks, with Joe dying from his injuries sustained in the ring.
Megalo Box is adapted from the manga of the same name, however, it will take place in a more futuristic society and some of the original characters have been recreated. The series will be simulcasted on Crunchyroll and will feature 13 episodes. The first episode, Buy or Die, introduces the underground boxer, Junk Dog (JD). Megalo Box is the “combination of athleticism and Gear technology to create the future of boxing,” the granddaughter of former head of the Shirato group, Yukiko Shirato states. She aims is to create the “ultimate combat sport” in the Megalonia tournament.
The first thing you will notice about Megalo is the classic visual styling. Megalo reminds me of Cowboy Bebop, with it’s color pallet and gritty environments and the animation is superb. JD has the similar “I don’t care” mindset that Spike (Cowboy Bebop) displayed. JD has a chance encounter with Yukiko and her prized fighter Yuri. JD insults Shirato’s Megalonia tournament, Yuri tells him to “take it back” and challenges him to a fight. Shirato interrupts the fight and they leave. JD’s next fight is against none other than Yuri himself. The episode ends before they fight. I usually don’t like boxing anime but Megalo hits all the right buttons for me, I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.