Posted by Lenlo on 29 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Its finally here, the finale of Megalo Box. And what a finale it was. Lets just get right into it.

Cutting right to the chase, I think Megalo Box was golden until the last 6 minutes. Everything was going great, I had no complaints, and then… Megalo Box anti-climaxed itself. The final 6 minutes simply didn’t fit with the rest of the series. It’s not a bad ending per-se, the status quo has changed and arcs have all been wrapped up. It’s simply an ill-fitting ending. I can understand why they went this way to. They didn’t want to copy Ashita no Joe, they wanted to set themselves apart from it. And I can appreciate that. However I think they went to far away in their quest to be different. Ashita no Joe’s ending is memorable even to those who only see a 5 minute clip and nothing else. Its so beloved for a reason. This? This feels less like an ending and more like groundwork for a second season.

Before I get to into that though, I want to bring up what has been a common bugbear of mine for Megalo Box until now. The fight animation. Most of the time, its the weakest part of a fight in Megalo Box, with the occasional interesting shot. This week was different. This week was good. I could complain that we only got to see maybe 4-5 of the 13 round fight, but I loved what we did see. Yuri’s combinations as he pummels Joe, speed, the bruises appearing all over their bodies and their reactions. Yuri’s flinches and pain from his surgery was clear. It was all great. Probably the best fight in Megalo Box, as it should be considering its the finale. My only gripe, as I mentioned before, is how few rounds we got to see. As is though Megalo Box did good.

Specifically what I liked were the small details we got to see. The designs of Yuri’s scars, while probably not realistic from his surgery, were a treat. Like a tattoo of two snakes, one on each arm, coming to his chest. Nanbu’s shades, reflecting the fight he can’t actually see in them. Yuri’s damage from his surgery, dropping the bottle, unable to sit. Ripping off his team logo. I love all of these details. Really the consistency for this kind of thing, the clear consequences to people’s actions, are great. There are some tiny nitpicks, like the open sky stadium that lets rain in for a boxing match. Seriously, who thought that was a good design decision? It was clearly done for cinematic purposes, and in the end it succeeded, but when I first saw it I was very confused. Net total though, these details really added to the scenes.

As for the narrative of the fight, Megalo Box succeeded here to. I long wondered how Megalo Box was going to raise Joe up to Yuri’s level. He had 3 months to go from getting completely destroyed by Yuri, too an even match. It simply couldn’t happen. Instead Megalo Box went the opposite route, it brought Yuri down to Joe’s level. Its hard to argue, I think, against Yuri being the better boxer. Even with a recent surgery destroying his body, lowering his stamina and inhibiting his movements, he took Joe through all 13 rounds of their match. And the thing is, neither of them cared. Neither Joe nor Yuri cared about the tournament, or even really cared who won or lost. They would have been satisfied either way because all they wanted was the best fight against the best opponent possible. And they gave that to each other.

Now with all of that out of the way, I suppose I have to stop dancing around it huh? The ending. The last 6 minutes. The biggest anti-climax I have seen in awhile. Alright, lets talk about it. I was disappointed. Like I said in the introduction, the final 6 minutes simply do not fit the rest of the story. Its to happy to… wholesome. This is a world of class differences, of slums and extremes, a world where Nanbu had to stab his own eye out to survive. Yet at the end, everyone ends up happy in their own gym. Joe, Nanbu and Yuri are all alive and (mostly) well. It ends on a happy cheerful party. And it just doesn’t fit.

I said earlier I completely understood Megalo Box’s desire to not copy Ashita no Joe. To be its own thing. And I do. But if Megalo Box wanted to go down this route, with both of our leads surviving and living happily ever after, it shouldn’t have teased us like it did. Throughout the entire season we see Joe slowly falling apart. Peeing and coughing up blood, new scars forming after every fight. We see Yuri’s relationships breaking down around him as he gets caught up in his quest to fight Joe. We even see characters like Sachio get alternatives for how to live, like with Yukiko, if something happens to Nanbu and Joe. Everything was built up for one of them to die, to go away, at the climax. Instead Joe comes out fine, Yuri has new friends, Nanbu gets a gym and everything is hunkydorry. Its inconsistent.

So all in all, Megalo Box was solid gold until the last 6 minutes for me. It shot itself in its own foot with its ending. Its a damn shame, because Megalo Box was and probably still is my favorite of this season. I will already be buying the soundtrack, I re-watch some scenes even now, and the art is to die for. But they stumbled at the finish line.

Full review will be out in a few days, dont worry. In the mean time, what did you think of the ending? Am I being unjustly harsh? Is there something I missed? Feel free to let me know down below. Who knows, it might just make me rethink the score I inevitably give.

See you then!

One Response

  1. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    Yeah it certainly was a cop out. Right from the start I knew they were not going to copy the originals ending even with the massive hints at it. But this ending just feels rushed and you can’t help but feel that the only reason Joe won was because Yuri handicapped himself hard. At the top of his game he would have wiped the floor with Joe.

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