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Anime

Nomad Megalo Box 2: Joe helps the “Casa” community

Joe suffering from withdrawl in episode 2 of Megalo Box 2.
Joe suffering from withdrawl.

"La desesperación da coraje a los cobardes"

Round 2 – Despair brings courage to the cowardly

Joe’s bike is stolen by an immigrant boy named Mio. Megalo Box 2’s second episode explores immigration and how society responds to it. Mio lives in a community set up in an abandoned amusement park called "casa". Mio sells Joe’s bike and boxing gear to his sister Marla for scrapping. She’s appalled at her brother theft and fears that it will reflect badly on immigrants. Marla offers to help Joe repair his bike. However, Joe collapses from the effects from his drug addiction.

As Joe recovers in the community, a construction crew arrives. The immigrants were paying rent for the land, however, the landowner dies. This leaves the land up for auction. The construction worker rudely tells to “get the hell out of there.” His workers begin to put up for sale signs. The immigrants and construction workers fight. Before Joe can intervene, Chief appears and ends the conflict. He manages to get them to refrain from demolishing the community until the auction completes.


The

Only do bad deeds for good

Later Chief’s willingness to throw matches is put into perspective. He needs money to help his community. He tells Joe that he was inspired by him. An undocumented fighter like himself, Joe’s decision to chase his dream was influential on him. Mio overhears this conversation and runs to tell mobster Tetsu. The following day, Joe speeds off as Tetsu comes to meet him. They hope "Gearless" Joe enters the tournament. Tetsu is disappointed that he missed Joe and leaves without incident. However, Joe eventually returns, inspired by Chief’s words. He wants to see "how the dream Chief was talking about ends."

Joe finally discards the drugs down a sink, as he prepares to take on a new challenge. Joe continues to be haunted by his past. This time the "ghost" is Sachio, who in a flashback accuses Joe of being responsible for the death of Gansaku Nanbu. It’s possible that these hallucinations are a consequence of his drug addition. Now that he’s tossed them we will see how that effects him. The anti-immigrant sentiment presented in this episode is an interesting plot point. It isn’t made clear where Chief and the other come from, but they’re clearly not from the country. With a mobster likely rooting against them, can Chief and Joe save the community?

Anime

Nomad Megalo Box 2: Joe returns, battling more than just his past

Joe returns battling his demons in Nomad Megalo 2.
Joe returns battling his demons

Apparitions hum the requiem 

Nomad Megalo Box season 2 follows a lost Joe. Having changed his name to “Nomad,” Joe takes part in underground fights with basic Megalo gear. He’s developed a painkiller addiction and the ghost of Nanbu haunts him. His dominance in the ring makes him unpopular with the crowd. They want to be entertained. The fight’s fixer doesn’t mind avoiding fixed matches, but he wants to sell the fight and Joe’s not cooperating. If he wants a better fight, then get him a better opponent, Joe demands. At a bar he encounters a mysterious guitar player, who offers Joe some advice on combining alcohol and pills. Basically, don’t. This seems to trigger a fleeing moment of reflection for Joe. He tosses his bottle of pills on the bathroom floor. Unfortunately, he’s not strong enough yet, and he picks up each pill.

A lone wolf

Speeding down a highway, Joe encounters a stubborn wolf. He crashes to avoid it. When we see the wolf close up, it has several old scars. It’s clearly a metaphor for Joe. Anyway, Joe finally gets his fight with a high-ranking boxer, Chief. As the match begins, Chief turns out to be the mystery man from the bar. Joe is serious. He barrels at Chief, as the fighter evades, blocks, and counters Joe. Who quickly realises that Chief is good. The crowd switches their bets to Chief winning. The meds wear off and the dynamic turns in Chiefs favor. He secretly bets on Joe to “win” and takes a dive, cashing in. Joe instantly knows what’s going on. He confronts Chief in the parking lot. They fight, briefly. Chief claims Joe’s addiction is the reason he lost. On his way out-of-town Joe encounters the same wolf. This time it’s dead. He buries the corpses, giving it a proper burial. I think this symbolising Joe deciding to live.

Nomad Megalo isn’t particularly exciting with its mule color pallet and miserable principal character. However, this series is about more that just bloody bouts. Joe’s alias is telling about his current predicament. A “Nomad” is a “member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas.” It’s appropriate. Besides not knowing where he’s going, Joe is suffering from withdrawal while withdrawing from his old life. He’s fighting on multiple fronts. Joe battles in the ring, against his regrets from the past, and his current addiction. Nomad Megalo is going to follow Joe through his many battles, and I want to watch him triumph.