“They don’t make Tombstones, for Stray Dogs!”
Warning: Spoilers Ahead for MEGALOBOX
Megalobox Surprised me last year with its promising debut in April. The project was made in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Ashita No Joe, a Manga series that revolves around the story of “Joe” a Boxer, and the project kept true to its original. Megalobox is a love letter to the time Gritty art styles mixed with a fantastic soundtrack with a worthy voice acting cast that made the story what it is.
The Story of a Junkdog
In a Advanced future, the rich live within a more prosperous time, and the poor in a lesser and urban lifestyle, living in very low conditions, much like the conditions many still live within now. But what both Societal sides enjoy is the futuristic boxing sport, known as MEGALOBOX. A Sport of Boxing with enhanced Robotics on the bodies of the competitors that enhance the speed, attack and mobility of the Boxer.
The Story begins with the Protagonist, and unknown fighter named Junkdog, eventually named “Joe”. An underground fighter paid to throw boxing matches under the watchful eye of his Coach Nanbu, a middle aged Boxing coach with a debt to pay. With both living in the low slums, it seems they would be nothing but fakes that will spend their lives in underground. Until one encounter with the man named Yuri, the Megalobox champion, where Their fists were moments from clashing.
After that encounter, Joe chose to fight to the top and Enter the Megalobox Tournament, and Show it’s not the Gear that makes the Man, it’s the man that makes the Gear. Nanbu and Joe take the risk to become immortal and take a chance at Being more than Fakes, as Joe will compete without gear. Giving him the name “Gearless Joe”
The Fights Joe overcomes leads him to the final bout in Megalonia with the Chanion Yuri. Who has also removed his gear. Their long awaited rematch was more than what I could have asked for, hard hits, footwork, high tension. movement that really made the fight with worthwhile wait. The only complaint is the end of the final bout will disappoint you if you don’t understand what the final match meant to Joe. It wasn’t the fact he beat Yuri, it was the Fact he made this impossible journey, and went from a lowdown dog fighting for scraps to fighting in the biggest stage of them all.
A Stray Dog can form a Pact
The Large focus on the anime isn’t necessarily a new villain every week type of anime. It’s focus is mainly on the Journey and hardships that develop from the characters that all take their own stand. Each character in the main cast feels different and each comes with their own strengths and weaknesses, they also come with their own baggage.
No character in Megalobox is Perfect, each has a demon to fight and needs to overcome what they’ve done or been though in order to strive forward in life. And it shows with the development of Nanbu, Sachio, And Joe, Nanbu forced to deal with the demons of his past, and Sachio coming to terms with the death of someone he cherished, and the revenge he seeks.
The Side characters also show their potential in shattering moments in their shining times, Yukiki, Mikiko, Yuri, the characters less forgotten also prove that they struggle and suffer just as much as the other cast, Yukiki and Mikio are in a sibling rivalry, Yuri questions his own Gear and wonders if he’s worthy to Box. The best type of characters in anime are characters that are not perfect, because they’re not realistic and relatable, characters like this, that have their faults and hard comings makes them feel real and alive in a world full of life and emotion. And Megalobox hits that nail on the head with the characters that were just unforgettable.
The Art of A True Boxer
Megalobox box feels like a older anime with its look but somehow keeps it at the same time a breath of fresh air within it as well. It’s something you don’t see often in Modern Anime, usually you see Bright colors and polished drawings, but in Megalobox. It feels raw, and new. And that’s what made it an Anime that could not be forgotten.
Leave your Record at the River of Death
Megalobox’s Original Sound Track is one of the best anime has to offer. It’s music choice and Composure was created and Produced by Mabuna. Amazing tracks like the Theme Of Sachio, which is a stylish Rap beat that is infectious when you hear it. A reminiscence of Samurai Champloo. Or the Tempo and Bongos of The theme of Gansaku Nanbu. If you wish for more proper and attention holding music, the theme of Yukiki Shirato is right up your alley.
The Sound Track is absolutely a pleasure to listen to, as no Sound is exactly the same, each theme, beat, song, or instrumental feels as if it was handled perfectly and with love and consideration and much care with it.
The end them Katte Koi Yo was created by A Japanese Artist known as NakamuraEmi. Her Bashful tone and beautiful vocals create an end theme mixed with the slamming drums and Guitar strings that tell a story like none other. Strength emits from her voice that hypes you up for the next Round of Megalobox. I would highly recommend checking out more of her music, if it suits you.
The Final Round Verdict
Megalobox is a Love letter to the Old Anime style with new and more refined beauty. The Story holds much weight and never feels like it’s gotten stale. The Final Bout has a lackluster end but it makes up for it in characters, story, music and art style.
For those who loved the older look and feel of 80s or 90s anime. This is a story that honors one of the best manga of the century.
The Story Doesn’t end until the last Dog Dies.